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Merchant Account Conversion FAQ

BBVA Compass Merchant Services provides best-in-class security solutions as well as state-of-the art technology. Merchant Services clients who have been with BBVA Compass Merchant Services since before 2015 will be upgraded to a new card processing platform with best-in-class security to better serve their needs. This new platform is supported by First Data, a leader in payment processing.

Review the frequently asked questions listed below to learn more about the conversion of your merchant services account.

I have been receiving calls. Who is calling me?

Representatives from BBVA Compass Merchant Services, now powered by First Data, are calling today to discuss a recent letter you should have received from BBVA Compass about the conversion of your merchant services account to an upgraded processing platform, now supported by First Data. BBVA has selected an upgraded, card processing platform in order to better service your merchant processing needs, provide best-in-class security solutions, as well as state-of-the art technology. This new platform will be supported by First Data, a leader in payment processing. The letter sent by BBVA Compass provided details related to the conversion of your account and discussed the need to replace existing equipment in order to be compatible with the new platform, and to be prepared for the upcoming October 1 EMV liability shift date. BBVA Compass has identified the appropriate solution for you, based on what you are utilizing today, and a representative is calling to discuss the details with you.


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I have not been called. When will I receive a call?

All current BBVA Compass merchant clients, boarded prior to January 1, 2015, will receive a letter and a phone call when it is time for their conversion to take place. Once you receive the letter you should be contacted within 30 days.


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I have not received a letter. When will I receive a letter?

All current BBVA Compass merchant clients, boarded prior to January 1, 2015, will receive a letter, sent to the current address on file, and a phone call when it is time for their conversion to take place. Clients have been divided into phases for conversion. Once you receive the letter you should be contacted within 30 days.


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I have been using BBVA Compass for my processing. Who is First Data?

BBVA Compass Merchant Services is moving their processing platform from one provider to another, and has chosen First Data to host this new platform. First Data is the largest payment processor in the United States, with state of the art processing equipment and security solutions, and JD Power ranked customer service.


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What else am I required to do besides order new equipment?

As indicated on the letter you have, or will, receive, these are the steps you will take in order to complete the conversion process (this will be discussed with you on the phone):

  • You should update your company code, provided within your letter, with your bank if you have debit blocks on your ACH account.
  • Be aware that your billing date will change from the 15th to the 2nd of each month.
  • Be aware that you will receive new Customer Service phone number for support
  • Make sure you batch/settle your old device before you begin using your new device
  • Disable your old device memory and dispose of your old equipment.


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How long will it take to convert my account and receive my new equipment?

Once you have agreed to the new equipment your conversion activities will start and you should receive in approximately 2 - 3 weeks. You will be contacted by the training team within a week once you have received your device.


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How is my new equipment different from my current equipment?

Depending on what you are currently using, new equipment may be quite a bit different from what you are using today. First of all, all new equipment will accept EMV chip cards, which is different from the capabilities today. In addition, all new terminals have the ability to accept contactless payments, like Apple Pay and Android Pay, and they have the ability to tokenize and encrypt transactions, which provides an added layer of security.


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I just bought a new terminal. Why can’t I just use this one?

In order to continue processing with BBVA Compass, when your account is moved to the new processing platform, you will need a compatible terminal, and unfortunately, the terminals you previously purchased through BBVA are not compatible with this new processing platform. However, the terminals that we are selling you today, at a heavily discounted conversion price, are a huge upgrade from what you have currently. Not only can they accept EMV chip cards, which will protect cardholder data, but they can take contactless payments and provide an added layer of security with the TransArmor solution (Tokenization and Encryption). Your current solution cannot perform any of these functions to date, including acceptance of chip cards.


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I bought a new terminal thinking it was EMV ready. Why do I need another EMV solution?

We are aware that some BBVA Compass customers may have bought solutions during the past year under the impression they were EMV ready. We thought they were EMV capable as well. Unfortunately, these solutions did not end up being EMV ready, which is one of the main reasons the bank decided to switch processing platforms and move their relationship to First Data, a payment processing company with state of the art EMV-ready technology.


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Will there be any pricing changes?

We will honor the same pricing structure you have in place today, excluding any possible changes related to MasterCard International, Visa U.S.A. or Discover increases in their interchange or assessments, any additional services you may want to add that are not covered today, and the following required changes:

  • You now have access to some of the very best data protection available. The TransArmor® Solution is a multi-layered security and compliance solution that helps to protect your data, your customers, and your brand. This bundle includes software and hardware monitoring, an at a glance benchmark for data security and risk reduction and tools to help you become PCI compliant. You will see a new price of $19.95 per month, per relationship effective with your first billing cycle following the conversion. When you receive your new Merchant ID Number (MID), please visit www.firstdata.com/transarmor to register and fully activate the benefits of the TransArmor Solution.
  • If you are not currently PCI compliant, you will have 90 days from the date of your conversion to become compliant before a non-compliance fee is assessed monthly at $19.95 per location.
  • New EMV terminals will be deployed to replace existing equipment. Price and terminal type will be communicated prior to conversion.
  • During conversion you will be offered discounted pricing for replacement of equipment. Any new equipment purchases following conversion will be subject to standard pricing.

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Will my billing date change?

Your billing date will change from the 15th of each month to the 2nd of each month.


