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Now Accepting Credit Cards!!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Stonehenge, Feb 5, 2001.

  1. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I'm considering accepting credit cards this season - For those of you that have done this, have yo found it to be beneficial, considering the % of margin you're giving up?
  2. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 621


    We take credit cards. And, I tell people uf front we add 2% to the amount put on a card. Everyone understands. Currently I pay 2.25 % processing fee plus a montly fee. To our operation it is worth it.

    If our proposal is over someones budget, then they can put the diffrence on a cc or even have more things done. It just makes sense today to take them. Seems everyone is going for the points or miles these days.

    BTW: I am only one of a very few in our area who take cc.

  3. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    I'm on the bubble with this also. I most likely will offer it and will somehow work the cost into the contract, maybe try and get a feel for the customers paying methods before finalizing the contract. Seems everyone uses their credit cards nowadays for everything.
  4. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    "We take credit cards. And, I tell people uf front we add 2% to the amount put on a card. Everyone understands. Currently I pay 2.25 % processing fee plus a montly fee. To our operation it is worth it."

    Read the Bankcard Agreement. If they get wind of your policy they will pull your account (VISA, MC, dont know about the others)
  5. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,335

    I was thinking of taking cc too. What's the monthly fee like, other minimums, $ and cents? How hard was set up? Bank? Credit Union?

    I looked into this about 8 years ago and it was extemely difficult to get set up (and costly). It seems like it may have changed since then. Is this true?
  6. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Seems easy to set up. Fees are small, like $50 per year. The cost is in the % the CC company gets - 2-3% off the top of the total purchase.

    Lawnguy - I was asking about this last night in the chat room - sounds like others may do it, too. But it sounds like they automatically jack everyone up 3%, then give a discount for cash. Like a gas station.
  7. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931

    I thought that a surcharge for use of a credit card was just against California law. Nice to know Visa and M.C. are against it also.

    All the little mom and pop computer stores around here all charge a 3.1 % surcharge for using credit cards to purchase products.
  8. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    We were on the fence about credit cards for years. Finally jumped in a year ago. Shoulda done it years sooner. We figure we added $50,000 new sales the first summer season. Also found that people loved to put the "deposit" for installation project on the credit card. Made it easier for our sales people to 'close' the sale that way too. No need for cash or checks that way.

    Our recieveables clerk calls when the job is finished to 1) see how the job went, 2) if the customer is happy with the finished product, and 3) "How would you like to take care of the balance? We have MC, Visa, Discover, or we have have someone stop by tonight and pick up the final payment". Emphasis on "tonight". About 1/2 put it on the credit card over the phone.

    We are amazed at just how much money we are running though the credit card machine.
  9. BillNero

    BillNero LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 29

    Credit cards certainly help the "Cash Flow" big time!

    I suspect in my lifetime I will see a "Cashless" society.

    We have seen a tremendous increase in "Debit Card" use. For those of you not familiar with Debit Cards - simply a Credit Card product BUT it actually "Debits" your Checking account immediately.

    We have added another product called: Check by Phone. It also has taken off - although I was a little skeptical at first. We purchased a product called "Check Writer". It allows us to actually print your check on our printer with a check number you give us. A great tool for deposits, etc.

    As far as the CC Fees are concerned - I too was lead to believe that a CC Surcharge was "Frowned Upon" by the CC Banks. I have yet to hear of any company Merchant Account being pulled as a result of it.

    I have a Friendly competitor down the street that has charge a 4% Surcharge (for Snowplows & Spreaders - thats $100.00 +) on CC for 15 years. People pay it without question.

    Hey - Maybe I need to look into it!

    Bill Nero
  10. Vandora Lawn & Landscape

    Vandora Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    How do you go about setting up a merchant account to accept credit cards?

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