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Credit card only?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Baytownlawncare, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Baytownlawncare

    Baytownlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    Ok, so I got a square reader for my new android phone this week and got it all set up for my business. I have looked around on here but really did not see what I wanted as far as an answer. Does anyone use strictly credit cards for payments or almost all credit cards. I do have some elderly customers that always pay cash or checks but want to lean toward cc's just due to not having to cash all those checks. I would like to run authorization on each cut with a card number on file but I am not sure if I can get customers to keep a card number on file with me due fear I may just charge whatever I want, even though I am an honest guy. I was thinking of a marginal discount for customers that keep a number on file just to ease my billing and reduce headaches. I was also thinking of requiring habitual slow pay customers to either have a cc number on file with me or I will not cut. I figure it will get them to pay or they will just find another service and end my headache with them. Comments, suggestions, bad idea, good idea?
  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    For me. NO. We bill out at the end of the month. never after each cut.

    and we do NOT accept credit cards.

    I would like to know how this works for you, and the cost.

    I'm still running a cell phone from 5 yrs ago. I just cant see spending that much money
  3. Baytownlawncare

    Baytownlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    I have had horrid issues with a few bad apples last year and want something to put an end to it this year. Anyway I have always billed per cut and most folks don't have an issue with it. I would rather get my money sooner than wait until the end of the month. As for cost for square it is real reasonable. First of all my wife got the phones for free with a renewed 2 year contract. The account and reader for square are free. They don't charge any monthly fees just a fee per transaction. It is 2.75% + 15 cents for a card present situation or 3.5% + 15 cents for no card present, which will be my situation. This is the only fees you ever pay. These guys are going to put the dedicated card reader device companies out of business. I think the fees are competitive with paypal also. They make nightly deposits in you bank account once it is verified.
  4. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Ahhh Sounds GREAT, I'm sure the fees are tax deductable,

    WE jsut never done business this way. Always monthly.

    I know it sounds lame, But I Jsut hate doing the money part. it takes me about 2 days to get the invoices out and then when the checks come in it's another 2 days to get and keep it all stright.

    and then there's the stragglers,,,,,,,, WHY, WHY WHY.....

    I like only going to the bank once a month.
  5. Mountain Peak

    Mountain Peak LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    A few years ago I tried accepting credit cards to hopefully stop some of the slow pays. What I found out is only my good customers, the ones that usually wrote the check the day they received the bill, went over to the credit cards.

    I truthfully go back and forth on it. I would love to have some that pay, credit card only, and I bill after each cut for cash flow. I would love to have everyone on credit cards but I just don't see it happening.

    I looked into the reader that goes on my iPhone but the fees were too much and why have that if you're going to run cards without the card present??? Why not just go home and run all the yards for the day through quickbooks online for a better interest rate? The only reason I could come up with to have the card reader is if I'm selling vegetables at the farmers market or something like that. Even if a guy walks across the street while I'm aerating I could have him sign a CC acceptance form and run it when I get home.

    If I'm going to do credit cards, and I am this year for select customers, I'm not going to pay for the reader, and I'm surely not going to pay the rates that you have (they are really high, make some phone calls, do a few searches online).
    Hope this helps.
  6. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    yea, I could'nt emigane service work with credit cards going to well.
    seems more of a PITA, I have herd of guys having Customers paying through there web site. paypal and such. that seems like more issues too.

    If a customer doesn't have the funds does the credit card comapny come back to you ??
  7. Baytownlawncare

    Baytownlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    Square works supposedly works with iphone, ipod touch, and the ipad. Of course you have to have internet access with the ipod or ipad or internet with you phone. The reader is totally free, you just have to request it once you setup the account.
  8. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    i'm trying something new this year. I already do a discount for prepayment, but for those customers who wont do that i will then offer a smaller discount for auto billing. I'll keep there card on file and bill out monthly

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    I just started accepting credit cards. I have a portable terminal in my truck and i will be using it mainly for tree, landscape, and sprinkler work because people don't always have over $1000 to spend on landscaping. I think it will help me be able to land more big dollar jobs.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    I know it can be irritating when you get burned, but I don't see how spending a couple grand a year in bank processing fees is going to improve the bottom line. My worst years of bad debts it was never much more than a few hundred bucks that I lost.

    At least make the card thing optional. I personally would not give my garbage man my credit card. I figure some people feel the same about us. A consumer's ability to dispute charges aside, it's a PITA if someone goes wild with your card. And garbage companies are actually much more stable than lawn operations.

    You may still have problems, because with credit cards comes customers disputing charges. They can claim you didn't mow the lawn. How does one prove he did to the credit card issuer? It really doesn't solve everything. If someone's goal is to beat you out of some money, they can still find a way to do it. If they're just lazy, maybe it helps. But is it worth the price?

    You might consider billing them once a month for that month automatically, to cut your data input stuff by 75%.

    By the way, I use monthly statements as an easy way to communicate with the customer. I bill for each month on the 1st of that month. So my bill shows the number of projected visits for the month so they can raise any objections BEFORE I do the work. (they don't, because I've already laid it out for them at bid time). Then it shows any additional work I have done on-site the previous month that was authorized and what it costs. I can also include notes on the lawn condition or suggestions. And finally it is a way of pointing out to them little "freebies" that get done from time to time. (e.g. "edged ivy along walkways in back of property...10 min...no charge, thank you for your business!")

    If all that they see is a credit card statement entry every month, they might get the impression you only love them for their money!

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