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    33 Replies Latest reply on Jul 10, 2009 6:44 PM by balsamiqval

    Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards

    chefstacy Wayfarer
      I believe networking is a wonderful way for small businesses to get the help and advice from others and ideas they could use for there business, so here is my little contribution to networking for the week, I found a Merchant Service Company that you can accept credit cards online (visa,mc,discover, and for a little extra american express) They only charge 19.00 setup fee and it is very easy to use. This for businesses with out alot of startup or little credit to nocredit being a new business, they are called Linkpoint central. (First Data) there nmbr is 888-222-8032. Hope this helps anyone trying to accept cc without the hassel of terminals and and other hassels

      Chef Stacy
      www.chefcomfort.com
      www.ousidog.com

      Savor your Comfort Level...
        • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
          amspcs Ranger
          Thanks for the info. Happy to hear you found something you are comfortable with. That sounds like a pretty good program, but there many others worthy of consideration, some even better:

          How about no startup fees?
          Free software, no equipment or anything else to buy or lease? Zero start up costs.
          Zero long term contract (Hint: This is NOT so for First Data)
          Ideal for small volume and start-ups.
          Low rates, no batch header fees, no annual fees, no bill back fees, etc. etc.
          Apply 100% online, nobody will hassle you in person or on the phone.
          Fortune 500 company, not brand X processing

          *http://www.MerchantServices-help.com/quickbooks.htm*l

          AMSPCS
          amspcs@juno.com
          www.MerchantServices-help.com
          • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
            intechspecial Ranger
            www.paypal.com is another way to accept credit cards. There are no fees to sign up.
              • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                chefstacy Wayfarer
                These are all good things to, i will not deny that, I wasn't trying to offend or state i knew more than i do. I am a new company trying to start up a business and was just sharing what i learn as i go. So if i Offended either one of you, then I am sorry.
                • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                  amspcs Ranger
                  Dear Intechspecial,

                  Well, yes and no.

                  Yes, Paypal is a way to accept credit cards IF for credit or whatever other reason you can't qualify for a real merchant account, or as a temporary startup mode if you are a brand new start up and can't justify the expense (equipment, shopping cart, secure gateway etc.) of a real merchant account.

                  No, Paypal is not a permanent substitute for a real merchant account for an ongoing vibrant business for two important reasons: (a) in the long run it is much more expensive and (b) it will cost you tons of lost business
                  from the potential customers who are savvy to the hassles and security risks involved with the compromised security of Paypal.

                  There are no setup fees for standard Paypal. For premium it costs $30 per month. As noted above, the reala cost of Paypal in the form of lost business is significant--there are millions of folks out there who wouldn't transmit their personal data via PP under any circumsances.

                  Yes, we are a traditional merchant services provider. Still, for many years we recommended Paypal to
                  the merchant types noted above. No more. We have removed their recommendation page from our site
                  due to an overwhelming and unacceptable number of complaints from merchants and customers alike about Paypal. Google checkout is a better alternative these days...not by much, but better. The same caveots apply: Good TEMPORARY solution for BRAND NEW busiesses. Frankly, sending cash via carrier pigeon is a better altenative than Paypal these days in our opinion.

                  AMSPCS
                  amspcs@juno.com
                  www.MerchantServices-help.com
                    • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                      Bridge Navigator
                      I have used Paypal in a business I started last year for the very reasons you mentioned - no start-up cost, quick.

                      Recently, I added a monthly payment option for customers and received tremendous negative feedback from customers. Everyone HATES PayPal and it is obtrusive to create monthly subscription payment options for customers; they are required to create a PayPal account.

                      I "saved" a monthly fee but lost customers.
                        • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                          amspcs Ranger
                          Dear Bridge,

                          That's concurs with the Paypal feedback we've been getting as well. Selecting Paypal as one's sole
                          payment source based on low fees is, in my opinion, shortsited. You might save a few dollars upfront, but the long term cost in terms of lost business and customers isn't worth it. That's precisely why we stopped referring Paypal and removed their referral page from our site a few months ago.

                          There are excellent recurring payment options for you to chose from. You would need to link them with a separate merchant account which, due to your business type, might be a bit of a challenge but certainly not insurmoutable (consultants show up on a lot of Acquirer high-risk lists). If you'd like to investigate, I'd be happy to speak with you. In the meantime, do yourself a big favor: Lose Paypal.

