Accepting interac / visa payments!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by alpine692003, Aug 21, 2004.

  1. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,502

    Hmmmm..

    Do any of you guys accept interac/visa payments from your current customers?

    I think it's a great idea because that way you dont have to wait for payments, deposit amounts for big jobs because you can swipe it immediately!

    Even though it charges you like 2-5% of whatever you make, I think its the best?

    Oh, how about a mulch job? It will be $150 .. sure, swipe it via visa or debit!

    What are some advantages / disadvantages for those kinds of payments?;) ;) ;)
     
  2. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Alpine,

    I highly recommend getting set up to accept credit cards. The problem with this business is you simply can't be in it without extending credit. Because we have no way to run a real credit check, we are sitting ducks to get stiffed.

    Most customers will eventually pay. But all uncollectibles start out as simple late payments. When they are late, and they will be (most of mine have been at one point or another...very few have always paid by the due date) you have to start guessing..."are you gonna pay or do I have to suspend service?"

    Suspending service is a real pain the azz. The day you suspend, they'll usually call you and promise a payment on such and such a date. But by the time they get home from work and see that the lawn wasn't cut and find you're suspension notice, you're no longer in the area. Now, you either have to return the next day to cut 8 days of growth or skip the revenue this week and get paid for a cut next week that will be 14 days of growth.

    It's important that your customers pay you on time every month so you don't have to play these guessing games.

    Credit cards have been wonderful. They do take a percentage off the top, but the peace of mind you get from that is well worth it to me.

    I have had a few problems getting customers to give me a credit card in the past. It has cost me business. But a professional image helps. One last thing I started doing yesterday: When a residential customer calls for a quote, I close them on the credit card issue before I agree to come out. It's worked 100% of the time so far (on a sample of two). You see, before we show up to do the free estimate, we've actually got some leverage, because they want something we have...the free estimate. So I've just started saying "Now, before I come out to do the estimate, I want to go over one thing. We do require a credit card be placed on file for automatic billing purposes. That's not gonna be a problem is it?" So far this has worked both times.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  3. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,502

    When you say you are placing a credit card on file, what does that exactly mean? You get their credit card over the phone, write down all their information..Credit card #, expiry date, name, branch and just leave it on file?

    Another thing, what if they say what? you want a credit card on file to give me a free estimate? no way, thats what I would say, if i were the customer!:eek:

    And what is the purpose of placing a credit card on file? If a customer asks?
     
  4. Sam-Ohio

    Sam-Ohio LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 304

    He didn't say that he requires the card BEFORE he will do the free estimate. He is telling the potential customer that a credit card will be necessary if and when they do decide to contract work with DFW.

    By comunicating clearly with the potential customer how the game is going to be played, he is avoiding "suprising" the customer after the fact, and he is also not wasting time with a client that won't or can't meet the terms.
     
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    ++++When you say you are placing a credit card on file, what does that exactly mean?++++

    I simply write down the following information on the service agreement:

    Name as it appears on the card
    Credit card number
    Expiration date
    Three digit code from the back of the card (CVV Number)
    Billing address for the card

    Each month, we charge the card and send them a statement showing a balance due of zero.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  6. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,502

    Oh I see , thank you for clarifying guys.
     

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