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View Full Version : Anyone know how to accept credit/debit cards?


Field King
06-27-2010, 12:58 PM
I know ask at the bank and I will monday but figured I could get a few ideas on here. Anybody accept credit/debit cards, how do u handle it, by phone, is there a portable unit to take in truck to slide card?

fredmullegun
06-27-2010, 01:00 PM
sam's or costco has the best deal on that service

Clark Griswold
06-27-2010, 01:51 PM
PayPal has some kinda a deal too, might be worth looking into!

Clark

topsites
06-27-2010, 02:19 PM
Yeah but it costs, I'll give you the skinny they gave me at the bank, it has to do with volume...
Plainly put the more money that goes through the system, the cheaper it gets but
before you get excited we're talking in terms of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Per month.

Not to blow your idea away but for a small business, you're looking at roughly 10% a transaction.

That's with a knuckle buster slide machine, the old style, yes they still make and use them but
my problem is that the knuckle buster has no way of telling if the card is good or not.

And they can provide you with an electronic device that you could hook up
through a cellular telephone but once again it gets expensive.

That's from the bank, then you got all these different deals out there but ultimately it all boils down to the same thing,
whether they charge you a flat 10% per transaction or they make it look like a different enchilada with NO per transaction
fee but ooops there's a $60 a month subscription to the service, so that no matter how I look at this it all boils down to
the fact that so long you process say, less than 10 or 100 thousand a month in credit card bills, you're looking at about
10% per transaction in fees.

Roughly.
And if you get better news, let me know!

nepatsfan
06-27-2010, 02:25 PM
Yeah but it costs, I'll give you the skinny they gave me at the bank, it has to do with volume...
Plainly put the more money that goes through the system, the cheaper it gets but
before you get excited we're talking in terms of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Per month.

Not to blow your idea away but for a small business, you're looking at roughly 10% a transaction.

That's with a knuckle buster slide machine, the old style, yes they still make and use them but
my problem is that the knuckle buster has no way of telling if the card is good or not.

And they can provide you with an electronic device that you could hook up
through a cellular telephone but once again it gets expensive.

That's from the bank, then you got all these different deals out there but ultimately
it all boils down to the same thing, whether they charge you a flat 10% per
transaction or they make it look like a different enchilada with NO per transaction
fee but ooops there's a $60 a month subscription to the service, it all boils down
to the fact that so long you process say, less than 10 or 100 thousand a month
in credit card bills, you're looking at about 10% per transaction in fees.

Roughly.
And if you get better news, let me know!
Way off as usual. Costs me $10 a month. I bought my own machine. Machine was about $250-$300 I dont remember. Depending on the card anywhere from 1.5%-3% with a $2 minimum.

topsites
06-27-2010, 03:00 PM
Way off as usual. Costs me $10 a month. I bought my own machine. Machine was about $250-$300 I dont remember. Depending on the card anywhere from 1.5%-3% with a $2 minimum.

Oh, right, you're so smart...

$10 a month plus $2 minimum, add it up wise guy.

Say I get 20 of my $35 guys to pay me credit.
That's 20 x $2 = $40 + $10 = $50 and 20 x 35 = $700.

So $50 out of $700 is already 7.142%

Now figure up the cost of that $250-$300 over the lifetime of that there machine,
you do know how long that machine lasts, you did ask at the bank, right?
Yes, it lasts a lot longer if you don't use it out in the field, maybe you get 10-20 years out of it, maybe not.
But if you get 10 years out of it that adds $2+ a month as well, you didn't per chance forget anything else did you?
Like say those slow winter months where that $10 a month just eats you?

I'm telling you, 10% a transaction and if you can manage to come out at 8.16% I really don't care,
not everyone's going to pay credit and ultimately it boils down to volume, the more you charge
the cheaper it gets but I'm not wasting my time marketing credit card transactions just to save a %

slowleak1
06-27-2010, 03:02 PM
Way off as usual. Costs me $10 a month. I bought my own machine. Machine was about $250-$300 I dont remember. Depending on the card anywhere from 1.5%-3% with a $2 minimum.

Of course it is way off. it seems around here new guys with new ideas are frowned upon, kinda like they have the plague or something.

My bank told me they would provide me with a machine, and charge me $15 a month, plus whatever fees the particular card being used drew.

nepatsfan
06-27-2010, 03:10 PM
Oh, right, you're so smart...

$10 a month plus $2 minimum, add it up wise guy.

Say I get 20 of my $35 guys to pay me credit.
That's 20 x $2 = $40 + $10 = $50 and 20 x 35 = $700.

