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How does this secure my transactions?

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Hosted Payment Plan

6 functions you need to know.


Level 2 and Level 3 processing explained

Abstract Sphere

Interchange Optimization

Saving Money each transaction.

What is credit card tokenization?

Credit card tokenization is a cutting-edge security protocol designed to safeguard sensitive data during online transactions. It operates by substituting a cardholder’s Primary Account Number (PAN) with a unique, randomly generated identifier known as a token. This ensures that cardholder data remains secure throughout the payment process.


How does credit card tokenization work?


In a tokenized credit card transaction, the customer’s credit card data undergoes tokenization by a service provider. The tokenized data is then transmitted to the merchant’s bank, replacing actual payment processor data. Subsequently, the acquirer employs this token to request authorization from the relevant credit card networks. Meanwhile, the customer’s authentic payment data remains securely stored within a token vault at their bank. Upon successful payment, the payment token is returned to the merchant, with future transactions utilizing a different token sequence.


What are some examples of credit card tokenization use cases?


Tokenization finds widespread application in eCommerce, facilitating personalized payment experiences by allowing customers to securely save their tokenized payment preferences for future purchases. It is also integral to mobile wallets, where a credit card number is substituted with a token transmitted to the issuing bank. Moreover, in-app payment tokenization is increasingly prevalent in various retailers’ in-app stores, thereby enriching the shopping experience.


What is the difference between credit card tokenization and encryption?


While both methods serve to protect data, encryption employs keys to encode real payment data using an algorithm. This encoded data can be decoded using the appropriate decryption solution. Conversely, tokenization substitutes sensitive information with a meaningless placeholder (the token) that cannot be reversed.


How can businesses benefit from credit card tokenization?


Tokenization enables businesses to achieve PCI DSS compliance, safeguarding a myriad of payment technologies such as digital wallets, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more. It facilitates one-click payments and secure recurring billing, thereby elevating the customer experience. Additionally, it empowers businesses to safeguard sensitive credit card data without substantial investments in security systems, thereby reducing liability in the event of a data breach.


Does credit card tokenization safeguard against data breaches?


Absolutely, with tokenization, sensitive payment data is not openly stored on the network, significantly minimizing the risk of it being lost, stolen, or exploited during a data breach


Is tokenization a PCI DSS approved security measure?


Indeed, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) recognizes tokenization as a sanctioned security measure. Achieving PCI-DSS compliance is markedly simpler with tokenization, as digital payment data remains concealed throughout transactions.





A hosted payment plan in the merchant services industry refers to a payment processing solution where the payment page or checkout process is hosted on a secure server maintained by the payment processor or a third-party service provider. In this arrangement, the merchant redirects their customers to the hosted payment page to complete their transactions securely.



  1. Integration: The merchant integrates with the hosted payment page provided by the payment processor or third-party service. This integration can be done through APIs, plugins, or other integration methods provided by the payment service provider.

  2. Redirection: When a customer is ready to make a purchase, they are redirected from the merchant's website to the secure hosted payment page.

  3. Transaction Processing: On the hosted payment page, customers enter their payment information, such as credit card details, billing address, and other relevant information.

  4. Security: The payment page is hosted on a secure server, often with advanced security measures such as encryption and compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements. This ensures that sensitive payment information is protected during transmission and storage.

  5. Authorization: The payment processor processes the transaction in real-time, authorizing the payment based on the information provided by the customer.

  6. Confirmation: Once the transaction is completed, customers are usually redirected back to the merchant's website, and they receive a confirmation of their purchase.


Hosted payment plans offer several advantages for merchants:


  • Security: By outsourcing payment processing to a secure hosted payment page, merchants reduce their risk of handling sensitive payment information and improve overall security.

  • PCI Compliance: Since the payment page is hosted by a PCI-compliant provider, merchants can simplify their compliance efforts and reduce the scope of their PCI DSS requirements.

