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Anyone accepting Credit Cards?
Old 10th September 2007
  #1
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AdAudioInc's Avatar
 

Anyone accepting Credit Cards?

I've had 3 requests to accept CC payments, so I'm researching the best way to do it.
Any experiences you can share?

'Frank
Old 10th September 2007
  #2
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AdAudioInc's Avatar
 

I'm not getting roped into any monthly fees - I hate that. I'll pay per play, but that's about it.

Unfortunately, it looks like PayPal is the best option. I just don't like that company - I've heard a lot of bad stuff. If I go with them, I'll set up a second biz account at my bank, and just keep a minimum in there. As soon as I get a payment, I'll transfer it into my main account. That way if there is fraud - I'll only stand to lose the $100 and maybe the amount of 1 transaction.

Any additional thoughts?

'Frank
Old 10th September 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
crypticglobe's Avatar
I take credit cards through Quick Books. It's really easy, and the transfer fees are the lowest in the business.

I think you can do it with quick books online too, which allows you to (more easily) use it anywhere.
Old 10th September 2007
  #4
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RichS's Avatar
 

Costco has a fairly reasonable plan for members.

http://www.novainfo.com/costco/index.asp

I suspect it's better (and safer) dealing with a national credit card company than with some of PayPal's "horror-stories we've all read on this fourm" policies regarding charge-backs and fraud.
Old 10th September 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
I've accepted credit cards for 12 years. Best single decison I ever made.

Eliminates bad checks, allows you to take deposits for sessions on the phone, and people spend more when its on a card. Once the card clears you are guaranteed your money, unless the card is bogus or stolen. You DO have to provide due diligence to avoid this kind of stuff, but its not hard.

Charges......most processors have a minumum UNDER which you get charged a fee. There is a per transaction fee...about 1 percent for Visa or Mastercard...3 percent for Amex. Discover I wouldn't bother with, no one used it. If your per transaction fees exceed the minimum, it is waived.

Terminal...you can rent it, lease it, or buy it it. I had a lease with a 1.00 buy out, so i own mine. I see them cheap on EBay...but not all processors support all machines....investigate first.

Alternately....I have a guy who sets up accounts that use a cell phone to verify....particulary good if you also have a band and want to sell merch at gigs with CC.
Old 10th September 2007
  #6
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vocomotion's Avatar
 

I've been using Google Checkout for accepting credit card payments lately. All you do is signup and then use it to send email invoices to your client. They click on the link and put in their credit card number. Pretty easy.

Right now, they're not charging any processing fees, which is pretty awesome. That will end on January 1st, so get your charging in now!!

http://checkout.google.com

--> freddie
Old 10th September 2007
  #7
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Wilburguy's Avatar
I accept credit cards via MYOB AccountEdge accounting software. Best business decision I've made in years. Well worth the fees to get paid now and let the client owe someone else.
Old 10th September 2007
  #8
Here for the gear
 
Binturong's Avatar
 

Well your gonna need a merchant account, which you are gonna have to get through your MAP or Credit Card Providing Bank. Then you will need a payment gateway I work in the business and pretty much everywhere you go there will be a monthly fee, a setup fee, and a per transaction fee
Old 10th September 2007
  #9
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nemisis633's Avatar
 

If you want Nova just call up US Bank directly (they own it!), without letting costco take their cut. I used to be a branch manager for USB and they honestly had the best merchant services rates. That being said, I do such low credit card volume that I just use paypal (no monthly fees). It's honestly usually worth the transaction fee to have people be a little more "spendy"... I read a study one time.. Places that accept credit cards typically generate 40% more revenue... tap me in...
Old 10th September 2007
  #10
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AdAudioInc's Avatar
 

The Google option is great! No fees - at all, until 2008. I'm going with that until then. I'll have to shop around again at that point.

Thanks all.

'Frank
Old 10th September 2007
  #11
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I take the occasional credit card thru Bank of America. I learned a long time ago that people actually get more credit cards to finance their project when they run out of cash.

Why pass that up?

It's nice to actually have the physical terminal. Paypal isn't going to offer that and they charge too much IMO.

You have to have a real phone company phone line to run a C.C. terminal. It won't connect via VoIP.

If you include any goods, like hard drives (that you should be marking up!) make sure you clearly delineate them on the invoice. It's easier to dispute C.C. charges for services than for goods.
Old 10th September 2007
  #12
jho
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jho's Avatar
 

I use SunTrust and authorize.net
Old 10th September 2007
  #13
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AdAudioInc's Avatar
 

It's nice to actually have the physical terminal. Paypal isn't going to offer that and they charge too much IMO.

