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An educational series to help you better understand payments and e-commerce.

Design is incredibly important for e-commerce in 2021. Why is it so often overlooked? Design is incredibly important for e-commerce in 2021. Why is it so often overlooked?

Nov 1, 2021
by David Goodale

In our second vlogcast we talk to Simon Cooper from Hybrid Ideas about why good design is about more than being pretty. It's strategic and should be created with the intent of accomplishing a specific goal.
Learn more about designing for e-commerce...

E-commerce vlogcast #1 starting an e-commerce business in 2021 E-commerce vlogcast #1 starting an e-commerce business in 2021

Oct 3, 2021
by David Goodale

In our first episode we speak to Feargal Harris from Numinix. We explore many different considerations when starting an e-commerce business in 2021. Learn more about starting an online business in 2021...

Why do international transactions get declined? Why do international e-commerce transactions get declined?

Sept 16, 2021
by David Goodale

You may have noticed a lot of declined transactions when selling to international customers. In this video we explain why international (cross border) e-commerce transactions get declined, and what you can do to minimize it. Learn why international transactions get declined and what to do about it...

The difference between a merchant account, payment gateway and payment processor. The difference between a merchant account, payment gateway and payment processor.

May 31, 2021
by David Goodale

If you've ever been confused by the difference between a merchant account, a payment gateway and processor you are not alone. In this discussion we break down the role each of those elements play, and how they affect your overall processing costs. Learn more about a merchant account, a gateway and a processor...

Using Video to Spot and Stop Credit Card Fraud Using Video to Spot and Stop Credit Card Fraud

May 14, 2021
by David Goodale

In the past the best way to manually screen suspicious orders was to call the customer on the phone and ask them questions. Now, with modern web based video technologies it's possible to validate customers in a way that was never previously possible. Learn more about how to use video to spot and stop fraud.

What is a discount rate in the credit card processing industry? What is a discount rate?

April 7, 2021
by David Goodale

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to pricing in the payments industry. The most important cost of all is the discount rate. Learn what the discount rate is and why it's the most important and significant cost when processing credit card transactions.

Payment Processing in Canada The best payment processing options in Canada depending on your business type.

March 26, 2021
by David Goodale

Some payment processors are more receptive to e-commerce accounts, while others prefer traditional brick and mortar businesses. Find out which payment processors cater to merchants in your industry. Learn how some processors are better at helping certain types of merchants.

What are assessment fees? Understanding future delivery risk in the credit card processing industry.

June 24, 2020
by David Goodale

Why do payment processors have holdbacks or reserves on your merchant account? In this discussion we explain the concept of future delivery chargeback risk, and explore how to reduce the collateral held on your merchant account. Learn more about future delivery risk in the credit card processing industry.

What are assessment fees? What are credit card assessment fees or card brand fees?

June 24, 2020
by David Goodale

Visa and Mastercard charge a very small fee called a card brand fee (also sometimes called an assessment fee). We will explore these costs and explain when they are incurred. Learn more about Visa and Mastercard assessment fees.

Mastercard Logo New Visa and Mastercard Interchange Pricing in 2020

April 22, 2020
by David Goodale

Interchange rates of usually updated twice annually, with the main update being in April. Interchange rates are being adjusted again in 2020. Click here to see how the interchange cost changes will affect your business...

What do merchants need to know about PCI compliance? PCI Compliance: What merchants need to know

March 20, 2020
by David Goodale

PCI Compliance is a complex topic that can leave businesses, and especially smaller merchants, intimidated at the prospect of accepting credit cards. In this entry we explore what merchants should know about the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

Find out more about what it will take for your business to become PCI compliant...

Everything to know about multi-currency processing How much does credit card processing cost?

July 11, 2019
by David Goodale

In the latest episode of our merchant education series we tackle the seemingly simple topic of costs. In addition to exploring the discount rate and interchange costs, we outline and provide some metrics for the actual rate you should be willing to pay for your business.

Find out more about the costs involved in setting up a credit card processing solution...

Everything to know about multi-currency processing Everything to know about multi-currency payment processing

July 8, 2019
by David Goodale

If your business transacts across borders, how do you ensure that you've optimized your payments solution?

Our CEO David Goodale sets out to demystify the most complex area of payments: multi-currency and cross-border e-commerce payments. This is a detailed exploration of everything to know about multi-currency payment processing.

Find out everything there is to know about multi-currency e-commerce payments...

Virtual Terminal Screenshot When is a virtual terminal less expensive than traditional POS equipment? For processing card-not-present transactions.

