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On the cards

Allison Moulton, Head of Merchant Acquiring and Corporate Card Sales at Santander UK, explains how Santander’s partnership with leading payment solutions provider Elavon allows businesses to provide flexible and secure ways for customers to make card payments

Allison Moulton, Head of Merchant Acquiring and Corporate Card Sales at Santander UK, explains how Santander’s partnership with leading payment solutions provider Elavon allows businesses to provide flexible and secure ways for customers to make card payments

Q: What is Santander UK’s merchant services solution?

A: Santander’s merchant services solution involves a wide range of financial services, which we provide to our business customers working in the retail sector. This includes card payment processing with the option of next business day fund clearance, alongside great rates and charges.

Q: Who does Santander work with to supply merchant services?

A: Santander is very proud to have a long-standing relationship with Elavon, part of US Bank (which is the fourth largest bank in the USA in terms of branch numbers). Elavon is a very well-established merchant services organisation – an independent global acquirer with a broad product offering and robust technical infrastructure.

Q: What innovations is Santander involved with?

A: This year, Elavon is launching some great products to Santander customers – for instance, any Santander merchant services customer who signs up from February 2013 will receive a contactless configured terminal as standard, allowing customers to make a standard Chip & PIN payment or a contactless payment. Contactless payments are a new feature where, when making low value payments by card, currently £20 or less, rather than inserting a card into the Chip & PIN machine, you can simply hold it to the reader. This means fewer customer queues and quicker service, and it is still safe and secure, with less potential for errors. Also, we’re currently seeing stores in the US trying to direct customers away from tillpoints – enabling assistants in the changing room or on the shop floor to take payment, for instance, avoiding customer queues.

Q: What particular benefits does Santander merchant services offer to retailers?

A: Santander processes payments and can send the retailer the money from a transaction within 24 hours. All our customers, no matter what size of business, are connected free to iMerchantConnect, a reporting tool which enables you to look at different types of transactions, assess which are your busy days or quiet days, which days you take the fewest card transactions or the most charge-backs and so on. Elavon also has stringent risk management and fraud prevention tools, meaning your business and cardholder data is securely protected.

Q: What other options are open to businesses?

A: If your business expands beyond the UK, you can settle transactions in a variety of leading currencies and allow international customers to pay in their own currency – and you earn extra revenue by sharing in a percentage of the currency conversion rates.

Q: What other products complement Santander’s merchant services solution?

A: Our specialist cash management services particularly complement our merchant services solution. This is where Santander works for the retailer, collecting all the cash from their stores, transferring it securely to a bank account and handling all card payments. Santander has particular expertise in cash handling and this is something beneficial that our business customers can take advantage of.

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