So I just took an offer from Capitol One/Spark. Free card reader and app for my iPhone. 2.7% per swipe, no monthly fee (3.7% per keyed-in/non-swipe payment), and a promo of no fees on the first $1,000.
95% of my clients pay by check (a few use EFT services like Chase QuickPay) and I'm almost never asked if I accept plastic. But since it's totally free except for the discount rates on transactions, I figure I'll go for it.
Hell, it may end up being a paperweight, but I'm curious to know who among you that are business owners take plastic and how it's been working for you. Do you pad your invoices to offset the discount rate? Do the majority of your customers/clients prefer cards, checks, or cash (or chickens )? Have you ever been in the awkward position of having to tell a customer their card has been declined?
I use squareup.com. The fee is 2.75 swipe, 3.5 non swipe with a 15¢ swipe charge. The money goes in your bank account the next day if the transaction is before 5. If after 5 on Friday it goes in Tuesday.
They're all pretty close in pricing, if one were to use it a lot you'd maybe want to split hairs on %s. I've used mine 3 times in the last year. Not a lot but it is a convenience and adds a little credibility I guess.
These things are changing the credit card processing company business models that sell and use the desktop swiping machines and charge a monthly fee. Those machines are expensive and the monthly fees were outrageous. I've noticed they have lowered their rates and are now giving the machines away. They've been forced to stop screwing people over.
On a side note, I also have an Intuit account but its card swiper but it doesn't fit into my iPhone with the Otter box on, it's kind of a cumbersome thing. The Squareup one is more compact and does fit.
This is very similar to SquareUp, and it looks like Spark's transaction fees are a skosh less for swipe and a tad more for non-swipe. And there's no limits or maximums on how often you use it — or don't. They also offer a higher tier for volume transactions with a $9.95 monthly fee and lower transaction fees.
Like you, I expect very little usage, but waddayawant fer nuttin', yer money back?
And I figure, there may be the rare CraigsList sale where it may be handy. I always get cash, but there are those rare buyers who want to know if they can use a check or credit card. Obviously, the former is a non-starter, but now the latter can be an option (although I'd probably tack on a processing charge for those peeps).
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