May 7, 2019
by David Goodale

If your business takes orders over the phone, online, by fax - or basically in any way where the customers is not physically present, then a virtual terminal will be less expensive than traditional POS equipment.

Find out how a virtual terminal can reduce costs when compared to traditional POS equipment...

Shopping Cart Software Roundup: ShopFactory Review

March 12, 2019
by David Goodale

ShopFactory Logo Today we have a review of ShopFactory. It's a shopping cart and CMS system in one and it's been around since 1995. It has some unique functionality that sets it apart from others in the shopping cart software space.

Find out if ShopFactory may be a good fit for your e-commerce store...

Interchange update: MasterCard increasing cross border fees in November 2018

Oct 15, 2018
by David Goodale

Campaign icon: Mastercard Logo Cross border fees are applied any time an e-commerce transaction crosses a border. It's important to have an understanding of these fees if you operate an e-commerce website that targets foreign customers.

Learn about the Mastercard cross border fee increase...

What is credit card tokenization and how does it work?

July 5, 2018
by David Goodale

Credit card tokenization can lower your processing costs and improve the security of your business. Even though it's easy to setup many business owners do not understand what credit card tokenization is or how it works.

Learn how credit card tokenization can help your business...

Visa VCR: a New Chargeback and Dispute Resolution Process

March 16, 2018
by David Goodale

Visa is addressing some of the most common chargeback related complaints from merchants. Going forward, chargebacks are a thing of the past and will now be known as disputes.

Learn more about Visa Claims Resolution (VCR)...

New Mastercard Interchange Pricing as of November 1st 2017

January 16, 2018
by Cameron Wilson

On November 1st 2017 Mastercard made some big changes to their interchange rates which will impact credit card processing rates for e-commerce transactions. Standard e-commerce rates increased for Core, World, and World Elite Mastercard credit cards. At the same time, SecureCode and Masterpass enabled transactions for those same types of cards decreased.

Learn which rates increased and how you can avoid paying higher fees...

Merchants: How to Fight Back Against Credit Card Processing Rate Increases

June 21, 2017
by David Goodale

It is extremely frustrating for merchants to be notified of an increase to your credit card processing rate. In many cases, these increases may be unfair and add unnecessary additional expense to your business. Fortunately, there are protections in place that can help protect your business should this happen to you.

Learn how to fight back against rate increases...

Canadians: Process Credit Cards in U.S Currency and Receive Your Deposit in US Funds

March 3, 2017
by David Goodale

It's very common for Canadian businesses to sell online in US dollars. However, many Canadian business owners do not realize that it's easy to receive your deposits from credit card sales in USD without having to convert it into Canadian dollars.

Learn how to process credit cards in U.S funds and receive your deposit in USD without it being converted...

Airline Credit Card Processing - How to Get Merchant Services Without Requiring Large Security Reserves

Dec 8, 2016
by David Goodale

Establishing credit card processing for an airline can be very difficult, especially for young airlines, but also even for well established carriers.

Learn about how to get payment processing and minimize security reserves if you operate an airline...

Demystifying e-commerce vlog series: The components of an e-commerce transaction.

June 30, 2016
by David Goodale

We have recently started a vlog series to demystify some of the most commonly asked questions about e-commerce. The first discussion in the series is to help merchants understand the components of an e-commerce website.

Learn about the components of an e-commerce transaction...

How to address customer complaints stemming from international transaction fees.

June 24, 2016
by David Goodale

Some card issuing banks have a fee that causes problems for online businesses when selling to international customers. We are talking about the extra international transaction fees that some card issuing banks charge to their cardholders. In these cases customers may complain if their credit card was charged more money than they expected.

What your customer service team should do when the issue arises...

The Difference Between Qualified/Non-Qualified and Interchange Plus Pricing

February 10, 2016
by David Goodale

In the credit card processing industry the pricing models used can be very difficult for business owners to understand. The process of getting quotes and choosing a merchant account provider is difficult at the best of times, and especially so when different potential providers use different pricing models. However, you can make this process much easier on yourself if you understand qualified/non-qualified pricing, and how it differs from interchange plus pricing.

Learn how qualified/non-qualified differs from interchange plus pricing...

What is Visa Checkout?

October 21, 2015
by David Goodale

There are an ever-evolving and increasing number of payment types that e-commerce merchants can implement to better satisfy and cater to customers. Visa has released a new payment method called Visa Checkout which helps make it easier for shoppers to quickly and easily complete a transaction when purchasing online.

Learn more about Visa Checkout and how it works...

