- I want to accept Laser in my shop, what can I do?
- What is the difference between Laser and Visa Debit or Debit MasterCard?
- Why are the banks changing from Laser to Visa Debit and Debit MasterCard?
- Will it cost me more if customers pay with Visa Debit and Debit MasterCard instead of Laser?
- How do I benefit from accepting Visa Debit and Debit MasterCard?
- Do I need a new terminal to be able to accept the new debit cards?
- Do I need to make any changes to my online store when accepting Visa Debit and Debit MasterCard cards?
- Can I still accept Laser? If so, for how long?
- Do I need to get a contactless terminal to be able to accept the new debit cards?
- What is PCI DSS?
- Where do I get decals for the windows and tills?
- Can I offer the Laser Cashback facility?
- Can I accept Laser Card payments over the phone?
- Can I accept Laser Cards over the Internet?
- How much does it cost to accept Laser Card?
- What do I do if I have a problem with my terminal?
- Is there a minimum Laser Card amount for a given sale?
- What is the maximum Cashback value that I can offer?
- Can I provide Cashback to Laser Cardholders without a purchase being made?
- Is there a minimum transaction limit that has to be reached before I can offer Cashback to a customer?
Three banks participating in the Laser Scheme offer card processing (acquiring) services. These are AIB Merchant Services, Elavon and WorldPay. You will need to have an agreement with one of these banks to be able to accept Laser in your business.
Click here for contact telephone numbers for the merchant services team in each of these banks.
All of these products are debit cards and essentially they do the same thing, i.e. they allow the cardholder to buy things with a card in your store instead of using cash or cheques. The customer's current account is debited for the amount of the purchase. However, Visa Debit and Debit MasterCard have extra features such as worldwide acceptance, payment protection for consumers (e.g. if goods are damaged in transit) and better security for consumers and retailers for online shopping; with 3D Secure.
The banks have decided to move from Laser to Visa Debit and Debit MasterCard because these cards provide extra benefits to cardholders and retailers including providing protection when selling online (with 3D Secure), automated chargebacks (cardholder disputes) and worldwide acceptance, among other benefits.
There are significant requirements on card issuers across Europe now to update their card technology to fit in with today's payments systems and to ensure that cardholders and retailers can transact in a secure and efficient way. While Laser worked well in the past, if it were to be developed to tomorrow's standards the Irish banks would have to invest €millions in the Laser Scheme. Instead, they chose the more cost effective and efficient option of aligning with international brands and as such can provide immediate benefits to their customers. All of the retail banks have chosen to align with the international brands although the timing of the transition differs per bank with some replacing cards as far back as 2009 while others continue to replace their Laser cards in 2013.
The fees paid by shops to their card processors are a matter between the shop and their acquiring bank. The merchant service fee is agreed between you and your acquirer so any queries on pricing should be directed to them.
The exact charges paid (known as interchange) for debit card sales by your acquirer to the card issuers, via the relevant card schemes, i.e. Laser, Visa and MasterCard, are available in the public domain.
The new debit cards bring security enhancements such as 3D Secure and Card Security Code to Card Not Present transactions such as telesales, mail orders or internet sales. These will help to significantly reduce your exposure to online payment card fraud.
If you have an online presence, the ability to offer the consumer the option of paying with Visa Debit and Debit MasterCard will make your site more attractive to a wider customer base.
If you use 3D Secure (Verifed by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode) and subsequently receive a chargeback as a result of online sales to unauthorised shoppers, the liability for the fraud loss falls back on the cardholder's bank. Talk to your merchant acquirer about this and about further benefits.
If you accept payment cards in your business already, you can accept Visa Debit and Debit MasterCard on your existing terminal.
- Q: Do I need to make any changes to my online store when accepting Visa Debit and Debit MasterCard cards?
If you accept Visa and MasterCard already, there are few changes that you need to make.
You do need to ensure that your website sales page can accept the correct length card number (i.e. 16 digits for the new debit cards). You should also change your card payment options to include the new debit cards in the drop-down list. When Laser is gone from the market there will no longer be a need to accept card numbers that are 18 and 19 digits long as per some of the existing Laser Cards.
There will be some Laser cards in use until all Laser cards have been replaced with either Visa Debit or Debit MasterCard cards. The remaining Laser cards are expected to be phased out by the end of 2013 (this timeline will be confirmed later this year). In most cases, when each cardholder receives there new debit card, their Laser card will become invalid within a short time. If a customer continues to use their Laser card after that date, your terminal will read the card as invalid and will decline the sale. Details on the exact date after which Laser will no longer be operating in the Irish market will be made available in the public domain and through your acquiring bank. Once the date is known, you will need to ensure that you no longer accept Laser in your store.
It is true to say that the majority of new debit cards being issued currently in Ireland have what is known as contactless technology within the card. This enables the cardholder to wave their card over a contactless terminal when paying for goods under €15 in value. The use of contactless cards has been seen in other markets such as the UK as a benefit to shops, where footfall can be increased and sale times accelerated. It is up to each shop whether or not they wish to accept cards in this way however if you offer low value sales in your shop, we recomend that you speak to your acquiring bank about installing a contactless terminal. This can be simply plugged in at your till.
The acronym stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. All shops that accept payment cards are required, under card scheme rules and acquirer terms and conditions, to comply with these standards. They are industry-driven principles to help shops keep their customers' card details secure and out of the hands of hackers and thieves. More information on PCI DSS is available at your acquiring bank or click here for the PCI Council website.
Branded window stickers and merchandise are available from your acquiring bank. Contact the Merchant Services Department at your acquirer and they will help you.
You can offer the Laser Cashback facility if it is included in you acquirer 'Terms and Conditions', agreed between you and your card processor (acquiring bank). If it is not included in the Ts & Cs, contact your bank and inform them that you would like to offer this facility to your customers.
You can offer Laser as a payment option for phone sales if it is included in your Merchant Terms and Conditions, agreed between you (the merchant) and your bank (acquiring processor).
If it is not included in the Merchant Terms and Conditions, contact your bank and inform them that you would like to offer Laser as a payment method over the phone.
You can offer Laser as a payment option over the Internet if it is included in the Merchant Terms and Conditions agreed between you (the merchant) and your card processor (acquiring bank). If it is not included in the Merchant Terms and Conditions, simply contact your bank and inform them that you would like to offer Laser as a payment method over the Internet.
The cost of offering Laser Card as a payment mechanism is dependant on your acquiring bank. The costs are negotiated between you and your bank on entering the contract, to offer Laser.
If you have an operational or technical problem with your terminal or PIN Pad, contact the Merchant Services Department. The personnel will either talk you through the problem over the phone or arrange a site visit to resolve the issue.
No, there is no minimum limit on a Laser Card transaction value.
Some retailers choose to post notices in their shops advising that they will only accept Laser Cards for sales greater than €10, or similar. This is not permitted by the Scheme and contravenes the acquiring processors' card acceptance policies.
The Laser Scheme rules permit Cashback up to the value of €100 per transaction.
No. The customer is required to make a purchase with their Laser Card before the Cashback facility can be used.
- Q: Is there a minimum transaction limit that has to be reached before I can offer Cashback to a customer?
No. Once the customer has made a purchase for any value on their Laser Card, you can offer Cashback.