Our Experience with Credit Card Processing and Compliance– Acumatica versus Dynamics GP

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In the past accepting credit card payments from our customers was always been a bit of a headache. An expensive, labor-intensive headache.

Now, since our company is using Acumatica, the process is easy. We have more options. We no longer do manual double entry. And we will save at least $1,000 a year in credit card processing fees.

This is one of the unexpected benefits we got from switching from Microsoft Dynamics GP to Acumatica to run our own business. (Read our upgrade story.)

Integrated Credit Card Processing and PCI Compliance

In the past, we used PayPal to accept credit card payments, even though that required a good amount of manual data entry to get the information into our Microsoft Dynamics GP system. Yes, we could have added a credit card processing add-on product to Dynamics GP. But because the underlying technology of Dynamics GP is more than 25 years old the add-on systems are quite expensive, since they have to handle so much of the process.

For example, these days because of PCI privacy rules, we can’t store credit card information.  Even though Dynamics GP is still a very viable system, Microsoft never changed the technology within the product to be able to accommodate this. So literally everything related to credit cards has to reside outside of Dynamics GP with the ability to be able to pass “tokenized transactions”. This means you are not storing the credit card number, you are storing a token, and that token is the key that opens up that information on the outside. On the other hand, Acumatica was already built with PCI compliance in mind, so that ability is included.

Of course, with both Dynamics GP and Acumatica, we still need to add a “gateway service” to accept credit cards, and pay a per-transaction fee. However, with Acumatica it is like the engine is already there, so we are just adding accessories. With Dynamics GP there is no engine included, so you’ve got to get the engine and put the features on top of it. You can add credit card processing with the new privacy compliance to Dynamics GP. But it is complicated because it wasn’t made for that.

For CAL Business Solutions we looked at Century Business Solutions and American Payment Solutions (APS) to provide our “gateway services” with Acumatica. Both of these companies are very good and offer additional value-added services, including payment processing.

We selected APS. Now we can do everything we used to do in PayPal. We were paying $3,000 a year in credit card transaction fees, now because of the efficiencies in APS, we expect to save at least $1,000 a year in fees.

Plus, we will save time. We no longer have to retype the data from PayPal as APS is completely integrated with Acumatica. Plus, we save time with ACH transactions.

ACH Transfers Without Double Entry

An ACH transfer, which is a transfer of money between banks, has no credit card fees involved.  In the past, we initiated an ACH payment within our banking system, and then we still had to make a journal entry into Dynamics GP. Now, we are able to do those ACH transactions within the Acumatica platform so there is no need to create a separate entry and the information is always up to date. Obviously, we prefer that our customers pay us via ACH or physical check to avoid the fees, but there are times when accepting credit cards is still more efficient.

Click to Pay and Portals

For small invoices, for example, one or two hours as a deposit to start an upgrade, we would like to be paid quickly so we can get started. With Acumatica we can now put a “click to pay” link on our invoice that allows the customer in a secure way to give their credit card information and pay the invoice. We see the payment come into Acumatica automatically without us having to do anything manually and we don’t have to have any exposure for PCI compliance.

In the future, it may be that there are ways to give customers the option to pay by credit card if they want to cover the fees themselves, but that is down the road.  We can also accept payments via a secure customer portal. The fact that Acumatica can allow this type of process to happen, pretty much out of the box, is huge.

The Benefit of Modern Technology

We love Microsoft Dynamics GP and continue to support our customers. But over and over again, we are seeing how much easier it is to work with a modern ERP system, built with the latest technology.

Now that we use Acumatica we have improved our collections process with Acumatica AR statements and we save 30+ hours a month with automating renewal billing.  Plus, as a cloud-based access with responsive design and mobile capabilities, it is so much easier to work remotely anywhere, anytime.

If you are ready to evaluate Acumatica, let’s start the conversation. Contact CAL Business Solutions at 860-485-0910 x4 or sales@calszone.com.

By George Mackiewicz, CAL Business Solutions, Acumatica, and Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner, www.calszone.com

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