How to cancel an unfair credit card processing agreement

December 23, 2014
by David Goodale

One of the worst situations to find yourself in is being stuck in an unfair credit card processing agreement. They can be costly and difficult to get out of. In this article we'll explore ways to get out of the agreement at painlessly as is possible.

Learn how to get out of an unfair credit card processing agreement...

Techniques to use when renegotiating for lower credit card processing rates

October 28, 2014
by David Goodale

If you have processed credit cards for some time you may wonder if you are getting the best deal possible. You may also wonder if it's reasonable to ask your processor for a lower rate. In a word, YES, it's entirely reasonable.

Techniques to use when renegotiating your agreement for lower credit card processing rates...

Moltin Shopping Cart Overview

July 9, 2014
by David Goodale

As part of a new series we will be exploring many of the newest, and often task-specific shopping cart platforms that are available. The first one in this new series we are looking at is Moltin. It's a developer friendly cart platform that isn't meant for everyone - but should be well received by the web development community.

Find out more about the Moltin shopping cart platform...

Interchange Plus Pricing

June 16, 2014
by David Goodale

There are several pricing models that can be used in the credit card processing industry. There are only two that we recommend: flat rates and interchange plus rates.

Learn why interchange plus pricing is by far the most transparent and least expensive...

What are the cross border fees on a credit card processing statement?

May 21, 2014
by David Goodale

Cross border fees are one of the most poorly understood aspects of credit card processing. Many merchants do not understand why they happen, how much they cost, or when they should apply. In this article we'll examine what causes cross border fees to occur and how much they cost when processing international e-commerce transactions.

Learn about cross border credit card fees...

7 common misconceptions about establishing a merchant account.

April 15, 2014
by David Goodale

A lot of folks use aggregator services like Paypal because they are free and easy to get started with. However, what business owners don't realize is that getting a proper merchant account and gateway solution is actually very easy. In this article we explore some of the most common misconceptions people have about getting a merchant account for their business.

Learn the 7 most common myths about establishing a merchant account...

Understanding credit card pre-authorizations.

March 27, 2014
by David Goodale

Pre-authorizing a credit card is easy, it can save money on discount rate fees, and is a fantastic tool for fighting fraud. With that in mind, why do more merchants not use pre-authorizations when processing payments on their website?

Learn how to pre-authorize a credit card, and when you be doing it...

Volusion shopping cart review.

February 10, 2014
by David Goodale

Volusion was one of the first remotely hosted shopping cart platforms available to online merchants. It's been under development for over a decade and is still going strong.

Find out how we felt after spending some time with Volusion ...

How to choose a shopping cart when building an e-commerce website.

January 22, 2014
by Cameron Wilson

There are literally hundreds of choices on the market when it comes to choosing a shopping cart software. Choosing the right one for your situation can be a daunting task, but by understanding the different types of platform that exist you can whittle down the options to a cart that is well suited to your project.

Learn more about the different types of shopping carts...

VP-ASP shopping cart review.

January 7, 2014
by David Goodale

In our latest shopping cart review we tackle VP-ASP, a powerful ASP based shopping cart that can be owned outright and hosted on your own webserver, or purchased via a monthly subscription as a remotely hosted cart platform.

Learn what we thought of VP-ASP after putting it through the gears...

How to get approved for a merchant account if you operate a business in the travel industry.

September 24, 2013
by David Goodale

Travel is fun, exciting and a part of life that we all look forward to. If that's the case, why do travel companies so often have a hard time getting approved for a merchant account?

Learn why travel businesses are often considered high risk, and how to get your merchant account approved for processing...

Understanding discount rates

June 12, 2013
by David Goodale

Discount rates used to be simple, flat, and easy to understand. Unfortunately, with the prevalence of rewards and points cards that's often no longer the case.

Learn everything you need to know about discount rates...

How product risk can impact your merchant account approval

April 22, 2013
by David Goodale

Some merchant account applications are easily approved while others are declined or require security reserves. Product risk plays a major role in determining whether an application is approved.

Learn how the type of product you sell can impact your merchant account application... Interview

November 14, 2012
by David Goodale

Kevin Larsen was a man with an idea. He wanted a better way to monitor his young children using his smartphone. He took that idea, engineered a prototype, manufactured a product, built a Smartphone app and launched an online brand - the Uberwatcher!

Learn how Kevin built and launched his unique business...

How to fight fraud and reduce chargebacks

October 22, 2012
by David Goodale

Fraudulent transactions are more than just an annoyance. They can have a significant detrimental impact to any online merchant. It's important to spot fraud and prevent chargebacks from happening.

