Deciding to take business cards or not is one of the things you will have to decide for yourself. There are many sides to the topic. I personally have never taken credit cards in my 23 years of doing business, but I also have my office centrally located in downtown Seattle where there are cash machines within a block. I just make it clear when people call for an appointment that I only take cash or check and also state it clearly on my website. I will occasionally use paypal to invoice someone or I had a regular client using it too. It was just much easier for them. Currently there are also flex spending plans that will reimburse people for their massages who are giving credit cards to people to access their accounts. If you have a lot of clients using those it would of course make it easier.
When you are thinking about taking credit cards you will also have to take into account that each payment will have a service fee attached to it along with any other monthly fees that the credit card company charges you. When you are setting your fees you will have to include that in what you need to charge to make a profit and successfully maintain the business. The average fee usually runs between 2.5 percent and 5.5 percent of your sales, although American Express runs a bit higher.
Others who take credit cards think I might be shooting myself in the foot for not taking them. Yes everyone uses them and most people do not carry a check book anymore. (Heck I don’t carry a checkbook!) Being able to take credit cards will help to make it easier for people to pay which is one more step in eliminating the barriers people have around not getting massage. Anything you can do to make it easier can help.
It can also help when selling gift certificates because you will be able to offer them over the phone and send them out directly with immediate payment. You can also just do that on your website using Paypal or another payment processing company.
So when investigating credit card companies and services be sure to ask as many questions as you can.
- What are the fees involved with each transaction?
- What are the monthly or yearly fees?
- Will you have to rent a credit card machine?
- How will the money get deposited into your accounts?
- What paperwork will you have to do?
- How do you handle mistakes? (I had a spa charge me $890.00 instead of $89.00 because of a person just making a typo and it was a nightmare!)
- What are the different fees for when people use debit vs credit cards?
- What do you need to know about accepting and examining cards for fraud or security issues?
- What kind of account do you need to set up if any?
Some options recommended by people on my Facebook page are:
(As of today from the companies websites. I am just copying and pasting what I can find quickly on their websites. I do not use any of these services and am not recommending them but am providing them for your reference to begin researching credit card services!!!)
- www.chargeamerica.com– offers $5.95 a month, no terminal, 2.99% Discount Rate plus $0.40 per transaction, one time sign up fee, No monthly minimum, no monthly statement fee, no leasing fee, no other fees.
- www.propay.com – take cc using your mobile phone. PAYware Card Reader for iPhone 3G or 3Gs was $149.95, NOW FREE. All you pay is $14.95 shipping and handling,ProPay Merchant Account $199.95 annual fee, Rates as low as 1.89% for all qualified transactions, One low annual account fee, No online statement fees, No gateway fees, No monthly processing minimums, No merchant account setup fees, No long-term contract commitments
- www.cellcharge.com -Only $9.99/mt – No hidden fees – No Minimum Monthly Fees (bundled rate), No Contracts to Sign – You Can Cancel at Any Time, Mobile credit card processing with the ability to use any touchtone phone (landline or Cell),Ability for multi users to call in at the same time and process transactions, Ability to add our virtual terminal (internet processing) with built in shopping cart,Ability to add a traditional swipe terminal, Can run multiple transactions back-to-back, System auto batches at the end of each day,30 day money back guarantee *, No Equipment to Buy or Lease *
- www.securepay.com -mobile and terminal services – website lacking info.
- www.totalmerchantservices.com – 1.69% discount rate, .20 per authorization. Recommended by Laura Allen author of “One Year to a Successful Massage Business”
So if you have used any of these or know anything more about them – good or bad, please post your comments or if you have any other companies that you use and really like!