In recent days, Kuaiqian Payment and Clearing Information Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Quickqian"), a third-party licensed payment institution, has been troubled.

On the one hand, the skyrocketing POS machine rate caused dissatisfaction among users, and on the other hand, there were problems such as non-refundable deposits...

  One stone caused a thousand waves. In the process of communicating with many consumers, the reporter of Beijing Business Daily further learned that the cooperative agent of Kuaiqian had previously promoted POS machines on the grounds of handling credit cards, claiming that the machines were free of charge. There is no need to check the business license; in the actual cash-out process, the system will even automatically match users with nearby merchants, and avoid risks by altering transactions.

  Questions about price increases, disputes over deposits, illegal cash-outs, and marketing chaos, these industry ailments are no strangers to many payment companies.

And is the fast money in the whirlpool of public opinion this time really as consumers have said?

A reporter from Beijing Business Daily also interviewed Kuaiqian for the first time and got an exclusive response from the latter...

Rate hikes turmoil fermentation

  "Without any notification, the rate was adjusted privately, and a lot of money was lost in vain, and all the price increase was requested to be refunded." "The deposit was not refunded within the stipulated time, and the rate was increased three times without any SMS or phone call." ""Without phone calls and text messages, it is deceitful to increase the rate without permission"... Although it has been a long time since Kuaiqian POS machine rates have been raised, judging from the latest market remarks, consumers' dissatisfaction is almost on paper.

  On December 7, the news about "Quick Money Company raised the POS rate to 1.5%+3" spread throughout the payment circle. From 0:00 on December 7, the rate of all products has been officially raised to 1.5%+3, which is much higher than the previous rate; some agents even took this opportunity to advertise to remind users to replace equipment, declaring that "it is urgent , Kuaiqian brushes up the price of all products, it is recommended that you still use Kuaiqian to stop using it, and quickly find me to replace the machine"...

  What is the concept of 1.5%+3?

Why did the market react so strongly after the price adjustment?

A reporter from Beijing Business Daily interviewed a number of people in the industry and users and learned that the rate for swiping cards at Kuaiqian POS machines was mostly around 0.55%-0.6%. Pay a handling fee of 60 yuan. If the price increases to 1.5%+3, users will need to pay a handling fee of 153 yuan, which is 2.5 times or even nearly 3 times higher.

  It is the users who react more violently.

Recently, a Hubei consumer showed a transaction record to a reporter from Beijing Business Daily as proof that his previous payment by credit card showed that "the transaction was successful for 31655.23 yuan, the transaction type was credit card payment, and the transaction time was October 28, 2022." , the final settlement amount is 31,471.63 yuan", based on this calculation, the card swiping fee rate is about 0.58%; and its most recent transaction shows "consumption of 28,000 yuan, the transaction type is card payment, and the transaction time is December 7, 2022 , and the final settlement was 27,577 yuan." Judging from the latest transaction, the credit card fee rate has indeed risen to more than 1.5%.

  A lot of similar situations have happened recently. A reporter from Beijing Business Daily found on multiple platforms such as Black Cat Complaints and Baidu Tieba that as of December 15, many users expressed dissatisfaction with the price increase of Quick Money, and most of the complaints were mainly due to And the price increase rate is too high, and there is no clear notice in advance, resulting in damage to the handling fee, etc.

  A reporter from Beijing Business Daily interviewed Kuaiqian about the rate increase and whether it was notified in advance, but did not get a clear response from the latter.

  However, a person familiar with the matter told reporters that Kuaiqian did not raise its price suddenly this time, nor did it make a decision without any notice. It was widely advertised and many users did not see it, so the latter mistook it for a sudden price increase by the institution.

  Although there is a notification channel, as of the day after the price increase, the Beijing Business Daily reporter did not find the corresponding notice on the official website of Kuaiqian Company, and there was no reminder from the trading system used by the user. Unaware.

  What is the specific reason for this price increase?

The above-mentioned insider added, "The payment industry is very difficult. In fact, many institutions are raising prices. The price increase of Kuaiqian is not for the sake of rising, but for actively seeking transformation and upgrading to provide better services and products. Therefore, there will be some business adjustment considerations, and some users may perceive that the price of POS machines is increasing, but this is actually the transformation of the entire business of the organization.”

  "Since the beginning of this year, the rate increase in the payment industry has indeed become universal to a certain extent. It can be said that it is the result of market competition and the influence of the general environment." Yu Baicheng, president of Zero One Research Institute, told Beijing Business Daily that the payment industry Supervision continues to be strict, and there are many cases of penalties for agency violations. Strict supervision has reduced the chaos of payment terminals, and some compensatory declines and violations in order to compete for the market are unsustainable.

In addition, due to factors such as the epidemic in recent years, some payment institutions have encountered pressure in their operations, and price increases can also improve their operations to a certain extent.

