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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #1
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Payment Methods - Credit Cards in particular

I've searched around the forum but didn't find any advice on this. I'm interested in accepting credit/debit card payments from my customers. For the past few years I've just accepted cash or check, but lately many people have wanted to use their card. Obviously cash and/or check has the advantage in that they can't try to reverse the transaction on you, but I'm just trying to hunt down information on HOW I would actually accept credit cards. Ideally I'd prefer to just punch their card number into an online form and have a company process the payment for me. Anyone know of such a service that has worked for them? I'd prefer to stay away from Paypal, because I really don't want to tell my clients that they have to sign up for Paypal to pay me. Seems tacky. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 05:07 PM   #2
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Your clients don't have to sign up for PayPal to pay you through PayPal. They can just use a Credit Card. However, I am so sick of PayPal screwing things up for me that I am considering dropping them. I recently almost lost a contract because a client had such a hard time paying me with PayPal (their "security" measures have caused me trouble 4 or 5 times). For some reason PayPal keeps thinking there is some security issue when I get paid by a client and they hold the money or reverse the charges even when the client verifies that it's legit. This has happened multiple times to me and many others as well. I'm considering looking into Google checkout. Anyone have experience with them?
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Old September 18th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Hoggatt View Post
I recently almost lost a contract because a client had such a hard time paying me with PayPal (their "security" measures have caused me trouble 4 or 5 times).
That's exactly what I want to avoid (for obvious reasons). I'd prefer to just take their card number, run the transaction, then destroy their card number. In looking around at various places it seems like most 3rd-party processors charge at least $15-$20 a month just for the service, then a minimum $25 fee (or 2-3% of your processed sales) on top of that. Not bad if you're doing this full time, but I'll explore all alternatives as this isn't my main source of income. I'd like to hear more about Google checkout if anyone's used it.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 06:38 PM   #4
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CC processing

Hey Mike,
I also have a small business which requires CC processing. Yes, customers like the ease of CC or debit billing, and will sometimes spend more for extra services if they they expense over time. Most service, aka "Bankcard deposit service" is going to cost 2-3% of the transaction plus basic monthly fees and the expense of a processing terminal. This can get very expensive if you don't take time to shop around. The bankcard processing deals may seem to be completly arbitrary too, so read the fine print. It is very easy to misunderstand the terms they use in these contracts! Many have "discount" offers that state 1-2% transaction fees, period. These can be misleading and only apply to certain cards etc. I have yet to find a service who offers a part-time or per transaction contract. Indeed, with some contracts, there is a minimum transaction amount plus a penalty if the amount is not reached. The best I have found runs on average $35-$80monthly, and I bought a terminal for about $350 with a 5 year warranty. Mine is wired through a hard phone connection. There are wireless/ remote terminals available.

Again, shop around. The bankcard business is very competive and the contracts difficult to grasp. I have seen a machine (terminal) for $200 from one company and the exact machine for $1800 from another. I did spend many hours looking for a decent contract I could afford.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 06:40 PM   #5
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I've been using PayPal for four years, and I will continue using them. I used to offer clients the ability to make payments on their own via my website, and that is where I usually had issues. Now I just take their information over the phone like I would with any other credit card service, and then I process the payment myself. It works great!

The plus is that you only pay PayPal the 2-3% fee, and you don't have an additional monthly charge that other card services require.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #6
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I agree that PayPal is great when it works like its supposed to. If you try it I hope you dont have issues like I did.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 12:05 AM   #7
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I have been using PayPal's virtual terminal. It is $20.00 per month, 2.9%, and $0.30 per transaction. I did receive an email that they are raising the monthly fee to $30 and the rate to 3.01%.

I key in the customers name, cc, exp date, security code, and zip code. You will always have a higher rate keying the info, than if you swiped the card.

There is a guy in my BNI group that does CC processing. I have met with him and am seriously considering using his service. He seems very honest. Another business owner in the group said that he was approched by a processor and they wanted $1300 for a terminal. The guy in my BNI group sold the same terminal for $300. He can lease terminals, but prefers to sell them to save his customers a lot of money, although he makes less on a sale than on a lease.

I have his rates at the office. I think it is a $25.00 consumable monthly minimum. There was something like a $10 per month statement fee. The rates seem reasonable. They have different rates for different categories of cards, such a bank debit, regular credit cards, rewards cards, etc. I am not sure on the rates I mentioned, but if you are interested let me know. I have everything on paper at the office and would be happy to put you in contact with him. He services businesses across the US.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 04:46 PM   #8
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Google Checkout

I signed up for a GC account but have yet to use it. Sorry. No new info here. It did look like a good program though.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 05:29 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I really appreciate it. Google Checkout looks really appealing as there is no monthly fee. Of course it takes money to make money, but I'm all about saving money where I can. I think I'll give Google Checkout a try and report back how it works for me.
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