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Credit Cards

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ChadA, May 30, 2006.

  1. ChadA

    ChadA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    Im thinking about accepting credit cards this season. We are starting to get up there with customers and I wanted to offer it as a payment option. Does anyone have any advice. Are they worth it? What does it cost to get set up? What equipment will I need?

    Also I am working on a website and want to offer online payment as well.

    ENDURO LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    I just got mine setup and it works well. Cost about $20/month plus they take 2.5% which is the norm. So if you get paid $100, they take $2.50. I think I will save more money by not buying stamps, printing bills, driving to the bank, lossing to dead beats, etc. If your interested, I can email you the name and number of the helpful lady that help me get setup. I think setup was free if I remember correctly and only took about 1 week. Hope that helps. Just let me know if your interested.
  3. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 458

    Im looking into the same thing now. Been so on and off for the past few months then get sidetracked on jobs before I can make a decision. IM seeing monthly costs running $18-$35 for the service, and 2.4% - 2.9% per transaction fee for keyed entries, and 1.5%-1.9% for swiped entries.

    Setup fees anywhere form free to $65. Most places will wave the fee if you just ask. Some wont of course.

    As for worth it? Why not. Make it as convenient for the customer, and as easy for you. You will save some in stamps sure, and if you can get a fair share of customers to sign of for email billing, and even automatic bill paying, great!
  4. ChadA

    ChadA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    Thanks. I thought 5.5% plus .45 per transaction was high.
  5. firefightergw

    firefightergw LawnSite Gold Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 3,340

    I use Innovative Merchant Solutions. It's an Intuit company. Best thing I have done for my business. The rate they charge is well worth the expense of mailing invoices and trying to collect from dead beat payers.
  6. GlennZ

    GlennZ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    There is no doubt you should take credit cards. All studies show that people will spend more. Now this may not be true if you just cut grass but if you do landscaping you can really do some up-selling. A company I used to work for actually gave us spiffs on signing people up because the average sale was always higher when the customer used it.
  7. grnkeepers

    grnkeepers LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 28

    ChadA, I use Innovative Merchant Solutions also. It's an Intuit company so it is a snap to integrate with QuickBooks.
    Their charge is a little higher than another merchant account I have and their end of the month statement isn't quite as easy to understand but for a newbie into credit card usage it is great because they understand the nuances of QB.
  8. ChadA

    ChadA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    THanks i'll look into it.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    For online payment, there are several ways to do it:

    1) Whichever bank you decide to use for your regular transactions would have to be set up for this, that would be the easiest and I would think most of them are...? Ok so then you simply design a page for them to fill in some basic info (name and address and maybe invoice number) which has a button that says NEXT and when they click this it emails you that part (so it's a mail form is all it is) and once they click NEXT then it also sends them to the bank page where they then proceed to pay the bill (thou they will have to enter the amount themselves).
    To get this page to re-direct to the bank and send you the email when they click next, I think it goes like so:
    <form action="http://yourdomaine.com/cgi-bin/yourmailerform.pl" method="post">
    <input type="hidden"
    value="Customer Payment" />
    <input type="hidden" name="redirect" value="http://theexactURLof_your_banks_payment_page.whatever" /> ..But this may be WRONG heh
    etc, etc... </form>
    Once paid, the bank also sends you a confirmation email with the amount paid, so now you have that double-check thing going on.

    2) Use another service such as paypal or clickbank or some other but they charge close to 10%...

    3) Use yourself LOL but this requires an SSL certificate and they run around 100 dollars / year and there is a bit of setup required, I am not sure if you need your own server (I mean the whole box) but your admin can tell you. Beyond the certificate, you'd still use your regular bank so really if they are setup for it, I think it would be easier to go step 1 but with the SSL certificate, it boils the customer form-entry pages down to ONE instead of two (no NEXT button).
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,232

    I'm curious, should we really encourage people to spend more money by using a credit card even if they can't afford it?

    We use our local bank and the only reason we accept CC's is because our largest customer more or less told us to start doing it. They always paid with 14 days, so it really didn't make any sense for us.

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