Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Steve1040, Jul 24, 2000.

  1. Steve1040

    Steve1040 Guest

    I've been charged with collecting info for my church.

    We would like to accept credit cards for Audio & Video Productions.

    What are the steps involved?
    What are some of the traps people fall into?
    What are questions I should ask providers?

    We want to do it the normal way, Imprint & Submit.

    Since we've been a steady organization for well over 40 years and with the same bank, We don't have any credit concerns. So what should I expect as a top notch package?


  2. MichaelOH

    MichaelOH Guest

    Steve1040 wrote:

    We would like to accept credit cards for Audio & Video Productions.

    Sounds like your church is going into business.

    What are the steps involved?
    It is easy, you simply choose a card processor, they will offer you a range of equipment options for imprinting the card and collecting the money. You can go low tech, the old fashioned manual imprinter, and mail the charge slips to your processor; or, like nearly everyone else nowadays you can use an electronic terminal which will approve the card for you (the manual imprinter can't do that of course) and some of them will even make the deposit (called a batch) for you. Then, depending on the speed of your processor, your money will be credited to your account usually within 2-4 business days.
    What are some of the traps people fall into?
    There are 2 of them. One is not such a big deal, but it is the same bait and switch low intro rate that the Credit Card banks use. You will pay the card processor in about 3 different ways. 1)A statement fee. Mine for instance is $10.00 a month. 2)Authorization fees. Mine range from a $.20 charge for each Amex authorization to $.39 for a debit card transaction. My Debit card fee is supposed to be $.35, so they are reaming me there and hoping I am too stupid to catch em. 3)The discount rate.(Debit cards, btw, are not assessed a discount rate fee, and you tend to get your money quicker, so they tell me. Encourage debit usage, it will cost less.) This is the most important fee if you run any kind of volume at all, and the discount rate is the one that a processor will switch on you. The very best rates you can get are bait and switch rates. Mine, for instance is 1.55%. So, in addition to the other fees I pay, the processor is also entitled to 1.55% of the credit card volume. That is for Visa/Mastercard by the way. My rate for Discover and Amex are higher. (You will have minor dealings with these 2 in order to become merchants with them, part of the process will be started by your card processor)The way to avoid the bait & switch (which might be a good idea for a church) is to sign a contract that locks in your rate. Simple.

    Now, the second way you screw yourself is to lease the equipment, should you decide to use equipment to imprint the cards and transmit the charges electronically. Unless your church is strapped, or there are significant tax advantages (doesn't make sense for a non-profit, but hey, I are a redneck not an accountant) you need to BUY the equipment. The Card processor reps will make about a grand off of you if you sign one of their 3-4 year $50.00 a month leases. And they are business leases, it is not like your rent to own toaster oven that you get to take back when you want a different color. They own you. Buy the equipment.
    What are questions I should ask providers?
    I have to go now, but if there are any other questions let me know.
  3. Alex - Cre

    Alex - Cre Guest


    I just recently obtained my own merchant account, I got it through:
    And was set up in less than 3 days without any problems, they have a lot of options depending on your needs, but I would recommend purchasing it outright instead of going with a lease if it is possible for your organization because you'll be saving yourself some money, the company is very legit though, I hope this helps.


    Credit Cards, Loans, Credit Repair:

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