Recently small business owners and ProAdvisors who use Intuit Merchant Services had $35 – $100 withdrawn from their bank account for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance Fees (as explained below). This caused complaints, confusion and frustration. Intuit sent an an email notification however many people report that they did not receive the email and were surprised when the charge was deducted from their account. Read on for more details, possible alternatives and information for QuickBooks ProAdvisors.
Details from Intuit
PCI DSS is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (also referred to as PCI). PCI DSS is a standard created by the payment card companies (AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa) to help ensure the safe handling of cardholder data throughout the payments chain.
All organizations, regardless of size or number of transactions, that process, store, or transmit cardholder data must comply with the PCI DSS.
Securing Cardholder Information
Credit card companies require that parties accepting card payments meet minimum data security standards to protect customer card information. These standards are commonly referred to as PCI requirements. We have partnered with a leading PCI service provider to help you meet these requirements. Our program includes breach protection coverage in an amount up to $50,000 ($0 deductible, $0 co-pay) to pay for audits, fines or other expenses associated with a breach.
We are instituting a fee for the mandatory services and associated breach coverage, ranging from $35 to $100 for a twelve month period. This is a standard industry practice for which other merchant acquirers often charge hundreds of dollars a year. The fees will be reflected on your April statement in an amount determined based on the number of card transactions you processed in the last 12 months. The services will be available to you beginning in April via the Merchant Service Center.
For more information, read the posting and comments on the Intuit Community Forum “Fees Explained – What is PCI compliance and why do I need it?” Please email your questions to IPS_carecenter@intuit.com and be sure to include your business name and merchant account number so that we can respond to you within 24-48 hours.
Intuit PaymentNetwork or Other Alternatives
Some people indicate they are going to look for a different merchant service provider or cancel their Intuit account. If you investigate other merchant service companies, keep in mind they probably charge PCI fees too. Also, consider how you will record the data in QuickBooks. You may have to enter all deposits and transaction fees manually and reconciling can be very difficult. For providers who say they integrate with QuickBooks, test it yourself or read reviews and comments from other people. Intuit Merchant Services integrates with QuickBooks — saving you time and making it much easier to reconcile.
For businesses with a low volume of credit card payments received, you may want to encourage clients or customers to pay via Intuit PaymentNetwork. The payment is from their bank account to your bank account and only $.50 (right 50 cents) per transaction, regardless of the amount. The fee is usually less than the credit card transaction fees. Here’s a quick video demo of Intuit PaymentNetwork. You can email the invoice with a link allowing online payment with Intuit PaymentNetwork – quick and easy!
Another alternative is to utilize PayPal. PayPal allows you to receive credit card payments without any contracts or monthly charges. However, he transaction fees are a little higher.
Members of QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program
ProAdvisors using Intuit Merchant Services were charged the PCI fee and some are complaining about it too. Members of the ProAdvisor Program receive many benefits. One benefit is the Intuit Payment Solutions Bundle which includes (Intuit Merchant Services) as shown below:
The details for Intuit Merchant Services for QuickBooks specifically states that there are no PCI fees as shown here:
However, ProAdvisors were charged this fee (including me). I’ve recommended ProAdvisors utilize this benefit to accept credit cards from clients. I assured them it was free except for transaction fees. To now charge us the PCI fee (which will be an annual charge) does not seem right. I guess this falls under ‘terms subject to change’?
I think Intuit should automatically issue a refund to ProAdvisor members. Why should we have to call or email to request a refund of something Intuit should not have taken from our account? Nevertheless, here is the response from an Intuit Employee on the Community forum:
At this time, we are asking anyone including ProAdvisors to call in (either the ProAdvisor support number or Intuit Payment Solutions at 800-558-9558). The information is sensitive and pertains to accounts individually. I know the hold times are long, yet at this time, you will need to call in.
As an alternative, you can use our e-mail support system. This will get you in contact with agents without the long hold times. Log-in to the Merchant Service Center. From the home page, on the right hand side, you’ll see the contact information box. In this box, click the E-mail support link to e-mail our team. If you’d like a direct e-mail, you can e-mail at IPS_carecenter@intuit.com Please be advised that due to the high-volume of e-mails the 24 hour turn-around time may be longer.