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Credit Cards

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Alan Smith
Credit Cards
on Mar 10, 2009 at 8:37:34 pm

I currently do not accept payment via credit cards. All payments to date have been made via check or cash. I am wanting to offer credit cards as a means of payment for convenience and quicker payments. I have looked at using PayPal because it is a free service, secure, reliable, and quick. Any suggestions on which is best practice?

Alan

Alan Smith
Media317

Check out my blog - http://media317.com


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Brendan Coots
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 11, 2009 at 2:44:31 am

Credit card processors charge you a percentage of sale, often 2-5%, so accepting credit cards could bite into your profit quite a bit. It may not sound like much, but on $500k in business you'd be paying $25,000 in fees.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Chris Blair
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 11, 2009 at 3:06:27 am

I don't believe that's true of all credit cards at all banks. We work for a large plastics manufacturer in our area and they pay with Visa through a local bank and the only cost to us is an annual bank charge for the charge account and a fee for the equipment to administer the transaction. The total isn't that steep. It's certainly worth it in this case because as soon a project is approved, we run their card and are paid immediately.

AMEX certainly does charge fees and and it sucks. We handle a large auto dealer group and last year the owner required that we take AMEX for payment of his production and media placement because he loves the points he gets. He spends over $125,000 on production and $1 million on media. Amex charges something like 3% on all that, so we lose a LOT of money with this setup. something like $33,000 over previous years when he paid by check.

Luckily, we were able to offset that some because our previous contract called for a 13.5% media placement commission. In the new one, we raised it to 15% to offset this new "expense," all the while thinking they were going to see it and nix it. They did not and a year later, it hasn't been a problem. So we got some of that back. But in the end, it still severely affected our margin on this account. All in all, we see little benefit to offering credit card options unless you do a lot of consumer based work.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Brendan Coots
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 11, 2009 at 7:05:22 pm

I'm sorry I think the fees I mentioned are primarily Visa and Mastercard. Should have been more specific.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Zane Barker
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 11, 2009 at 6:30:41 am

I would look into getting a point of sale package.

http://checkoutapp.com

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!



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Chris Blair
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 11, 2009 at 3:34:53 pm

Ok...I'll bite. What is a "point of sale" package?


Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Alan Smith
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 11, 2009 at 5:14:36 pm

Point of Sale package refers to the merchandise sitting at a register, the point of sale. It is usually some spontaneously driven item that you would have otherwise passed up, but since your checking out and its there, why not go ahead and buy it.

Alan

Alan Smith
Media317

Check out my blog - http://media317.com


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Zane Barker
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 11, 2009 at 6:13:21 pm

If you actualy look at the link I put it explaines what it is.

It is NOT extra murchandise that it sitting next to a cash register it is the cash register itself. The software that I put a link to is esentualy cash register software for the computer. You can then attach a credit card device to that.

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!



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Brendan Coots
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 11, 2009 at 7:07:02 pm

Yes, the description given by Alan is for "point of purchase" displays, not point-of-sale or POS systems.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Chris Blair
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 11, 2009 at 11:24:30 pm

No offense...but from a post-production business point of view...that app doesn't look like a very good deal unless your business if driven by credit card sales.

It's Mac only...so if you're a PC shop, you'd have to buy a MAC.

To take credit cards you have to buy their Credit Card Service Plan on top of the cost of the software. That plan's fees are WAY higher than what your local bank will charge. In fact, they're almost as much for Visa/MC as AMEX charges, which is why so many small businesses don't take AMEX.

They also charge more if you key in the credit card number rather than swipe it. That's really ridiculous.

Who believes it costs more for them to process keyed in information versus information read from a magnetic stripe?

So unless you're running a video or maketing business totally geared toward credit card based transactions, I can't see how it would be better than just setting up the ability to take credit through your bank.


Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Zane Barker
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 12, 2009 at 1:42:11 am

[Chris Blair] "No offense...but from a post-production business point of view...that app doesn't look like a very good deal unless your business if driven by credit card sales. "

Its does a LOT more then just ringing people out. Plus I NEVER said that it was the only option out there, I am sure that there are other options that do much of the same thing.

[Chris Blair] "It's Mac only...so if you're a PC shop, you'd have to buy a MAC. "

AGAIN it is NOT the only thing out there that will do this. I am sure that there are similar options out there for windows.

[Chris Blair] "To take credit cards you have to buy their Credit Card Service Plan"

ANYTHING you get to take credit cards is going to cost you a fee to use the service.

[Chris Blair] "They also charge more if you key in the credit card number rather than swipe it. That's really ridiculous. "
[Chris Blair] "Who believes it costs more for them to process keyed in information versus information read from a magnetic stripe? "

It actually makes a LOT of since. There is a MUCH higher risk of the credit card number being entered in wrong when it is manually entered. Having the credit card number entered in wrong will cost that company money. I one time had a unknown charge of about $500 on my debit card from a place I had never been to, my bank knew that the card number had been manually entered in and therefor manually entered in wrong. I did not have to pay for it but somebody out there does, so that extra fee makes seems vary reasonable.

Now I NEVER said that that one software was for every one, but it is a vary good software. Having all your transactions go through something like that (checks or credit cards) can provide a lot of useful information on sales and other things.

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 12, 2009 at 4:58:24 am

[Chris Blair] "They also charge more if you key in the credit card number rather than swipe it. That's really ridiculous."

Actually, Chris, there's a very good reason for this. It is because when you use a credit card at a restaurant or store and the kid you gave it to writes down your credit card number (before they hand it back to you) and gives the number to his friends also, they'll all be hammering your card by manually writing the number -- they won't be swiping the card through a machine.

It is a fairly common occurrence and credit card companies charge extra because these types of transactions have a more common frequency of fraud.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom


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Chris Blair
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 13, 2009 at 2:01:46 am

Ron Lindeboom
It is a fairly common occurrence and credit card companies charge extra because these types of transactions have a more common frequency of fraud.

Well that makes sense. Wonder why our local bank didn't charge differently if we swiped it or keyed it in? It was the same fee.


Zane Barker
Its does a LOT more then just ringing people out....I NEVER said that that one software was for every one, but it is very good software. Having all your transactions go through something like that can provide a lot of useful information...

I wasn't trying to be harsh. I just don't believe an advertising, marketing or production business could justify the expense of a dedicated computer system like that unless credit card transactions were key to sales.

Quickbooks collects all the information you could ever want about clients, sales, trends etc. Peachtree does too...and most businesses are going to be using one of those two for accounting. For us, the only benefit of being able to take credit cards is to get paid quickly by the clients that use them, and in the case of the client that forces us to take AMEX, it sucks over $30,000 a year out of our pocket.




Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Credit Cards
on Mar 13, 2009 at 3:07:28 am

[Chris Blair] "Well that makes sense. Wonder why our local bank didn't charge differently if we swiped it or keyed it in? It was the same fee."

As I said, it is a fairly common occurrence and doesn't mean everyone enforces it -- or that even the ones who do will always pass on the fee to their better accounts. Usually they won't. Bank policies are nearly always "flexible."

One of these days I may just get around to doing my "working with your banker" series.

(More affectionately referred to as my "Working your banker" series).

:o)

Ron Lindeboom


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