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Credit Cards....Take 2

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by rcreech, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,011

    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
     
  2. DUSTYCEDAR

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    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 #
     
  3. srl28

    srl28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,176

    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.
     
  4. LIBERTYLANDSCAPING

    LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,283

    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.........
     
  5. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    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
     
  6. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,123

    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.
     
  7. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,123

  8. azjojo99

    azjojo99 LawnSite Member
    from S.C.
    Posts: 70

    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
     
  9. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

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

    We just treat is like an operating cost.

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

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

    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.
     
  10. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,011

    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!!!!!!!!
     

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