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FAQ - International Companies
Frequently Asked Questions About Our New Automated Payment Service:

1-----How does your service work?
2-----How can you claim that your service is absolutely secure?
3-----
Do you obtain real-time approval for the transactions, while the caller is still on line?
4-----What happens after the caller hangs up?
5-----Do we have to accept payments both by credit card and by cheque through your service?
6-----How do we get our money? Do we receive the money directly, or does it first go into your account, and then into ours?
7-----What about credit card chargebacks?
8-----
What about N.S.F. cheques? And can we use the services of a cheque-guarantee service?
9-----How much does your service cost, and how do we pay you?
10---How can I tell if your service will enhance the image we want to project for our company? You know how much many people dislike automated voice systems.
11---Is there anything I should know before calling into your voice demo?
12---If we decide to use your service, when could we be operational?
13---After all is said and done, why should we be interested in your service? People seem to be managing quite well sending us their money.

Payment Central Inc. Answers:

Q-1. How does your service work?
A-1. Once you have signed an agreement with us, your customers may call into your local or toll-free number (or into a number we have established on your behalf) and arrange for a payment by credit card or cheque. They provide information about their credit card or bank account, the amount they wish to pay, and the account to which the payment is to be credited (if applicable), and then record a verbal authorization for the transaction, which we archive for an appropriate amount of time (normally six months).

Q-2. How can you claim that your service is absolutely secure?
A-2. The "system" referred to in this "Questions & Answers" list consists of voice-processing boards and customized software
installed in a standalone PC. All information entered into the system by callers (both numbers entered by TouchTone and recorded speechfiles) are stored on this PC's hard drive. Later, the system only sends information to your computer that specific payments have been received (and confirmed, in the case of credit card payments and guaranteed cheque payments; see Question 3 below) - MINUS the sensitive and private credit card or bank account information. And since our PC is not connected to the Internet, and therefore is simply NOT ACCESSIBLE to hackers, the only way that someone with criminal intent can obtain the information we have collected is to physically break into our offices, or tap into our phone lines - both of which possibilities we take considerable pains to protect against.

But to reiterate, the system IS, in fact, absolutely secure against the most likely (and usual) route by which such information is stolen, namely by hackers operating through the Internet.
Q-3. Do you obtain real-time approval for the transactions, while the caller is still on line?
A-3.
For credit card transactions, our system obtains approval for the requested transaction while the caller is recording the verbal authorization, and then tells the caller that the transaction has been approved, and he or she should make note of the confirmation number that the system is about to give him or her. Alternatively, the system may tell the caller that there is apparently a problem "with his or her financial institution", and he or she should check with that financial institution (but in the meantime, if he or she has another way to handle the transaction, he or she should press "1" to enter the new information). That way, the caller has the maximum opportunity to arrange for a completed transaction, and will leave the call knowing whether or not he or she has been successful in making the payment; this also eliminates the need to call a buyer back if a transaction is declined by a credit card company during a subsequent offline request for authorization.

For transactions by cheque (if you have contracted for cheque-guarantee services), the system obtains approval for the requested transaction in exactly the same way as described for credit card transactions. Otherwise, the transaction should be handled as if a "soft" cheque has been received from the caller.
Q-4. What happens after the caller hangs up?
A-4.
For credit card transactions, the system will subsequently convert the already-obtained authorization from the bank clearing house into a "settlement" (i.e. the actual transfer of funds from the caller's account to yours), unless an arrangement has been made with your bank to handle the settlement automatically. The system will typically perform all settlements for each day during an overnight interaction with the bank clearing house, but you may request that settlements be performed immediately after the authorizations have been obtained. (Or, alternatively, our system can perform the authorizations, and then pass all information over to your system to handle the settlements when you wish to.)

For transactions by cheque, there are two ways that we can handle the processing. The first, which is obviously easier for us, involves transferring the funds electronically from the caller's bank account to yours, via EFT ("Electronic Funds Transfer"). The second, which we prefer (even though it obviously costs us more to carry it out) because it will subsequently help the caller understand why this transaction has appeared on his or her bank statement, involves the preparation by our system of a bank "draft" printed on proper banker's paper using magnetic toner, and including the caller's bank name and address, the name of your company (as payee), the date, the amount in numbers and in words, all the magnetic coding at the bottom of the cheque necessary for it to pass normally through the federal cheque-clearance system, and the words "Authorization on file" in the signature block. (Our system also endorses the draft on the back, and prints up a deposit slip for all such bank drafts to be deposited to your account every business day, as part of the service we provide.) North American banks have indicated that they are perfectly happy to process these cheque drafts, as long as the payee (your company) has a good credit rating;we would obviously have to establish that your bank (if outside North America) is equally willing to do so.

