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View Full Version : To take credit cards or NOT?????


ambersLawnmowing
03-14-2009, 01:00 AM
O.K I have taken Paypal payments for about a year now, Seems to work good, but not everyone has a paypal account. So i "THINK" i want to get a credit card machine. What are some cons/pros of having this service avalible. Any idea on what it costs? My bank also takes them, i i link them to my website but, they charge a ton for this and i cant get a notification if a deposit was made, so i would have to check everyday. We have alot of customers and I like them to send checks so i can deposit them when i want to, and i can also keep closer tabs on those that paid and when they paid. Also lets face it credit is the way of the world. I know i have been using mine more and more for some stupid stuff, because it is a0% or no payments for so many years... Let me know what you think of the card machines in person or stick with paypal.

WeCare-LawnCare
03-14-2009, 08:50 AM
We are in the same boat. We take pal-pal, and I think we will stay with that. For us, in Canada anyway, all the extra charges, are just to much, for the Mow & Go service we offer. I am looking around, but still looks like it will cost me around 50-70 dollars a month to have this service. Figure all the costs, and see if you can support that. Good Luck !!

subhunter
03-14-2009, 09:21 AM
Credit cards are darned expensive to take - just ask any local merchant. Plus, if you have to do a refund for any reason, you're charged again so you've paid to take it and have to pay again to refund. Avoid it if you can, but if you must, credit card processors are a penny a dozen, find the best deal you can and be sure you understand each and every cost.

Smitty58
03-14-2009, 09:32 AM
I signed up with landscape management system software to do my invoicing this year. I've been using gopher and mailing invoices at the end of the month then waiting to get checks in the mail. This yr with the help of this software I'm going to email the invoices possibly after each service, the customer can then pay online through Paypal. It is my understanding they can pay by debit, echeck, or credit and don't have to have a Paypal account. So I would take a look at that if you've had good success already getting paid online.

SilverPeakServices
03-14-2009, 12:01 PM
I take credit cards. My thought is the more options you give your customers, the more you will get. Yes, it does cost money to have, but in the end it will off set the total cost involved. Plus, most people prefer to use credit/ debit cards these days.

txgrassguy
03-14-2009, 12:06 PM
Merchant terminals (aka a credit card machine) is not what you need or want.
Complete a search for credit card processors like Crescent for indepth info.
In a nutshell your agreement with a processor is for a percentage of the charge you have access to the processor's website to enter the card info for payment. Then the processor, who gets a percentage, send the $$ to your bank.
In my case with charges below $1000 (and their aren't many) the processor receives on a sliding scale from 3% to 1.75%. Above $1000 the scale slides from 1.75% to 1.25%. The $$ is deposited directly into my bank account, the processor does not have access to remove any money from my business account, so for the percentages I pay I get $$ immediately. Regarding the percentages paid, when I know the customer is paying with a credit card instead of a check I just add that amount to their bill.
Refunds are not an issue as I will not run a charge on a client's card unless they understand and agree first.
Been doing this for over a year and no problems. I should have started earlier.

Chilehead
03-14-2009, 12:27 PM
I just signed up with PayPal a month ago. I subscribed to their Website Payments Standard service. Anyone with or without a PayPal account can pay by credit card, e-check, or debit their PPal account. Rates are 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. As your sales volume goes up, the rates decrease. Some top merchant account-only services charge more than that plus setup fees/monthly gateway. There are 2 minor caveats with this service though. First, it can take up to 5 days for a payment transfer to your linked bank account to show up (depending on who you bank with). My bank is a 4-day wait. Second, you can not get a PayPal Mastercard debit card until your account is 60 days old. I plan on getting the debit card in mid-April so I will have instant access to my money and won't have to transfer every penny to my checking account at the bank. One more word of caution that can save you a headache with their service. If someone pays by credit card AND they HAVE a PayPal account, make sure they link the card they are paying with to their PPal account, otherwise PPal's computers will send up a red flag and put a 2-week hold on the funds while they investigate the transaction. It's an automated fraud detection headache they have programmed into their system.

grasschopperofchicago
03-22-2009, 06:41 PM
Merchant terminals (aka a credit card machine) is not what you need or want.
Complete a search for credit card processors like Crescent for indepth info.
In a nutshell your agreement with a processor is for a percentage of the charge you have access to the processor's website to enter the card info for payment. Then the processor, who gets a percentage, send the $$ to your bank.
In my case with charges below $1000 (and their aren't many) the processor receives on a sliding scale from 3% to 1.75%. Above $1000 the scale slides from 1.75% to 1.25%. The $$ is deposited directly into my bank account, the processor does not have access to remove any money from my business account, so for the percentages I pay I get $$ immediately. Regarding the percentages paid, when I know the customer is paying with a credit card instead of a check I just add that amount to their bill.
Refunds are not an issue as I will not run a charge on a client's card unless they understand and agree first.
Been doing this for over a year and no problems. I should have started earlier.

