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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Credit Card Processing

    For 5+ years I've been with Costco and have been fairly pleased. It turns out the software program I've been using, "PC Transact-it" is becoming obselete and doesn't meet new security requirments so I'm forced to upgrade.

    Anyway, I called the company today and was told I need to buy a new software program for $149 and then it's $8/month to cover the upgrades and changes to the software. I believe this is in addition the minimum charge and transaction fees I already pay.

    I suppose I'm a bit miffed that considering all the money I give them I have to pay $150 to relace softward that, as far I'm concerned, works just fine. And, that they want to nickel and dime me for $8/month on top of all the money I give them. Especially, when my local bank, Chase, is offering me $250 just to start up a new account (not sure about the fees yet).

    So, has anyone gone with this "new" Costco stuff? Of, do you have any other recommendations for CC processing? The number of scammers that call me in a month to sell me this service makes me skeptical of the whole thing but I guess I have to take credit cards.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Hi Matt,

    No experience with Costco, but have you looked into PayPal?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Maryland
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    1,049

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    I use PayPal.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Yeah, a friend of mine is always trying to talk me into it. I could see doing it in addition to visa/mc but not as a replacement. I have enough trouble getting contracts signed and returned where a fax machine is required. I think I'd end up sticking a fork in my eye if I had to walk little old ladies through Paypal. Also, I think the fee is 2%? That's a bit more than the Costco program. I think that's about 1.7% + a pretty minimal set fee.... something like 29 cents.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    2,797

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Ditto PayPal.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  6. #6
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    When I get a call I set the appointment and then discuss payment. Check or cash is all I accept. One out of hundreds cannot come up with the cash or a check until about another minute into the conversation. Then suddenly the cash or check reappears.. I have absolutely zero cost in collecting money. No card or credit card number processing, no fees, no book keeping and keeping track of anything but the cash or check (cash) in hand.

    I stopped taking credit cards maybe 3 years or so ago and never have a problem.

    If they can buy a home then they can afford to cash out to me at the times inspection. No inconvenience to me in the slightest and only once in all these decades did I get a bad check. A couple times the accounts in other states were closed before mine cleared and the folks realized it and made good on it before I brought it up.

    Credit cards are not good for you and certainly not good for your clients. They cost everyone money and time. They should be banished from the face of the planet. Debit cards are great. You can only spend what you have.

    Oh my...I am helping the world economy

    How about that


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    I use Costco for my CC processing. The program I use is ViaWarp, I did not need to upgrade it when the changes took effect. Costco uses a cc processing company I think it is now called Ellanon or something like that.

    Yes, they do have an $8 fee for the virtual terminal usage.
    They do not charge this fee if you have a cc terminal, I think they cost around $200 to $300.

    I look at it as a just another cost of doing business. It is a deductible cost along with my cell phone, etc....

    As for Pay Pal, IMHO it just does not reflect professional appearance I want to convey to my clients. It is great for Ebay, but that is about it. Besides, the money does not go directly into your bank account. You have to transfer it from the PayPal account to your bank account and that takes about 2-3 days. Actually when it is all said and done with I think the cost are just about the same, except for the monthly fees associated with a conventional cc procession company.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  8. #8

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    I think I'd end up sticking a fork in my eye if I had to walk little old ladies through Paypal. Also, I think the fee is 2%?
    All you do is jump onto your own account and type in her credit card info. Said little old lady just has to be willing to give up her number.

    I quit taking cards at least a year ago, and have not received any complaints. I just recently signed up for PayPal just so I could collect payment from one guy who was supposed to get me paid through escrow. Somehow the escrow company never received the payment info., so I didn't get my check. My client flat out had no money to pay for the inspection, and credit card payment was the only way he could pay unless I wanted to take monthly payments. So basically, collecting a late payment cost me 20 bucks, and I will cancel my newly opened account at the end of this month.


  9. #9
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Cash, check, or money order. My high school principal always said "In God we trust. All others pay cash."


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    I've taken credit cards for nearly 20 years now and I can't imagine doing business without them.

