Considering a wireless credit card processing machine?
Why go wireless? There are numerous reasons to select a wireless processing solution. This is especially true if your business is mobile or transactions are frequently conducted at events, fairs, tradeshows or any location away from your main office or retail store.
The first question to ask when considering a wireless credit card processing machine: What are the benefits?
Lower processing rates. Your business is able to save a considerable amount on the processing fee if you are swiping the customer’s credit card through a terminal as opposed to keying the card in. This savings is passed on by the credit card issuer as there is less risk associated with the sale. Your business can typically save half to a full percentage point by swiping the card at the sale.
Added convenience. Depending on the volume of transactions, it can be very cumbersome to capture your customers card data only to have to key it all in at a later time. In addition, you no longer have to worry about loosing your customer’s card information and, therefore, the revenue from the sale.
Reduced exposure to fraud. Through processing the authorization at the sale you reduce your exposure to bad debit. If the customer has the funds necessary to complete the sale you are notified before your products and services are rendered.
Now that we have identified the benefits, what considerations need to be made when selecting a wireless credit card processing machine?
Equipment. As for equipment you have more than a few options. Almost every manufacture offers a wireless version of their wired terminal. However, the terminals tend to be a bit costly as most retail for around $600 to $900. Another option is to utilize a mobile phone as your wireless credit card processing machine. There are a lot of card swipers that have been engineered to work with mobile phones. Depending on the mobile device you have it may make sense to investigate the availably of a swipe device that is compatible. If you have an iPhone, Maxx Merchants has an iPhone charge card POS that could be a good fit.
Coverage Plan. The next consideration is the data plan needed by your wireless credit card processing machine to access a wireless network to complete the transaction. If you elect a traditional wireless terminal you will be required to purchase a network access plan for the terminal to work. This is another good reason to utilize a mobile phone as you will likely already have a data plan in place.
Fees. Your wireless credit card processing machine will require a merchant account to process payments. The fees associated with the account are negotiable. For a detailed explanation of the fees and rates please see our blog on affordable credit card processing.
Are you looking for and automated payment processing account for your business? The addition of an automated payment processing solution is an easy way to enable your customers to purchase products without direct assistance. Automation allows you to focus on other areas of your business rather than order placement.
Here are the areas of automated payment processing that we can help with:
With any business the first step is determining the area of the business that would benefit most from an automated payment processing solution. Once a need is determined the next step to consult with a payment processing provider to determine the very best solution available. Once a solution is identified the next step is to determine the costs. Please refer to affordable credit card processing for a detailed explanation of the cost associated with an automated payment processing system.
Once you understand the costs you are now in a position to make the best decision for your business.
As always please contact us if you would like assistance determining the best solution for your business. (800)917.8026
7 items to consider when looking for affordable credit card processing
The term affordable credit card processing is thrown around a lot and can mean different things to different businesses. For the purposes of this article we will discuss the affordability of credit card processing in terms of the rates and fees that are charged for the service.
I have broken out the major rates and fees charged for credit card processing. Please keep in mind that there will always be other miscellaneous fees, so be sure to read your merchant contract carefully to understand all that apply and when.
Discount/Percentage Rate (interchange): This is the largest total expense for the account and is typically negotiable with your processor. There are typically three discount rates associated to the account (this example is for a retail location). The three discounts rates are referred to as the qualified, mid-qualified and non-qualified rates. The qualified rate is reserved for card present / person present transactions. The mid-qualified rate is reserved for keyed in transactions and certain rewards cards. The non-qualified rate is reserved for corporate and international cards. Some rewards cards will also downgrade to the non-qualified rate. When looking for affordable credit card processing you want to achieve the following for each discount rate:
Qualified Rate: Between 1.59% and 1.69%
Mid-Qualified Rate: Between 2.29% and 2.39%
Non-Qualified Rate: Between 2.99% and 3.09%
Per-Transaction Rate: In addition to the discount rate you will also be charged a per-transaction rate. The per-transaction rate is charged for each transaction that is run through the account. It is important to note that some processors will set up the account to authorize and capture as separate processes, effectively doubling the transaction costs per month. Make sure your processor is authorizing and capturing as one transaction. When looking for affordable credit card processing as a function of the per-transaction rate you want to be between $0.10 and $0.20 per-transaction.
