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Accepting Credit Cards

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by espyj, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. espyj

    espyj Member
    Messages: 53

    I'm looking to start accepting credit cards for convenience for both myself and customers. I use Quickbooks currently, which has an integrated system that looks pretty slick. 2.44% + $0.27 per transaction, $19.95/mo. They're offering a couple months free. Seems like an OK deal, but does anyone have any other recommendations?
     
  2. cssjim

    cssjim Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 26

    Don't be afraid to shop around for rates. Never sign more than a one year contract with a processor. Make sure the rate is locked. If you swipe the card through the machine the rate is better than taking payment over phone and manually entering the numbers.

    Visa and M/C are cheaper to process than Amex or Discover.

    If you do a lot of transactions the fees will add up. The trade off is you have the money in your acct the next morning.

    Shop around to find the best rate, just read all the fine print. Credit card processors are like bad used car lots............Thieves!!!!

    Good luck
     
  3. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,031

    Check Intuit as well, I had a guy call me not that long ago with an attractive deal. I have a family member that works for a local processing company,so I went that way.
     
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Look at Pay-Pal as an option too.
     
  5. espyj

    espyj Member
    Messages: 53

    I don't want to use Paypal. It means that my clients will have to create an account if they don't already have one, and its a couple extra steps. Takes some of the convenience out of it

    Intuit is the same as Quickbooks

    Quickbooks doesn't have a contract or cancellation fee.
     
  6. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Check with whatever local bank holds your business' accounts. Local banks often have very attractive processing offers, since they want you to make money too!
     
  7. cssjim

    cssjim Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 26

    You really got me thinking about this (and yes it pisses me off to pay these fees)

    We pay anywhere from .0158 to .0250 on transactions. It all depends on what kind of card the customer has and what type of rewards plan they have and if I swiped the card or manually entered it. Someone has to pay it and it us the retailer. Then we pay 10 cents per transaction. Then a $18.99 monthly fee.

    Really shop like your buying a new truck and plow for the best deal you can get. Watch out for the annual fee as well. Make sure you don't have to buy or rent the machine, make them give it to you.

    I feel that taking credit cards is a must today in any business, but it is also the biggest waste of money for us.

    We paid just under 15k in 2010 for transactions in our granite business. WTF:mad:
     
  8. fordsuvparts

    fordsuvparts Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    IF you start taking credit cards then you should buy the machine on eBay instead of renting the machine from the company, My sister and my brother in-law both worked for RBS and the biggest money maker was selling-renting the machines. They are cheap on line, just about any machine can be reprogrammed to work for you. They even make a setup that works off a usb cable you plug into your cell phone for using it on the road.
     
  9. Indy

    Indy Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    CHECK OUT "SQUARE"

    Ihttps://squareup.com/


    It works on your smart phone (free reader)
    $2.75 per hundred plus .15 per transaction if scanned in
    $3.75 per hundred plus .15 per transaction if entered by hand
    you can swipe the card or punch in the card number

    YOUR CUSTOMER can sign ON THE SCREEN for payment and they get emailed a reciept.

    Your money gets deposited in your account
     
  10. plownoob

    plownoob Senior Member
    from ny
    Messages: 128

    I went with intuit gopayments. I have an iphone so I got the iphone reader. Swipe cards in person and they use their finger to sign to get non-keyed rates.

    I make sure all my customers understand they incur a 4% convenience charge for using credit cards to offset any processing fees.
     
  11. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    So, here's the bigger question
    do you charge the customers that pay by credit card an additional fee (or conversely give cash/check customer a 3% or so discount)

    Because you aren't making as much money on customers who pay by CC

    and 3% off your gross is a pretty big hit.

    Real money on a couple thousand dollar bill.
     
  12. snowdreaming

    snowdreaming Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 45

    Used to take CC

    I used to take cc through intuit merchant center. The customer would fill out a paper form with their card info and I would charge it 24 hours after the storm. I loved this. The problem was that the monthly 19.95 fee is expensive so you have cancel it at the end of the snow season. Also MANY customers didn't like the idea of handing over their credit card # to me so I eventually just cancelled this. They wanted an option where they can pay the bill online, which intuit offers but its another extra monthly fee.
     
  13. ShorePower

    ShorePower Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    It boils down to what is your own time worth. Sending invoices, Waiting for checks in the mail. Depositing in the bank, waiting for them to hopefully clear. If I can get all my customer's to pay via credit card I would. This way I get home , make invoice via quickbooks, send via e-mail, process card thru quickbooks, already on customer's file. I am payed 1-2 days after the storm . For 3-4% or so, I think it's worth it.
     
  14. Elwer Lawn Care

    Elwer Lawn Care PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,495

    I am with you on this one. If I could get EVERYONE on a credit card system and email them a copy of bills that would be great because i would save a lot on paper/ink/envelopes/stamps, along with running to the bank every other day for the first half of the month. But my problem is that I have people that are older and doing it this way wont work. Im sure one day soon I'll have to atleast offer it but for me I'd rather have an all or none situation.
     
  15. TSherman

    TSherman Member
    Messages: 74

    At the begining of the year, just add 5% to your fees to cover whatever costs you have. Problem solved. If someone pays by cash, give them a break, but DO NOT offer it to them.
     
  16. mypolaris1

    mypolaris1 Member
    Messages: 59

    If someone were to pay may in all cash, I'd defintly give them a break. I have a building contractor friend that recently started giving 10% off when entire bill is paid within a week and is all cash. I thought about it but most of my customer base is comerical...so they want the paper trail. Otherwise...boy that would be a nice cash pay day!