    We are becoming a cash-less society like it or not and you'll be left behind if your not taking them in my opinion.

    Sure there are fees in taking cards, but people are less to squabble over pricing once they know you take credit cards. Most I see are actually debit type cards (Visa's).

    Cash, check, money orders, credit cards. I'll take them all.

    rick


  11. #11
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Due to increased security concerns I had to go through a "security test" of sorts to satisfy all the new requirements. Apparently it is now an annual requirement. Not a big deal.

    I still have Visa/MC available, but do not advertise same and if clients ask I simply say: "Cash or Check" and have not had any problems since I put the CC information under wraps about 4-years ago.

    I still keep the option as I have many clients from overseas (military theaters) or simply out of town and it is just easier/quicker for such situations. I also add a small percentage to help offset the additional processing fees.

    I've used Elavon - Banc Card of America since I started and due to the "few" transactions processed I carry a $10.00 monthly service fee for the account.


  12. #12
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Oh, I forgot to add this!!.. I know that the rules say you can't, shouldn't and that you will get thrown under the bus for doing it, but....... I started to charge a $7.50 "convenience" fee when my client pays by CC. I figure if my local water company, the bookstore down the street, the gas station on the highway and my sons school can do it then so can I.

    I started it this year and so far out of the 27 CC clients I have had not one word has been said. I think I have had 2 or 3 pay with a check to avoid the fee, but that it not a big deal.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Scott,

    Its actually against the law here in Texas and with most credit card merchant processing companies to add a "convience" fee to someone using a credit card.

    I had a driving ticket a couple years ago and when I went to pay the fine on my credit card, they tried to charge me the extra fee. When I explained it was against credit card merchants rules, they acted funny about it. I ask to see the judge and state my case.

    When I met with the judge, she said she would have to investigate it for herself and would get back with me on the matter and postpone my deadline on my ticket till then.

    The next day the judge called me and said I was correct and that I could pay with a card and not have to pay the extra fee.

    The next thing I know I see that the county court is having to do refunds to all those people that charged the fees to within the last 12 months. Lets say I was not a popular guy with the people at the courthouse for awhile.

    rick


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Scott,

    Its actually against the law here in Texas and with most credit card merchant processing companies to add a "convience" fee to someone using a credit card.

    I had a driving ticket a couple years ago and when I went to pay the fine on my credit card, they tried to charge me the extra fee. When I explained it was against credit card merchants rules, they acted funny about it. I ask to see the judge and state my case.

    When I met with the judge, she said she would have to investigate it for herself and would get back with me on the matter and postpone my deadline on my ticket till then.

    The next day the judge called me and said I was correct and that I could pay with a card and not have to pay the extra fee.

    The next thing I know I see that the county court is having to do refunds to all those people that charged the fees to within the last 12 months. Lets say I was not a popular guy with the people at the courthouse for awhile.

    rick
    I'm not so sure that it is against the law as it is against the rules of the CC processing company. I just do not see how it could be against the law to charge a convenience fee, but then we do have some screwy laws on the books.

    I guess you could give a discount if a person pays in cash or check and just load the fee on the front!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Plano, Texas
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Scott,

    Its actually against the law here in Texas and with most credit card merchant processing companies to add a "convience" fee to someone using a credit card.

    I had a driving ticket a couple years ago and when I went to pay the fine on my credit card, they tried to charge me the extra fee. When I explained it was against credit card merchants rules, they acted funny about it. I ask to see the judge and state my case.

    When I met with the judge, she said she would have to investigate it for herself and would get back with me on the matter and postpone my deadline on my ticket till then.

    The next day the judge called me and said I was correct and that I could pay with a card and not have to pay the extra fee.

