Accept Credit Cards at Craft Shows

A Cost-Effective Way to Accept Credit Cards at Craft Shows

The holiday craft show season will soon be in full swing. However, there is still time for crafters to convert their iPhone into a low-cost credit card processing option.

Until recently, the ability to accept credit cards at craft shows was limited to either paying for a landline, relying on a store-and-forward terminal or using a wireless terminal. Each of these options present certain drawbacks, as explained below:

  1. Landline – Expensive and cumbersome option that isn’t always available (depending on the venue).
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  2. Store-and-Forward units – This method can be a bit risky. Although you swipe the  customer’s credit card at the point of sale, you have to wait until you can upload your transactions (via a phone line) before knowing if they are approved – or not. By the time you discover a card has been declined, the customer is long gone – along with your (unpaid for) merchandise.
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  3. Wireless Unit. These units represent a substantial investment to purchase ($800+) – or are EXTREMELY expensive to lease (I don’t care what a sales rep tries to tell you when it comes to leasing credit card processing equipment – the best and shortest answer is ALWAYS: don’t do it!). As a rule, wireless merchant accounts also carry additional monthly fees on top of the standard credit card processing charges. (These fees can easily add an additional $25 to $50 per month to your processing statement!) Plus – wireless service isn’t available everywhere, which can leave you with an expensive store-and-forward unit.

On the other hand, for approximately $125 you can purchase the PAYWare Mobile credit card encryption sleeve. This handy device will instantly convert your iPhone into a mobile credit card terminal. Not only will it allow you qualify for “swiped” transaction rates (the lowest) – it will also let you know instantly if the transaction has been approved.

PAYWare Mobile + Your iPhone = an extremely cost-effective and simple way to accept credit cards at craft shows!

Ready to find out more? Simply contact me (Cheryl Garabedian) for a personal consultation!

(PS Sign up before 10/31/10 to save $64!)

iPhone: the Ideal Credit Card Machine for Small Business

With a PAYWare Mobile credit card encryption sleeve, you can convert your iPhone into the ideal credit card machine for small business.

The best part? You can get one for FREE if you act fast!

If you sign up for a new 2-year service agreement before 09/15 – you’ll get not only a free card encryption sleeve that will convert your iPhone into a mobile credit card machine, but also zero activation fees.

So, if you – or anyone you know – conducts the majority of your business out of the office (or you simply don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars to buy or lease a standard credit card terminal) – now is a great time to get started!

The iPhone makes an ideal credit card machine for small business owners like these:

  • Trade professionals – i.e., roofers, remodelers, painters, HVAC technicians and plumbers
  • Landscapers and other seasonal outdoor service businesses.
  • Crafters and trade show attendees. The holiday season is right around the corner, so now is the time to get your payment processing service established
  • Consultants and independent service professionals. Marketing consultants, accountants, bookkeeping service providers and advertising sales agents are just a few examples of individuals who fall under this category.

Again, act before September 15, 2010 in order to take advantage of this great offer:

Your iPhone + a FREE PAYWare Mobile Credit Card Encryption Sleeve + Zero Activation Fees = the Perfect No-Added-Cost Credit Card Machine for Small Business Owners! ;)

Click Here to Get Started

Turn Your iPhone into a (FREE) Mobile Credit Card Terminal

iPhone Mobile Credit Card TerminalThe best mobile credit card terminal just got even better!

Excuse the hasty post – but I wanted to get this out to you asap.

I just got special approval to offer a FREE PAYWare Mobile Credit Card Encryption Sleeve (retail value $125) to any customer who signs a new 2-Year Service agreement before September 15th. With this sleeve, you will be able to accept credit cards with your iPhone from wherever your business might take you.

Sign up by 09/15 to get a FREE PAYWare Mobile Credit Card Encryption Sleeve!

This is a GREAT solution for trade professionals, such as roofers, painters, and landscapers… as well as mobile service providers like photographers and in-home pet groomers.  Also, crafters – the 2010 holiday season is right around the corner – and imagine how many more sales you could make at trade shows and craft fairs by accepting credit card transactions.

To make this offer even sweeter – I will also pick up the cost any activation fees.

But, you have to hurry and sign up BEFORE September 15th. Contact me TODAY to find out more! :)

Click Here to Get Started

Finding the Best Small Business Credit Card Processing Options

There are a number of factors you’ll want to consider before selecting a merchant account provider for your small business. Credit card processing options can seem pretty complicated – however, if you stay focused on the needs of your own business, you’ll do just fine.

