What are the differences and the best choice for your business?
Are you considering Surcharging or Cash Discounting? Accepting credit cards is a necessity in today’s world. However, credit card processing fees are taking a larger chuck out of your profit margin these days, especially with the ever-increasing popularity of rewards cards. Moreover, many of the merchant fees associated with rewards cards tend to increase year after year, due to the escalation of the “Cash Back” incentives the Card Issuers give their cardholders.
Who pays for the majority of these incentives? You the merchant. More and more merchants are now electing to add a surcharge or implement a cash discount program to combat these rising costs. This may be a great option for your company if done correctly. So, what is the difference between surcharging and cash discounting?
- Surcharge: Adding a small percentage to a credit card transaction to offset the merchant fees for processing the credit card payment. This surcharge is added to offset the processing fees associated with accepting credit cards. This fee only applies to credit cards and does not apply to other forms of payment such as debit cards, cash, or checks. Surcharging must also be done in a compliant manner and by a processor that follows the rules and ensures their merchants are compliant.
- Cash Discount: A reduction in price for customers who pay with cash or check instead of credit or debit cards. The discount is deducted from the advertised price at the time of sale. Another method of Cash Discounting is adding a small percentage to increase the price of the sale, known as a Non-Cash Adjustment.
Making this Win-Win Solution
Ask yourself, is this a good move for your business? Will there be pushback from the customers? The solution is simple. Giving your customers an option to pay with a lower-cost alternative is a win-win! They continue to receive great pricing if they pay with cash or check, and you are able to offset your processing fees. It is good for both parties when these programs are rolled out correctly with proper signage, employee training, and a good Point of Sale System, which calculates and ensures compliance.
Card Systems understands that every business is unique, which is why we take a consultative approach to find the right solution for your business and card processing needs. Whether you’re just getting started or have been in business for decades, Card Systems can offer endless benefits to help you run your business more efficiently and more profitably.
Join us for Great Food, Vendors, and Fun
The weather is perfect and with so much to do here in Southwest Florida, now is the time to get out and enjoy the fun events around town. The ArtFest, Bike Night, Taste of the Cape, and Food Truck Wars started the season with breaking record crowds and revenues. This weekend the Edison Festival of Lights and the much-anticipated return of our Greek Festival will be the focus of fun and good food.
Is your Business Pivoting with Technology and Online Ordering?
Most businesses have pivoted to curbside or pickup services for their restaurants or retail establishments. If not, they are less likely to be found, limiting their exposure and greatly reducing sales. Consider beefing up your site, adding online ordering, or implementing a third-party app to facilitate delivery. Remember to make order in-store, pickup, or delivery easier for your business.
When are Delivery Apps Beneficial?
Third-party apps like Uber Eats and Door Dash have their place as they give your restaurant great exposure to first-time diners and support their delivery needs. Just make sure you control your online pickup orders, or they can take a big bite out of your profits. Also, take advantage of all the social platforms to market your events and link to your online ordering page. Use two buttons, one for online pickup and the other for the delivery app.
Digital Menus for Order Ahead
Our POS Software and POS Apps can create an easy-to-read menu with links for you to post everywhere. If you are not adopting this technology you are less likely to be found. These simple tools enable your customers to review your menu prior to ordering. This not only saves time, but also turns tables faster, and reduces your precious labor costs.
Is Your Merchant and POS Provider QIR Certified?
Visa requires all merchants including Level 4 merchants (small businesses) to have their payment processing devices and systems installed by Qualified Integrator and Reseller (QIR). That means ensuring your EMV or chip reader and/or software used in your business is installed, maintained, and serviced by Qualified PCI Certified Technicians. Small businesses tend to be more susceptible to fraud thus more at risk. ACCORDING TO VISA, since EMV adoption, credit card theft has dropped about 76%.
The Difference Between EMV and the Old Magnetic Swipe Process
Although an EMV (or chip) reader can be slightly slower than the old card swipe, it is safer for the cardholder and the merchant. This is because the magnetic strip once carried all of your account information, and it was easy to copy. The new chip technology creates a unique code from with communicates that “this amount of money from this card was used for this transaction and this one only.” Thus removing the ability to reuse the information because of the unique code generated from the chip. Make sure you are using credit card terminals and or software systems that already have this technology-enabled.
Why do you need a QIR-certified Payment Provider to Install Your POS System?
The biggest reason is, securing your data. Only qualified professionals should install or troubleshoot your Point of Sale System or credit card terminals. This we where restaurants become vulnerable and open to malware. The POS goes down and someone does a quick fix or remotes in and leaves a firewall open or with an easy-to-hack password. Also, Skimmers can be placed within a machine and sold to unsuspecting merchants resulting in stolen information and potential fines.
The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has a certification for eligible resellers to give the business owner peace of mind. The customer’s information is secure when making transactions. In addition, the technicians installing and servicing your terminals are trained to do so with the most up-to-date standards, no matter the size of your company.
