Accepting Credit Cards - WarmGlass.com

Accepting Credit Cards

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Claudia Whitten
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Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Claudia Whitten » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:23 pm

Ok I know this is talked about lots. But my credit card company 1st National Processing just continues to add fees and are not good to work with. I do only a few shows a year and the rest of my sales are thru galleries that pay by card or check.

I would like to keep costs down but be able to swipe cards and key cards without so many added fees. In the mountains sometimes the cell service is not so good. I don't have a smart phone. If you have a company that is working well for you please tell me and share your contact person.

Thanks, Claudia
It's not the destination but the journey that feeds the soul.

Barry Kaiser
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Barry Kaiser » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:37 pm

Go to Square
It is easy and relatively cheap. No additional fees.

Judd
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Judd » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:43 am

Get the smart phone, then get Square.

Dolores
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Dolores » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:07 pm

Uugh, I feel your pain, Claudia. When I switched to 1st National, it was due to all the nickel and Dime crapola that two other companies had inflicted on their customers. Now they have an annual fee, a sizable yearly "security fee", an increased monthly fee, and an additional monthly processing fee. All that extra from the percentage taken from each transaction. I recently called about yet another unexpected deduction on my monthly statement,, to learn that it was due to the fact that the cardholder had an awards card of some sort and that percentage was charged to my account as well(after the fact the next billing cycle). My hubby/business manager has been bugging me to switch for months now. I'm just concerned that SQUARE will end up the same way eventally. My last three providers did.

DOLORES

Morganica
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Morganica » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:16 pm

Well, Square isn't like a lot of other providers--it was invented for personal transactions (actually, for artists) instead of merchants--so I think your chances that they'll jack rates and tack on fees is much less. They've also got a lot of competition which is liable to keep them honest about such things.

Primarily, though, Square doesn't require an equipment investment/lease (aside from needing a smartphone or tablet--the card reader is free for the asking) and there's no contract, so if you do want to walk away there's no real impact. And I get that it requires a smart phone or device to operate, but from what I've seen of processing equipment costs and fees, it's pretty much a wash even if you don't use the phone for anything else. You need an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android device or an iPad, and if you're not fussy about getting the latest and greatest you can usually pick one up on eBay, and get a minimal contract, fairly cheap.

Square doesn't give you much help if you're out of network--they require a connection to process your transaction--but you can write down the information and process the charges later as a card-not-present transaction. The fee for that is an extra percent and you must rely on the honesty of your customers (i.e., if you've given them the merchandise and the card number comes back declined, you may be out of luck). HOWEVER...most devices can connect to WiFi as well as mobile phones, so even if your phone reception is lousy, as long as you can hook into a wireless network you can still process. If you can't do that, either, you're probably going to have the same problem you'd have with a merchant service device.

The other thing I like about the Square is that it's not account or device-dependent--I carry my card reader with me and I can use it whether I have my phone/iPad with me or not. All I have to do is find a device that accepts the Square, plug in and log into my account. I shared a booth with a friend, we both had Squares and something broke on hers, so we spent the whole show charging to two different accounts with one Square.

Honestly? It's free to try a Square, and it won't stop you from going to a different service if you don't like it. If you don't have a smart device to test it with, borrow one from a friend. Then "sell" somebody something for $10 using the Square, follow the transaction through to where the money deposits in your account, and see how it works for you.
Cynthia Morgan
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JestersBaubles
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby JestersBaubles » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:08 am

I know nothing about this service, but you might want to take a look at GoPago:

http://gigaom.com/2012/08/07/gopago-rep ... are-rival/

Seems like an unsustainable business model to me, but... It's free. What the heck!

I am set up with Square and LOVE it. But if you don't have a mobile device, GoPago may be a good option.

Dana W.

Dolores
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Dolores » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:40 am

Thank you for your great input, Cynthia. I already have an Android, so I have no excuse NOT to give it a whirl. As my hubby already pointed out (numerous times), I can always try Square and still hang on to my regular provider until I'm certain it will work for me. Just one more question for you Square users: have you ever encountered a limit as to the dollar amount of a transaction, or yearly transactions? Guess I better thoroughly check out their website....

DOLORES

Morganica
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Morganica » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:40 am

Dolores wrote:Thank you for your great input, Cynthia. I already have an Android, so I have no excuse NOT to give it a whirl. As my hubby already pointed out (numerous times), I can always try Square and still hang on to my regular provider until I'm certain it will work for me. Just one more question for you Square users: have you ever encountered a limit as to the dollar amount of a transaction, or yearly transactions? Guess I better thoroughly check out their website....

DOLORES

Yes and no. There is no limit to the amount you may transact (that im aware of) but for new users there is a limit to how much Square will pay into your bank account immediately. In any 7-day period Square will dump the first $1,000 into your account right away. The rest will be held for 30 days as an anti fraud measure.

So if you sell $2500 at a weekend show, $1000 will show up in your bank account on Monday or Tuesday. The remaining $1500 will arrive in 30 days. I'm told you can apply to Square to have that lifted. Or Square will just do it as you develop a regular track record with them. It hasn't been a big issue for me.
Cynthia Morgan
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"I wrote, therefore I was." (me)

Claudia Whitten
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Claudia Whitten » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:17 am

Thanks for sharing, I have heard nothing but good about the Square. My concerns were mountains that interfere with the
connections. But if I can take the information and then send later that would help. Also if I can still use my old I could try it and then just send the old way if a problem. My daughter has a smart phone and we could try it at the big show in September. I don't like that they hold money for 30 days. But I could talk to them about that.
Every company I have talked to now charge the $120 a year compliance fee for security and I don't understand how some do not. Do they state their % right on the site? With most companies it depends on what your yearly sale amounts are. I assume you can use these when the card is not present. I ship to galleries and the cards are not present.
Claudia
It's not the destination but the journey that feeds the soul.