So $50 out of $700 is already 7.142%

Now figure up the cost of that $250-$300 over the lifetime of that there machine,
and don't forget that 1.5-3% is going to kick in on any transactions past the limit,
not to mention jobs below $35.

I'm telling you, 10% a transaction and if you can manage to come out at 8.6% I really don't care,
not everyone's going to pay credit and ultimately it boils down to volume, the more you charge
the cheaper it gets but I'm not wasting my time marketing credit card transactions just to save a %

I sell jobs that people wouldnt normally do. Keep your 35 bucks. We would really love a patio but we cant afford it right now. 5 grand, throw it on the card. All kinds of stuff. I dont mind having it at all. I paid for the machine 5 or 6 years ago. I have sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of work to people who wouldnt do the job otherwise. Your money is in the account in 1 day. Do you have to pay for the service yes, but it isnt 10%. The $10 monthly fee is worth knowing you have them money in your account. You can tell me 10% a transaction all you want but it isnt even close, unless all your jobs are twenty bucks

KyleOH
06-27-2010, 05:04 PM
paypal VT/merchant services are nice. 20.00 per month unlimited transactions, phone app support to take the card right on your smart phone, email payments etc etc etc. the only bugger is that on large transactions they take a bigger cut...ie 1000.00 might lose you 50-60.00. I usually make that up by simply saying if you use a cc there is a 5% surcharge. most don't mind at all.

fredmullegun
06-27-2010, 06:10 PM
If you go to your bank you will get screwed. Sam's charges me 100 per year and that includes a membership. I have heard costco has similar prices.

CheapScapesNC
06-27-2010, 08:12 PM
We use QuickBooks to manage our business. You can get credit card processing through them, rates are 1.6% to 3.35%, depending on if you swipe the card or not. $20 monthly service fee. No machine needed to process cards, done on the computer. I can even process payments in the field by using my Blackberry phone(optional service).

I also use Intuit payroll services, which also integrates with QuickBooks. Simple to use, they tell you exactly what to do - plus they guide you through paying payroll taxes. Reasonable pricing.

nepatsfan
06-27-2010, 08:17 PM
We use QuickBooks to manage our business. You can get credit card processing through them, rates are 1.6% to 3.35%, depending on if you swipe the card or not. $20 monthly service fee. No machine needed to process cards, done on the computer. I can even process payments in the field by using my Blackberry phone(optional service).

I also use Intuit payroll services, which also integrates with QuickBooks. Simple to use, they tell you exactly what to do - plus they guide you through paying payroll taxes. Reasonable pricing.

Good info and good to know....Thanks

Greenboy24
06-28-2010, 12:56 AM
Find an actual credit card merchant in your area....banks usually are just acting as middlemen so you will pay more than if you go to the cc merchant directly....

10% is WAY off.

ajslands
06-28-2010, 01:06 AM
Just buy an iPhone andget the credit card app for like a dollar and your good!
Posted via Mobile Device

ajslands
06-28-2010, 01:11 AM
It's called process away and it costs 30$
Posted via Mobile Device

ajslands
06-28-2010, 01:15 AM
Orhttp://www.spartadata.com/
Posted via Mobile Device

topsites
06-28-2010, 01:35 AM
Of course it is way off. it seems around here new guys with new ideas are frowned upon, kinda like they have the plague or something.

Well then why don't you folks run to the F"n bank and ask the stupid questions
THERE instead of balking at the answers you get when asking here!

Could have done a search as well.

I sell jobs that people wouldnt normally do. Keep your 35 bucks. We would really love a patio but we cant afford it right now. 5 grand, throw it on the card. All kinds of stuff. I dont mind having it at all. I paid for the machine 5 or 6 years ago. I have sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of work to people who wouldnt do the job otherwise. Your money is in the account in 1 day. Do you have to pay for the service yes, but it isnt 10%. The $10 monthly fee is worth knowing you have them money in your account. You can tell me 10% a transaction all you want but it isnt even close, unless all your jobs are twenty bucks

Yes and what I'm telling you is don't forget to mention THAT!

Don't forget to TELL these guys that you're as far off as I am, maybe it isn't
quite 10% but it sure is nowhere near the 2 or 3 percent they sold you on,
don't forget that this is the LAWN MOWING section and I don't care who you are
because you're NOT getting paid 5 thousand for cutting grass!

Don't forget to mention these little details!

capelawncare.com
06-29-2010, 09:02 PM
Banks and credit card merchants want to sell you a terminal, charge you a percentage of eash transaction, something like 2-5 percent for accepting the card. The higher percentage is generally an AMEX card or rewards (discover) type card. ( you know those free airline miles, somebody has to pay for them).

