What the heck is an Irukandji, you may ask? Well, before I go and elaborate on my extensive knowledge of this oceanic killer, let’s get the correct pronunciation behind us to honor our Australian Aboriginal brethren on the northwestern coastal strip of Queensland where this creature was first identified. The correct pronunciation is irr-e-kan-jee. Thank the Australians for getting rid of the “d” in the pronunciation, can you imagine how difficult it would be to pronounce the “d” with the “j”? I digress…
More about the Irukandji
A long, long time ago a people living on the coast in Queensland, Australia, the Irukandji, began to experience a mysterious condition: excruciating pain in their back and kidneys, severe cramping in their arms and legs, burning sensations on their skin and face, extreme nausea, sweating, vomiting, high heart rate and blood pressure, and, sometimes, death. The condition even got its own name in 1952, the “Irukandji Syndrome”.
Whether you are walking inland, on the beach, or in the ocean, we all know that Australia is home to many of the world’s deadliest creatures. No surprise that the Irukandji mainly resides in the marine waters surrounding there! Is it a yellow-bellied sea snake or Australian paralysis tick that causes this reaction? Is it a blue-tinged octopus or reef stonefish that can cause it? I guess we can rule out the Great White Shark or Salt-Water Crocodile, eh?
You have to go smaller…much, much smaller to find your answer. How about 5mm small! It is a jellyfish. However, not your typical jellyfish that you see floating around the ocean. The Irukandji jellyfish is only 1/6 of an inch long. For all practical purposes it is invisible. The sting itself does not cause much discomfort, however, after a half an hour or so, the venom moves into the body and launches all the symptoms listed above. How can something so small, almost invisible, cause so much pain?
A different kind of sting
Irukandji stings are a lot like hidden processing fees on your merchant statement; you may not see them but you feel the pain. As a business owner, you want to provide the freedom to your customers to pay for their services with their credit or debit card. You strike a deal with a Merchant Provider and they tell you of the special (utility) pricing they receive and how those discounts will be passed on to either you or your customer. The Merchant also chooses to withhold his knowledge of the many other fees that you will soon find on your processing statement. When you first peruse this statement, the sheer magnitude of the document makes it difficult to understand. Then, after about a half an hour or so (like the Irukandji sting), you begin to feel the pain as you digest the list of ongoing charges. This newfound customer freedom is costing much more than you expected, eating in to your profits and that trip next summer to the beautiful coast of Australia!
Are you going to be the passive victim of such “sting”? Bottom line…you need to find a partner that can speak with you openly and honestly about all the inner-workings of the industry and guide you through your decisions. Alpine Technology Corporation currently works (and has worked with them for the last 4 years) with such a company, PurePayments, and they taught us:
1) How to receive true “utility” pricing on as many cards as possible, including Discover and American Express.
2) How to update your customer’s lost or stolen credit cards – making it smoother for the customer and you, the merchant.
3) How to avoid an EIRF – there is a proper way to pre-authorize all cards.
4) How data security can be increased for you the merchant and your customers.
Though we had a merchant relationship already, it was great to establish a relationship with a processor that could look at my statement and give me honest feedback about where savings might be found. Don’t be the unknowing victim, be aware of where charges and fees might come from and do something about it. If you need someone to take a look at your statement for free, follow this link to one of our valued partners, Pure Payments- https://rams-pro.com/vendor-partners.
I am sure those avid travelers are dying to get one question answered? What is the secret of how not to die from an Irukandji sting? Pretty simple…avoid an Irukandji Jelly Fish altogether. I recently learned that they tend to follow a predictable pattern; know the pattern, don’t swim when they are in the area, and you will avoid the sting! Knowledge is power, know the pattern of many merchant providers and you won’t get stung.