Learn how to fight fraud and prevent chargebacks...

FoxyCart Review

August 17, 2012
by David Goodale

FoxyCart is shopping cart software takes a very different approach to building an e-commerce website. In fact, this was the most challenging review I've ever worked on because it's just so radically different than most existing shopping carts.

Find out how FoxyCart bridges the gap between custom developed solutions and packaged shopping cart software... Interview

July 12, 2012
by David Goodale

Is there anything cooler than hand crafted one of a kind swords and katanas? If there is, I'm not sure what it is. I was lucky enough to have a chance to speak with work with Pam Morgan at and learn about her very interesting business.

Find out how Pam started fighting crime and selling swords online...

3DCart Review

June 29, 2012
by David Goodale

Continuing with our quest to review and test the most popular shopping cart software platforms, this week we took 3DCart for a spin. 3DCart is a popular remotely hosted cart platform that was begging for an in-depth review to compare to rivals Shopify and Big Commerce.

Find out what we thought about 3DCart after putting it through the gears...

Merchant profile and discussion with CMS Intelligence.

June 1, 2012
by David Goodale

I recently spoke with Don Cormier at CMS Intelligence to find out about their revolutionary new CMS system, and their experience with implementing a payments system.

Read the interview to learn about CMS Intelligence "evolving" CMS system.

Why does Paypal freeze user accounts?

May 10, 2012
by David Goodale

If you had to identify the most common complaint merchants make about Paypal it is probably that an account has been suspended or shut down without warning. What may be unexpected is that these complaints for the most part are without merit. The problem is that the person using Paypal did not understand the fact that Paypal is a payment aggregator, or what that could mean to their business.

Learn why Paypal and other payment aggregators often freeze the accounts of successful and growing businesses...

Merchant profile and discussion with Cora from Ethiopiaid.

February 16, 2012
by David Goodale

I recently had a chance to work with Cora LaRussa, Charity Manager at Ethiopiaid Canada. Ethiopiaid is a fantastic organization doing great work for people living in Ethiopia.

Read the interview to learn how charities are leveraging online payments to get donations to those in need.

Win a chance to have your monthly fee waived.

January 18, 2012
by David Goodale

It's time for the first contest of the new year. In fact, we are planning on running this as an ongoing contest with a chance to win each month. By simply following us on Facebook, recommending us to a friend, or interacting with a question on our wall you will have the chance to have your monthly fee waived.

Click here to find out more about the contest...

Merchant Chooses McAfee for PCI Scanning

December 7, 2011
by David Goodale

We have recently chosen McAfee to provide PCI scanning services for our clients. McAfee is one of the most recognized names in internet security, and has a fantastic offering for small businesses that want to ensure a secure online transaction environment.

Click here to find out why we chose McAfee as our recommended PCI scanning vendor...

Website Re-launch contest

December 6, 2011
by David Goodale

After several months of concepts, iterations and testing we have finally launched the new version of our website. This is the fourth version of the Merchant website since the original launch in January 2001. To celebrate the re-launch we've come up with a fun contest that will help us to ensure a smooth re-launch.

Click here to find out about the contest...

October 11, 2011
Question of the Day:

If I setup a CAD merchant account now, can I add USD processing later on if I need it?

When setting up a new account some of our customers become concerned about configuring their store in the best way possible. This can be challenging if you are in the startup phase because you often don't know exactly where your products or services may gain traction and become popular.

Fortunately, we work with our clients so that you can modify your account in any way needed.

Click here to read how to add or change billing currencies...

Shopify Review

September 30, 2011
by David Goodale

Shopify is an increasingly popular hosted shopping cart choice for many merchants. Of particular note, it is a home grown Canadian shopping cart that emphasizes ease of use and customer support. I've taken the opportunity to do a detailed review of the cart system.

Click here to read my Shopify review...

How to Analyze Your Credit Card Processing Statement

September 15, 2011
by Cameron Wilson

Merchants often do not realize how to read their processing statement and determine the effective rate they are being charged per transaction.

Working through your processing statement to get to the bottom line is actually quite easy...

July 27, 2011
Question of the Day:

Can I use my existing POS terminal with Merchant processing services?

We are sometimes approached by merchants that already own POS hardware but would like to switch and begin using our payment services. In some cases that is possible but it depends on several factors.

Can my POS machine be reprogrammed? Find out more...

What is a monthly minimum MDR fee?

