CREDIT CARD & PAYMENT SURVEY

WHICH PAYMENT TYPES ARE ACCEPTED AT YOUR SHOP? (multiple choice OK)

  • Cash

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Business Check

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Visa

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mastercard

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • American Express

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Discover

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • ATM/Debit

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Diner's Club

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Carte Blanc

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Gift Card(electronic

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Gift Certificate(paper)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • PayPal

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wire Xfer

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Barter Company

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • OTHER (explain in forum)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    104

Mike Labbe

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CC & PAYMENT TYPES - MARCH '06 GRUMBLE POLL & DISCUSSION
RESULTS from previous surveys: LINK TO RESULTS

WHAT PAYMENT TYPES DO YOU ACCEPT?
WHICH TYPE IS USED MOST?
HOW DO YOU PHYSICALLY PROCESS YOUR CARDS?
DO YOU RENT OR OWN YOUR EQUIPMENT - and why?
HOW SHOULD ONE PROPERLY PREPARE TO EVALUATE VENDORS ON AN EQUAL LEVEL?
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW HIGHER RATES STARTING THIS MONTH?

Discussion is welcomed!


<size=1>-This survey is intended for framers.
-Your poll selections are anonymous, although discussion is public and encouraged.
-Results represent only a small sample of the industry, and should NOT be used as a planning tool/business plan.
-This survey is purely for entertainment and discussion. </size>
 
Visa & Mastercard get processed together for my service. I don't have a breakdown between the two. I checked Visa for "most used" because it was first, but it really is Visa/Mastercard.
 
I'd accept cash, if I every saw any!!!!honestly, I only take about 2-3 xactions/mo.
I think I run about neck-in-neck with Visa/MC over the year's span
 
Who here does not accept cash???????
I almost wish I didn’t. My wife thinks the cash drawer is her personal ATM.

In the past two weeks, though, I’ve gotten more $100 bills than I think I’ve seen in 20 years. … not that there’s anything wrong with that.
 
I tend not to see much cash - only a few times a month - but when I do it's always someone very proud of their $100 bills!

a note on the rent vs own for the stand alone credit card terminals: my sister runs a clothing/gift shop. she used to own her equipment, until it broke on a busy weekend. It took her 4 days to get a new terminal. I rent my terminal, and have been told that if it were to break a new terminal would be sent via overnight mail. Luckily I haven't had to test that.
 
I am probably the only one in the whole world who will not use a credit card machine..period. To this day I have never lost a sale because of it. Many want to pull out the card but we have a sign that says we will not accept any credit cards..cash or local check only. I started to give a discount for those who use cash only. Some have had to drive off to their bank others to a local atm. but they always come back. I fuigure if they want it bad enough they will pay for it. So far my theory has been correct. Perhaps this systme is not for everyone, but it works for me. Online transactions are a different story. There we have been using " Paypal"
 
Well if you accept debit cards, you can BE that local ATM
Most merchants charge about 45-65 cents, with no percentage of the transaction. The customer types their PIN on a special pad. We added this feature recently, and i'm amazed how many clients are taking advantage of running it as a 'debit' instead of a 'credit'. We dumped the standalone terminals on 1/1/06 and run all the cards through our POS now.

Printing the customer's full card number on their copy is illegal with the newest rules. Knuckle machines are now obsolete for this reason, as are some of the earliest electronic terminals that didn't have enough memory to handle this.

Charging more for credit card transactions than cash is also against the policies of Visa, MC, and Amex. Discover says it is OK. (it was illegal per Federal law until 1984) The states of CA, CO, CT, FL, KS, MA, ME, NY, OK, and TX still have laws against surcharges. The loophole is if a vendor calls it a "cash discount". It's a gray area, that I wouldn't personally mess with.

Correct me if im wrong please
Mike
 
People pay cash??

You know, I heard about this, but thought it was a rumor!

Actually, less than %1 of my customers pay cash. Credit cards: over %95, the rest checks. I think I get maybe 1-2 checks per month!
 
I think we probably fall right in with Paul. But we do have a couple of customers that ONLY pay cash. And that's OK.

We have a long time customer that orders about $2-300 of framing, then pays it off over a couple of months with cash... $40 here, $60 there.
 
Originally posted by Mike Labbe @ GTP:
Knuckle machines are now obsolete for this reason.
I had understood we needed to have/keep one to fulfill the following:

For key-entered or voice-authorized transactions make an imprint of the front of the card. The imprint proves the card was present at the point of sale and protects your business from potential chargebacks if the transactions turns out to be fraudulent.

from Visa's web site (2005)
 
David-I think you are correct

When we manually enter an account number in addition to the AVS code information it also prints on the ticket to "imprint card". Usually it is a PIA and doesn't fit in the hand imprinter, so we manually "imprint" the card on one of those old 2 part NCR forms. We staple that to the terminal produced ticket for the very reason you suggested

Must say that no one has ever questioned our motives

I'm sure that someone might feel their privacy is being violated. And then go out into the mall and make a call on their cell phone loud enough for the closest 100 people to hear
 
That makes sense. You just cant give them a copy, which has their full card # on it.
 
