Thinking of growing and starting to accept credit cards. Input appreciated.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by 360team, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. 360team

    360team LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I started cutting lawns for part time work 12 years ago while I was in school, and i have now been registered and operating full time as an owner/operator for almost 7. Like a lot of guys, I have gradually been expanding my services to where I now do a little bit of everything. Without getting too long winded about it all, landscape design and install is one of the areas I have been focusing on. These jobs, compared to mowing, bush trimming, etc., are yielding more expensive/higher paying projects and I feel that NOT accepting credit cards will start to be an issue.

    So far, I have not had a single person decline a bid or service due to me not accepting credit cards (I have never been asked "do you accept CC?" and then been turned down), but I have run into instances where I have had to wait on payment because "something came up" or "I get paid next week." However, I do realize that a lot of my regular maintenance accounts may not inquire about larger projects since they already know I am a cash/check only business.

    I have always had Paypal just in case a client needs to have an option where they can use a credit card or pay remotely, but I can count on one hand how many times I received payment that way.

    I also think accepting credit card payments could make my life easier as I continue to grow by being able to set up auto payments, and having the ability to instantly get paid (80% or more of my invoicing and payments go through the mail).

    I currently use Quickbooks for tracking business figures, expenses, invoicing etc. Payroll is partly done by myself and a friend who is an accountant, and I keep a general work log in a spreadsheet to keep notes and have a secondary recording of service and payment history. My business is small - I am just now closing in on grossing 100k a year.

    Just looking to see what works for others and what they recommend I try.

    hort101 likes this.
  2. AlohaMowing

    AlohaMowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 247

    Since you already have PayPal, consider setting yourself up to take payments through PayPal Here. I have used it for several years for those times I have needed to take a credit card payment. The fee, 2.7% for swiped transactions, is slightly less than most of the competition, and is less than the fee when invoiced for payment online, although one can find better rates if doing lots of charges every month.

    Additionally, for customers whom you are billing regularly, you can put them on a subscription or recurring payment plan. That can ensure you are paid even when the customer is a little short. Once started, the payments can be set to continue until the customer takes action to stop them.

    Like everyone else, I prefer not to be hit by the credit card processing fee, but I also like to have the payment sooner and without hassle. If you set it up you can use it when it would help, and you could continue your traditional billing for those customers whom you can be sure will pay promptly.
    hort101 likes this.
  3. OP

    360team LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Thanks for the informative reply.

    Do you know if you are able to manually input credit card information (taking payment over the phone)?

    I need to spend some time on the site to better familiarized with all the services. I was spending a while trying to figure that out this morning through the App, but I couldn’t find a way to receive payments that way- It just kept prompting me to copy my unique PayPal link to share via text message. Which is really handy, but it requires the customer to have PayPal with all their credit card information already filled in.
  4. prezek

    prezek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    We process cards through QuickBooks. Quick and easy. Can email an invoice and they can pay it with a card. Yes you can also take a card over the phone.
    hort101 likes this.
  5. AlohaMowing

    AlohaMowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 247

    Yes, that can be done, however the fee charged is significantly higher than for a swiped charge, and more than the fee when invoiced online, due to the increased risk of fraud.
  6. goodgreen

    goodgreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 383

    What do they charge per transaction? I have Quickbooks online and have been considering this alternative for some payments.
    hort101 and 360team like this.
  7. Oxmow

    Oxmow LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,065

    Just talked with a fellow from SAP’s provider BluePay today. Their fee structure is less than i’ve been paying for years. I think it was 1.99%swiped debit and up to 2.99% for high end cards. .10 per transaction and 30$ per month gateway fee. I think I currently pay 3.69% for keyed transactions. I don’t remember there being a difference in swiped vs keyed. That is huge.
  8. Green Industry Pro

    Green Industry Pro LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Tyler Texas
    Messages: 529

    We are switching all of our maintenance accounts to card on file. Best thing we've ever done. Always on time and no hassle. Can't beat it. We still accept cash, check, card for installs but I'm contemplating going card on file only for those too. Commercials pay us monthly by check sent to my p.o. box.
    hort101 likes this.

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