                          AMSPCS
                          Barry G
                          amspcs@juno.com
                          Boynton Beach, FL
                            • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                              Bridge Navigator
                              Barry,

                              I do not use Paypal for my M&A business - all my clients pay cash. I use it for our trade associations www.apmaa.com. We process membership fees through it. We have a very low number of transactions so the monthly fee of a true merchant account processing has always been an issue.
                                • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                  amspcs Ranger
                                  Hello Bridge,

                                  I figured it was the fixed fees of a traditional account that you objected to; a lot of people fall into that category which is how they get stuck with Paypal.. I'm guessing you're hearing $10 monthly for the merchant account, $25 monthly minimum, plus $20 or so for the internet gateway to process online. Pretty close? If so, you have been looking in the wrong places. Does $12.95 monthly ($20 min) including the merchant account, gateway and virtual terminal sound better? If you do very small volume, this is the kind of plan you'll need. The discount percentage might be slightly higher than the other plans you're hearing, but it doesn't make any difference if your volume is small. Trading low fixed fees for a higher discount rate is a great trade-off monetarily as you'll see after doing the math. If interested, drop me a line and we'll discuss. Thanks, good luck

                                  AMSPCS
                                  amspcs@juno.com
                                  .
                                    • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                      BuyTime Newbie
                                      I'm a small startup as well and I found an organization called Charge.com. They seem to have the best rates thus far.They offering the following services:
                                      -Free merchant account application
                                      -Free setup fee
                                      -Free internet credit card processing software
                                      -Free checks by phone, web, and fax
                                      -Free web shopping cart
                                      -Free programming software
                                      -Free shipping and handling
                                      -Free American Express Setup
                                      -24/7 Tech Support
                                      -$10 monthly customer service fee
                                      -$16.95 monthly internet processing software gateway

                                      Hope this information helps!
                            • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                              John_6x6 Adventurer
                              As a web designer and SEM company, many of my clients are small businesses. AMSPCS hit it right on the nose - unsecured risk.

                              Another point he didn't mention is that a PayPal account makes you "look small" in the eyes of your potential shopper, and possibly perceived as potentiallly temporary. I found this to be the most important point in getting my merchant account.

                              If anybody is reading this to learn about how to get a merchant account, I would HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend speaking to Barry personally at www.merchantservices-help.com to get an unbiased education. I met him through this forum too and have no problem with plugging him. I can vouch for his company, his experience and his professionalism and follow-up. He provides both my business and my clients with his company's services, and most of all, provides support.
                                • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                  intechspecial Ranger
                                  I agree completely.

                                  The upside to paypal is that for some small businesses they do not have the financing for to pay for hardcoding.

                                  Of course it is more secure and a much better option for a medium of big business, but for a business that is only needing to sale a few things online, and not a full eccomerce package is is a viable and cost-effective solution.

                                  I have actually found that more people trust paypal and not once have I heard anyone say to one of my customers would not do business with them because they utilize paypal.

                                  A small Mom & Pop shop is more personable and all that do business with them trust they are honest, and usually do not need the same level of security.
                                    • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                      amspcs Ranger
                                      Intech,

                                      I enjoy reading your posts and of course respect your opinions. I do have a couple of qualms with your most recent post regarding credit card acceptance. I'll respond one-at-a-time:

                                      Re: +"I have actually found that more people trust paypal and not once have I
                                      heard anyone say to one of my customers would not do business with them
                                      because they utilize paypal."+ While I wholeheartedly agree Paypal makes tons more sense than a traditional merchant account for many very small businesses+,+ the thought that more people trust Paypal security more than a traditional account borders is ridiculous. The opposite is true by a landslide--Paypal security issues and shortcomings are common knowledge. Also, in most if not all cases, a potential or lost customer would never communicate or verbalize that he/she refused to do business with a merchant because the merchant accepted Paypal+,+ so the merchant would never know. The customer just walks away and the merchant never knows. So the fact that you've 'never heard' of such a situation is not surprising.

                                      Re: "A +small Mom & Pop shop is more personable and all that do business
                                      with them trust they are honest, and usually do not need the same level
                                      of security"+--you are entirely missing the point about security of ecommerce transactions. The security issue and risk involved has little to do with the merchant, it has to do with the security of the entity doing the processing over the internet; in other words, the risk is in exposing confidential personal and credit card data over the vast intenet during the process of authorization
                                      and transaction transmission. Prying eyes have a much earier task in stealing data off of a poorly securied or unsecured processing system which is easily accessed by virtually anyone, Paypal being a prime example.

                                      AMSPCS

                                • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                  PrintGiant Newbie
                                  Whatever service you decide to use, make sure you take extra care to read all the options and fine print. Many merchant service providers are wolves in sheep's clothing. What you will pay monthly and per transaction is relative to how you make sales. Swiped transactions are less expensive than keyed in transactions and so on.

                                  Just make sure that you have read every single piece of fine print before you apply. If you apply and they accept you, they will charge you the set-up fee immediately and will start charging the monthly fees right away!
                                    • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                      amspcs Ranger
                                      What PrintGiant says in reference to processing fees is correct, but nothing sneaky or 'wolf in sheep clothing' about it. Keyed transactions ALWAYS cost more than swiped. Also many other transactions are indeed surcharged, that's the way the processing industry works. The industrywide fee system is called "Interchange' and if a merchant signs onto something he/she doesn't understand AND is too lazy or negligent to do his/her homework to learn in advance, that is the fault of the merchant, not necessarily the provider. And yes again, common sense dictates that you always read EVERYTHING before you sign it, not just merchant services agreements.

                                      And yes, as soon as you sign up, the appropriate contractual fees you just agreed to begin. That's the way contracts work.