Morganica
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Morganica » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:46 am

Claudia Whitten wrote:Thanks for sharing, I have heard nothing but good about the Square. My concerns were mountains that interfere with the
connections. But if I can take the information and then send later that would help. Also if I can still use my old I could try it and then just send the old way if a problem. My daughter has a smart phone and we could try it at the big show in September. I don't like that they hold money for 30 days. But I could talk to them about that.
Every company I have talked to now charge the $120 a year compliance fee for security and I don't understand how some do not. Do they state their % right on the site? With most companies it depends on what your yearly sale amounts are. I assume you can use these when the card is not present. I ship to galleries and the cards are not present.
Claudia

Best thing to do is visit the site and review the FAQs--all that stuff is there. I pay 2.75% of the transaction if I swipe the card, 3.75 if I don't. No other fees.
Cynthia Morgan
Marketeer, Webbist, Glassist
http://www.morganica.com/bloggery
http://www.cynthiamorgan.com

"I wrote, therefore I was." (me)

Claudia Whitten
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Claudia Whitten » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:13 pm

I did a review search for credit card companies that I am considering. Costco had the least amount of complaints. I want a company where I can talk to a person and get an issue resolved. I will continue to research. Claudia
It's not the destination but the journey that feeds the soul.

Joyce Walters
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Location: Stevensville MT

Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Joyce Walters » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:40 pm

Hi Claudia,
Last year I joined Costco just so that I could sign up with Elavon merchant processing.(spelling?)
Elavon talked a good talk and sent all the right info, but when I went to sign they said they could not re-program my credit card machine.
I argued that it was relatively new and met all current standards.
They offered a very few machines available to buy that they said they could program. Not cheap.
I looked around and found 2 other companies quickly that COULD reprogram my machine.
And yes, the new company jacked up fees and then later charged a yearly fee that they said they didn't charge.
All of the merchant processors I have ever had have been the same miserable.....
So ask Elavon about their machines. Seemed to a bait of low fees and then make money off the machines.
Just adding my small experience with Costco's company.
Joyce

Kevin Midgley
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Location: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Kevin Midgley » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:21 pm

Better to rent a machine than buy one right now. Technology is changing quickly. Current Elavon machines in Canada take chip and pin cards. Don't go buying a cc machine without that technology because the system will soon be changing to it.
I've never asked if Elavon has rfid capable machines but that too is expanding for small purchases.
I could buy a machine probably 8 or $900 but if it breaks down I won't get a free replacement and how long would I be without it during a repair shipped and done who knows where. I just pay the $28 monthly machine rental fee.

Judd
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Location: Arkansas

Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Judd » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:57 am

Look, get the Smart Phone, if only so when sales are bad you can watch PORN!!!
(Yes, joke.)

Geri Comstock
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Geri Comstock » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:41 am

I've been using Square for more than a year now and just love it. I'm down to maybe 10 shows a years and because there's no minimum monthly fee, I'm actually saving money by using it. Money appears in my account on Monday now (at first it took until Wednesday) after a weekend show. The customers here have seen it frequently enough now that it doesn't freak them out. When I first started using it, people were going and getting cash sometimes, rather than having me use it.

The expense is a smart phone which is wonderful to have at a show anyway. When things are slow, you can read books with a Kindle reader, surf the net, read this board, text your neighbor/friends at the show or play games. I have an external device to charge my phone because playing games, etc. drains the battery fast. Mine will recharge my phone 6 times on one charge. Anyway, for me, it was smarter to pay for a multifunctional device than monthly credit card minimums and rental on a single function device.

Nice to be here...it's been a while.

Geri

Morganica
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Morganica » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:09 am

Good points. Another advantage of smartphones and tablets: they hold a lot of photos and videos. Really comes in handy when you want to show someone a piece that isn't in the booth, or let them see what goes into making a particular piece. I now carry my whole portfolio on both my phone and my iPad, and it's been a godsend many times.
Cynthia Morgan
Marketeer, Webbist, Glassist
http://www.morganica.com/bloggery
http://www.cynthiamorgan.com

"I wrote, therefore I was." (me)

Geri Comstock
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Geri Comstock » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:18 am

so true. I now take photos of my work with my camera phone. I have an HTC Evo 4G and I believe the camera is an 8 megapixel. It takes better, clearer photos than the fancy digital cameras my husband used to use to photo my work. I also carry photos of my work in my camera. I love my phone. LOL.

nancyB
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Location: north of Baltimore, MD

Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby nancyB » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:12 pm

I am using GoPayment swiper powered through intuit. The device is also free. I like that there is 24/7 LIVE phone support and I have used it . I have a 1st generation ipad w/3G via ATT and it has worked well for the 1st 2 weekends of MD Renaissance Festival. Rates are competitive, initial business limit is $10k/mo and increase over this amount is a phone call away, funds deposited in 2 business days, easy order tracking and email to customer..

I will repost at the end of the Festival in Oct .
nancy barry

Laurie Spray
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Re: Accepting Credit Cards

Postby Laurie Spray » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:24 am

Buy an ipad........great business write off and customers love looking at pictures of work, process, or additional colors for an item they are considering. Making a wholesale call the other day having my ipad with photos increased my order by $1000 on the spot. Having the pictures on a phone to me would not be as effective. Just my experience. Love square. No brainer for us!
Laurie Spray

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