What is Level 2 and Level 3 data?

Level 2 Data

Level 2 credit card processing refers to a more detailed transaction designed to support business-to-business (B2B) payment processing. Many businesses and government offices require that their vendors accept detailed transactional information along with the sale. In addition to simplifying the B2B transaction, providing Level 2 data along with the sale allows access to lower interchange rates. Basically, Visa/MasterCard recognize that if you as a business are providing all of this extra information, the sale is more likely to be legitimate and less likely to be contested. As such, they’re willing to provide a lower cost for the sale! Processing Level 2 data requires either a standalone credit card terminal, or a gateway like NMI that’s equipped to handle Level 2 data. Common interchange reductions are around 0.50% lower than typical sales! (See a list of qualifying interchange rates, here). So if you’re a B2B merchant processing large orders, it’s definitely worth your while to input Level 2 data. In order to qualify for Level 2 data, you’ll be required to input the below data fields with each transaction. Don’t worry, you can setup your gateway to automatically pass this information through with each sale to make things simple:

  • Merchant Name
  • Transaction Amount
  • Tax Amount (Between 0.1% and 31% of the total amount)
  • Transaction Date
  • Customer Code or PO number
  • Merchant Zip Code

Level 3 Data

Level 3 data takes everything one step further. Most merchants will never have the opportunity to accept Level 3 cards, but if you’re processing in a B2B-heavy industry or if you accept a lot of Government cards, then having Level 3 data acceptance may help reduce your interchange costs even further. (See a list of qualifying interchange rates, here). Often times, Level 3 interchange rates are up to a full 1.00% lower than their standard counterparts! But, in order to gain access to Level 3 data, you’ll be required to input a fair amount of information on each transaction. In addition, only certain gateways can accomodate for Level 3 data. Dharma offers Level 3 support through the NMI gateway. Please reach out to your Account Manager to discuss pricing. To qualify for Level 3 data, you’ll need all fields required for Level 2, plus the following:

  • Ship-From Zip Code
  • Destination Zip Code
  • Invoice Number
  • Order Number
  • Item Product Code
  • Item Commodity Code
  • Item Description
  • Item Quantity
  • Item Unit of Measure
  • Item Extended Amount
  • Freight Amount
  • Duty Amount

How Do I accept Level 2/3 data?

Dharma will help ensure your account is setup properly to accept level 2 and 3 data. Dharma uses the NMI gateway for level 3 sales, and we’re trained in setting everything up properly so you’ll get access to low rates, right from the beginning. NMI has numerous upper level features, such as recurring billing, email invoicing, and more.

  • Level 2 processing is included in all NMI gateways for no additional fee.
  • Level 3 processing can be enabled in your NMI gateway for an additional $30/month. If you’re taking large, level-3 eligible transactions, chances are that the cost savings on just one big sale will easily exceed $30 – making level 3 processing an easy choice.

What does level 2/3 data entry look like?

See a snapshot of what your Virtual Terminal would look like, with level 3 entry fields included. Note how you’ll be required to input line-item descriptions of the products sold, and there are a few other “required” fields that are mandatory in order to receive level 3 interchange rates.

You can create “pre-defined” products/descriptions, along with pre-filled commodity codes as well, to make order entry simple and streamlined. Below is how you’ll enter a product the first time, and then you’ll always have future access to the product when entering a sale on the Virtual Terminal screen: