Should I collect Credit Cards?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by matt spinniken, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. matt spinniken

    matt spinniken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I am sure a similar thread has popped up in the past but I am having a hard time deciding. I have been in business for 15 years and we have 4 crews 2 people each crew we do Irrigation installation and service and mowing with some light additional maintenance stuff.

    Currently we do a 3% discount for prepay but we do not have cash flow problems I am thinking about taking away the prepay and replacing it with credit card processing. I don't want to pay the fees but I also don't want to be the only "old school" service provider that my customers have to right a check to.

    I have written some of my customers and most say they don't care if I accept credit cards and will do whatever.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,339

    You said no cash flow flow problems but do you have any collection problems?
     
    tonygreek likes this.
  3. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,622

    Taking Credit Card info from customers is risky, and be very problematic if its not done exactly right.

    View this link on "PCI Compliance"
    www.pcicomplianceguide.org/faq/
     
    grassmonkey0311 likes this.
  4. matt spinniken

    matt spinniken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Yes we do have our share of collection problems.
     
  5. Efficiency

    Efficiency Banned
    from zone 6
    Messages: 1,854

    Don't think that auto charging credit cards will alleviate collection problems. One of our office staff spends some amount of time each day calling, email, and tracking down clients who have a failed autopay. In season, we usually have 5 or 10 a day to deal with and how many can you get to fix it on the first call or email? Over the limit, new card number, invalid exp. date can all throw it off.
     
  6. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD/NC
    Messages: 3,298

    @Trees Too is right. There can be a lot of problems if not done right, up to and including massive lawsuits.

    If your going to do it, find a card processor that takes the PCI compliance out of your hands. There are tons of them out there, just do a quick google search.

    As for fee's, you shouldn't have to pay for any of them. If your only charging cards, pass the fee's along to the customers. A $1 or $2 price increase will generally take care of all the fee's. An average transaction is about 2.9% + .30 cents.....it's not much.

    Now- collections. Efficiency hit this one. Declined cards are very common. Could be bad expiration date, insuf. funds, bank declines because it thinks it's fraud...there's quite a few. I charge cards every Monday and if I don't see any declines, I immediately think the system didn't run the cards on time - that's how often declines happen. Charging cards won't solve slow payers....most pay slow because they are broke. By charging their card, it will most likely get declined.
     
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,802

    We do prepay with no discount. We have always accepted CC . No service charge to do so. Majority of people carry multiple cards today and we want them to have the option to choose which. I don' want to be responsible for people' s private Information. IMHO you're a dinosaur if you still aren't on board with processing cards. If the service fee makes a difference then your underpricing services. We process around 1000 transactions per month.
     
  8. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,148

    Glad I came across this. I started a thread yesterday that's similar. I was inquiring accepting the cards through yardbook. From reading some of the responses here, the liability it seems would be covered by Stripe, the processing company through yardbook.

    Good points made about the card being declined due to various reasons. Also good point about being a dinosaur if not accepting them....I need to start this year like the OP.

    My main reason was due to slow pays but Grassmonkey did post some good info about how that's not a sure fix.
     
  9. matt spinniken

    matt spinniken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I think I am going to start doing this. One small concern, I use jobber and quickbooks. If I get paid by credit card straight into our business checking I would have a ton of transactions that would need to be reconciled as a deposit on the checking statement. Oh well I think I just need to pull the trigger. The dinosaur comment along makes me want to switch :).
     
  10. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,339

    Two things.

    Credit cards will help with your collection problems.

    Where do you want to be in the future and will credit cards help you get there?
     

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