8
   

APPS TO SWIPE CREDIT CARDS

 
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 02:46 pm
@farmerman,
if you have to sign a contract read the fine print twice.

lotsa crooked operators in the merchant credit field...
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 03:08 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
Heard of these apps that one can use to take credit cards using a smart phone. Anybody have experience??

Hi FM,

All my craftsmen take CCards from our customers once their job is done. But we don't use "swipes" because I can't afford to buy a "swipe accessory" for all of my guys with all their different phones.

What we do is even easier. The guys just call our Merchant Service from any phone and key the CCard and associated Charge in through their phone (or a land-line phone if they are out in the boonies and there is no cell service).

We pay a slightly higher percentage on the charge because we don't swipe, but our volume isn't high enough to make much of a difference.

There are lots of internet/phone/smartphone based merchant services. www.PayJunction.com is a good one.

If you just need a few charges here and there for more than a few dollars each time, then the dial-in services are the most convenient with very low additional cost due to non-swipe.

Just FYI, the "Swipe with Signature" is the lowest cost charge for most merchant service providers.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 03:21 pm
@rosborne979,
Another FYI, the companies that do this type of service are called Merchant Services, and they all have fairly complex billing and pricing plans, which in my opinion are intentionally designed to make it virtually impossible for you to compare apples-to-apples when comparing companies.

Most of them provide some type of monthly base charge along with their transaction charges, but they also use thresholds for total dollars charged to alter their transaction percentages, and there are different transaction percentages for each of the various input forms (Swipe, Swipe with Sig, Keyed, Internet, etc) and different thresholds for each of the input forms.

But in general, a good rule of thumb is that it's going to cost you around 2% on each transaction. For companies doing very high numbers of transactions or dollar totals, there are complex programs which can be used to analyze patterns and select plans, or to dynamically modify plans based on monthly activity. Unfortunately, my business is not one of the "big boys", so we have to suck it up and take what we can get. But I bet Amazon gets a much better rate on transactions and their Merchant Service providers make it up on volume.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 07:47 pm
@rosborne979,
HMMM, so you are saying that, unless we dont achieve some threshold of sales, we shouldnt do this? My wife is now missing ALL credit card sales and that could be several thousand bucks per show. She normally does about 10 to 15 K in a show (she has designer kits of lace patterned shalwls and other sexy womens covers and mens sweaters ) She shows the stryles and then develops "kits" and partly finished models for beginning knitters and crocheters. She sells the kit and the necessary yarns (alpaca/ merino or alpaca silk mix)
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 09:12 pm
@rosborne979,
Squarup and Intuit both state that the swipe accessory is free.

I imagine that the reduced risk of fraud makes it worth it.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 May, 2012 09:17 pm
@farmerman,
with those kinds of dollars involved, you need to get a swiper...

it will be worth the hassles involved, and your fraud risk will drop to zero if you are paying attention.

in my former profession, we had a machine that hooked up like a cell phone, and generated a receipt. I had to batch it every night, and sort my paperwork, but it paid for itself.

folks without enough ready funds can use plastic during the frenzied sales atmosphere of the show, and as long as you have a sig, you get your money.

the technology has rapidly progressed since then...
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 05:39 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
HMMM, so you are saying that, unless we dont achieve some threshold of sales, we shouldnt do this?
No, I'm just saying you'll pay a bit more if you don't hit certain thresholds. But every Merchant Service Provider is different, so you have to check with them.

One of the things I like about our process is that it's incredibly simple. But I have multiple craftsmen to deal with. You only have one wife... uh, I guess.
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 05:42 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:
Squarup and Intuit both state that the swipe accessory is free.
Usually they make up for hardware costs by having slightly higher fees or charges. Nothing in business is really free, it's all just a matter of how the costs are hidden.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 06:13 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
But I have multiple craftsmen to deal with. You only have one wife... uh, I guess.
Yours is a craftsman service compay where , say, one of your guys builds me a built in cabinet. SO at the end of the project I swipe my card on your swipey machine? or do you read the little pixel screen with a phones camera?

At present my wife gave up using the Visa service provider because theoir swiper and phone verification system cost a large up front cost PLUS a siazaeable percentage fee. This was abiout 5 years ago when she gave up using credit cards and it was a great idea to "pass the savings" on to the customer during the Depression. Now that things are picking up (her last weekend sales testify to that) the issue of convenience over frugality is once again important to her customers.
Most of my wifes customers at this show were from the suburban DC area (Montgomery County MD has the highest pwer capita avg income of any county in US) so theres a lot of disposable income .