It is actually against the law to turn the fee back to the customer on a credit card. I don't know if you are aware of that or not, but you may want to do research with it, especially if you are putting that information in writing. I use paypal, but most of my accounts are cash/check, sure there is a fee, but it is so minimal that I don't concern myself with losing $3-5 per month on a one time swipe, when I take into consideration the promptness of the payment in comparison to waiting for it to come in the mail, I send them an invoice from paypal at the end of the month and I get it next day or same day. There is also a business account with paypal, that you can take a credit card with. You just need to get an imprinter and slips, or fill in slip by phone with customer and call in the charge with Paypal, you need to keep slips for disputes, and you MUST state "BY PHONE" on slip when charging it that way.

LouisianaLawnboy
03-23-2009, 01:12 AM
I signed up with landscape management system software to do my invoicing this year. I've been using gopher and mailing invoices at the end of the month then waiting to get checks in the mail. This yr with the help of this software I'm going to email the invoices possibly after each service, the customer can then pay online through Paypal. It is my understanding they can pay by debit, echeck, or credit and don't have to have a Paypal account. So I would take a look at that if you've had good success already getting paid online.

What about the old ladies, who have no idea what or how to use the internet????

grasschopperofchicago
03-23-2009, 02:39 AM
What about the old ladies, who have no idea what or how to use the internet????

For the people (old ladies is ageism and rude) that don't know how to use the internet, you use the Business Paypal account, which allows you to do either an in-person swipe or by phone charge.

LouisianaLawnboy
03-23-2009, 02:58 AM
For the people (old ladies is ageism and rude) that don't know how to use the internet, you use the Business Paypal account, which allows you to do either an in-person swipe or by phone charge.

Sorry I offended by saying old ladies. Its just that I have quite a few female senior citizens, and I don't think they would like to give their cc number over the phone. Besides giving it over the phone, would take your time. Then you still get stuck with 3% charge.

I say offer cc payments, but also be willing to do it the old fashion way. Remember its all the same once you boil it down.

zurfsturfcare
03-23-2009, 11:34 AM
It is actually against the law to turn the fee back to the customer on a credit card. I don't know if you are aware of that or not, but you may want to do research with it, especially if you are putting that information in writing. I use paypal, but most of my accounts are cash/check, sure there is a fee, but it is so minimal that I don't concern myself with losing $3-5 per month on a one time swipe, when I take into consideration the promptness of the payment in comparison to waiting for it to come in the mail, I send them an invoice from paypal at the end of the month and I get it next day or same day. There is also a business account with paypal, that you can take a credit card with. You just need to get an imprinter and slips, or fill in slip by phone with customer and call in the charge with Paypal, you need to keep slips for disputes, and you MUST state "BY PHONE" on slip when charging it that way.

its not against the law here, we just charge a 3% convenience fee for credit card charges, completely legal

ambersLawnmowing
03-23-2009, 11:57 AM
It is actually against the law to turn the fee back to the customer on a credit card. I don't know if you are aware of that or not, but you may want to do research with it, especially if you are putting that information in writing. I use paypal, but most of my accounts are cash/check, sure there is a fee, but it is so minimal that I don't concern myself with losing $3-5 per month on a one time swipe, when I take into consideration the promptness of the payment in comparison to waiting for it to come in the mail, I send them an invoice from paypal at the end of the month and I get it next day or same day. There is also a business account with paypal, that you can take a credit card with. You just need to get an imprinter and slips, or fill in slip by phone with customer and call in the charge with Paypal, you need to keep slips for disputes, and you MUST state "BY PHONE" on slip when charging it that way.

It isnt against the law to charge a fee to take credit card payments. If it was there would be alot of people/banks in trouble. I just used the ATM and they charged me $1.50 to use it, what is that? It would be considered a handling/processing fee.

grasschopperofchicago
03-23-2009, 01:00 PM
It isnt against the law to charge a fee to take credit card payments. If it was there would be alot of people/banks in trouble. I just used the ATM and they charged me $1.50 to use it, what is that? It would be considered a handling/processing fee.

First of all an ATM fee is completely different than a Merchant Fee, that is not being charged by the credit card company, but rather the banking institutions for the transfer of cash from account to account...apparently you aren't very familiar with finance and tax laws...

Do you know what happens if you land a contract with a customer for $20,000 for the season, a LEGAL & BINDING CONTRACT--and after they signed contract you solicited, they cancel 2 days later....can you take them to court to honor the contract??

it is against the law to charge the MERCHANT FEE to the customer, don't tell me it is not, please read your Merchant account agreement, and it isn't a statewide, but a federal tax/finance law!-it started with gas stations friends, I have had merchant accounts for years!---it is a MERCHANT FEE, not a customer fee!!
It falls under the truth in lending acts, please make yourself aware, more importantly, if you are worried about that $5.00-$10 a month on the account, you are in the wrong business!


Visa/Mastercard clearly states that you are NOT to charge the consumer for the fees you incur while accepting the credit card for payment in any transaction, as it also states by terms of use agreement you cannot have a minimum amount for use of a Credit/Debit card ie:$5.00 minimum purchase with credit cards, you can offer a discount for paying with cash, but CAN NOT! charge the customer the additional fee, you can however charge a convienience fee, but keep in mind, they can dispute charges and if you have contract for montly service of $250, and you charge it for $261 to cover fee, you now have a disputable charge, because their CONTRACT states $250...

