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The 13 Most Frequently Asked Questions about the Virtual Merchant

The Virtual Merchant and the GenieCard

Welcome to the world of Electronic Banking and Commerce. The Virtual Merchant and the GenieCard have been combined to become your passport into a whole new era of doing business on the telephone and on the World Wide Web.

In the next few pages, we will tell you about these two cutting edge business tools – What they are, how they work and how to use them. Hopefully, we can answer all of your questions in this simple Q&A format.

1. What is the Virtual Merchant?

The Virtual Merchant is a tool you use to accept electronic payment for your goods and services, whether you are selling lots of items all the time, a few items occasionally, or just the odd ones-and-twos every now and then.

2. How does the Virtual Merchant work?

By calling the Virtual Merchant from any touch tone telephone, you OR your customer can enter all the necessary information to place an order for your product or your services, and make electronic payment on the spot. The payment information is verified instantly, while you or your customer is still on the line, and the order information is electronically forwarded where you need to send it for fulfilling the order.

There is absolutely no special equipment needed, and no advance setup required. The service is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any touch-tone phone anywhere in the world.

3. Who can use the Virtual Merchant?

Anyone can use the Virtual Merchant, no matter how large or how small their business or selling needs. The Virtual Merchant is right at home selling home care products, personal services, major appliances, or processing contributions for civic, political, charitable or religious organizations – whoever needs to accept electronic payments for anything.

4. How do I access the Virtual Merchant?

Simply call your regular Universal Office number. When Genie answers, press the POUND key (#) on your touch-tone telephone, and you’re in. Genie will begin the transaction process by asking you for the whole-dollar amount of the purchase. From there, Genie will walk you through each step of the transaction, including buyer’s name, description of the purchase, shipping address, method of payment, etc.

Because there is no special equipment needed, you can use the service from anywhere you are, whenever you need. Whether making the charge from your office over your standard telephone or from the floor of a trade-show over your cell-phone, the experience and service are exactly the same.

5. How does my customer access the Virtual Merchant?

Your customer accesses the Virtual Merchant in exactly the same way that you would do so. They simply call your Universal Office number from any touch-tone telephone, and press the POUND key (#) when Genie answers. There is no difference in what you would hear and what your customer will hear when placing a Virtual Merchant order.

And just as it is for you, so it is for your customer: It makes NO difference where they are calling from, whether it’s a cell-phone on the freeway or a standard desk phone at their home.

6. Which cards does the Virtual Merchant accept?

The Virtual Merchant can process several forms of payment. Currently, the Virtual Merchant accepts Visa and MasterCard charge cards, as well as payments from a GenieCard or a Genie-to-Genie Money transfer from another Universal Office account.

7. Where does the information go?

Before the call is ended, the payment information is verified and recorded. Charge card information is verified against the cardholder’s credit card issuer, while GenieCard or Universal Office transfers are checked against the user’s GenieCard information. As soon as that happens, the recorded information about the transaction (caller’s name, address, product ordered, etc.), along with the financial information, is stored in your Universal Office as a regular message. You can then forward that information to any other Universal Office, or to any email address you wish. Genie can even do the email forwarding automatically if you wish, using up to three email addresses.

If you are a larger organization, using your Universal Office primarily for the Virtual Merchant function, you can use the email forwarding to automate the entire order handling process. For example, you might forward the transaction record to the Sales office for storage with the customer records, to the Accounting office for the financial data, and to your Shipping clerk for order fulfillment.

For smaller businesses, with occasional sales, it is probably better to forward these messages to a single email address for distribution by hand, especially if you use your Universal Office for routine business or personal messages as well. (No need to advise the shipping clerk of your social calendar.)

No matter what size your organization, though, this sales record with its attached recordings is ideal for your “third party verification record”, proving that the sale was real. In fact, you should always store these records for a safe period of at least 120 days, to deal with any complaints or other problems.

8. What will my customer see?

Your customer will see a transaction on their next credit card statement, for whatever amount was charged. The “merchant” will show on their statement as EasyTel Virtual POS (“POS” stands for “Point of Sale”)

Your customer will NOT see your name or your business name on their statement, so you should be sure to tell them what to expect in your sales literature, recorded messages, or when you speak to them.

9. How much does the Virtual Merchant cost?

The Virtual Merchant costs nothing to setup and there is no monthly fee – just click on the link below to request your Virtual Merchant Account.

