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View Full Version : Credit Cards....Take 2


rcreech
12-30-2008, 02:42 PM
I know there was a thread about 6 months back on credit cards, but wanted to revisit.

I really wanted to take credit cards a while back but just didn't want to pay monthly fees and "give away" 3-4% of my sale.

NOW....after talking to both my banker and accountant they say it may be a critical move to accept credit cards with the economic situation we are in.

They think that accepting checks may not be a good thing in the future if you even get a check at all!!!!!!!

Are you guys using them?

Do you adjust ALL customers prices to adjust for this cost?

How many customers would use the service if you do have it?

Is it worth offering?

Do you have to get their CC# each time, or can you get it once and then just bill them for each app?

Sorry for so many questions....just don't have a clue about this stuff!

Thanks,
RC

DUSTYCEDAR
12-30-2008, 03:05 PM
I CANT GET A STRAIGHT ANWSER OUT OF THE CC GUYS
they all have hidden fees and such
also inactive fees each month if your dont meet the #

srl28
12-30-2008, 03:23 PM
Theres a company that advertises in Turf magazine that says they have really low rates, dont remember the exact rate but it was low, not sure about the "hidden fees" they have though. sometimes you can use Costco or BJs services to accept credit cards, so I hear, ill look into that one.

LIBERTYLANDSCAPING
12-30-2008, 03:36 PM
You can use Paypal for credit cards. You have a "virtual terminal" Cost is $30/month + ~2.9% of transaction. No credit card terminal to buy or lease. You can keep card numbers on file for billing each time. I have a box they can check if they want me to automatically bill same card each month/round. Most people don't use CC, but a few do.........

JDUtah
12-30-2008, 03:56 PM
Automatically billing a CC or Debit every month and not having to worry as much about accounts receivable and all that jazz = totally worth a monthly $25-40 plus 1.2-3% per transaction...

just my .02

LushGreenLawn
12-30-2008, 04:48 PM
When all my fees are calculated, I pay about $8 per month in fees for my credit card account, and then 2.19% per transaction. You will see lower rates advertised online, but you have to swipe the card to get that rate. This is the cheapest I could find with keying in the card number.

I use Commerce Payment systems.

I own my own terminal, so I do not have to pay a monthly rental fee. I had my terminal from a past business, so I did not have to buy it, but I think you can buy them for less than $300.

Rcreech,

I allow my customers to call and make payments over the phone, or with a little slip that I put in their monthly invoice that they can mail instead of a check. Once they pay with it the first time, I keep the card on file, so that they can call and tell me to charge the card, and not have to give me the number again. Most of my customers that pay by credit card will leave a VM telling me to charge their card on file for X amount.

I do not charge more for them to use the credit card, because it gets me paid faster. when I key in the number and hit send, I know that money will be sitting in my bank account the next day. Anything I can do to make it easier for customers to pay I am all for.

I currently do not offer an Auto Pay, where I do it automatically, but I may starting this year. It will be optional though, I know I don't like things that come out automatically from my account, and I would lose customers if I tried to force it on them.

LushGreenLawn
12-30-2008, 04:51 PM
http://merchantwarehouse.com/credit_card_machines/nurit_2085?cpao=131&kw=nurit+2085+new

This is the terminal I have, you can buy it new for $105, and not have to pay paypal $30 per month.

azjojo99
12-30-2008, 05:03 PM
I accept the cards, I do not charge more for it. The best thing I like is taking a card over the phone when I call a customer who is late on their payment.

"Mrs Jones, your account is past due.....we can accept a credit card over the phone" About 75% of the slow pay people give me a card number to charge. That alone is worth a lot of fees.

Joe

LawnTamer
12-30-2008, 05:11 PM
Are you guys using them?

Yes, have been for a few yrs and wouldn't go back.


Do you adjust ALL customers prices to adjust for this cost?

We just treat is like an operating cost.


How many customers would use the service if you do have it?

About half of our clients pay with a credit card. We have many clients which we wouldn't have otherwise.


Is it worth offering?

Yes. Real businesses take credit cards. Clients expect it.


Do you have to get their CC# each time, or can you get it once and then just bill them for each app?


We give our clients the option. By checking a box, they can choose to have us keep their info on file and run the card automatically. Most clients who pay with a CC do it this way. Probably 80%

We run our cards through Costco financial services. The fees are reasonably low, and there are no hidden fees, or monthly minimums. We use a computer program that keeps and stores client info off site and encoded, so we can/do destroy CC info as soon as it is entered.

Enter it, run it to make sure it is correct, shred it. No hardware, no renting equipment.

You've made good moves so far, your business is growing. Taking CCs is a logical step in the expansion of your business.

I will also add that the ability to accept CCs has greatly improved our collections. When a client gets behind, it is a lot easier for them to have you charge their balance, than to come up with it in the checking account. Before accepting CCs we would write off $3-4k/yr in non paying clients. Since adding CCs that has gone down to $1,500 ish. That alone covers our processing fees.

rcreech
12-30-2008, 05:29 PM
Great info guys! Thanks for the info! Definilty going to think hard and probably do it for sure.

I remember Victor saying he had a great company to deal with also.

I guess I will just check around and go with the best deal.

