Obama Campaign Paid More to Turn AVS Off
Greg at Greg’s Weblog has done some online investigation revealing more evidence that the Obama campaign deliberately disabled address verification on their website for nefarious purposes:
How long ago was that? The information I can find says
MasterCard offers AVS at no additional charge to all merchants who accept U.S. – issued cards.
Then there’s this
A Non-Qualified rate fee is the worst rate possible for processing a credit card. A merchant is charged a non-qualified rate for transactions that the merchant account provider (i.e. the bank) feels are high risk.
A merchant is charged a non-qualified rate for credit cards that are processed without Address Verification. A merchant may also experience a non-qualified rate for transactions from foreign countries.
In short, Obama paid more to get AVS turned off.
Additional research found this:
Address Verification System (AVS): $0 – $0.05 per transaction
The AVS service checks to see that the billing address given by the customer matches the credit card. If you opt not to use AVS, VISA and MasterCard will not support your transactions and will charge you an additional 0.17% to 1.25% on those sales. Most merchant accounts do have an AVS charge, even if it’s bundled with your transaction fee. The AVS service works only with US credit card holders. Currently, there is no AVS service in place for non-US credit card holders.
Let’s assume Obama got the 0.17% rate increase. His average donation in September was $86. He paid an extra 15 cents on each order, to “save” 5 cents. By disabling AVS, best case is he lost money on every donation > $30.
Big deal? Well, 0.17% of $150 million (his take last month) is $255,000. Having AVS on would have cost, at most, a third of that.
You don’t lose hundreds of thousands of dollars on an “innocent mistake” that you had to work hard to get done.