July 18, 2011
by David Goodale

Merchants are often confused by the monthly minimum. It's a fee that most merchants should never pay because it's only meant to be charged on dormant accounts. Generally speaking, the monthly minimum will have far more impact on a small business, or a seasonal business that is slow during certain times of the year.

Learn more about what a monthly minimum MDR fee is and how it works...

July 11, 2011
Question of the Day:

Which shopping carts can support real time transaction reporting import directly into Quickbooks?

A client recently contacted us because they were researching to select the right shopping cart for their business, and were wondering how much work it is to keep their Quickbooks in sync with the orders on their website.

Importing Quickbooks data can be relatively easy...

Big Commerce Shopping Cart Review

June 30, 2011
by David Goodale

Big Commerce is one of the most popular hosted shopping cart solutions on the planet. I roll up my sleeves and dig into the cart to see what all the hype is about.

Read the Big Commerce shopping cart review...

What is interchange and why is it important?

June 14, 2011
by David Goodale

When your credit card processor performs the action of processing a transaction on behalf of your company they incur a cost from Visa or MasterCard. Knowing the costs that your processor will incur will help ensure you are not caught off guard by unexpected pricing, and will help ensure you get the lowest processing rates possible for your business.

Learn what interchange is, and how much it costs...

Getting Approved for a Merchant Account with Poor Credit or a Bankruptcy

May 13, 2011
by David Goodale

It is true that having poor credit or a bankruptcy will make it harder to get a merchant account, but it shouldn't make it impossible. Here we discuss the issues to be aware of when applying for a merchant account if you have poor credit or a bankruptcy in your credit history.

Can you still get a merchant account if you have poor credit? Find out more...

The challenge of taking mobile credit card payments in Canada

March 25, 2011
by David Goodale

Canadians have been slow to adopt mobile payments technology that will allow you to process credit card transactions using an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android phone. However, this is not the fault of merchants or business owners, but is largely because of a technology constraint that arises from the chip and PIN technology that makes Canadian credit card transactions more secure.

Find out more about the current options available to Canadian merchants for mobile credit card payments...

Security Reserves: Why they exist and how to eliminate them

March 11, 2011
by David Goodale

You should not be required to pay a security reserve without good reason. Many merchants do not realize that security reserves are a negotiable point, and that if one is required you can work to reduce or eliminate your reserve requirement over time.

Learn why most merchants should not require a security reserve, and how to minimize or eliminate them...

Canadian Based Businesses Can Finally Take American Express Payments in USD

February 7, 2011
by David Goodale

American Express has finally provided a solution that will enable Canadian merchants to take AMEX payments online in US dollars. The solution is late to the table, and there are some problems with it, but overall this is a very positive development for Canadian businesses competing online, particularly when targeting customers in the USA or internationally.

Read more about AMEX's new offering for Canadian merchants to take payments in USD...

10 Years of Success as One of Canada's Founding E-commerce Payment Processors

January 10, 2011
by David Goodale

In 10 years we've worked with some of the largest brands in the world. We've worked with home based businesses. We've worked with everything in between.

Merchant has grown into one of Canada's most recognizable names in the e-commerce payments industry. January 10, 2011 is our 10 year anniversary as a Canadian merchant account provider.

Read more about the 10 year anniversary of Merchant

Starting Off Fresh in the New Year

January 1, 2011
by David Goodale

Here I am with the first blog entry of the new year. 2010 had some major changes in store for Merchant including a large migration project involving many of our Canadian clients onto a new and improved payments system.

Moving forward into 2011 we are looking at another exciting year. It most certainly will be an exciting year, because we are only several days away from our 10 year anniversary as a Canadian e-commerce payments provider! I can't believe it's been 10 years, but the calendar doesn't lie. During that time I've worked with many interesting clients and businesses, and I consider myself a very lucky person to have worked with such great people.

Going forward into the new year we are looking at the launch of a major new service offering to our clients. I can't release the official details yet, but it's tentatively scheduled for early in the second quarter of the year, so stay tuned to find out more information.

Seeing as it's January first (happy new year!), and that I should actually be taking a day off today, I am going to pry myself off the computer and finish up by wishing every one of our clients and business partners the best of success in the new year!

Facebook Time

December 10, 2010
by David Goodale

I have to admit that I am late to the Facebook game. That is quite unusual considering how involved I am in SEO (search engine optimization) and how it has become a mission critical part of... is it every internet connected business on earth? Perhaps that perhaps may be an overstatement, but I should have neglected setting up a Merchant Facebook group for so long.

Please take a swing by and add Merchant to your facebook account. Also, don't forget about our Twitter.