  • Convenience: Hosted payment pages are often user-friendly and optimized for conversions, providing a seamless checkout experience for customers.

  • Reduced Liability: By relying on a trusted payment processor, merchants can mitigate the risk of fraud and chargebacks associated with payment processing.


Overall, hosted payment plans offer a secure and convenient way for merchants to accept payments online while minimizing security risks and compliance burdens.

Six functions of a hosted payment plan

What is level 2 and 3 processing?

Level 2 and Level 3 processing are advanced data entry requirements established by credit card networks like Visa and Mastercard for certain types of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) transactions. These levels of processing offer discounted interchange rates in exchange for providing additional transaction details beyond what is typically required for standard credit card transactions.


Here's a breakdown of Level 2 and Level 3 processing:


Level 2 Processing:


  • Level 2 processing is primarily designed for corporate purchasing cards (also known as corporate cards) transactions.

  • It requires merchants to include additional data with their transactions, such as sales tax amount, customer code, and merchant postal code.

  • By providing this enhanced data, businesses can qualify for lower interchange rates compared to standard consumer credit card transactions.


Level 3 Processing:
Level 3 processing is geared towards B2B and B2G transactions, especially for high-value transactions.


  • It requires merchants to include detailed line-item information for each transaction, including product or service descriptions, quantities, item codes, unit costs, and more.

  • Level 3 processing provides the highest level of data granularity and requires substantial information about each transaction.

  • Because of the comprehensive data provided, Level 3 transactions qualify for the lowest interchange rates among the three levels.


The purpose of Level 2 and Level 3 processing is to facilitate more transparent and efficient B2B and B2G transactions while offering cost savings to merchants and buyers involved in these types of transactions. However, implementing Level 2 and Level 3 processing can require additional software or hardware solutions to capture and transmit the necessary transaction data.

How does Advisory Merchant Services save me money with interchange optimization? 

Interchange optimization in merchant processing refers to the strategic management of credit card transactions to minimize interchange fees, which are fees paid by merchants to card-issuing banks for processing transactions. By optimizing interchange, merchants seek to reduce their overall processing costs and maximize their profitability. This optimization involves various strategies such as using the most cost-effective payment methods, minimizing the risk of chargebacks, and implementing technologies that streamline transaction processing.


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A merchant service company can help save a client money through several key strategies and services:


Interchange Optimization:


As mentioned earlier, optimizing interchange fees is a primary way to save money in merchant processing. A merchant services company can analyze a client's transaction patterns and recommend the most cost-effective payment methods to minimize interchange fees

Rate Negotiation:


Merchant services providers can negotiate better processing rates with acquiring banks on behalf of their clients. By leveraging their relationships and industry knowledge, they can secure lower transaction fees and processing costs for merchants.


Technology Solutions:


Implementing efficient payment processing technologies can significantly reduce costs for merchants. This may include point-of-sale (POS) systems, payment gateways, and mobile payment solutions that streamline transactions and reduce processing fees.

Fraud Prevention:


Fraudulent transactions can be costly for merchants due to chargeback fees and lost revenue. Merchant services companies offer fraud prevention tools and services that help mitigate the risk of fraudulent transactions, saving clients money in the long run.


Customer Support and Education:


Providing knowledgeable customer support and educational resources to clients can help them better understand their payment processing fees and optimize their operations accordingly. By empowering clients with information and support, merchant services companies can help them make informed decisions to minimize costs.


Customized Solutions:


Every business has unique processing needs and challenges. A merchant services company can tailor solutions to meet the specific requirements of each client, whether they are a small business or a large enterprise. Customized solutions ensure that clients only pay for the services they need, avoiding unnecessary expenses.

Overall, a proactive and knowledgeable merchant services company can be instrumental in helping clients save money by optimizing interchange fees, negotiating favorable processing rates, leveraging technology, preventing fraud, providing support and education, and offering customized solutions tailored to their business needs.

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