                                      Frankly, it sounds to me like PrintGiant has some rather naive expectations and understandings of how business in general and the processing industry in particualar work. So it's no surprise that his factless expectations of how processing works has resulted in an unwarranted and baseless negative perception of the industry. That's unfair to those of us who try very hard to represent our industry honorably.

                                      If anyone is interested in finding out how credit card fees work, what "interchange" and other processing terms mean, etc., all this information is availabie free of charge at our informational site:

                                      www.MerchantServices-help.com

                                      I'd recommend the Glossary, FAQ and Rates sections.

                                      AMSPCS
                                      amspcs@juno.com
                                        • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                          PrintGiant Newbie
                                          Since this is a forum for business professionals to share information and experiences, i felt it was acceptable to share my point of view.

                                          AMSPCS, I apologize if my post offended you since you're in the business, but my experience with acquiring merchant services was less than pleasant. Perhaps if I knew about you and your company, I may have had a different point view. I also agree with you that a merchant needs to read everything and do a great deal of research in order to ensure they are making the right decision, which is why i suggested it in my post to begin with. But when a merchant has done all the research they are able to do and are unclear about details, they will most likely contact their sales representative to have their questions answered. Expecting a sales representative to clarify the terms of their service is not naive nor is it lazy; its what should be expected.

                                          I'm sorry you found it necessary to name call and demean my professional ability without knowing anything about me and the work i do in order to defend your industry, but it was uncalled for. Furthermore, attacking people sharing experiences with other business professionals is not really the best way to project honor in your industry.
                                            • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                              amspcs Ranger
                                              Print, I certainly apologize if you found my post to be harsh. You certainly have the right to post information;
                                              I just feel obliged to react to mis-information.. I honestly don't feel as if I attacked anyone, rather I was seeking to help readers avoid making poor decisions based on the incorrect information and conclusions in your post.. As far as salespeople go, to be sure some are much more forthcoming than others; but sorry, naive is the operative word for one who expects a salesperson in a competitive situation to go out of their way to point out the negatives instead of emphasizing the positive--hence the word 'sales' in 'salesperson'. Consumers have a responsibility to do their homework before making a buying decision so they know what to look for and what questions to ask the salesperson. Lying is one thing (certainly unacceptable under any circumsances). But inferring that the salesperson did anything wrong for not answering a question that was never asked is something entirely different. It should also be pointed out that threre are many sources for educating oneself, particularly in this age of internet information, all of them preferable to just 'asking the salesperson' . As for name-calling, again my aplogies for your perception although honestly I don't feel I uttered anything approaching the 'wolf in sheep's clothing' characterization you mentioned based on your less than pleasant experience acquiring merchant services which can obviously be attributed to your inaccurate expectations and understandings.

                                              AMSPCS
                                        • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                          MotherFund Newbie

                                          We would be glad to work up a proposal for you. I believe we can provide the lowest rates around for CC Processing!

                                          Jeff / Mother Fund
                                          866-923-6710 ext 215
                                          • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                            AdvanceFunds Wayfarer
                                            We offer free Terminals to ANY retail businesses please contact us at www.AdvanceFundsNetwork.com
                                              • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                                markarenos Newbie
                                                Its really high time for businesses to start accepting credit cards because companies that accepts this kind of payments can cut down on their level of accounts receivable by making it easier for costumers to pay. Likewise, companies that accept credit cards also decrease their level of non-paying costumers, which could saved more money in the long run. I also been running a retail business for the last five years and had set up a credit card merchant service with U.S. Merchant Systems. They had been in the industry for over 20 years providing outstanding programs and services while offering low cost merchant accounts for all merchant account services. Check out there site: http://usms.com and see whats the merchant programs thats best for your business.
                                              • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                                rouldph Newbie
                                                It sounds like an easy way to get set up and a low cost fee
                                                I'LL check it out
                                                thanks for the tip.
                                                • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                                  juls722 Newbie
                                                  Hi everyone,

                                                  I do know there's a company out there called Bankcard Services Worldwide. When I signed up with them, they actually put me in a drawing for a $1,000.00, just to give me my input on how there service is. The service is incredible. When you call there office they actually have a polite and nice person who answers the phone. I think they sell to banks, so your probably going more direct.

                                                  Just my two cents, but I'd recommend them to anyone.

                                                  Julia
                                                  • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                                    vnavguys Tracker
                                                    I have used Paypal for years as my merchant provider, with zero problems. Most people dont even know they are using PP when they process their orders. I have never had one complaint or anyone who said they would not use them.
                                                    • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                                      T.A.POS Adventurer
                                                      I would like to post our site as well,, for you to start accepting credit cards is one thing, with PCI compliance coming out a POS system that is ceritifed would be the way to go as well. Let me know if I can Help.

                                                      Wade
                                                      www.transactpos.com
                                                      • Re: Small Business looking to start accepting Credit Cards
                                                        balsamiqval Newbie
                                                        Hi there, We use PayPal and folks love it, but I am looking for a service where customers can give me their credit card number over the phone and I can charge them. (We occasionally get told that PayPal use is restricted by govs, etc.) It only happens about 1-2 a month, and the cost of our product is just $79, so it should be an inexpensive pay-as-you-go plan. Thoughts?