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Thread: Credit card processors?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Hello to all! I am having a problem deciding which company to go with for our processing needs. Every company I have spoke with tends to bad mouth the competition and I honestly don't know what to believe. We have to get this up and running within a week. I know this has probably been discussed but if any has had any experiences with different companies, good or bad, please post. I really don't want to invest in limousine software yet because we don't have many vehicles yet. Thanks much!

  2. #2

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    There's not much to bad mouth except rate comparisons is there? Honestly once you are set up you will probably never need to speak to them again.

    Check with the following for comparison...Get full rate and fee disclosure sheets from each company.

    1) Local Banks (often have parterned with processing companies).
    2) Quickbooks (has integrated credit card processing)
    3) Various internet companies - I recommend trying the ones affliated with limo software companies such as FastTrak and Livery Coach. You can find their names by looking on those companies websites to see who they partner with. There is no need to buy the limo software to do business with these processors.

    Get 4-5 of the above to give you complete rate disclosures and make your best choice. Once you decide it generally takes at least a week to get the paperwork done and get you turned on, so don't delay!
    Tony Franzetti
    Marriton Limousine, Austin, TX
    Austin Limousine service, Austin airport service, austin bus charters
    http://www.marritonlimo.com

  3. #3

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    Hi Erika
    We wound up going through Costco, if you are an Executive Member they waive the start up fees and there are no monthly fees, just the swip and % per transaction which we found most others and they are easy to deal with, the credit processing is handle thru Nova Systems.
    Good Luck

  4. #4
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Portland Oregon
    Posts
    148

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    What is the percent per transaction going through Costco?



    ==============

    Check out my Limo blog where I tell all about our first year of business.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Symphonyguys, I looked at costco and they seem like a good option. My question is what do you use for processing? They have 3 software options as well as terminals. Which one did you go with and and are you happy with it? Any info appreciated!

  6. #6

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    I checked with the owners of private businesses in my area. I found out who they used and what the fees really are...some were hidden, or yearly fees that weren't mentioned. Some lock you into 4 year contracts also.

    If you have the choice, lease or rent the equipment. This way if you have problems with the unit, they send you another with a box to ship the bad one back.

    My company is through CTS Holdings. Fee is 4% plus $75 yearly. My lease runs 19.95 a month for equipment (which I had replaced already once.)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Portland Oregon
    Posts
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    Ouch 4%? Currently I'm using Paypal's virtual terminal. I can use it anywhere there is an internet connection. It's $25 per month and the rates start at 3% and go down from there. Mine is currently at 1.9% which is the lowest it can go.

    The only thing I don't like about it is that it does not have 100% of the chargeback protections a terminal machine does. It's a little easier for me to loose in a dispute.



    ==============

    Check out my Limo blog where I tell all about our first year of business.

  8. #8

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    Hopefully Erika already moved on and made a decision, but since I have some additional thoughts with a bit more specific advice...

    First, decide how/where you plan on processing charges. Most big companies charge the cards in the office and never actually swipe it.

    Since you will likely not be swiping cards a terminal is not a necessary office item. You can use a software terminal, or better yet put the money saved on a terminal towards buying a livery reservations program which includes online credit card processing.

    IF you decide you want a terminal I recommend you do NOT rent it. You can get one on ebay for under $200 and since you own it you can always sell it back on ebay later. It just doesn't make sense to lease a low ticket price item for $20 a month on a 3-4 year contract.

    A reasonable rate to pay for each transaction is 2%-3%. Do not go with a company that locks you into any sort of contract or has cancellation fees.

    Blue Diamond - time to shop around and eliminate 1%! You stand to save a lot of money by switching...

    Personally I like the flexibility a software setup gives you. You can charge someone's card even if you are not at the office. Although there are monthly fees associated with this method I think it provides efficiencies which compensate for the cost, especially if you are using one which is integrated with your livery software.
    Tony Franzetti
    Marriton Limousine, Austin, TX
    Austin Limousine service, Austin airport service, austin bus charters
    http://www.marritonlimo.com

  9. #9

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    Yes TxLimoGuy, but the 1% is because I normally don't have the card to swipe, so it's 1% higher. Yes, I got locked in to a contract. Newbie mistake. Believe me, I will be shopping around and have a better grasp on how that side of business works. Fool me once, shame on them... but it won't be twice.

    Thanks for the concern!

  10. #10

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    Just for an example from Intuit/Quicken:

    1) Keyed in (non-swiped) rates: 2.44%
    2) Swiped rates: 1.76%

    Even with being stuck in a contract you may be able to ask your current company to re-evaluate your rate if you have been in business over a year and have had few chargebacks. Once we were in business for a while we got our rate reduced even further just by asking....
    Tony Franzetti
    Marriton Limousine, Austin, TX
    Austin Limousine service, Austin airport service, austin bus charters
    http://www.marritonlimo.com

  11. #11
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    260

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    Erika,
    All is great advice. I suggest picking your reservation software first, if you decide to use one. Some of the software vendors have special requirments for processing within their software and have patnership with processors. It might save you a little $$$.

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