I checked with my local bank today and this is what they come up with:

$260 to buy the equipment
$12 monthly fee for using the CC system
Bank charges 1% on the transaction
Credit card Co gets between 1.45 and 3% on transaction
AND.... $.10 charge for each transaction


THAT IS PRICEY!!!!!!!!

grassguy_
12-30-2008, 05:36 PM
Rcreech
Credit card acceptance is pretty vital and especially with today's economy. It lets the customer manage their payments easier, as opposed to getting hit with a number of bills at once! Many ppl are more apt to buy add on services as well via credit card. About 10-15% of out business is through credit card, but a very vital part. In fact, one large commercial account pays via credit card, and well worth having that money ASAP. Sure there is a factor in accepting cards 1.5%-4% fee, but if you factor that cost over all your clients, its well worth having them accepted. Especially the deadbeat accounts that you have added fees onto their past due amount, but they pay up via a credit card.

PS
when you got a big box truck, you can put the mastercard and visa logo in the corner and sell even better!!! LOL RODNEY!:laugh:

LushGreenLawn
12-30-2008, 06:23 PM
:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping: I forgot to mention that. This is why I got set up to take them in the first place!I accept the cards, I do not charge more for it. The best thing I like is taking a card over the phone when I call a customer who is late on their payment.

"Mrs Jones, your account is past due.....we can accept a credit card over the phone" About 75% of the slow pay people give me a card number to charge. That alone is worth a lot of fees.

Joe

mattfromNY
12-30-2008, 06:39 PM
Great info guys! Thanks for the info! Definilty going to think hard and probably do it for sure.

I remember Victor saying he had a great company to deal with also.

I guess I will just check around and go with the best deal.

I checked with my local bank today and this is what they come up with:

$260 to buy the equipment
$12 monthly fee for using the CC system
Bank charges 1% on the transaction
Credit card Co gets between 1.45 and 3% on transaction
AND.... $.10 charge for each transaction


THAT IS PRICEY!!!!!!!!

In reading the above posts, this pricing seems cheap or right in line, others were stating $30/ month. I like the idea of dealing w/ a local bank, as opposed to someone on the other end of a phone line. If it were a matter of a few dollars/ month, I would choose the local, personal service. Just my 2 cents.
I am reading this post, b/c I am thinking the same as you, to offer CC processing. I have a large commercial acct. that has inquired about it, as they make most of their 'daily expenses' w/ a card so they can get the points. I'm sure it would help w/ the slow/ late payers as well. My neighbor has a heating/ cooling repair business, started taking CC's this year, and says it has saved him countless hours and phone calls chasing money.

JDUtah
12-30-2008, 06:41 PM
My neighbor has a heating/ cooling repair business, started taking CC's this year, and says it has saved him countless hours and phone calls chasing money.

That was my deciding factor...

FdLLawnMan
12-30-2008, 07:08 PM
Rodey

I started accepting credit cards this year. I deal with Capital Payments. They had the lowest fees I could find. I use a virtual terminal on my computer. All I need is the CC number and expiration date. You can PM me and I will give you my charges and how who I deal with. I do not charge extra for this, I just figure it s the cost of doing business. On the bills I send out I have a place where they can put in the CC number and expiration date. Next year I may give them the option of monthly billing.

rcreech
12-30-2008, 09:59 PM
Rcreech
Credit card acceptance is pretty vital and especially with today's economy. It lets the customer manage their payments easier, as opposed to getting hit with a number of bills at once! Many ppl are more apt to buy add on services as well via credit card. About 10-15% of out business is through credit card, but a very vital part. In fact, one large commercial account pays via credit card, and well worth having that money ASAP. Sure there is a factor in accepting cards 1.5%-4% fee, but if you factor that cost over all your clients, its well worth having them accepted. Especially the deadbeat accounts that you have added fees onto their past due amount, but they pay up via a credit card.

PS
when you got a big box truck, you can put the mastercard and visa logo in the corner and sell even better!!! LOL RODNEY!:laugh:

Thanks for the info!

Good idea on the truck! :laugh: I am picking it up Friday...can't wait! :cool2:

Have a great New Year if I don't talk to you before!

rcreech
12-30-2008, 10:39 PM
Too good to be true maybe?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Wireless-Mobile-Portable-Credit-Card-Machine-Terminal_W0QQitemZ170285838748QQcmdZViewItemQQptZBI_Credit_Card_Terminals?hash=item170285838748&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1307%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

grassguy_
12-30-2008, 10:53 PM
Does seem too good to be true. WOuld be interesting to hear the deal on the 800 call. I got an PM coming to you!

LushGreenLawn
12-31-2008, 06:13 AM
I would imagine, that the catch is, to be wireless everywhere, it would have to work on a cell phone plan, so you would have to cell plan for it, and probably an expensive data plan to go along with it.

Also, you may pay a monthly fee for the terminal. It says you have to return it if you discontinue service with them, so really you are renting it.

Seems like a cool thing though, you can approve cards in the field. With my setup, I have to get the number and run it when I get to the office at the end of the day if its a transaction in the field, although thats rare, its usually people calling to pay a monthly bill with me.

DUSTYCEDAR
12-31-2008, 10:10 AM
there has to be a catch

Jerry Andersen
12-31-2008, 10:53 AM
rcreech
i will look for the # to the place i use. i pay 2.21% on each trans. + $10.00 monthly statement fee that is it. no equipment to buy. you call them in over the phone takes about 2 min per call. the money is deposited the next day

whoopassonthebluegrass
01-13-2009, 03:00 PM
It's funny, but the valley I live in is so fiscally conservative that - though I offer CC paying - almost nobody uses it...