  Wang Pengbo, a senior financial industry analyst at Broadcom Consulting, pointed out that, generally speaking, the conventional offline acquiring and online payment service fee rates are still mainly 0.6%-1%, and different industries and scenarios charge slightly different rates. There are differences. Such an obvious increase needs to be clarified what kind of consumption scenarios are used. He also believes that this move may be related to the downturn in the offline acquiring industry this year. The most direct way to increase income.

 How to solve the cash deposit problem

  Pull out the radish to bring out the puree.

In addition to the problem of notification of rate increases, the top priority facing Quick Money is deposit disputes and cash-out risks.

  During the interview, a reporter from the Beijing Business Daily encountered feedback from several users of Kuaiqian POS machines. Before that, they had been promoted by an agent of Kuaiqian POS machines. Check the business license, not to mention the network access review, but in the actual operation, the deposit fee of 299 yuan has been deducted, and I want to refund it but no one has accepted it.

  Another merchant also said that as early as 2019, when they opened the store, they encountered a quick money salesman selling POS machines, but there was also a deposit of 239 yuan. At that time, they claimed that they would pay back a certain amount, but it has not been refunded for three years.

  "After receiving it, the clerk asked me to pay 299 yuan. The clerk said at the time that it would arrive in seconds, but the result has not been received until now, and I can't be contacted." Handle the POS machine, and the money will not be refunded after receiving it.” Judging from user feedback, similar problems have occurred in many merchants and even individual consumers.

  Judging from the feedback from many users of Quick Money that the Beijing Business Daily reporter interviewed, the main purpose of the POS machine was for personal use at the beginning, and the cash flow was used for capital turnover through credit card cash out. From the perspective of the process, the user does not need to go through the POS machine. Strict qualification review of special merchants, and there is no document proof and related training, only need to enter the personal ID number.

  From the perspective of the industry, such behavior has already involved violations.

Just as Wang Pengbo told the reporter of Beijing Business Daily, payment institutions for natural persons must not directly sell POS machines. In principle, individuals, that is, natural persons without other attributes, cannot handle POS machines for users to swipe their bank cards. They must have business activities and consumption. Only merchants in the scenario can handle POS machines; small and micro merchants without a business license can develop into small and micro merchants acquiring orders through their personal ID cards, coupled with some auxiliary certification materials such as business premises, and only acquiring institutions can It provides collection services for basic sales day-to-day operations.

  "So directly selling POS machines to natural persons and not using them for normal consumption will involve a certain degree of violation. For such operations by agents, payment institutions must also be responsible for supervision." Wang Pengbo said.

  In addition to the fake qualification review, the system will even alter transactions for cash-out behaviors, and different amounts will automatically match different consumption scenarios.

Judging from the transaction screenshot provided by the aforementioned consumer user in the Hubei area, he swiped his card for 28,000 yuan, and the transaction was shown as being in a local gold store, while he swiped his card for 31,655 yuan, which was shown as a local jewelry store, but these actual transactions were actually all It's cashing out with a credit card.

  This method of "matching merchants" is actually a common cash-out method in the industry, mainly trying to evade capital supervision by altering transactions.

However, from the perspective of the industry, this mode of operation may have involved violations.

  As the person in charge of the relevant department of the central bank has previously emphasized, at present, some market players are constantly renovating the means of altering transactions, which makes it difficult to restore the real consumption scene of transaction information, which not only infringes on the legitimate rights and interests of consumers, causes complaints and disputes, but even provides a way for criminals to transfer Illegal and criminal funds bring opportunities.

  At present, cashing out of credit cards is suspected of illegal activities, and the crime of using POS machines to cash out is also clearly punished.

Another person close to the regulator also emphasized to the reporter of Beijing Business Daily, "The verification of POS machine access to the network must ensure that it is a merchant. Such behaviors that have no operating characteristics and are randomly swiped by individuals are already serious violations, and the regulator will follow up. Step up measures to crack down."

Who is collecting deposits to make deals

  Recently, a reporter from Beijing Business Daily also interviewed Kuaiqian to verify that the deposit was not refundable, that POS machines were sold to individuals in the name of applying for cards, and whether the system matched transactions for cash-out behaviors. Said, "There are serious inaccuracies in the above-mentioned situation, including but not limited to that we have never collected deposits from any users, and there is no situation in which individual salesmen promote related products. Kuaiqian always puts the protection of the rights and interests of merchants and consumers in the first place and insists on Taking customer needs as the starting point of work and operating in compliance with regulations, we actively seek business transformation, adhere to the long-term path of sustainable development, and serve the real economy and people's lives with practical actions."

  Consistent with Kuaiqian’s response is the company’s official customer service. A reporter from Beijing Business Daily consulted him on the grounds of handling POS machines. When operating a store, when the reporter further asked whether the personal application can be used to use the credit card, the customer service said that the POS machine has nothing to do with the credit card, and the official can no longer provide it. If there is a need, you can directly contact the service agent to see if it is in stock.