HOW SHOULD ONE PROPERLY PREPARE TO EVALUATE VENDORS AND RATES ON AN EQUAL/MEANINGFUL LEVEL?

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW HIGHER RATES STARTING THIS MONTH? (Reward cards etc)

HOW DO YOU PHYSICALLY PROCESS YOUR CARDS?

DO YOU RENT OR OWN YOUR EQUIPMENT - and why?

Discussion is welcomed!
 
Mike, why are you YELLING at us?
 
WHAT?
 
Sorry about that folks. I did a cut and paste and wasnt thinking.

Mike (soon to be old man)
 
My Merchant statement has been breaking out charges for different rewards cards for over a year; but we're on a cost plus program. I know that there are many more than I have, but we just don't see the cards, so the categories of those don't show up on our statement.

VS CPS Rewards @ 1.65% + .10
VS CPS Rewards @ 1.90% +.10
MC Merit @ 1.63% + .10 (MC with no rewards)
Visa debit @ 1.03% +.15
Visa Retail @ 1.54 + .10 (Visa with no rewards)
MC World Merit @ 1.73% + .10
Visa Domestic @ 2.63% + .10
MC Corp Rate @ 2.65 + .10
Visa Commercial @ 2.20 + .10
US Govt Visa (highest rate we've been charged but it's been a while since we've seen one)

There's also the possibility of a 3rd installment of the Visa/MC antitrust litigation payout coming in about 12 months... the unclaimed leftovers being distributed.

The knuckle buster was explained to me that it was to be able to prove that the sale was not MOTO (mail order/telephone order) and the card was physically present should the sale ever be disputed. If we choose to not imprint the card, then it just becomes more difficult to win a disputed charge.
 
A more interesting question to me after having read these replies would be WHY? why use them at all??
I dont see any advantage to them? I would really like to see more on this subject. I have been waivering for years and each time I say " NO " to them..but leave an opening ear. Now keep in mind I am also one who hates the crowds and stay away from them so I don't think you will ever see me in
Las Vegas. In other words some might consider me to be different ( saying it politely )
 
"Mike (soon to be old man)"

Oh, good grief Mike, at 40, you're still a baby and just getting into your prime! What must you think of all of us 50+ old farts? I'm turning 52 in a coupla weeks, and just because my hair's "platinum", doesn't make me old, deaf and blind (had cataract surgery, took care of that!)and I'm only as old as I think...some days maybe 2! HA!
Okay, back to your subject......
 
Originally posted by trapper:
A more interesting question to me after having read these replies would be WHY? why use them at all??
Convenience.

Joe Consumer does not cary much cash nowadays. I know I don't. Saturday my wife and I went to Radio Shack to look for a replacement cell phone. We ended up walking out with a Blackberry. Never would have done so if they didn't take plastic - I almost never have more than a hundred bucks on me.

Now, to be fair, I probably would have gone back with cash or a check, but that would have cost me time and effort. I certainly wouldn't have gone there in the first place if they didn't take cards and I had the choice of another place that did.
 
I'm surprised that 25% don't use gift certificates. Probably more since some of the 11% that use electronic also checked paper.

We use paper and they are great especially around the holidays, graduations, and birthdays, not to mention donations for charity events.

They get people to come in that otherwise may not and save some sales.

Question to those who don't use them....why not?
shrug.gif
 
I'm surprised that only just over 60% said that they don't print the full card # on the customer's copy. Isn't it illegal to do so?

Mike
 
I don't know that it's actually illegal everywhere by state statute, but it is in violation of the V/MC merchant agreement to print the full card number on the customer's copy. See page 17 of the V/MC document referenced in

Visa/MC merchant rules

And after July 1, 2006, the expiration date should not be printed.
 
Actually I almost had a heart attack this morning when I opened up my mail! We use Costco/Nova processing systems and they just sent us a notice that they were now "LOWERING" are fees (MC/Visa) by .03%!!!
beer.gif



I have to go get my abacus to see the salary increase I can give my self!
beer.gif
popc.gif
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Warren
 
Congratulations Warren!

Now you can buy that second house in Hawaii too!

PS: Please re-read your notice, are you sure they are actually LOWERING it?? Incredible! And don't forget to pinch yourself.... ;)
 
Paul - Pinching myself was only part of the process. After reading the notice I:

1. Cleaned my glasses.
2. Re-read the notice.
3. Pinched myself.
4. Re-read the notice.
5. Poured a larger cup of black coffee.
6. Re-read the notice.
7. Asked my wife to read me the letter out loud.
8. Downed a shot of Tequila.
9. Re-read the notice.
10. Posted my message on TG.
11. Went to get my abacus.
12. Re-read the notice.
13. Had another shot of Tequila.
14. Re-read the notice.
15. Declared myself an annual bonus.
16. Re-read the notice.
17. Deposited the check.
18. Re-read the notice.
19. Went on-line for my plane tickets.
20. ???? Excuse me .... I guess I better go now and finish the rest of that Tequila!!!!
;) ;) ;)

(hic) Warren
 
We do use gift certificates, but not a gift card (plastic). I just wasn't thinking when I voted about anything but cards.
 
