Online Payments?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by projames12, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. projames12

    projames12 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    It seems like there is tons of ways to accept online payments... so, who is the best? PayPal, Authorize, Inuit, AngiesList... other

    also, what about payments on the job? Does anyone have one of those portable swipers... how do you like it?
  2. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    I'd only offer paying online for commercial, or large residential clients. Or you'll get fee'd to death on almost anything (read below). I looked into a portable POS system, so I can accept VISA/MC and debit on the spot. However, most of my clients are in the $25-35 range for lawnwork. If you want to accept payments online, I think the best way is to create, or rent out secure server space, and arrange with your financial institution to pay online. Renting space will be cheaper than paying sites to do the transactions for you. This of course, depends on the amount of transactions you estimate will be done.

    However, I thought for seasonal clients, who pay monthly that it would be a good option instead of going through the process and writing cheques, as depending on the business account you have you pay to deposit cash/cheques anyway, so why not bite another 1-2% and get a portable POS machine!

    Even then, after I crunched my own numbers, and I have 95% residential clients, it's not feasible: I'd lose 2-4% of my gross just in banking fees. Besides, during the off season if I don't use the machine, I have to 'rent' it out. If I cancel use of the machine over the winter and get it again in the spring, then I pay for the bank to hook it back up anyway. Either way, you lose.

    I believe a portable POS unit is more for small contractors, who do a couple jobs in a day, and they can take the payment system with them. Knowingly each job they do in a day is say 2x$500 (charge includes price of parts installed, etc), so they'll pay a percentage of that as it's over the minimum charge. Still equates to 1.5%. So basic transaction costs say $1.25 + 7.5 x 2 = $17.50 in fees for the day.

    If I cut say, 10 lawns in a day, at an average of $30 = $300. Ten transactions at $1.25+1.5% of the amount charged = $4.5 + $12.50 = $17. It's a big expense for someone who will perform multiple transactions. There is a volume number you can get, for say restaurants and such, but there's no way I'll do 150+ transactions in a day.

    If I did that amount of lawns full time for a month, that equates to around $340 in additional banking fees. Take away the monthly clients (80%) and add on transactions for other odd jobs, and that will still cost close to $100 a month. Perhaps Canada is just overpriced. One bank alone last quarter pulled in nearly two billion profit. Recession? What Recession!
  3. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 480

    I use for my invoices. It's only $4.00/ month and they have and option for customers to use paypal. I have it set up where the customer is paying the fee, not me. So the cost is FREE! No fees.
  4. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    With the portable unit, clients still get charged $1.50 for the transaction fee, but the business owner here still gets charged a percentage of the amount paid. Which sucks.

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