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    18 Replies Latest reply on Feb 2, 2011 12:23 AM by quranyaheem

    Offering credit card as form of payment?

    fystldy Newbie
      I am just starting up my business, massage therapy. I am working out of a very busy orthopaedic practice. I would like to be able to offer credit card payment options to my clients. I don't even know where to begin the process! Any advise?
        • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
          amspcs Ranger
          Processing for healthcare is a little different than many other business categories. There are a number
          of professionals active on this fourm who can help you, including yours truly.

          You can begin your educational process at www.MerchantServices-help.com

          A page specifically for healthcare pros is
          http://www.merchantservices-help.com/health-care-merchant-account.html*

          Give me a call or drop me an e-line if you'd like to discuss further.

          Good luck.

          AMSPCS
          amspcs@juno.com
          1-877-689-1691
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
              fystldy Newbie
              Thanks. I will look into these websites to see what kind of information I can get! I'm not planning on doing any medical billing (right now anyway!!) but want the ability to use a credit card for payment options. I'm hoping to find something cheap as far as percentage paid to the issuing company.
                • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                  amspcs Ranger
                  No No No !!!! By concentrating on the "cheap percentage...paid to the issueing company" you are about to commit the same mistake many merchants unknowingly make, and pay dearly for it.

                  You do NOT want the 'cheapest percentage'. You DO want the processing program that costs you the least
                  to process your transactions. Very very diffierent. I know, it's hard to understand, but it's true.

                  What you DO want is the program that provides the optimal rate structure in the interchange categories in which most of your transactions will qualify. You also need to factor in the fixed fees involved. Processing method. And lots of other factors other than just 'the cheapest rate'. In many cases, depending on your unique circumstances, paying a higher percentage discount rate could save you many dollars annually.

                  Here's a site you can refer to to learn exactly how processing discount rates work:
                  http://www.merchantservices-help.com/discount-rates.html*

                  AMSPCS
                  amspcs@juno.com
                  www.MerchantServices-help.com
              • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                Evan.Jones Wayfarer
                Start by looking at reviews of credit card processors here:
                http://credit-card-processing-review.toptenreviews.com/

                They recommend using these guys:
                http://www.cardservicesales.com/

                I'm not affiliated with either. Just want to save you some time :)

                -Evan
                • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                  phanio Pioneer
                  We provide some resources and infromation on our website - businessmoneytoday.com

                  Business Money Today
                  • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                    Evan.Jones Wayfarer
                    Whatever processor you go with, tell them you're not paying any "setup" fees. I process credit cards online and have a qualified rate of 2.04% after negotiating it down with the ISO. For a retail establishment when you have actual posession of the card (hence less risk involved) you should get a rate hovering around 2%.

                    Overview of Credit Card Processing
                    http://credit-card-processing-review.toptenreviews.com/credit-card-processing-c108-video-1.html

                    Overview of all the Fees Involved
                    http://credit-card-processing-review.toptenreviews.com/credit-card-processing-c108-video-3.html

                    I'm not affiliated with any processor nor do I stand to gain should you go with one over another.

                    -Evan
                      • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                        amspcs Ranger
                        Evan,

                        Pretty good post and not bad advise about avoiding setup fees. But unfortunately, it is clear that you,
                        like so many other merchants, completely miss the point about credit card processing pricing. By
                        dwellling on the 'rate' issue, you are playing right into the hands of the 'numbers pros' by playing their numbers game. And, much like golf amateurs who play golf with golf professionals, you have little or no chance of winning.

                        2.04% may or may not be a good rate for an online merchant. Lots of other things that need to be taken into account before that verdict can be reached. A few examples:

                        What is your mid-qual rate bump?

                        What is your non-qual rate bump?

                        What criteria does your processor use to determine when to bump from qual to mid-qual, and from mid to non qual? No, they're not all the same.

                        What is your per item fee? In conjunction with that, what is your average ticket amount?

                        Are you on gross processing? Net processing? Gross/gross processing? Makes a big difference.

                        Do you get a rate _de_crease when you process a signature debit card? Or does your processor pocket the difference?

                        How long a contract do you have? Early termination fees? Interchange or non-interchange rate guarantee?

                        Monthly fees? Annual fees? Additional processing fees? Other fees?

                        The list goes on and on. In and of itself all alone, your 2.04% means absolutely zero. You may have an excellent rate structure, you may well have an absolutely horrid rate structure. Just telling us 2.04% or whatever means zero.

                        Incidentally, a retail establishment having actual possession of the card shouldn't be paying anywhere near 2% under any circumstances unless in a very high risk business or have terrible credit.

                         


                        AMSPCS
                        amspcs@juno.com
                        www.MerchantServices-help.com
                          • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                            Evan.Jones Wayfarer
                            My qualified rate is 2.04% for accepting credit cards online. Don't go blind looking at the rate. I've been doing business online for years and have built a great business relationship with my *ISO, Gateway, and Merchant Account Provide*r. Don't know the difference between the three? Watch: http://credit-card-processing-review.toptenreviews.com/credit-card-processing-c108-video-1.html

                            @amspcs
                            And I don't care "all about the rate". I'm just mentioning that merchant providers are willing to negotiate rates with you.

                            +2.04% may or may not be a good rate for an online merchant. Lots of
                            other things that need to be taken into account before that verdict can
                            be reached. A few examples:+
                            Good luck finding a trustworthy merchant account merchant account provider that will issue a rate lower than that for a fledgling start-up business. I only mentioned my rate to let the community know that you can negotiate with you merchant account provider and ISO.