Finally, our system will prepare and send to you a hard copy of the list of all transactions handled that day, sorted by your account or transaction number (if applicable) and by the confirmation numbers that the system announces to each caller, to enable easy verification in case of any subsequent dispute. It will also produce a computer batch file containing all pertinent information about the transactions it handled that day (in any format you require), which you will be able to import directly into your accounting or spreadsheet program, thereby eliminating the need to do any data entry whatsoever for transactions which have gone through the system.
Q-5. Do we have to accept payments both by credit card and by cheque through your service?
A-5.
Not at all. We can easily configure our service to accept payments only by credit card, or only by cheque, according to your specific needs.
Q-6. How do we get our money? Do we receive the money directly, or does it first go into your account, and then into ours?
A-6.
Both for credit card and cheque transactions, all funds collected through our service go straight into your account; we simply act as the expediter. If desired, we can help you set up the necessary merchant credit card and corporate bank accounts; if you are unable to obtain such accounts, we could then arrange for you to receive deposits through our accounts.
Q-7. What about credit card chargebacks?
A-7.
Chargebacks are debits charged by the credit card companies to your merchant credit card accounts, when specific transactions are disputed by the payors. Typically, the credit card companies are very quick to charge back a transaction when they are notified of a dispute, and the onus is then on the payee (yourself) to contest the dispute, if it is your company's policy to do so.

Since our system obtains authorization for credit card charges exactly as you would do if you were handling these transactions, there may be absolutely no difference in the likelihood of a transaction being disputed when it has passed through our system. On the other hand, since our system captures the telephone number from which each call for a transaction request has been made (when that information is delivered by the telephone network), and can easily be configured to REFUSE to accept such calls when the number cannot be captured (from a payphone, say, or when Caller ID blocking has been invoked by the caller), and since the caller has recorded a verbal authorization for the transaction, this may well discourage some payors who might otherwise have disputed a transaction; the stored information (to which you will have easy access, by telephone) will certainly help you, should you wish to contest the payor's dispute.

Q-8. What about N.S.F. cheques? And can we use the services of a cheque-guarantee service?
A-8.
Cheque drafts issued and deposited through our service are effectively exactly the same as cheques which you have received by mail, and deposited into your account. They are "soft" payments which are not sure to remain in your account (and may therefore not be drawn against, for the most part) until after the period of time specified by your bank (typically one to five days, in the same country, longer for international transactions - depending on how far away the payor's bank is from yours).

To speed up this process, and place the burden of collecting payment for N.S.F. cheques in the hands of those most able to do so successfully, you may want to consider using the services of a cheque guarantee company. This will usually cost you about the same as you will be paying in commissions for credit card services, but for these fees the cheque guarantee company promises to pay you quickly the face value of any cheque returned N.S.F. (and will then attempt to collect back that amount, plus N.S.F. charges, from the issuer of the bad cheque, although this will no longer be any concern of yours).

Q-9. How much does your service cost, and how do we pay you?
A-9.
There are NO installation fees or set-up charges for our service, nor do we charge a percentage of each amount deposited, as some "live" services do. Rather, we will charge you a flat-rate fee for each completed transaction carried out for a caller. The amount of this transactional fee will, of course, depend on the number of transactions handled on your behalf per week or month, but will always be LESS than you are currently paying to have transactions processed (i.e. the direct cost of having payments processed and deposited to your account, and information about the payments entered into your accounting or spreadsheet software - and verified). In addition, you would incur the cost of the local or toll-free telephone service (registered in your name) that will be needed to give access to your customers to deposit funds to your account; as an experienced player in the voice-processing industry, however, we will be able to arrange for rates on your behalf which will very likely be considerably less than you might be able to arrange for yourself.

Please contact us directly to determine what your cost would be. To help us give you a quick answer, please be ready to give us a reasonably accurate estimate of the transactions you would expect that our service might have to handle on your behalf per week or month, once it is operating fully and is well publicized.