On top of that, there is a transaction fee on every swipe. If the card is present, it costs less, if your customer reads you the card info it costs more. (higher risk)

I use an internet based system that lets me do re-occuring billing, (with a card on file) It automatically runs the customers card, on a predetermined date each month (for mowing and maintenance customers) That saves me a tremendous amount of time doing bookwork.

I also have a check reader, I run the checks thru the scanner and it automatically deposits them into my acct. ( no more trips to the bank)

The same company that handles all that, does my payroll, I dont have to mess with taxes, and they handle my workmens comp.

Overall I am very satisfied, they have simplified my book-keeping, which makes my life easier.

If memory serves me, I think paid 195$ to get set up, I pay 2.75% per transacation and something like 20 cents per swipe on credit cards.

I get hit up every week by credit card swiper sales people, and I wouldnt change.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
06-29-2010, 09:10 PM
I've had a Paypal Link on my website for 3 years now and Yesterday was the first time I've ever had anyone ask if I take electronic payments, He paid me $400 and Paypal charged me $12 for the transaction, and I pay no recurring costs, only when someone uses the service, just an FYI..

Clark Griswold
06-29-2010, 10:12 PM
I've had a Paypal Link on my website for 3 years now and Yesterday was the first time I've ever had anyone ask if I take electronic payments, He paid me $400 and Paypal charged me $12 for the transaction, and I pay no recurring costs, only when someone uses the service, just an FYI..

That's the way to go & see page 44 of the new Landscape Mangement Mag for the exact same info, it's so cheap it's not even funny!

Clark

capelawncare.com
06-30-2010, 04:33 PM
I pay $8.28 for same transaction. is that big difference? no not really, until you do 50 or 60 transactions just like it. Then it adds up

nepatsfan
06-30-2010, 05:19 PM
Well then why don't you folks run to the F"n bank and ask the stupid questions
THERE instead of balking at the answers you get when asking here!

Could have done a search as well.



Yes and what I'm telling you is don't forget to mention THAT!

Don't forget to TELL these guys that you're as far off as I am, maybe it isn't
quite 10% but it sure is nowhere near the 2 or 3 percent they sold you on,
don't forget that this is the LAWN MOWING section and I don't care who you are
because you're NOT getting paid 5 thousand for cutting grass!

Don't forget to mention these little details!

is there anything you dont know the answer to? I guess a guy who stays home all day and studies lawn site should know everything. keep that post count moving up, everyone loves to hear your point of view on absolutely EVERYTHING. 10% it is you are right...i guess you have all 20 dollar lawns.(all 4 I guess considering all you do is post on here and you claim to work alone:rolleyes:)

zo6
07-01-2010, 05:30 AM
i pay $8.28 for same transaction. Is that big difference? No not really, until you do 50 or 60 transactions just like it. Then it adds up

did you start taking credit cards because customers requested it, or because you wanted to offer it? I just ask because i dont take them, and no one has ever asked me too. Would it benifit me that much to offer it or should i leave well enough alone?

Input from anyone is great, just seemed like capelawncares setup was pretty good.

capelawncare.com
07-01-2010, 08:55 AM
My customers started asking for it. I have a lot of monthly mowing accounts, and it seemed like a great solution,opposed to sending out invoices every month. The system I have just hits their card on their due date. We mow year round down here, so the majority of my customers pay the same fee each month. If I need to make an adjustment to their bill, I just go in and do it, takes 2 seconds.

Aside from that, i think it has helped me sell larger jobs, that buyers wouldnt have otherwise written a check for.

Having them do my payroll, and billing has saved me at least 20 hrs a week, in BS that makes me NO MONEY! Now I spend an hour or two a week max, doing paperwork. For the price I pay, its well worth it.

OrganicsMaine
07-07-2010, 01:33 PM
My customers started asking for it. I have a lot of monthly mowing accounts, and it seemed like a great solution,opposed to sending out invoices every month. The system I have just hits their card on their due date. We mow year round down here, so the majority of my customers pay the same fee each month. If I need to make an adjustment to their bill, I just go in and do it, takes 2 seconds.

Aside from that, i think it has helped me sell larger jobs, that buyers wouldnt have otherwise written a check for.

Having them do my payroll, and billing has saved me at least 20 hrs a week, in BS that makes me NO MONEY! Now I spend an hour or two a week max, doing paperwork. For the price I pay, its well worth it.

What company are you using? Is it only local?

capelawncare.com
07-12-2010, 11:30 AM
No its National, PM me and I will set you up with my guy.

andyslawncare
07-31-2010, 04:49 PM
we do our credit and debit card transactions online through email. You could also set up a pay-pay account...