What's the advantage - to me it seems like a drawback. Using an antiquated system and phone line, when you have highspeed internet? But - I'm here to learn....
Old 10th September 2007
  #14
jho
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jho's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdAudioInc View Post
It's nice to actually have the physical terminal. Paypal isn't going to offer that and they charge too much IMO.

What's the advantage - to me it seems like a drawback. Using an antiquated system and phone line, when you have highspeed internet? But - I'm here to learn....
That's the cool thing about Authorize.net... it's a virtual terminal
Old 11th September 2007
  #15
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilburguy View Post
I accept credit cards via MYOB AccountEdge accounting software. Best business decision I've made in years. Well worth the fees to get paid now and let the client owe someone else.
HA!

A few years back I was doing all the voiceovers for MYOB's interactive instruction manuals. Oh man... days & days of editing... what mindless drival... it DID pay well & we always went out for a nice lunch. One of the better corporate clients I've had for sure!

Anyway, I've been using PayPal for cards. The fees could be kinder but I figure it balances out with not having to pay a terminal fee every month and I'm not running a large amount of transactions... maybe a handful a month at the most.

Knock on wood, I haven't had any problems with fraud, chargebacks or anything of the sort... but I also tend to be rather diligent about the clients I take on. If it smells like trouble early on I won't take their project.

Saves lots of headaches...
Old 11th September 2007
  #16
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Jim Roberts's Avatar
Up until today, I would have said PayPal virtual terminal. They just announced an increase in their monthly fee from $20 to $30. I think I will shop around now.
Old 11th September 2007
  #17
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John Suitcase's Avatar
 

I use Paypal, just a regular business account, not any virtual terminal stuff. Customers don't have to create a Paypal account, either. No monthly fee, though the processing fee is maybe a little higher than a physical terminal. Unless you're doing enough per month to cover the $40 or so fee that merchant accounts have, Paypal or Google are good options. I get paid with cash a lot, checks sometimes, and Paypal/Credit Card about 10% of the time. So, for me, a full merchant account just didn't make sense. I know from previous experience that chargebacks are just part of the game, in a previous life I had a mailorder business and getting charge back for a $1500 order that already shipped sucks, but it happens if you're not careful enough. Lesson learned, needless to say.
Old 11th September 2007
  #18
I used a credit card terminal and used to joke that it was the best bit of gear in the whole studio!

It is GOLDEN in the case of bands with one flaky member..because I would make a non flaky member pay it the with a credit card.. (and they could knock themselves out fighting about it between them for the next 10 years or so.....who cares, whatever....)

Good for taking deposits too..And for unforseen overtime charges...

I found the monthly fees bearable for the benefits above....
Old 11th September 2007
  #19
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Tibbon's Avatar
You should really accept credit and debit cards. First of all, duh, it lets people (clients) record when they don't have the money. That's great for you. No longer is them being broke an issue if they need to finish mixing the record.

Secondly, having the credit card machine right there is great. You can split payment between the band members if you need, or do whatever.

Yes, you will lose a little money in the process technically, but at the same time, you'll save the problems of not getting paid, or getting paid late. Clients need to settle up in full each time they leave the studio.

Also, you obviously don't have to worry about large amount of cash in the studio. You don't want to get robbed, and having cash on hand is a liability. IF everyone knows that you mainly take cards, people won't think to rob you for cash (yes, it will be your clients or people who know your clients that will likely rob you).

I'll agree with Jules about deposits. Half payment on booking is very key. This lets it happen over the phone.

The biggest downside I can see, is that the less sessions are 'cash' the more sessions that you have to fully report to the IRS. Yes, I said it, everyone probably slides a bit of cash work under the table. Don't act like you've never seen it. It's good to be legit, but taxes suck too.
Old 11th September 2007
  #20
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdAudioInc View Post
The Google option is great! No fees - at all, until 2008. I'm going with that until then. I'll have to shop around again at that point.

Thanks all.

'Frank
I just looked into doing this thinking that I could save some money myself, but after contacting my shopping cart person this is what he wrote back to me. It may still work for you but thought you should know.

"When a shopper pays via Google Checkout, through (edit by me) *must* redirect the shopper to Google's site. The shopper then either creates their own Google Account or logs into their existing Google Account to complete the transaction."

Like I said it might still work for you, but it does not sound like you can just process credit cards through google as of yet.