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Will my funding schedule change?

If you have a BBVA Compass deposit account today you will still receive next day funding. Your batch time will need to be submitted daily by 11:00 PM ET.


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Why is my machine not EMV ready, since it has a slot on the front?

Most newer equipment has been built with a slot to accept a chip card but the manufacturer must also have software downloaded to the machine for it to accept EMV cards. Some BBVA Compass customers may have bought solutions like these under the impression they would become EMV capable. Unfortunately, these solutions did not end up being on the EMV roadmap, which is one of the main reasons the bank decided to switch processing platforms and move their relationship to First Data, a payment processing company with state of the art EMV-ready technology.


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How much is the machine going to cost?

This is going to depend upon which solution you decide to purchase. Pricing will be discussed with you when you receive a phone call from BBVA Compass, now powered by First Data.


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How will EMV affect my PCI compliance?

EMV and PCI compliance are not the same. EMV concerns will be addressed by your upgraded equipment that is EMV capable. PCI compliance however will continue to be your merchant responsibility and now be supported through the TransArmor solution.

The TransArmor® Solution is a multi-layered security and compliance solution that helps to protect your data, your customers, and your brand. This bundle includes software and hardware monitoring, an at a glance benchmark for data security and risk reduction and tools to help you become PCI compliant. You will see a new price of $19.95 per month, per relationship* effective with your first billing cycle following the conversion. When you receive your new Merchant ID Number (MID), please visit www.firstdata.com/transarmor to register and fully activate the benefits of the TransArmor Solution.


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When are we going to notify our customers about EMV?

We are doing our best to notify our customers as soon as possible and make sure everyone that wants to be compliant before October 2015 has the option (this may vary based on merchants who use software solutions provided by companies who have not completed their EMV certification. If you have questions on whether or not your software provider is ready for the EMV liability shift, please reach out to them directly).


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I already receive chargebacks, so how will EMV help me?

Chargebacks will still continue to be determined by the card brands. EMV dictates who is liable for the EMV specific chargebacks using an EMV issued card and capable device shifting the liability to the merchant. Therefore, if you do not have an EMV POS system you could see a rise in chargeback and merchant liability.


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What will interchange be on EMV transactions?

EMV does not have a direct bearing on interchange but EMV is only applicable for card present transactions.


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Will using Apple Pay cost me more on interchange?

No, Apple Pay is a tokenization technology that uses card present transactions. Apple Pay is only applicable for card present transactions.


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What if I can’t become EMV compliant before the deadline because I cannot convert until after October?

Card present fraud liability will shift to the party that is least compliant. So, if an EMV card is presented and you have to swipe the card instead, due to the fact that your equipment does not process EMV, you are responsible if fraud should occur. If someone presents a mag stripe card, as they do today, and there is fraud, the liability still falls with the card issuer, as it does today. So depending on how many EMV cards are presented, you could be at risk if you do not have the ability to accept them. The Card brands (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover) estimate that less than 30% of issuers (banks) will have replaced all of their magnetic stripes before the end of the year.


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What if I do not want to convert?

We do hope you decide to convert to the new processing platform in order to take advantage of all of the benefits we have already outlined above. However, if you decide you do not want to convert, you will need to find other processing support, as our current platform will close down as soon as our migration has been completed.


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Is the PCI fee going up to $19.95 regardless if I am PCI compliant or not?

We will be charging a non-compliance fee of $19.95 per month per location, which will be charged beginning 90 days after your conversion date, if you fail to become PCI compliant. This is the same fee we charged previously, although it was twice a year, per relationship. We encourage you to become PCI compliant, and we have solutions to support you in this endeavor. Our TransArmor Security bundle, which includes assistance with the questionnaire, along with security scans, is $19.95 per month, per relationship. Our former solution, with Control Scan, was a similar charge, however it was per-location versus per relationship.


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October 1st is fast approaching and my machine will not allow chip cards to be processed, what am I supposed to do?

We want to help you become prepared and we have the state-of-the-art equipment that will allow you to do so. Please be on the lookout for a call from a representative that will help you get prepared..


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Merchant company codes - can you tell me when this change will take place? The letter sent to clients just says "later this year."

Your merchant company code will change as soon as you start processing on the new platform. If you have ACH blocks on your account receiving your funding, please make sure to notify your bank of the new codes so you will not experience delays in funding.


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What do I do with my old equipment?

After you batch for the final time, please call the number on your terminal for assistance with blowing out the device, in order to erase any existing data. After that is complete we suggest you drop the equipment at your closest electronics disposal facility.


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Other providers are offering free terminals, why isn’t BBVA?

One of the main reasons we went with First Data for processing solutions is because of the state-of-the-art technology, including the terminals we are selling during conversion. Not only do these terminals process cards, like many of the free terminal solutions in the market, but they can accept contactless payments, have the ability to tokenize and encrypt transactions, can provide valuable analytics through a tool called Insightics, and can help you create your own loyalty program through a program called Perka. We believe that these added benefits, that will help you grow your business, must come with a cost. However, we are marking our equipment down substantially during conversion in order to make the switch easier for our valued clients!


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When do you expect do have the conversion completed?

With the help of our team at BBVA Compass and First Data, and the assistance of our clients, and third party software vendors (where applicable), we anticipate we will complete conversion activities by the end of 2016.


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