Facility to accept credit card payments???

lauraet Registered Posts: 23 New contributor 🐸
I am currently looking into installing a credit card facility within our company. Due to the current economic climate we have had a huge increase in the number of customers requesting to pay by credit card. I feel it would be a good idea to accept card payments, despite the transaction fees involved, purely to get our invoices paid before our customers cash flow problems worsen.

The problem is I dont know where to start. Our invoices are usually paid at 60 days + (our usual terms) and customers do not usually pay until they have recieved their product. Does anyone know how I go about setting up the facility? 99% of the transactions would take place without the cardholder being present, I have seen some articles referring to 'virtual terminals' via the internet but I am worried about making mistakes or choosing the wrong type of service.

Any comments would be much appreciated :001_smile:


  • sarahwilson
    sarahwilson Registered Posts: 567 Epic contributor 🐘
    We've got a physical card machine from Lloyds TSB and we also accept payments online via Protx which was recommended to us by Lloyds. We have a website where you can buy goods online, so I don't know if you can use Protx just to take payments but its £20 a month to have it plus transaction charges from Lloyds.
  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Registered Posts: 2,415 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    lauraet wrote: »
    Due to the current economic climate we have had a huge increase in the number of customers requesting to pay by credit card. ... our invoices are usually paid at 60 days +

    I've linked those two together as I'd be wary of installing card facilities to satisfy customers who are struggling to pay at an already generous 60 days and having to rely on credit once their time is up. Their wanting for a card machine could be seen as a worrying lack liquid funds of their own and a need for credit sources from elsewhere which as we know, are currently in short supply. I may just be being cynical and if your clients are consumers then fair enough, you might be okay, but if they're traders themselves then their comments could be early warning signs of cashflow problems which may soon become your cashflow problems.
  • lauraet
    lauraet Registered Posts: 23 New contributor 🐸
    Thank you for your responses. The only reason why our invoices are paid 60 days + is that our business is advertising funded publications so we cannot demand payment prior to publication. Most customers pay on receipt of the publication although some choose to pay early and take an early settlement discount.

    I am trying to figure out if a card machine would be cost effective as in the past customers simply find another way to pay becauase of the fact that we do not accept cards. I suppose I am just trying to reduce the risk of a customer becoming a bad debt by offering another way to pay before their cashflow difficulties become so bad that they simply cannot pay.
  • Jon_1984
    Jon_1984 Registered Posts: 186 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    We find having a credit card terminal a great way of cutting through the excuses and asking for a payment you can see there and then. And also if you simply ask for the card when they place the order many new customers dont expect credit terms.

    Simply contact your bank who will hire you a terminal, normally within 7 days if you are established with them, hire typically £50 a quarter + % that varies depending on the card type.

    Remember that the bank will happily provide the terminal and allow you to start processing payments, but wont give you the proceeds until they have received the signed agreements back.

    Some banks pay the funds to you the day after the transaction, others 3 to 5 days later.

    Avoid Amex like the plaque - they process seperately, the charges are higher and if your customers choose not to use their cards to pay you they will cut you off without notice and not give you the funds, even if it appears to have gone through (to be fair that was in 2005 and they may have changed).

    Specify that the majority are card holder not present transactions and bare in mind that even if the machine accepts the transaction/you get a manual referral you are still liable for the amount if the card is stolen (although your line of business that sounds unlikely).

    Remember must terminals prefer a dedicated phoneline and some cannot cope with going though internal IP/it networks or being on a shared line unlike most other phones/faxes etc. This means you will often get extra line rental charges, even though the terminal dials an 0800 number. The banks sales team will tell you this isnt true - their helpdesk will tell you it is:crying:

    You can purchase your own terminal but will have to jump though many hoops before the bank will process the transactions for you.

    Remember any protx or similar transaction charges are in addition to the %'s quoted for the card type.

    There is a whole new PCI/DSS protocal rolling out from Visa/Mastercard which can result in stupendous bills if your company are the source of credit card fraud e.g. euro 20,000 to both Mastercard and Visa simply for them to carry out a forensic investigation to determine any cards potentially affected, then between euro 15 and 30 for each card they have to re-issue. The easiest way to comply is not to store any card details and shred any scraps of paper they get written on.
  • lauraet
    lauraet Registered Posts: 23 New contributor 🐸
    Thats a great help, thank you so much.

    I have contacted our bank and as we do not actually need a chip and pin machine the setup costs are much lower than we anticipated, thanks for your input, its greatly appreciated :001_smile:
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