I had an interesting experience over Memorial Day weekend. Saturday afternoon I was working in my garden when suddenly my leg began to itch. I figured some dirt had irritated my skin, or perhaps a mosquito got me, so I didn’t think much of it. I carried on working in the yard and nothing seemed out of the ordinary, until the next day when my leg became red and swollen. Also, by this point I was experiencing a significant amount of pain. But, against my better judgement (and despite my wife insisting I see a doctor) I figured I would give it one more day to see if the mystery wound would heal on its own. Welp, it didn’t. In fact, by Monday morning my entire leg was stiff as a board and the wound looked like an image of Saturn as photographed by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft (complete with rings!) The skin on my leg also felt hot to the touch. Now, I’m no medical expert, but my instincts were telling me that’s probably not normal skin behavior. So, after a few ill-advised Google image searches and a healthy dose of encouragement from my lovely wife, I was off to the ER. Turns out it was a spider bite that had become infected and well, it was a good thing I sought medical attention according to the doctor. Short story long, he prescribed me 2 types of antibiotics and I was back to work the next day…playing my own version of doctor by keeping merchant accounts healthy! (I never claimed to be good at segues.)

So it’s June now and today I learned something interesting about this sixth month of the year. In Iceland, folklore says that if you bathe naked in the morning dew on the morning of June 24, you are supposed to keep aging at bay for longer. So this made me wonder, does it have to be Iceland dew, or will any dew do? Heh. In any case, considering June 24 falls on a Monday, I think I’ll suggest this as a team building exercise for L3 at our next meeting.

Coming up this month on our website, Melody Lashmar will be publishing an excellent article on how merchants can improve the support experience for their customers, so keep checking our blog for that and more useful information! We’re also active on Facebook and Twitter, so please be sure to follow us if you’re not already!

Have a great month and watch out for spiders!

May is here, which means beautiful weather here in Southern California and, for me, random bouts of sneezing as a deluge of pollen and smog permeates the air. But despite my allergy problem, I do love this time of year. Planting flowers in the garden, barbecues, getting a couple extra hours of daylight after work to play outside with the kids…all good things.

Speaking of good things, L3 Payments had another busy and productive month! In addition to setting up new merchant accounts and helping to keep our merchants compliant, we worked closely with our sister company, SBW, on enhancements to our Gateway, including putting the finishing touches on a new processor integration which will ensure SBW can connect to additional banking relationships in Europe. We’re also getting ready to roll out some new fraud scrubbing options that will be combined with our already robust and sophisticated fraud shield, allowing merchants even more flexibility and protection against the bad guys!

That leads me to Melody Lashmar’s latest article which focuses on some of the innovative ideas the payment processing industry has recently come up with to help stop fraudulent users (“bad guys” is the technical term, I believe). Melody’s article explores those ideas in great detail, so be sure to check it out!

And, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Next week I’ll be posting and tweeting Hrag’s home address and cell phone number, just in case anyone needs to get in touch with him after hours. So don’t miss out on that! (Just kidding. Maybe.)

Until next time, have a great month and enjoy that Spring weather!

It’s been a busy and productive last few weeks here at L3 Payments! Once again we worked hard to ensure our merchant’s accounts were healthy and compliant by providing the necessary tools and analysis that L3 is known for. And despite being busier than a gopher on a golf course, I did find time to take my 2 year old to see the Easter Bunny over the weekend. To my surprise, he loved it!

Now, my surprise was rooted in past experience with my other son. When he was about the same age he was absolutely terrified of the Easter Bunny. And who could blame him? Here’s a 6 foot tall personified bunny rabbit with a giant head and a permanent smile. Oh, and he’ll be sneaking into your home whilst you’re asleep. But unlike Santa, this bunny is questionably sentient and undeniably creepy. And being the good, responsible parents that we are, we’re going to force you to sit with this terrifying creature for a few moments, and then we’re going to take a picture for posterity. That’s right, son, not only are we disregarding your genuine terror for this over-sized man-rabbit, we’re essentially celebrating your fear by immortalizing this moment on film and laughing hysterically in the process! In fact, we even paid an exorbitant amount of money for you to endure this torturous event. Now, go sit on that rabbit’s lap!

Of course, all is forgotten once Easter Sunday rolls around and a basket full of treats arrives. Then the joke is on us parents as the kids get high on sugar and play indoor rugby with a plastic egg while smearing chocolate covered marshmallows on the couch. Retribution for selling the kids out for a laugh and a picture with the weirdo in the bunny costume, I suppose. But it’s all worth it.

So here we are in April,  gearing up for another exciting month at L3. We’ll be at both the Phoenix Forum and NACHA Payments 2013 trade shows this month, and we look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones!

Also, if you haven’t already, please be sure to check out Melody Lashmar’s latest article Validating Bank Accounts. NACHA is looking at ways to improve upon the current system of validating accounts and Melody’s article provides some great insight into this topic.

Last but not least, don’t forget to add L3 on Facebook and Twitter if you haven’t already! We love staying connected with our friends in the industry and getting your feedback on everything from the latest card-association rules to the hotly debated “Twizzlers versus Red Vines” poll.  (Or, as I like to call it: “Tasteless Plastic Wax Sticks vs. Delicious Red Strands of Sweet Perfection” poll.)

Have a great April, everyone!

It was only a matter of time before innovative payment companies would be stifled by regulators in the USA.  A few years ago, while attending the NACHA Payments conference, they had the founders of Square share their vision and then those gentlemen took some pretty intense questioning from the banking experts.   After the session the conversations that I heard centered around that fact that the risk of underwriting in the environment that they discussed such as ‘babysitters can now take credit card payments’ and ‘dog walkers can now accept credit cards on their phones’ would never be realized in the current banking environment.  As we now know and saw demonstrated, Square was able to find a bank and sell them on their vision and in 2012  processed at least $10million in payments.

It seems likely that their sheer size and new products have them in the spotlight resulting in the regulators in Illinois issuing a Cease and Desist order.  If you are so inclined, here is the actual order http://www.idfpr.com/dfi/CCD/Discipline/SquarePersonifiedCDOrder13CC208.pdf   There are numerous posts, articles etc about this C&D if you simply query it on the web you will be able to find lots of chatter about it.

It appears that Square and others that are moving money will need to be licensed to do so.