To ensure that the financial aspect is fair to both parties, our agreement with you will include your permission for us to transfer funds from the account into which we are depositing all fees paid to you through our service into our account (to cover the incurred transactional fees), on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis, depending on the volume of such transactions. Naturally, there will be a reconciliation period after each such transfer, during which time discrepancies or questions, if any, can be resolved.)
Q-10. How can I tell if your service will enhance the image we want to project for our company? You know how much many people dislike automated voice systems.
A-10.
Glad you asked! For almost a decade now, our parent company has been creating customized automated telephone systems for clients, with capabilities that exactly matched their needs - and, in some cases, with capabilities that no one had ever thought to put into a voice-processing system. When you try out our voice demo (call us at +1 702-757-5587 or email us at info@paymentcentralinc.com and we'll tell you what you need to do, to do so), you'll be able to hear for yourself that we have placed into this system all the functions necessary for it to collect the information which the credit card companies and banks require, in a format which is EASY AND INTUITIVE for the callers to use. In fact, the actual implementation of the design was not overly difficult for a company such as ours, which has been building even more complex systems for years; the real work was done in recognizing and defining the need for such a service, and in designing it to be easily usable by non-technically- oriented people.
Q-11. Is there anything I should know before calling into your voice demo?
A-11.
There are three things you should know:
i. Have a pen and piece of paper in front of you when you place the call.
Almost inevitably, as you listen to the demo, you will hear something that will cause you to think, "I wish that they had done [something] this way instead of that way". Since our business for almost a decade has been the creation of *customized* automated telephone messaging systems, it will be no problem for us to arrange for the service we offer you to, in fact, do it "this way instead of that way". So, taking the occasional note may be useful.

ii. You may safely ignore the admonition to "have your credit card (or your chequebook) in front of you".
For the purpose of the voice demo, ANY number with the correct number of digits will work just fine - although it would be a good idea to press different keys, rather than simply pressing the same key 16 times, for example.
iii. You will actually hear several different "goodbye" messages BEFORE you reach the end of the voice demo.
Since there are several different ways that actual payment calls to the system may end, there are several different final messages recorded. During the course of the demo, you will hear all of them - but the demo will *continue* after each one has been played. You will know that you have reached the end of the demo when you hear a message saying, "to listen to this demo again, please press '1'. To leave a message, press '2'.", etc., and you may then choose one of the options, or simply hang up.
Q-12. If we decide to use your service, when could we be operational?
A-12. Assuming that we can operate our service on your behalf in the U.S. or Canada, you can expect to be operational for credit-card acceptance within 2-4 weeks from the time we sign an agreement; cheque acceptance will take an additional 2-4 weeks, because we will have to arrange to subscribe on your behalf to a bank database service (so that the system will be able to verify bank routing numbers entered by callers in "real-time" - i.e., while the callers are still on the line). Obviously, if we will need to establish your service outside the U.S. or Canada, we may need a little extra time to familiarize ourselves with the banking situation in your country, in order to provide you with a perfectly-functioning service.
Q-13. After all is said and done, why should we be interested in your service? People seem to be managing quite well to send us their money.
A-13.
"Seem to" is EXACTLY the point! You have absolutely no way to know how many people were *going* to send you an order (and money to pay for it) - but simply never got around to it. As one important example, two separate recent studies sponsored by major organizations have established the same point (almost to the same percentage, in fact!) - *2/3* of all people who have the technical skill to browse the Internet, and the financial resources to do so, are ABSOLUTELY UNWILLING to pass their financial information through the 'Net to complete a transaction. So should companies which feel they are "very successful" in selling through the Internet rest on their laurels - or should they be worrying about the fact that their sales (and presumably their profits!) should have been as much as 200% HIGHER than they are??

After all, if Rule Number One of Marketing is "make it easy for the customer to buy", Rule Number Two *must* be "make it easy for the customer to pay" - BECAUSE WHAT IS THE FIRST, WITHOUT THE SECOND?

Our service makes it easy for people to PAY you! And since we don't charge you anything but a fee for actual transactions which the service handles on your behalf, IT WON'T COST YOU A PENNY TO TRY IT OUT - except when it is resurrecting orders that you might well otherwise have lost!.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to bring them up, and we will do our best to provide meaningful answers.
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