Glenn
Old 11th September 2007
  #21
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Andrew Kinsey's Avatar
 

To take card payments you firstly need to open merchant account with a bank, there can be a one off setup fee for this depending on your bank.

Once you have the account you can choose to either get a terminal that you have to pay monthly for, or you can get an online terminal which is a cheaper way of doing the same thing.

Old 11th September 2007
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
vocomotion's Avatar
 

Glenn,

Actually, you can use Google Checkout to just take a credit card payment. I do it all the time. Once you login to your account, you go to the Settings tab (strange place to find this) and choose Email Invoice. Then you put in the email address, description, and amount. It sends an email invoice to that address for the set amount. The customer clicks the link in the email and they put in their credit card info (unless they have a Google Account already, but not required). Then it charges them and puts the money in your account.

PayPal has a similar Email Invoice feature, but they charge a fee and Google does not (until Jan).

To use Google Checkout, you don't need to apply as a merchant or anything. No credit checks, etc. I also have a Authorize.net account, but I don't use it anymore...such a pain in the arse...

--> freddie
Old 11th September 2007
  #23
Gear Addict
 
AdAudioInc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vocomotion View Post
Glenn,

Actually, you can use Google Checkout to just take a credit card payment. I do it all the time. Once you login to your account, you go to the Settings tab (strange place to find this) and choose Email Invoice. Then you put in the email address, description, and amount. It sends an email invoice to that address for the set amount. The customer clicks the link in the email and they put in their credit card info (unless they have a Google Account already, but not required). Then it charges them and puts the money in your account.

PayPal has a similar Email Invoice feature, but they charge a fee and Google does not (until Jan).

To use Google Checkout, you don't need to apply as a merchant or anything. No credit checks, etc. I also have a Authorize.net account, but I don't use it anymore...such a pain in the arse...

--> freddie
This is the situation that I think will work very well for me.
I'll report back after a few transactions.
Thanks.
Old 11th September 2007
  #24
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John Moran's Avatar
 

get a real credit card terminal and use it. one of the best decisions we ever made, never regretted it.

no bad checks

take their money over the phone, secure deposits from out of town clients, get paid in advance

clients see it and it's familiar and safe to them

simplifies your accounting

service fees more than pay for the aggravation and expense of bad checks, unpaid invoices and trying to collect them which is always difficult and sometimes impossible. worried about the fees? bump the rate the 3% to cover it.

credit terminals will reject bad credit customers for you (that's a hidden benefit, you don't have to be the bad guy, the terminal does it for you) and that beats finding out a week later their check bounced.

why a real terminal over an internet terminal ?

how may times have -you- bought something from a place with an internet terminal versus a real credit card terminal ? make it look professional!

if you want to do it for real, get a real credit card terminal and take the damn cards. you won't regret it if you have business.

we took only visa and mastercard, had a few amex requests to work around but didn't lose much sleep over that.
Old 11th September 2007
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vocomotion View Post
Glenn,



PayPal has a similar Email Invoice feature, but they charge a fee and Google does not (until Jan).



--> freddie
Actually paypal has Virtual Terminal which lets you charge credit cards without sending a invoice to the customer. It does cost, but is pretty easy. To bad google does not have something like that or maybe I don't see it on the site.
My web guy also gave me this merchant which might be good for some of you http://www.freeauthnet.com/index.php?partner=100101. Seems a little lower then paypal if you don't have the volume, but not free like google. heh
Glenn
Old 11th September 2007
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
vocomotion's Avatar
 

Yeah, no Virtual Terminal on Google. They've kept the Google features pretty slim...but then again, it's a free beta. Maybe when they start charging fees on Jan 1st, they'll add some more features.

--> freddie
Old 11th September 2007
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vocomotion View Post
Yeah, no Virtual Terminal on Google. They've kept the Google features pretty slim...but then again, it's a free beta. Maybe when they start charging fees on Jan 1st, they'll add some more features.

--> freddie
I will say that I am pretty happy google has got into the game. Not that I hate paypal, but it might help slap that chip off there shoulder. heh I get pretty good customer service from paypal now, but that was not until I was doing a pretty big volume, which kind of pisses me off. I have never been a big fan of the "you give me a lot of business and then I will treat you right" game.

Glenn
Old 11th September 2007
  #28
Here for the gear
 
Erik-RMCAudio's Avatar
 

We do Visa, MC, Discover, Amex and Paypal. We also do Financing. Giving customers more ways to give you money for your services is always a good idea.
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