I ask for an evaluation of my merchant account about every 6 months and ask for an adjustment based on that evaluation. Since my average tickets sales have been increasing, they usually adjust it to a lower rate.

Can't get what you don't ask for!
 
Here's the basic info that some have requested in another forum. I'm glad that Bob was able to work with them.

Our Merchant Services provider is Heartland Payment Systems.

Heartland Payment Systems General Info Website

They are a "Cost Plus" provider and itemize every charge that Visa/MC hits them with and passes the charges to the customer at that rate plus a fixed percentage. The per swipe fees are passed on at cost. There are also discounts that Visa/MC pass on to them for higher volumes; which is passed on to the retailer. I don't have high enough volume for the additional discounts.... which I think kick in around the $1MM mark. All the various "Rewards Cards" carry a different rate which is passed on. Other providers only distinguish regular swipes, rewards and commercial or some combination.

They prefer to use Ingenico terminals but will work with most other brands/models. That's the only potential negative side.... I haven't found another processor that will program my Ingenico terminal should I ever change. I haven't had the first glitch with the Ingenico terminal.

They do have software options for those who wish to use their computers and separate swipers instead of terminals. They provide developer software at NO COST to POS Developers to use for similar purposes.

They will add your AmEx and other cardtype info at enrollment and initial programming.

Like any other Merchant Services company, I'm sure that they have good and mediocre reps. Mine is extremely good in that he knows the electronic side of things and the retailing side of things. I don't have his permission yet to post his name and phone number; but he has a pretty good network within the company to pass on the contacts of the better reps. That's what we did with Bob and hopefully Bob has the better of 3 reps in the Phoenix area.

If anyone wants a phone call, I will pass on the names and numbers to my rep and have him either contact you or pass the contact info on to one of the better reps. Just send a private email.
 
Heartland Payment Systems

Louis Klahn: and here's his email address
louklahn@yahoo.com


Phone Number: I have permission to give it out in private emails; but don't have permission to post it on a public forum. If you want it, just send me a note.
 
Rick-Lou has been working with me and I must say he is quite diligent. Our deal is not yet done, but looks favorable

I must say again that thanks to Rick, we have dug a little deeper (with Lou's help)to uncover some of the "unknown" charges that just never get talked about

I appreciate his honesty and that will probably seal the deal. The fact that I may save a few shekels is a bonus.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to really make a line by line analysis. I appreciate that every company needs to find profit in everything they do, but just tell me honestly how much and for what. The things hidden are a source of embarassment to me
 
One more week to go. I feel that this topic has a great potential for discussion, with a useful result.

Just throwing this out:

It seems that they all "guarantee the lowest rate", and are anxious to crunch the numbers to make it appear so. How can someone compare potential vendors fairly, without bias? What details and criteria should they use? What questions should be asked of each vendor to make a fair comparison?

How often do you review your statements for a rate sanity check?

Mike
 
Does anyone remember the "Utility Company Auditors" that would review your bills and save you thousands? I think we're ready for the next wave - Merchant Service Auditors.

Can't remember how they got paid, though....
 
POLL RESULTS - Discussion is still welcomed!

WHICH PAYMENT TYPES ARE ACCEPTED AT YOUR SHOP?
97% Cash
97% Business Check
95% Personal Check
94% Visa
94% Mastercard
69% ATM/Debit
68% American Express
61% Gift Certificate(paper)
58% Discover
13% Diner's Club
10% Barter Company
09% Gift Card(electronic)
07% PayPal
04% Wire Xfer
03% Carte Blanc
01% JCB
01% OTHER (see forum)
01% Does not apply/None

WHICH SINGLE PAYMENT IS USED THE MOST IN YOUR SHOP? (in $ volume)
52% Visa
17% Mastercard
17% Personal Check
05% ATM/Debit
03% Business Check
03% American Express
02% Cash
01% OTHER (see forum)
01% Does not apply (none)

HOW DO YOU PHYSICALLY PROCESS CARDS?
90% Standalone credit card terminal
06% Does not apply/None
02% Through our POS software
02% Knuckle Breaker
01% By telephone

MISC PAYMENT/PROCESSING QUESTIONS
69% We OWN our equipment
23% We RENT/LEASE our equipment
26% We have a merchant contract of 12 mos or more
27% We have a month to month merchant contract
26% Vendor provides paper/supplies free
69% Full card number does NOT print on customer copy
02% We don't ask for a signature for transactions below $50
20% We check ID's for new customers using a check
08% We check ID's for new customers using a card
38% We have a PIN PAD for customers using debit cards
61% We are happy with our current processing vendor
01% OTHER- A (please see forum)
05% None of the above apply to my business
 
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