How Processing and Technology Fees Are Used to Ensure Compliance

Base Insights

Base’s primary objectives have always been to educate its business partners on efficient payment processing, but now, the focus has shifted to teaching them to use a No-Cost-to-Biller™ model in a way that reduces risk and increases operational savings. The volume of information and documentation that an agency would have to review on its own causes many to reach the conclusion that a No-Cost-to-Biller™ model is too difficult to manage. 

While no regulated process is free from risk, agencies that Base works with learn that if they adhere to the rules and properly manage the process flow, this model is very feasible. Base helps customers by simplifying the process with proprietary technology and a special process flow. 

Some ARM industry experts believe the No-Cost-to-Biller™ model can’t be used due to all of the regulations on convenience fees, including directives that say they can’t be charged. However, when you look at the history of the industry, there are several sizable and well-known money movers that do just that and have been doing so for decades.

This article isn’t the place to go into the minutia of the regulations. Suffice it to say that what you must understand is that there are state regulations, federal regulations, and card guidelines, each with their own nuances. It’s a good idea to talk with your legal counsel as a starting point before getting involved in this type of process.

FDCPA & State Law

An important point outlined in the FDCPA is that agencies must not profit from fees. Base’s product charges a fee for access to its payment channel and processes that charge separately from your customer’s original debt payment. Handling the fee in this manner addresses the “profiting” issue. Anti-surcharge statutes vary by state, but Base’s experts can help you navigate them.

Card Brands

Visa, Mastercard, and other payment cards each have their own guidelines for merchant processing. As mentioned above, Base’s solution creates two separate transactions, each submitted to the card brands in accordance with all their guidelines. 

Disclosures

One of the most important aspects of Base’s platform is that it fully discloses to the consumer what is taking place prior to any payment being processed. This includes explaining how the charges are being assessed and who they are going to.

Base also advise partners to offer a free payment option to the consumer regardless of the communication channel used by the consumer to contact the agency. This is an integral part of the product. In addition, the system automatically recognizes the address of the consumer at the time of payment to ensure compliance with the specific regulations in their state. Plus, the consumer can opt-out at any point in the process without incurring any fees.

Base’s No-Cost-To-Biller platform was built with all of these regulations in mind and has been reviewed by banking experts, lawyers, clients, and its business partners. All have agreed that the platform follows all regulations and guidelines even as it reduces processing costs by 60-90%.

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