(There is something called a "convenience fee" that some institutions are allowed to charge if they do not typically accept credit cards in their normal course of business. The example VISA gives is a utility company where the customary way is to pay by mail or in person. The rules for charging this fee are somewhat complicated and there are loopholes, etc.)

Excerpt from Texas Attorney Generals website

!"In Texas, a business cannot penalize consumers who pay for a good or service by using a credit card. Businesses that add a surcharge to those who pay by credit card might be violating provisions of the Texas Finance Code. Usually those fees can only be charged by government entities, such as for the payment of property or other taxes or other fees required by a government agency.

However, businesses in Texas can discount the regular retail price of an item for consumers who pay cash instead of using a credit card. Consumers who are charged extra for using a credit card should report it to my office by calling us at 1-800-252-8011 or filing a complaint online at www.oag.state.tx.us.

Similarly, businesses that accept credit cards are generally forbidden from setting a minimum amount to be charged to the card. While there is no law that prohibits this practice, virtually all agreements that merchants have with credit card companies prevent the business from imposing a minimum charge for card users. If you are faced with this, report it to your credit card company."

If you would like more information about credit card use in Texas, here is the Attorney General's website:

Trenchblade
03-23-2009, 01:23 PM
O.K I have taken Paypal payments for about a year now, Seems to work good, but not everyone has a paypal account. So i "THINK" i want to get a credit card machine. What are some cons/pros of having this service avalible. Any idea on what it costs? My bank also takes them, i i link them to my website but, they charge a ton for this and i cant get a notification if a deposit was made, so i would have to check everyday. We have alot of customers and I like them to send checks so i can deposit them when i want to, and i can also keep closer tabs on those that paid and when they paid. Also lets face it credit is the way of the world. I know i have been using mine more and more for some stupid stuff, because it is a0% or no payments for so many years... Let me know what you think of the card machines in person or stick with paypal.

if you have a paypal account you can take credit cards through it and not have to have a merchant gateway, dig around on paypals site to figure it out. We take cc's through paypal and it works out great for us. They dont have a monthly charge like most gateways and only take 1.5% per transaction.

Frontier-Lawn
03-23-2009, 03:40 PM
O.K I have taken Paypal payments for about a year now, Seems to work good, but not everyone has a paypal account. So i "THINK" i want to get a credit card machine. What are some cons/pros of having this service avalible. Any idea on what it costs? My bank also takes them, i i link them to my website but, they charge a ton for this and i cant get a notification if a deposit was made, so i would have to check everyday. We have alot of customers and I like them to send checks so i can deposit them when i want to, and i can also keep closer tabs on those that paid and when they paid. Also lets face it credit is the way of the world. I know i have been using mine more and more for some stupid stuff, because it is a0% or no payments for so many years... Let me know what you think of the card machines in person or stick with paypal.

i have my paypal site setup to take both paypal users and people that that dont and just want to pay via CC.

grasschopperofchicago
03-23-2009, 03:53 PM
It isnt against the law to charge a fee to take credit card payments. If it was there would be alot of people/banks in trouble. I just used the ATM and they charged me $1.50 to use it, what is that? It would be considered a handling/processing fee.

It's not illegal to cheat the IRS by taking cash/if it was there would be a lot of people in trouble...

basically what your statement indicates, that if people do it, it must be okay...lmao...

ambersLawnmowing
03-23-2009, 07:11 PM
It's not illegal to cheat the IRS by taking cash/if it was there would be a lot of people in trouble...

basically what your statement indicates, that if people do it, it must be okay...lmao...

You seem to know alot, but here it is right from my "NEW" Visa setup I just got through my Credit Union..
"QUOTE"
You may assess a surcharge on a Card Sale conducted using a Credit Card provided that the amount of the surcharge may not exceed the Merchant Fee payable by you to us for the Card Sale.

So is my Credit Union Wrong, should i call one of my Visa cards to ask them or just take the word of the people that take my money? or does anyone else have input on this?

grasschopperofchicago
03-23-2009, 07:15 PM
You seem to know alot, but here it is right from my "NEW" Visa setup I just got through my Credit Union..
"QUOTE"
You may assess a surcharge on a Card Sale conducted using a Credit Card provided that the amount of the surcharge may not exceed the Merchant Fee payable by you to us for the Card Sale.

So is my Credit Union Wrong, should i call one of my Visa cards to ask them or just take the word of the people that take my money? or does anyone else have input on this?

Yes I have a lot of experience in the business and finance laws, Masters Degree from IU...however...I find it hard to believe your Credit Union allows you to charge the customer, however feel free to contact your states Attorney General...he will answer it for ya...I provided you information and it is in fact code/law...information also stated there were loopholes, but law states you can't pass off the fee YOU incur to the customer for offering the service of accepting the cards...