  Judging from the feedback from many consumers, most of them point the POS machine deposit issue to the licensed payment institution, Quick Money; however, according to the response from Quick Money and many industry insiders, the agent’s business development also has a lot of responsibility .

In addition, reporters from Beijing Business Daily tried to interview agents, but many users told them that the agents who promoted them had lost contact.

  "Generally, exhibitors will use the method of freezing the deposit for the first payment to recover the hardware cost of the POS machine. Therefore, if the deposit for the first payment of the user has not arrived, it should be withheld by the payment agency or agent. If the deposit has not been returned to the user, it may be suspected of Fraud and false propaganda." Li Ya, a lawyer from Beijing Zhongwen Law Firm, told the reporter of Beijing Business Daily.

  However, the above-mentioned person familiar with the matter pointed out, "Quick Money has never charged a deposit in the industry, but there are also such cases, that is, some other brands collect deposits during the promotion process under the name of Quick Money. Similar cases; in addition, in the payment industry, it is true that some agents have some non-standard behaviors during the business development process. Once Kuaiqian finds that there are corresponding violations, it will immediately clear the agents and ask It does follow-up work for users."

  Wang Pengbo said, "The non-account of the deposit may be caused by the false propaganda of offline agents, in order to induce cardholders to handle POS machines and increase sales performance."

  At present, the outsourcing market of the payment industry is mixed.

In the eyes of industry insiders, the POS machine exhibition industry is in chaos. In addition to the management loopholes of payment institutions, relevant outsourcing service providers should also be held accountable.

When third-party payment institutions provide POS machine services, they should clearly indicate that there is a risk of violation of laws and regulations in cashing out, and monitor and stop fictitious transactions and illegal cashing out during the use of POS machines.

Multi-pronged approach to strengthen compliance governance

  Before the many development turmoil, in fact, the fast money company itself was also issued a huge fine by the supervision.

  Previously, on February 7, the administrative punishment information disclosure form disclosed by the Shanghai headquarters of the central bank showed that Kuaiqian violated the account management regulations, violated the liquidation management regulations, failed to perform customer identification obligations as required, and traded with unidentified customers. Behavior, was fined 10.04 million yuan, and ordered to make corrections within a time limit.

  Although it was disclosed in 2022, Kuaiqian Company told the reporter of Beijing Business Daily that this punishment is the result of the central bank’s comprehensive inspection of Kuaiqian in 2020 and found problems.

Kuaiqian established a special rectification team in the first place that year, conducted comprehensive and in-depth self-examination and rectification according to various regulatory requirements, formulated a detailed improvement plan, and completed the rectification of all problems in a timely manner while ensuring the smooth operation of the business.

  "We will take this as a warning, actively implement the regulatory requirements, improve corporate governance, upgrade system capabilities, optimize service processes, and further improve the compliance level of the company's business operations." Fast Money said.

  In fact, not only Quick Money, but many payment companies have received huge fines in recent years, highlighting compliance concerns.

Yu Baicheng told a reporter from Beijing Business Daily that the business competition in the third-party payment field is fierce, and some payment institutions may be lax in the access and management of special merchants in the face of operating pressure, but in fact, the gains may outweigh the losses.

  For follow-up institutional compliance management, the previous regulatory notice has made it clear that there are four requirements for the management of special merchants of payment institutions. The fourth is to improve the classified inspection mechanism of special merchants.

  Li Ya believes that the follow-up of payment institutions should first be regulated in terms of systems. For example, for high-risk transaction types, special risk management systems should be formulated, real-name system management systems should be implemented for special merchants, and special merchant inspection systems should be established.

  Secondly, various measures should be implemented in detail according to the system, such as establishing a risk monitoring system for acquiring transactions, establishing a special merchant information management system, etc., and strengthening the management of acquiring business with scientific means.

  Finally, we should be vigilant against various red lines. Institutions are not allowed to misappropriate special merchants’ pending settlement funds. If special merchants are found to have suspected bank card cash-out, money laundering, fraud and other risk events, they should immediately take corresponding measures. Report the case to the public security organ.

  "It is suggested that payment institutions should strengthen the internal control of the enterprise, enhance the risk compliance awareness of relevant personnel, and at the same time hire a special team of legal consultants to do a good job in pre-prevention and risk disposal. The first is to improve the internal management mechanism, and the second is to establish a compliance risk control department; The third is to carry out regular staff training." Li Ya said.

  Wang Pengbo said that payment institutions should still strictly abide by relevant laws and regulations. For example, under the premise of the "Regulations on the Management of Payment Acceptance Terminals", they should form a linkage mechanism with banks, strengthen awareness of risk prevention, and strengthen agent management.

  Beijing Business Daily reporter Liu Sihong