Monthly Service Fee: This is the amount you are charged per month for customer service, account access, statement preparation etc. For an affordable credit card processing account you need to be between $9.95 and $14.95.
Batch Fee: The batch process is responsible for converting the credit card authorizations (promise to pay) into deposit of funds into your business account. The batch process is typically run on all days where authorizations are processed. For an affordable credit card processing account you want establish a rate between $0.15 and $0.25 per batch process.
Monthly Minimum: The monthly minimum is the amount that is charged if the account is not used or used minimally. An affordable credit card processing account will typically have a monthly minimum of $0.00 to $9.99.
Annual Fee: The annual fee is a fee that your business is charged once a year for maintenance of your merchant account. You are best served to negotiate this rate to $0.00.
Termination Fee: This is the fee you are charged if you would like to end your contract early. This fee varies greatly form one processor to the next. Make sure you understand the contract term and termination fee.
If you are looking to set up an affordable credit card processing account we can certainly help. Please contact us directly for a no obligation quote. (800)917-8026. Mention prom code affordable for additional discounts.
Starting an ecommerce website Are you at the point where you need to start an ecommerce website to begin the process of offering your products and services online? If the answer is yes then I have a handy little guide to help get you started. The process of starting an ecommerce website begins with the website itself. It is always best to select a website that gives you the ability to update your content, products, prices, etc., on your own rather than relying on the developer. Some popular CMS (content management systems) include Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla. You will want to select the platform that work best with your shopping cart. We talk about that in just a bit.
The next consideration when starting an ecommerce website is selection of a shopping cart. The shopping cart software allows you to set up your products and services for sale on the Internet. There are many commercially available shopping carts available to choose from. You will want to select the cart that offers the functionality you are looking for. You will want to look for a cart that offers merchant tools, supports many payment options, offers configuration for shipping and taxes, offers real-time statistics and reporting, and has the appropriate security. You will also want to select a shopping cart that is compatible with your payment gateway. This will illuminate the cost associated with integrating your shopping cart and merchant account. Maxx Merchants is compatible with over 25 commercially available shopping carts.
Your next step when starting an ecommerce website is the hosting service. The hosting service provides a home for your website on the Internet and allows your customers to reach you. You will want to select a hosting service that offers the appropriate functionality for your site and shopping cart. Most services offer various packages for a monthly service fee. I like doteasy.com as the hosting is free and they let you upgrade as necessary for any functionality you might require.
So you have your website, your hosting service and your shopping cart all dialed in but the most important part of starting an ecommerce website is accepting payment.
There are 2 pieces that need to be considered when starting an ecommerce website; The Payment Gateway and the Merchant Account.
The payment gateway is the application that connects your website shopping cart to your merchant account. The job of the payment gateway is to collect the credit card information from the customer, encrypt it and sent it to the merchant account for processing. When selecting a payment gateway you want to select one that is compatible with your shopping cart, offers good pricing, has the ability to facility all payment functions (payments, voids, refunds, etc), offers robust fraud protection, is PCI compliant and has an interface for you to run reports on your sales. The Maxx Payment Gateway offers all these features giving you complete control over your transactions.
Next is selection of a merchant account. The merchant account’s job is to authorize the card that is being used for payment and then deposit those authorized transactions into your bank account. It’s important to choose a merchant account that offers good rates on processing, has 24 hour turn around on settled transactions, offers live customer support, has high approval rates and low merchant attrition. You want a processor that stands behind your account and consults you as to the very best way to set up your ecommerce website. Maxx Merchants can provide you the level of service you expect for your merchant account.
The last piece of the puzzle in starting an ecommerce website is your marketing. All of your efforts are wasted if no one knows your site exists. Make sure you design your site with all the current search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. You will also want to post your new site on all the most popular social networking sites. Good luck and if you need any assistance I am here to help and you can contact me directly.
