Today’s blog post is inspired by Elavon
When I opened my own shop 7 years ago I knew taking electronic payment like credit and debit was a major requirement. At that time I choose to partner with Moneris, already with Royal Bank it was a no brainer. But failing to use my brain was where things went wrong.
I got the latest and greatest counter machine for processing Debit and Credit cards. I soon found out how much of a pain it was as the majority of lawn tractor service required pick up and delivery, and being a new business I didn’t know many of my customers yet.
Not having a portable machine made things hard, I had to have them come into the shop to pay before delivery, having them pay after was an option until the first time I was burned; lesson learned!
Moneris has contracts, and mine was for 2 years. I was glad to have it as this world is cash poor, no one has money they just borrow it. However after two years I needed to find other options, I already started using Square at this time and was about to cancel my Moneris account as Square’s rates were good, there was no monthly fee and the only down side was no debit. At this time my contract automatically renewed with Moneris something I wasn’t happy about and it took a bit of work to get out of, another lesson learned.
After using Square for a few years I felt I needed that debit option back, but needed to be portable. I found a program called Dream Payments, they ran the same program that TD Bank did, it was actually TD’s program just re-branded and no contract. I picked up a card reader that paired with my phone and at last debit offered again….
Both these programs were mobile, they had no contracts, rates were not bad, not great but not bad. but after even 5 years of using Square my customers were still a little hesitant to use it, yes it was still new I guess, it was different and they main thing was am I being defrauded was the feed back I was getting. Now it’s hard to explain to people I don’t know I’m a legit businessman, lived in Georgetown my whole life etc.
I felt it was time for a chance, after doing some research and looking into some options, constantly trolling Square for 2 years to release debit in Canada as it was in the US already and Debit was invented by a Canadian… Anyway Square came out with debit, but it had a $100 limit, my average transaction is $400 so that was no good.
Anyway, I found Elavon, a program through Costco, a large international company, yes they had some bad reviews, but show me a business that doesn’t and I’ll show you reviews that were solicited or only posted by employees.
They had a proper card reader, a brand name. The same card reader that everyone is use to using at every store, restaurant and gas station they go to and it was 100% mobile working on the cellular network with an open SIM card that pulled the strongest of all three major networks for a flat rate. Yes it has a contract, Yes it has monthly fees. However there is not penalty to cancel and now I’m never questioned about how legit this machine is.
I have had it in use for two weeks now, and yes it uses paper whereas the two others send out digital receipts however paper is cheap through Amazon, the up side is that it’s easy to use, the fees are calculated at the end of the month not deducted from the charge before money is deposited in my bank which makes for easier bank reconciliation and my money is deposited at the end of business day, not one to two business days later.
All and all it has been a pretty good experience so far and I think I’m finally at the place I need to be with digital payment acceptance.
When you read this you may think this is a lot of work and effort this guy has put into just accepting money, and yes it’s a pain in the backside dealing with suck a meaningless task but at the end of the day trying to keep the balance of happy customer, accepting money, and not paying absorbent fees just to collect money are all MAJOR concerns for a small business owner, what most people may think is a moot point or not even know how much work it really is to just set up systems like this is what we charge what we do, not ever penny you pay actually makes it to us and we need to pass those fees and charges along.
What we do though is try to get the best rates and lowest fees to keep our prices as low as we can and save you money.
I have never once hidden the fact I started this business to make money, I am not a charity, I enjoy what I do but am not rich enough to do it for free. Even Bill Gates doesn’t work for free. But what I do do is work as hard as possible to be fair and honest and save you when I can. I like to earn your money not just take it like other business out there.
As you can tell by reading a fraction of the story that encompass how we take payments we strive to work for you, to save you just as much as we make from you.
Thanks for taking the time to read and support a local small business!