PCI DSS recommends always checking your current or new providers to ensure they maintain the highest security standards. We make sure our team at Card Systems is PCI certified. Even though filling out the form every year and doing a security scan can be painful at times with cameras and other connections in your business, it helps protect you and your customers. It is just common sense like closing your front door, locking it, and then checking it from time to time.
Search by country, region, or state on the PCI SSC Qualified Integrator & Reseller List.
Choosing your Merchant Services Provider should be at the top of the list when opening a business
Banks try to “simplify” the task for you by offering their in-house services. However, is the bank really better for your company than a Local Merchant Service Provider? The answer is no; the bank itself is just a large-scale Merchant Service Provider.
While banks offer some of the same services that a Local Merchant Provider does like their own POS System and credit card readers, your Local Merchant Provider typically carries a larger variety of POS Systems. They make sure you never feel lost in the sea of merchants and almost always provide better service over the phone or in person. It is their core business to service your processing needs.
Bank of America Merchant Services and most Banks are just resellers that outsource customer service, leaving the merchant without immediate help if a problem occurs because the technology doesn’t typically belong to them. They are just reselling merchant processing along with their other bank services.
Technology is Key
The technology doesn’t always belong to the Local Merchant Provider either, but they take the time to learn the products that they are selling. For example, Card Systems has teamed up with business solutions merchants like Clover and Sound Payments, and others to help businesses directly and never leave you without support. In fact, last year they purchased an ownership interest in Edgeserv POS to help local restaurants provide a better overall dining experience.
Fees can be difficult to determine
In addition to the customer service not reaching the public’s standards, bank reviews reflected that banks can be deceptive in claiming lower rates. They try to say their rates cannot be beaten, but they just waive certain bank fees while raising prices on other services.
Pricing seems to even out or be more favorable from your Local Merchant Service Provider when unexpected fees begin showing up on the bank’s merchant statements. Businesses also ran into undisclosed contracts and high termination fees when the services were no longer needed.
3 main takeaways:
- Do your research before choosing your Merchant Service Provider
- Know what your business really needs
- Make sure your Merchant Service Provider is available when you need them (not just 9-5)
A 200-seat restaurant and a 7-table coffee shop do not need the same processing services, but they both need quality services. You want your customers to feel safe when making payments while at the same time make maximum profit from the transactions. Don’t overpay for services and technology you don’t need and make sure your provider is always available to help when you need it.
The number one impulse gift is a gift card. Are you offering gift cards to your customers?
This is an excellent way to promote your business and create additional revenue at the same time. Successful business owners know this and prepare well in advance of every holiday. But wait….don’t forget birthdays, actually, they are the number one Holiday so keep refreshing your displays
- Display Gift Cards everywhere. Dress up your store and make sure people see them. This is the easiest and most effective way to market your gift cards
- Advertise on your table Tents
- Send an email to your customers via Mailchimp or Constant Contact
- Have a drawing weekly to collect names and give away
- Add gift cards or e-gift cards to your website and all your social media sites
Here are ways to promote your Gift Cards for Father’s Day and all year long. Check out our Gift Card tips.
We have the supplies you need for your gift cards: Gift Card holders, presenters, table tents (we will design) gift card signage to help you promote your gift cards, and more.
How can you sell more this season?
Gift cards continue to be the #1 gift given and also the #1 gift most people want to receive. E-gift cards and Mobile Gift cards
are becoming more popular than ever and you can begin selling these cards today! Especially with so many people using their mobile devices for everything these days. Not only e-gift cards are easy to buy and send, but they are also instantly delivered or they can be ordered ahead of time.
3 Quick Tips to sell more gift cards this year
Offer an additional bonus gift card with a large purchase or in addition to a $50-$100 gift card purchase. This is another great way to acquire new customers. A mere $10 or $20 free gift card is an inexpensive way to increase your customer base since most people give the free card away to friends or family. There is a reason the big box stores have huge banners up this time of year!
Creating Impulse Gifts
Give your customers a “grab and go” option at check-out with your cards in a basket or simple gift bag. A bottle of wine and pasta in a basket or maybe some chocolates with a plate on display will appeal to your customers. Get creative, and have fun with it! You have a captive audience and visualization always sells more gift cards. Customers love the time savings of not having to wrap it themselves or think of items to add. Your gift cards fly off the shelves and your sales will skyrocket! Not to mention the new business you will gain from the recipients of these gift cards.
Advertise e-Gift Cards Everywhere
Use banners outside or notices on your doors, and a fun display at your check out counter. Also, don’t forget social media…with a simple QR code directing them to your website to order e-gift cards, mobile or plastic gift cards online!
We are all pressed for time these days and just by making it easy for your customers to order with gift ideas or different methods of delivery, you will create the “WOW” factor and be remembered! Last year Statista reported retail sales
were projected to amount to $6.03 trillion in 2022!