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Accepting credit cards...Pro's & Cons please.

JayD

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Indianapolis, In
Hi guys,

What can you tell me about pro's & cons on accepting credit cards.
I have been reading up on it a little and it looks scary to me. How much does this really cost and is it worth it to you to do it. What should I look for when getting in to this.

Thank you for any help that you can offer....

Jay
 

LawnBizCoach

LawnSite Member
Location
Raleigh, NC
I think some of the answer to this has to do with the size of your business. There are varying opinions on this but if you are looking to grow and reach a wide market, you should accept credit cards.


It gives you credibility and it is money in the bank..literally. It has helped people not only with their current balances but is a good option for someone who has fallen behind on their bill so that you can get your money.

I had many commercial accounts that only wanted to pay with a credit card and wanted us to automatically bill it each month--that is a hassle free way to earn your money--yes there is a cost but there are so many low cost options out there now, I wouldn't have a business without offering that as a payment option.
 
OP
J

JayD

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Indianapolis, In
I think some of the answer to this has to do with the size of your business. There are varying opinions on this but if you are looking to grow and reach a wide market, you should accept credit cards.


It gives you credibility and it is money in the bank..literally. It has helped people not only with their current balances but is a good option for someone who has fallen behind on their bill so that you can get your money.

I had many commercial accounts that only wanted to pay with a credit card and wanted us to automatically bill it each month--that is a hassle free way to earn your money--yes there is a cost but there are so many low cost options out there now, I wouldn't have a business without offering that as a payment option.
Wow, thanks for the info. I did send out letters to my customers asking them if this would be something that they would like. Too soon yet, have not received many back yet.
 

Jenyss

LawnSite Member
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Hey Jayd - usually the amount you pay for the merchant service depends on the amount you bring in. I agree that the customers that sign up for auto pay are priceless. Also, when calling on late bills, it is always good to have that option. We have been accepting for 3 years. We are a very small company, but it has been very helpful. It also gives you some credit with the banks. There is a 3 to 4 day delay from the process time. That is my only complaint. I would consider any new business you get, add a buck or 2 to the price you think you would charge and that should cover your merchant account expense.
 
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JayD

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Indianapolis, In
Hey Jayd - usually the amount you pay for the merchant service depends on the amount you bring in. I agree that the customers that sign up for auto pay are priceless. Also, when calling on late bills, it is always good to have that option. We have been accepting for 3 years. We are a very small company, but it has been very helpful. It also gives you some credit with the banks. There is a 3 to 4 day delay from the process time. That is my only complaint. I would consider any new business you get, add a buck or 2 to the price you think you would charge and that should cover your merchant account expense.
I just finely put my listing in the white pages and I have had about 20 calls from these people wanting me to sign up with them and to be honest, I have no clue about this stuff.

I don't know what is a good deal to a bad deal. Thats why I posted on here to try to find out what it is that I should want or not want....

So I take it that you have to put a bunch of money up for their equipment?

Do you have a fee?

Do you have to use it so much to meet their quota?
 

whitebp1

LawnSite Member
Location
Collierville,TN
start with your bank. see if they offer the svc. it may cost a little more but the svc will be more personable than some chump who called you form the phone book. all they want it to get u signed up then they dont care because thats how they make their money, then youll be tossed off to someone else and become someone else's problem. if your bank doesnt offer merchant svc then ask if they could recomend someone to you. also ask your CPA the same things they should be able to help get you started and set up as well. getting set up for credit cards should be a lengthy process interview everyone and ask alot of questions and get everything in writting. its an important and vital step in growing a business and should be treated delicatly.
 
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JayD

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Indianapolis, In
start with your bank. see if they offer the svc. it may cost a little more but the svc will be more personable than some chump who called you form the phone book. all they want it to get u signed up then they dont care because thats how they make their money, then youll be tossed off to someone else and become someone else's problem. if your bank doesnt offer merchant svc then ask if they could recomend someone to you. also ask your CPA the same things they should be able to help get you started and set up as well. getting set up for credit cards should be a lengthy process interview everyone and ask alot of questions and get everything in writting. its an important and vital step in growing a business and should be treated delicatly.
This one guy from this place www.businesscreditcardprocessing.com has been really nice and not pushy. He has sent me a download called 10 commandments of selecting merchant account services. In it, it really tells you about things to watch out for when trying to one. Please take the time to look at this site and tell me what you think. Sense you use this service for your customers, you could shed some light on it. I would be grateful if some one can do this.
 

bobw

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Calgary, Alberta
There is the whole setting up with the bank hassle. And losing a %age to the bank for all your work.

The other side is now you have to keep track of your customers' credit card numbers in some sort of secure manner (you don't want to be responsible for those getting spread around)....

And then there will be the customer that does a charge back because he decides he's not happy.....

I wrestle with it every year and I haven't yet gotten around to taking credit cards... way too many headaches
 

Roger

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
McMurray, PA
Have you considered using PayPal? I don't use either PP or cc, but am looking at PP now. The costs for PP are similar to a cc merchant account. Your customer will have two options for payment -- ACH or cc. They provide the information to PP, not you. This may give them a better feeling regarding security. I think I heard that the US has over 200 million PP accounts. That means that probably many customers already have a PP account, and it would not require them to establish something just for you.

The problem is that any PP payment must be initiated by the customer. If they are slow to write a check, why wouldn't they be slow to initiate the PP transaction? I'm concerned that I've gained nothing in terms of timely payments, and have lost the transaction fees.

A cc account, where you have the number, and initiate the transaction gives you control on the time. I use QuickBooks, and the numbers are stored in the customer information profile. Transactions are initiated within the context of QB. If using another merchant account suppliers, the initiation would have to be done through another channel.

Many of my customers are older people. Some have been with me a long time. I am afraid that if I ask them to change their method of payment, they will tell me to leave the scene. This problem could exist for either the cc transactions, or a PP account. Some may not be Internet savy, and to ask them to set up a PP account, and initiate a PP transaction may just push them over the top, and say "no."
 
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