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Old October 15th, 2008, 10:17 PM   #1
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Who accepts Credit Card Payments?

Probably a stupid questions, but hey we are quite new to this, only our 2nd year, and we are currently reviewing our strategies for 2009, of which marketing and customer service is a pretty large chunk. We are getting pretty constant bookings now and feel that although we can't break out on this as a standalone business (I also work FT) we need to inject some "spark" to get things moving a bit quicker. We are planning to review our pricing structure in the new year as obviously new kid on the block cannot charge above the market. Anyway getting a bit sidetracked here.

Reason for the credit card thing, we tend to deal with a few wedding planners and they are constantly asking, of which we reply sorry not currently. Seems to be an inconvenience for them, even though direct deposit is almost as easy these days, any bad experiences, things to look out for??

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Old October 15th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #2
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Well all I can suggest is maybe set up a Paypal business account but otherwise I have never done CC payment yet by a client so can't speak out of experience.

(btw double post here)
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Old October 15th, 2008, 10:52 PM   #3
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I've started using Paypal if a client requests payment by credit card. So far it's worked rather well, and it seems awfully easy to just have money "show up" in the account! Keep in mind you get charged about a 3% premium by doing this, which you can either absorb or pass on to the client as a paypal fee...err, service fee.

Good luck, just be prepared for some Paypal identity checks and what not when you get some big payments going though.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 11:03 PM   #4
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If you use QuickBooks, I recommend using their built-in credit card processing option. It used to run through Wells Fargo, but Intuit became their own gateway a few years ago. It's a good deal - I think it's $14.95/mo. flat standard rate for Visa and MasterCard. Then, tack on a small (smaller than Paypal) percentage of each transaction. It works great, since you are already processing the invoice and payment through QuickBooks, just changing the payment method from check to credit card.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 12:39 AM   #5
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Great topic! As I am getting ready to take my first Wedding Event payment via PayPal. I seem to remember once that PayPal limits the amount you can withdraw (transfer from Paypal account to actual Banking account)- is this true? I was searching PayPal's website today to no avail.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 01:16 AM   #6
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Please clarify, is this thread referring to accepting credit card payments using paypal as a merchant account, and paying the 30 dollar a month service fee, or do you make your customers use a paypal account to pay?
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Old October 16th, 2008, 02:04 AM   #7
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I like using paypal. there is no limit to bank transfers that I have seen, those take about two days.

If you choose to get a paypal debit card, you have instant access to your funds that way, but a daily limit on ATM withdrawals.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; October 16th, 2008 at 08:57 AM.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 07:41 AM   #8
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We use paypal as it has NO monthly fee and they dont need a PP account to pay. Just a card. there is a 3% charge but this is factored into our costs.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 08:59 AM   #9
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Danny is correct, there is no monthly fee.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #10
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PayPal allows you to take CC without any monthly cost - there's a volume of business where this becomes less economical than a merchant account with a monthly fee + a lower percentage (than PP). You'll have to do the math to see which is best for you. For me, I can do without another "monthly" bill.

PP is pretty fast and easy to set up, they do have an account version that limits your withdrawals until you prove you are who you are via additional accounts linked to PP... IIRC it's a $500/mo. limit, but it's easy enough to upgrade the account to remove the restriction.

They are instituting some anti-fraud measures that can delay withdrawals under some circumstances for new accounts, at least as relates to eBay transactions, but I don't know if they are doing anything for other transactions - they should be able to tell you.

Overall PP is a relatively painless way to take CC pmts, just keep your account info secure and don't fall for those stupid phishing e-mails trying to steal your user/PWD info! Follow safe online practices and you should be fine!
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Old October 16th, 2008, 01:42 PM   #11
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I have a Paypal merchant account that costs $30/month. I've probably lost a little money on it but I have used it several times, more so for our still photography than for video. Usually I get paid by check, but I like having the option there for the customer in case they want to use it.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #12
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I use PayPal's virtual terminal service. You can take credit card info over the phone and process any transaction directly without the client having to have a Paypal account and do it themselves. VT service is $30 a month, but you can turn it off when you don't use it. They take the standard 4% cut. I only use it for large transactions, say over $500.

You can also use Google Checkout, but again, the client must have an account with them and process the transaction themselves using an online button you create for them (and you must create a custom button for each transaction).

The only other way to take credit cards is to get a merchant account with your bank and an account with an authorization gateway. I believe Authorize Net (a gateway) has an online terminal similar to Paypal's VT. Otherwise you'd also need a card swipe machine or some other way to input and process cards.

In my opinion, Paypal Virtual Terminal, while not perfect, is the best compromise between cost and convenience.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #13
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ok, Thanks for the clarification. The thread was making it sound like there was a way for the customer to pay via credit card without a paypal account, and without having the virtual terminal and a monthly fee.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #14
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What I did was got approved for the Virtual Terminal (there is a verification process that takes a few days), then turn it on and pay the $30 whenever I got a large order to run through a CC transaction. If I had more than one transaction in a month, I kept VT service on. If I didn't need it after a month, I turned VT off. Then just reactivated it again for another 30 bucks whenever I got another large order that wanted to pay via credit card. That way I'm not constantly paying 30 a month if I'm not using it. There are no reactivation fees which makes it possible to do this.

My payments are mostly invoice/check, but occasionally a client wants to give me a credit card number over the phone. I don't want to make them sign up for Paypal or Google checkout, that's too much of a hassle for them and not very professional.

I have learned, however, to first ask if the client already has a Paypal account. A lot of companies do nowadays! That way they can pay via Paypal without me having to reactivate VT.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #15
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You can always contact your bank and find out how much to setup a credit card account. There are also independent providers as well. We have met with an independent rep and was given a price of 1.5% per transaction. This price was good as long as we aren't doing over a certain amount of transactions. We haven't gone this route yet as most people bring their cheque books however most people live on credit these days which is why our economy is the way it is. People might be going back to cheques or cash.
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