    The next thing I know I see that the county court is having to do refunds to all those people that charged the fees to within the last 12 months. Lets say I was not a popular guy with the people at the courthouse for awhile.

    rick
    Ten states including Texas according to Visa (and we know they would not charge any incorrect fees)

    State No Surcharge Laws Protect Consumers | Personal | Visa USA

    TEXAS POSSESSES A "NO SURCHARGE RULE" FOR CONSUMER PURCHASES
    "[A] seller may not impose a surcharge on a buyer who uses a credit card for an extension of credit instead of cash, a check or a similar means of payment."
    Statute: Tex. Fin. Code Ann. § 339.001(a) (Vernon)
    Statute covers: Credit cards only
    Statute: Tex. Fin. Code Ann. §§ 301.002(a)(2),(9)
    Texas State Attorney GeneralConsumer Complaints

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    3,473

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Cash, check, or MO here. I get very few requests for credit card payment and don't want to even get into offering it.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Ten states including Texas according to Visa (and we know they would not charge any incorrect fees)

    State No Surcharge Laws Protect Consumers | Personal | Visa USA

    TEXAS POSSESSES A "NO SURCHARGE RULE" FOR CONSUMER PURCHASES
    "[A] seller may not impose a surcharge on a buyer who uses a credit card for an extension of credit instead of cash, a check or a similar means of payment."
    Statute: Tex. Fin. Code Ann. § 339.001(a) (Vernon)
    Statute covers: Credit cards only
    Statute: Tex. Fin. Code Ann. §§ 301.002(a)(2),(9)
    Texas State Attorney GeneralConsumer Complaints
    Well ain't that a crock! Hey, it only says "Credit Cards" it does not say anything about "Debit Cards".

    I'm safe! Tennessee is not in the list! Yea!
    California
    Colorado
    Connecticut
    Florida
    Kansas
    Maine
    Massachusetts
    New York
    Oklahoma
    Texas

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Texas
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    745

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Our city charges a "convenience fee". From what I understand (from the finance director) a municipality may charge a convenience fee when credit cards are used to pay for services. The reason being that it is a service offered to the citizens that is user specific and since there is a fee charged by the credit card company that fee may be passed on to the user.





  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    I have taken credit cards for several years. Yes it does cost a few dollars.
    I know i have gotten jobs because I took credit cards.
    I know I have not had to wait for a check to be mailed, because someone forgot their checkbook.
    I have a lot of clients that are out of State. Taking credit cards has made payment effortless.

    I am with Ted about using credit cards. I only have one credit card, and its a gas/visa. I get rebates for the gas I buy. I'm a big Dave Ramsey fan, and getting rid of credit cards and debt changed my life.

    I did have an odd one last week. My client, also a Dave Ramsey fan wanted to know if I could wait a few days to get paid, since his payday (once/month) was still a few days off. I told him I could take a credit card, but he said that since he is a Dave Ramsey fan, he doesn't use them. I waited a few days for my money. BY the way, he wanted to wait a few days to do the inspection, but I wanted to move it up to fill an empty slot, so it was on me for trying to get it done before he actually wanted it. It worked out fine.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    ..... I started to charge a $7.50 "convenience" fee when my client pays by CC.

    Completely against the Visa & M/C rules. (Spelled out in your Terms and Conditions). You may charge everyone a fee, but you may not charge only CC users a fee.. ( paraphrasing here ).

    Read about it just about anywhere, and be prepared to lose your merchant status when they find out...and they won't grant you any slack.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    Completely against the Visa & M/C rules. (Spelled out in your Terms and Conditions). You may charge everyone a fee, but you may not charge only CC users a fee.. ( paraphrasing here ).

    Read about it just about anywhere, and be prepared to lose your merchant status when they find out...and they won't grant you any slack.
    As hungry as they are for money, I just have to wonder how many they cancel due to this.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Well ain't that a crock! Hey, it only says "Credit Cards" it does not say anything about "Debit Cards".