If she could do another 20% or more for a weekends show, just by reintroducing swipery, shed be happy.

She does'nt do a lot of e-business or phone. Her business is mostly at three craft shows a year and people who come to her studio. Shes thinking of opening a store with AMish sales girls.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 06:43 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

Quote:
But I have multiple craftsmen to deal with. You only have one wife... uh, I guess.
Yours is a craftsman service compay where , say, one of your guys builds me a built in cabinet. SO at the end of the project I swipe my card on your swipey machine? or do you read the little pixel screen with a phones camera?

My guys complete the job, make sure the customer is happy, total up the invoice, and ask for the CCard. Then they dial our Merchant Service phone number (speed dial). Their system then prompts them for everything... "Enter your account number and press the # key, Enter your password and press the # key, Enter CCard number press #, Enter expiration date #, Enter amount to bill #, Confirm the Amount you entered and press 1 and #, etc...

The whole system is voice driven with prompts on the phone keypad. Even non-technical Handymen with calloused fingers covered in dust and dried paint can do it.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 06:46 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
Shes thinking of opening a store with AMish sales girls.
I'm picturing a bunch of Amish girls wearing high-tech phone headsets, sitting in front of computers taking orders. Then they go home at night and read a book by candle light. Smile
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 06:54 am
@farmerman,
What I would really like to figure out is a way for my guys (employees) to submit checks (physical paper checks) remotely. That would really solve a problem for me.

There are apps which allow you to take a photo of a check and submit it remotely, but those apps all allow the user to have complete access to the bank account. They are intended for the OWNER of the account, not for an employee of the company, so they aren't viable as a solution for what I need.

What I need is an APP which takes photo's of checks and then submits those photo's to a bank or company that transfers the funds from the customer's account to our account (the same process a normal check goes through, except done electronically).

I have not yet found a functional solution to that problem/process. If anyone knows of one, please let me know. Thanks.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 07:02 am
@rosborne979,
what about the check scanners they use in supermarkets? they are independent of the cash register and are checked for funds staus remotely.
The piece of equipment isnt real small though. Its about as big as an old princess phone
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 07:06 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
The piece of equipment isnt real small though. Its about as big as an old princess phone
That's one of the problems. My guys travel light and I can't afford special hardware for all of them. Also, any solution needs to work over cell phone or internet connection.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 07:12 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

DrewDad wrote:
Squarup and Intuit both state that the swipe accessory is free.
Usually they make up for hardware costs by having slightly higher fees or charges. Nothing in business is really free, it's all just a matter of how the costs are hidden.

Actually, the rates clearly show that swiped transactions have lower fees than keyed transactions.

Free hardware and lower fees... hmm... they're really out to stick it to you.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 07:15 am
@rosborne979,
Have 'em take the picture of the check, and send it via E-mail to someone at the office.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 07:39 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:
Actually, the rates clearly show that swiped transactions have lower fees than keyed transactions.

Free hardware and lower fees... hmm... they're really out to stick it to you.
Yes, but other companies will have lower transaction fees (on swipes) if they don't provide "free" hardware.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 07:45 am
@DrewDad,
Yes, I thought of that also. It might work. All depends on resolution. But then I need a a banking transaction which will accept .jpg's or something like that. I'm not sure how many banks accept online .jpg uploads for checks.

The other possible problem is that the check then isn't processes/verified in the field, so if there is a problem we won't know it until the processing happens in the office. One of the nice things about the CCard processing is that we know if there are any rejections or errors immediately, and we can ask the customer for a different card, or some other form of payment that works, right on the spot.

Check scanning (photo's) and Email to the office is the probable methodology we will be adopting, but I need to do some real-world testing before committing to any solution. And I don't yet know of any banks that accept jpg's online as a check. Do you?
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 May, 2012 08:02 am
@rosborne979,
I'd think you'd be able to find one that supports remote deposit.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_deposit

Quote:
Remote deposit use is growing rapidly. A June 2009 survey by group Independent Community Bankers of America found that 62 percent of banks in the United States currently offered merchant remote deposit, and 78 percent have plans to adopt the technology by 2011.

Client adoption of remote deposit capture is projected to reach 1 million in the next two years, and grow to over 5 million by 2012.[4]

Some financial institutions accept remote deposits via conventional scanner, smartphone, or tablet (versus a MICR scanner). Supported smartphones and tablets use Android by Google, and iOS by Apple.[5]
0 Replies
 
 

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