                            What is your mid-qual rate bump?
                            Mid qualified rate is 2.3%

                            What is your non-qual rate bump?
                            Non qualified is 3.5% But, like you said, lets not dwell on the rates here.

                            What is your per item fee? In conjunction with that, what is your average ticket amount?
                            Per item fee is $.50 (hold on to your pants) and the average ticket amount is $2700. Yes, we were willing to accept a higher per item fee to get a lower qualifed rate.

                            How long a contract do you have? Early termination fees? Interchange or non-interchange rate guarantee?
                            There is no contract. I primarily work with CyberSource through Bank of America and they've been great. I also meet with my ISO yearly.

                            Monthly fees? Annual fees? Additional processing fees? Other fees?
                            No set-up fee. Something like $10 monthly to use the gateway.

                            +The list goes on and on. In and of itself all alone, your 2.04% means
                            absolutely zero. You may have an excellent rate structure, you may well
                            have an absolutely horrid rate structure. Just telling us 2.04% or
                            whatever means zero.+
                            Of course the list of fees and questions goes on an on...But to all you new small businesses out there, don't let this seemingly endless questioning deter you from negotiating a better rate with your Merchant Account provider. ISOs (the people who hook you up with a merchant account) are usually very personable and friendly people. If you don't have a good relationship with them, you're making a bad long term investment.

                             

                            -Evan
                          • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                            CW_USFSG Adventurer
                            Evan,

                            I will say this...

                             

                            For a small business processing online... is your 2.04% on debt or credit?

                            This is our fee structure for a small business.

                            1.46% + $0.24 cents per Transaction for Debit - Swiped Retail
                            1.92% + $0.21 cents per Transaction for Credit - Swiped Retail

                             

                            1.83% + $0.24 cents per Transaction for Debit - Card Not Present

                             

                            2.23% + $0.21 cents per Transaction for Credit - Card Not Present (Level One Rewards Cards.)

                             

                            2.59% + $0.24 cents per Transaction for (Level Two Rewards cards I.E. Business cards.)

                             

                            3.10% + $0.24 cents per Transaction for Non-Qualified cards I.E. commercial cards and International cards.

                             


                            The bulk of your business should hit mid-qualified, which would be 1.83% and 2.23%.

                             

                            Evan, I'd like to show you how much you could actually save if you switched with US Financial Services Group. I'll do a free compliance audit for you, if you'd like.. with no obligation to us, after the audit is finished. We'll show you line by line what you are currently paying from your processor, including hidden junk fees.

                            Much like which was just pointed out, you don't want to fix yourself on the lowest rate. This is how other ISO/Processors through in hidden junk fees. You think you're getting a great rate but at the end of the day, it may not be that great.

                            Hope this could be of some help.

                            CW@USFSG.COM
                              • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                                amspcs Ranger
                                But BEFORE you do anything: Read your contract with your current processor !!!!!!!

                                Make sure you know
                                (1) the term of your contract
                                (2) the penalty fee(s) for terminating it early
                                (3) the EXACT timing and procedures dictated for terminating your contract.

                                I"ve been in this biz for years, wish I had a dime for every unfortunate merchant I've seen who got talked into
                                switching processors to save a few dollars a year, and got popped hundreds or thousands of dollars in early termination fees by the ex-processor.

                                AMSPCS
                                  • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                                    CW_USFSG Adventurer
                                    This is true, and at US Financial Services Group.. we go over this pretty well with Merchants who currently have a processor in place. Termination penalties should be a red flag to begin with, when looking for a Merchant Processor.

                                    If you have to subject your clients to penalties for wanting to switch processors, where is the business ethics behind that?

                                    If a company is doing business the fair way there shouldn't be a need for a contract. Which is why US Financial Services Group doesn't have any penalty fees for terminating your contract. Excellent point though.
                              • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                                bdean1 Wayfarer
                                i realize that you will get hit with lots people saying they casn give you the best deal... All i ask is that you give me the chance to match or beat any price you have.. also if you are looking for some working capitol i can help out with that..
                                • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                                  greenlight Wayfarer
                                  If you already have not decided on your provider give they guys and gals at greenlightpayments.com a call they process for a lot of message therapists and passion parties. They know how important it is to accept credit cards especially with low rate. 1-800-448-2038
                                  • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                                    visuals4u Adventurer
                                    If you don't have a website, I recommend you create one. You can list the different types of massages you offer and add buttons near each description to accept online payment. Consider using PayPal or Google Checkout. After the client's service is completed, you can enter their credit card info onlto your site through your laptop. In regard to customer service, I feel PayPal is better because you can contact them by telephone, email or fax. With Google, you can only email questions.

                                    In addition, customers could view your services on the site and pre-schedule appointments & pre-pay.

                                    I'm a consultant with extensive experience setting up e-commerce components for small business owners and non-profits. I can easily set this up for you. Don't know if you've resolved this over the last six months. If not, take a look at my site at the link below and contact me.

                                    La'Shon
                                    http://visuals4u.com
                                    • Re: Offering credit card as form of payment?
                                      JLWmassage Wayfarer
                                      I am with www.cellcharge.com

                                      I don't have a landline in my office and I also offer outcall massages so I needed somthing to take on the road. This works for me bc you don't buy a terminal or a wireless fee. I am also able to take flex spending accounts with this cc processes service