What is Level 3 processing?
Level 3 processing refers to passing the line item detail from the invoice when submitting the sale transaction for settlement. Level 3 Data is additional information about a transaction which is commonly found on an invoice, such as product/service descriptions, quantities and other details. Visa® and MasterCard® apply higher Interchange rates for business, corporate, purchasing and GSA transactions if Level 3 Data is not included with the transaction. For example, a Level 3 qualified transactions can save up to $10.00 per $1,000 in sales.
According to a Q1 2012 Technology Insight Report by PayStream Advisors, when evaluating vendors it is critical that they are be able to handle Level 3 data for card acceptance.
3 Keys to Level 3 Processing
- Insist on an Interchange pricing structure
Interchange is the largest cost component of delivering merchant services and for merchants accepting commercial cards, eliminating non-qualified surcharges are especially important. Direct Interchange pass through pricing is the most transparent method and positions you to qualify for the lowest Level 3 rates available and Purchasing Large Ticket, GSA Purchasing and Visa B2B incentive rates for select industry categories.
- Use Level 3 Payment Technology
To submit the data needed to get the best rates, Level 3 payment processing technology must be used. Standard credit card terminals and B2Consumer payment software are not capable of supporting Level 3. We recommend the benefits of Software as a Service that can be accessed through a secure web application. With evolving Level 3 requirements, virtual software is always the most updated version and multiple users can access the service on any computer with Internet access without the challenges of traditional software licensing, installation, networking, security and upgrade management issues.
- Consider Card Data Security
Securely storing card holder data is critically important today. The best practice is to avoid having card data stored on local PCs or servers. For greater efficiency and customer service, companies often store card data on repeat customers. Securely storing card data offsite using a secure, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI) compliant Level 3 technology can greatly reduce the risk of a data compromise.
Select an experienced Level 3 merchant services partner
Providing Level 3 processing solutions means managing Interchange rates and qualification criteria for commercial MasterCard and Visa card payments. The reality is that most businesses accepting commercial cards from their buyers are NOT qualifying for the BEST available rates because their merchant account is not set up or registered properly.