To take credit cards or NOT?????

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ambersLawnmowing, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. ambersLawnmowing

    ambersLawnmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 333

    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.
  2. WeCare-LawnCare

    WeCare-LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    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 !!
  3. subhunter

    subhunter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    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.
  4. Smitty58

    Smitty58 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    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.
  5. SilverPeakServices

    SilverPeakServices LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    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.
  6. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    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.
  7. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,899

    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.
  8. grasschopperofchicago

    grasschopperofchicago LawnSite Member
    Posts: 152

    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.
  9. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,199

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

    grasschopperofchicago LawnSite Member
    Posts: 152

    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.

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