Accepting credit cards....

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Grimace, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Grimace

    Grimace LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    This may be a dumb question, but why don't more or even any of you guys accept credit cards? And I don't necessarily mean for customer convenience purposes, but for your own convenience.

    My gym automatically deducts $44 per month from my checkcard, so why doesn't my lawn guy? Seems like that would make his life, as well as the customersÂ’, a bit easier. Then just send over a paid invoice to the client.

  2. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    A lot of business owners don't want to give up the 2 to 4 % in transaction costs.
  3. Grimace

    Grimace LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Well... lets do the math... If you had 100 accounts that paid you an average of 100 per month, thats $10k. Lets just say 3% fee, which is high. Normal fees are around 2.5%.

    Thats $300. Then they also charge 30 cents per tansaction, thats another $30, plus the gateway/terminal fee and the statement fee is another $15.

    Thats $345 per month. I guess it adds up.

  4. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    IMO it's worth it, debit cards and credit cards, you can negotiate some decent rates, but I have noticed that the general opinion around here is, it just isn't worth it. But to have your billing set up on automatic, no statements etc, the cost would be more than offset by some savings in the book keeping and stress.
  5. Grimace

    Grimace LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    In your experience, how do customers react when asked if they would like to be set up on a recurring payment via credit card basis? I know some people can get really wacky about giving out their credit card information.

    I agree, the lower stress makes it worth it. After all, the less you have to talk to your clients the better. Not to mention at least then you will be getting paid with regularity.

  6. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    WOW. You're pretty good at answering your own questions!

    Using your $345 a month numbers, the LCO needs to recover that from YOU the client. So are you going to want to pay $1 a mow extra for the honor to use a credit card? Maybe. But alot of customers wouldn't. Also as you pointed out, alot would freak about giving out a card #. So instead of having all his clients (100 in your scenario) paying $1 a week extra for using credit card, he might have 10 CUSTOMERS do it. Then it becomes $10 a week for the honor of using it. NOW ARE YOU GOING TO PAY $10 EXTRA.......HELL NO!

    Question answered!


    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I'm certain a lot of customers would pay $1 extra for the convenience of a credit card. Especially since many of them are trying to accrue "miles" or other rewards. Only 5% of my customers take advantage of this payment option. I am going to push this option with my customers who tend to send in their payments a little late.

    The way I see it, everything is moving towards plastic. 7-11's been accepting them for years, McDonalds just started too. You can bet Burger King will too.

    The other advantage to accepting credit, is people can pay you even when they can't really afford to otherwise. Let Visa/MC take them to collections.
  8. Grimace

    Grimace LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Thanks everyone for your replies.


    The irony is that I can clear out a bank account just as fast with the information printed on your checks than I could with a credit card. Its also funny that most people have no problem shooting their CC info across the internet to some random person 3000 miles away to buy that spiffy new chia pet, yet you don't trust the guy right in front of you.


    You make some good points. I wonder how much business you would possibly lose if you didn't give people an option to pay by check and it was just recurring monthly payment only. My gym doesn't give me a choice and I didn't really care, although I could possibly be the exception.

  9. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    I accept them through quickbooks......lowest fees and no terminal needed. I actually give my customers a discount for using automatic credit card payment. Much less hassle and my money shows up in 24 hours instead of a month and a half later. Think about it you mow a lawn on may 1st you dont send the bill out until may 31st. Now you give them 15 days to get the bill and pay it. Thats if they "remember" this month. Now youre waiting 45 days for your money.
  10. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    The guy down in texas that is doing the cheap cheap mowing, requires either a debit card or credit card to start service. He bills the charges to the card the day after he mows, if you don't provide a card, he doesn't provide service. I think he has 1950 customers right now a 40% increase over last year. So the credit card requirement must not be a deal breaker with most customers.

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