We do it though Intuit/Quick books...also have the website set up through Intuit Site Builder...

We take Visa and Master Card

Never agree to buy a credit card machine unless you are selling items from your office such as stone and mulch, etc... they are a straight rip off!

poolboy
08-01-2010, 07:58 AM
We use QuickBooks to manage our business. You can get credit card processing through them, rates are 1.6% to 3.35%, depending on if you swipe the card or not. $20 monthly service fee. No machine needed to process cards, done on the computer. I can even process payments in the field by using my Blackberry phone(optional service).

I also use Intuit payroll services, which also integrates with QuickBooks. Simple to use, they tell you exactly what to do - plus they guide you through paying payroll taxes. Reasonable pricing.

Came here to say this. I'll also add, if you add QB Billing Solutions, my customers have a direct link to pay online; plus, they can view their past payments. Additionally, QB mails out all our invoices, which includes a tear away section at the bottom that the customer uses to mail back with the enclosed envelope. That alone saves me 1/2 the time doing invoicing from the old days.

TheC-Master
08-07-2010, 09:13 AM
I used to use Paypal, but I wanted to charge auto-monthly or charge it when I needed to. I use Accept Pay. $20/montly fee, plus 2.29 percent (or 2.9 percent if AMex) it also takes checks as well. There is also a 30 cent processing fee.

Saves me tons of time and less headaches chasing customers. Because if I called them they'd still forget to leave the check and I'd have to drive all the way over there to get my money later, or "meet up with them at this location, it's all a waste of time and money. And even then they aren't there and you have to come back later! Don't get me started on mailing checks.

Just charge a little extra to cover the cost and write it off. Imagine the time you are saving, it's tremendous knowing my money is there.

bwvfan
08-21-2010, 12:04 PM
For a low to medium volume of accepting credit card and debit card payments you may want to look at the Square app for the iphone. This app comes with a card reader that plugs right into your iphone. You can take payments from anyone at any time. The app let you send out invoices via email and other features. This service if still fairly new and has their startup issues but once this type of service gets ironed out everyone will be capable of accepting adhoc payments via credit/debit card.

https://squareup.com/

TheC-Master
08-24-2010, 01:39 PM
That sounds interesting, how long have you used it?

bwvfan
08-24-2010, 03:06 PM
Biggest issue thus far has been the availability of the actual card reader. The company introduced the service no expecting the demand to be so great.

A friend uses the Sqareup device and service to sell vegetables are the local farmers markets. This is in a rural area with no 3G service and the device and service has been working fine over standard cellular.

So far available for Iphone and Android but not BB.

I will say he does catch a few more sales each day for those who don't carry cash or carry enough cash.

Reporting and analysis tools could be better but the company does appear to be making changes and updates every week.

I think this is going to take off and we will even see other vendors with similar systems enter the market.

TheC-Master
08-24-2010, 10:01 PM
It does seem like a good idea, especially with those who use their phone for everything primarily.

LawnsRUsInc.
08-27-2010, 06:11 PM
use merchant soultions no bank could beat the price that we get from them and u can accept CC's using your phone so no equipment to buy or rent $5 per month and you can turn it off the months you dont accept cards

TheC-Master
09-04-2010, 02:27 PM
Sounds pretty good.

andyslawncare
09-05-2010, 06:38 AM
Just charge a little extra to cover the cost and write it off. Imagine the time you are saving, it's tremendous knowing my money is there.

If you want to accept credit cards, or become a 'paperless' company find a way to accept them--there are hundreds of ways to do it over the internet; also set your employees on payroll with your bank...much easier!!! You will save money and time from postage and waiting on payments. Write everything off come tax time (which you should pay every 3 months anyways....)

TheC-Master
09-11-2010, 12:19 PM
My bank was expensive and had a huge contract with a 300 dollar cancellation fee for some services, I found better deals. There are a ton out there, you are right about that, but I am content with mine for the time being.

It all depends.

J&A Lawn Care
12-08-2010, 02:27 PM
Square Inc has been good to me.They charge 2.75% plus $.15 per transaction if you swipe the card.There is no setup fee and the card reader is FREE.I got my droid incredible from Best Buy for FREE and no activation fee.I just pay the $30 a month for the internet which I was going to get anyways.Very easy and fast and they deposit any $ you have in your account into your banking account every day.The downside is there is a limit to start with.You can take in as much $$ as you want but they will only deposit up to $1001 a week and anything over that is held for 30 days to make sure there is nothing fraudulent happening

rupkin
12-08-2010, 03:01 PM
Using your smart phone is the way to go!