    I'm safe! Tennessee is not in the list! Yea!
    California
    Colorado
    Connecticut
    Florida
    Kansas
    Maine
    Massachusetts
    New York
    Oklahoma
    Texas
    Now that rule is voided immediately when no one gets told their inspection costs them 10, 15, 20 dollars more. I charge minor inconvenience fees for many items that make up the cost of an inspection. There is no break down. It all comes from between the ears as I talk to the potential client. In the end it is x amount for the home inspection and if I set up the appointment for a termite inspection I give them the cost for the termite inspection. There is no break down for the pool, out building, square footage, age, etc etc aggravation, inconvenience fee etc etc etc. I adds up to x amount and that is what they cut a check for or pull cash out of their pocket. As far as out of state folks I generally have them have their Realtor cut a check to me and they mail a check to the realtor for that amount and all the other closing costs. I may do five almost identical homes in size and age at one a day for five days and everyone of them may be a slightly different price based on the conversation. In essence I can charge anything I want to any particular client.

    I charge some folks more just for the sake I know for an absolute fact they are going to be a serious time consumer for some time to come after the inspection. If folks irritate me when I am explaining the inspection process on the phone, they get charged more money for the inspection. i tell every potential client that I have no fixed rates on inspections. I explain to them that there are a serious amount items involved in figuring the cost of the inspection. The only fixed rate I have is the minimum price for any inspection. Everything is open from there. Working all over the MetroPlex has its advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes to me and sometimes to the client. Lets face it. There is no particular time frame that you can guaranty yourself on how long you will be at a particular home. Sometimes you win on guesstimated tiome and sometimes you lose.


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    4,546

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Younger clients almost exclusively pay by card. I have had a client or two that were unsure about how to fill in a cheque, they are so wired to CC. It is simple to just charge a bit more across the board and offer to take any form of payment, "just pay me now."
    Only about 20% of my clients pull out the check book, and once in a blue moon, a fist full of cash. I'll discount a few dollars for cash, round it down.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    I keep wondering if this violates their laws: Not a surcharge for CC but a discount for cash or check?

    That portion of the Texas statute doesn't seem to address it. A few years ago we started charging more for old houses.... I quickly learned that's a bad way to put it. We now give discounts for newer ones

    I think this is largely a moot point for most of us.... I can't imagine a credit card company even taking the time to hassle us lowly HIs.


  25. #25
    Byron Brubaker's Avatar
    Byron Brubaker Guest

    Thumbs up Re: Credit Card Processing

    Take a look at this. I think Intuit is worth it.
    Mobile Credit Card Processing made easy with Intuit GoPayment



    Service
    Cost
    Monthly service
    $12.95
    Discount rate for Visa, MasterCard and Discover® Network
    Card-swiped: 1.70%
    Key-entered: 2.70%
    Per-authorization fee
    $0.30
    Monthly Minimum fee
    $0.00
    One-time set-up fee
    $0.00
    Cancellation fee
    None


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    Matt, I have my merchant account through Costco. I use a program called IC Verify. There is no per month charge. The software is $250-$400 depending on where you buy it. I bought it on ebay.
    I would say about 95% of my transactions are CC.
    What is your base monthly fee?

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    We threw our weight around plus a few thousand user 3 years ago and negotiated a really good rate anyone can use. 2.03% to 2.39% + .15% for rewards cards. Check it out at Home Inspection Software - Home Inspector Pro - Credit Card Processing For Home Inspectors for all the details. I created a page that you can load on your phone with internet to collect payment onsite without purchasing a $60-$80 a month machine.

    Home Inspector Pro - Home Inspection Software & Home Inspection Website Hosting
    Runs on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone & iPad. Import HomeGauge, 3D & InspectVue Narratives!

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Credit Card Processing

    About 85% of my inspections are paid by credit card. At my web site I can lock (force payment) for the reports. I have a lot of out of state/country clients so this works fantastic. Before I started to force payments, I ended up spending so much time tracking down folks to remind them I needed to be paid. (I'm funny that way!) It's a little pricey to have it setup this way, but my time is more important.
    Like one of the guys said, it's a tax deduction and cost of doing business. I'd rather have the write-off than waste my valuable time on dead beats. It's been working great for me. Although, if people ask what I prefer, I always say checks or cash.

    Dave Hill
    Buyers & Sellers Property Inspections LLC
    WWW.BuyersSellersPi.Com

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