Once the account is set up, you can call your Universal Office, press the POUND key (#) and start using your new Virtual Merchant. You pay only transaction costs when you actually USE the service. There is a 50-cent basic transaction fee and a 5% discount fee, (which includes the credit card processing fees to Visa and MasterCard). For example, if you sell an item or service for $100, the fees would come to $5.50: 50-cent basic transaction fee plus $5 discount fee.

Activate your Virtual Merchant Account and receive your GenieCard

10. What about Chargebacks?

Chargebacks are what happens when a customer objects to a particular transaction (or sometimes just changes their mind) and tells their credit card issuer to reject a charge on their card. For example, a child might get hold of his father’s credit card and order a product from you. Or the product you shipped is lost in the mail and never arrives. In such cases, the credit card holder might contact their card issuer and dispute the charges. The card issuer then issues a “chargeback”, which essentially reverses the credit to your account.

First, it is important to understand that YOU are responsible for all chargebacks to your account. Because the sale of your product or service is between you and the customer, it is up to you to resolve any disputes. This is at least part of the reason why it is important for you to SAVE your transaction records, with the attached recordings. That might well be just what you need to prove to the credit card issuer that it really WAS a valid purchase.

Second, we help protect you against chargebacks by requiring that you maintain a safety reserve in your Virtual Merchant account, with a $100 “balance” or 20% of your monthly sales limit, whichever is higher, as the minimum. Any amount OVER the reserve can be issued to you for whatever distribution you wish, but the reserve protects both you and us against the occasional chargeback. Most chargebacks are processed within 120 days (except in cases of fraud), so the reserve can be released after 120 days after you stop using your Virtual merchant.

If there ARE chargebacks to your Virtual Merchant account, we will deduct the amount of the chargeback from your account, along with a $25 handling charge. If there is not enough in your Virtual Merchant account to cover the chargeback and fee, the account will remain negative until future charges are processed. If you cancel a Virtual Merchant account that is in the negative, we will process a charge against your current credit card for the balance, before turning off your Virtual Merchant.

The chargeback reserve structure is based on an average of up to $500 per month in credit activity. If your foresee having more than $500 per month in transactions, please contact customer service to arrange for a higher line of credit. They will be happy to explain the details of reserves and fees for high-volume accounts.

11. How do I collect my money?

You can access the money you make with the Virtual Merchant by transferring it to your GenieCard. Processing the credit charges takes three days to complete. Transferring is very simple, and can be done any time you wish, after the three-day window, from any touch-tone phone. Just call your Universal Office and sign in as if you were collecting your messages. Then press 7 to access the GenieCard Financial Services menu. From there, press 2 to access your Virtual Merchant account and follow the simple prompts. Any amount can be transferred, as long as you leave the required reserve balance in the Virtual Merchant account ($100, by default. See “What about Chargebacks?” above.)

That money is instantly ready for you to use, whether by drawing cash from an ATM or using your GenieCard anywhere ATM cards are accepted.

You can also use the money in your Virtual Merchant account to pay for your Universal Office services (like extra calling time or that big phone conference) if you wish. Just transfer money from the Virtual Merchant to your Genie account instead of to the GenieCard, and you’re ready to go! It's all done the same way!

12. How do I get a GenieCard?

A GenieCard comes with your Virtual Merchant Account. Click on the link below to request your Virtual Merchant and GenieCard.

When you begin the process, you will be asked a series of five questions. These will cover some personal information that only YOU would know, but which is not usually used by financial institutions. We’ll use this information to verify your identity when you come back to the web site later for reports, or to make changes.

Once your order is complete, your new GenieCard will be rushed to you in the mail. There is no charge for the GenieCard, if you are a Virtual Merchant customer. Activate your Virtual Merchant Account and receive your GenieCard

13. Where can I use my GenieCard?

Your card is good anywhere an ATM card is accepted, whether for cash withdrawals at an ATM, or making purchases anywhere ATM cards are accepted.

The GenieCard works at any ATM with the following logos.


Activate your Virtual Merchant Account and receive your Genie ATM Card

See the 15 Reasons Why You Need a GenieCard for Financial Services

See the 15 Reasons Why You Need a GenieCard for Calling Services

The GenieCard is issued by MetaBank. Use of the card is governed by the terms in your Cardholder Agreement. GenieCard Cardholders Agreement

Last updated 11/15/2006

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