Over the next few days, we’ll talk about how to find the best small business credit card processing solution for your situation.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the standard fees that apply to merchant accounts – plus some pointers on how to avoid a few of them completely.

Here are some of the typical fees associated with credit card processing:
Discount rate (a percentage of sales)
Per-item Fees
Monthly Minimums
Statement Fees
Annual Fees
Application Fees
Chargeback processing
Early Cancellation Fees
Fees for supplies (e.g., drafts, roll paper, etc.)
Terminal purchase, lease or rental fees

Be sure ALL of these fees are spelled out clearly, in writing, on your contract before signing. I personally wouldn’t consider a company that charges 1. an application fee or 2. an annual fee or 3. monthly minimums. I’ve reviewed many statements where a seasonal or low volume merchant did $0 in processing for a given month, and got hit with $40 or $50 in monthly fees because there was a $25 monthly minimum, plus other ongoing charges, written into their contract.

Take Away: Avoiding these 3 types of fees can help keep hundreds of dollars each year in your own bank account. If the agent you are dealing with won’t waive them – find one who will.

Also, beware of any processing company that over-simplifies their fee schedule. Many will lead with a very low rate (i.e. 1.19%) and the merchant will go about their business believing that this is, in fact, what they are paying for processing.

I can assure you that is NOT possible. Ever. Fixed costs by the major credit card associations (Visa, MC, AMEX and Discover) exceed those super low rates for most transactions – so there is no way ANY provider can honor that pricing across the board. It would be like a furniture store buying a couch at $500 wholesale … and selling it for $400 retail.

The numbers just don’t add up.

The reality is that this low rate will apply only to a very specific type of transaction – debit (rather than credit) card, swiped at the point-of-sale (vs. being key-entered into the terminal). All transactions falling outside these specific parameters (including ALL credit cards – especially those offering some type of perk or reward to the user, non-swiped transactions, etc…) will be charged at higher – often MUCH higher – rates.

Tip: Push your agent to reveal – in writing – what those rates are up front to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Finally, be sure to find out what specifically causes your transactions to “downgrade” to those higher discount rates – and make sure you are working with a company that will work with you to avoid those downgrades – many won’t as that is where the true profit in your account lies.

The more informed you are, the better prepared you’ll be to negotiate the best rates for your small business. Credit card processing pricing can get a little complicated – but you should still be able to get clear answers from your agent re: how much you’ll be paying each month.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about how the type of business you are in can affect your rates.

Til Then,

PS Does the majority of your business take place outside the office? Want to take advantage of those low debit card swiped rates mentioned above? The PAYWare mobile card encryption sleeve can convert your iPhone into an on-the-go processing solution – which means you’ll qualify for the lowest possible swiped rates more often. Contact me today to find out more!

Are You Paying Too Much for Credit Card Processing Fees?

The best way to avoid paying too much for credit card processing fees is to understand how they are calculated.

No matter who your merchant account provider is, there are certain fees that are more-or-less carved in stone. This is because each of the major credit card associations (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and AMEX) have a set fee structure that is passed along on all transactions handled over their networks.

These fees (known collectively as InterChange, Dues, and Assessments) are non-negotiable. Therefore, regardless of who handles your merchant account, these costs will remain the same because they are the same across the board for everybody.

Several variables determine what the base rate will be for each type of transaction run through your business. Here are just a few examples:

What type of card was used (debit or credit)?
Was it swiped or key-entered (or done over the Internet)?
Were rewards or points offered on the specific card used for the transaction?
Was it a corporate or purchasing card?
What type of business are you in?
How long did you wait from the time the transaction was run to close out the batch?

Tip: The fees added ON TOP of InterChange, Dues and Assessments is where you have room to negotiate on behalf of your business.

These fixed costs represent the “science” behind pricing in the credit card processing world. The “art” part of the equation relates to how each individual processing company bundles these prices and passes them along to you, the business owner.

Before you sign a credit card processing contract, be sure you have a thorough understanding of all the fees and charges that will be associated with your new merchant account.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk in more detail about some of the standard fees associated with credit card merchant accounts. Plus, I’ll point out a couple of common pitfalls you will want to avoid.

Til Then,

PS “Swiping” transactions at the point of sale is one of the best ways to cut down on credit card processing fees. A simple credit card encryption sleeve can convert your iPhone into a mobile payment processing tool that can save your company hundreds of dollars each and every month. Contact me today to get started!