Do you need and inexpensive merchant account? Do you need and inexpensive merchant account for your business? What defines an inexpensive merchant account? Is the account an inexpensive merchant account if the rates and fees associated with the account are as the lowest they can be? I certainly believe that is one factor. What about customer service and reliability? How does the reliability of the account and available support factor into the “cost” of the merchant account? When growing your business it’s important to analyze the costs and benefits associated with any strategy intended to increase your bottom line. The addition of an inexpensive merchant account or the substitution of your current account with an inexpensive merchant account can be a very effective way to increase sales while keeping overhead low. Some of the benefits of an inexpensive merchant account include:
Options and value - All things equal if you are selling the same products as a competitor and provide more options for payment your store is perceived to offer more value.
Higher average ticket – According to Dun and Bradstreet it is estimated that customers spend 12% to 18% more when using a credit card for payment.
Minimize bad debt – Reduce the instance of bad debt through offering credit card processing. You know the customer has the funds to complete the sale as the authorization tells you before the customer leaves the store.
Increased sales – Dun and Bradstreet estimate that the average business can increase sales anywhere between 12% and 35% thought offering credit to patrons.
Now that we have established some of the benefits to establishing an inexpensive merchant account let’s discuss the costs. With a typical merchant account there will be rates and fees associated with the various functions of the account. Some of these rates and fees include:
The discount rate
The transaction fee
The batch fee (settlement fee)
AVS fee (address verification)
Customer service fee
Monthly minimum fee
Online account access fee
The costs associated with running or establishing a merchant account should be thought of in terms of recurring costs verses prospective (future) costs. The recurring cost of the account can be boiled down to a percentage of total volume processed and is known as the effective rate (ER). The effective rate of an inexpensive merchant account are the fixed monthly costs incurred to attain the benefit of offering credit. These costs are usually the main focus of a business when selecting a merchant services provider. I believe it is important to point out the potential larger prospective (future) costs that can result from selecting the wrong provider. For most businesses, the revenue from credit card sales represents a significant cash flow source. If this revenue source is interrupted it can put substantial strain on the business operations and can represent significant costs to the business. Possible interruptions can result from any number of network issues very common in the processing industry. Interruptions are inevitable and the true costs associated with the interruption are determined by how long it takes to correct the problem. It is very important to select a processor that has a support staff that is available and knowledgeable in order to ensure merchant processing down-time is kept to a minimum. At Maxx Merchants our dedicated in‐house approach to the entire merchant service process is our mission. Our commitment to merchant customer support is of the utmost importance, leading to our industry high merchant retention rate. We are one of very few payment processors offering dedicated 24/7 technical support staff that are employees and not subcontractors. At Maxx Merchants we are able to offer you the ultimate inexpensive merchant account as your recurring costs (ER) will be very low and your prospective (future) costs are minimized with the best support in the industry. What does that translate for you? Increased profits!!
Please call us directly to get started (800)917-8026.
A point of sale (POS) is the location as which the sale or transaction occurs and is typically associated with check out. A point of sale system is the hardware and software that is used to complete the check out.
Payment for the transaction is a fundamental piece of the check out process and is usually not included as a function of most the point of sale systems. Most point of sale systems will need a piece of middle ware to sit between the point of sale software and the credit card processing software. The job of the middleware is to translate the payment information into a language that the credit card processing software can understand. Some examples of point of sale payment middle ware include PC Charge and IC Verify.
Now that your business is interested in point of sale credit card processing you will need to determine which middle ware your POS is compatible with. Once you know the vendors that are compatible, you will want to check price and customer service for each vendor. I mention customer service as a few companies out there are notorious for poor customer service and support which will increase your overall costs to set everything up.
Once a middle ware vendor is selected the next step is to determine the payment network the middle ware vendor is compatible with. The bigger payment networks are First Data, Vital and Paymentech. The payment network is important as it will drive the credit card processor you are able to engage to set up your merchant account or credit card processing account.
Once you determine the credit card processors that are compatible, you will want to check the rates and customer service for each. Keep in mind you "get what you pay for" so make sure you are not baited into signing up with a company that offers rates that are considerably lower than all the others. They are hiding the true costs of the service and the customer service will be non-existent.
If you would like help determining the perfect point of sale credit card processing solution for your business please contact us directly at email@example.com.