Elavon Credit Card Processing

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

I have been using Elavon for a number of years and basically been happy... today they made me angry. The terminal (rented) died. They are charging me a fee to ship me a change the terminal (it's in the contract). But I'm angry because it's NOT MINE! It's their terminal that is defective. They own it. 

Thankfully, I have a backup unit for processing from another company. Higher percentage, but it does work. But the gall of charging customers the fee to ship replacements for their own equipment. Especially when the biggest processor keeps on asking me to change and has offered me up to $500 to switch!

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Arks's picture
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yes

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Generic's picture
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Okay, I called back and had a nice discussion with them. They offer the equivalent of S2 but with my real merchant rate except that there is a $100+ setup fee and an $8 monthly fee. So, I'll keep S2 as my backup, since it doesn't cost anything monthly and is cheaper on the Amex and we can take Discover for the once a year that someone presents that card.

For the terminal, I can swap this out and keep my current rental rate where I'm not even paying for the pinpad... and it's a SINGLE digit rental rate. I can replace the unit with a fancier unit and not pay the swap fee, but then I have to pay a new rental rate which will certainly cost me a lot more, monthly. 

So, basically pay the $45 and keep my low rental rate or pay $0 but get a higher rental rate forever. I guess we sort of know what I'm going to do. 

Generic's picture
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Okay, better story! I got a call from Elavon and the CS rep was fantastic. Swap at N/C and will pass on to the virtual terminal people that maybe they should be more competitive. I'm happy!

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06/26/2008

Used them only for a few months with a lot of problems. First they send me the defective unit - had to be returned - luckily they did not charge me for shipping took a number of days without one- had to call in the credit cards to them for authorization at the higher %- I tried to argue that it was not my fault and they should not charge me the penalty since it was their unit- no can do, had to pay. Within 3-4 month they changed 2 units as there continue to be a problem- 3rd time it happened I told them not to bother- I had enough. Of course had to pay the extra fee, but at that point I just wanted it to be over.

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10/07/2008

my machine fits in my change purse now. I will never ever go back to anything else. I have a second for redundancy. 

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Generic's picture
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Square is significantly more expensive for me and doesn't have the ability to do debit around here. But it's my backup system and of course since it's cheaper for Amex, we use it for that.

jmj
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What is that machine called? Where did you get it?

Arks's picture
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jmj wrote:

What is that machine called? Where did you get it?

That's Square, running on an iPad (also runs on iPhone). I'm not sure it's available in Mexico. You just plug the little card reader into the iPad headphone jack, install the free Square software, and you're in business. It processes charges by wi-fi (or by phone if your device has a phone plan and wi-fi isn't available).

For small businesses (with charges less than $1000/month) Square is actually cheaper for the business than a regular credit card processor. Square takes a higher percent of each charge than regular processors, but they do not have ANY other fees, like a the monthly fees the regular processors add on to your monthly bill.

gillumhouse's picture
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For small businesses (with charges less than $1000/month) Square is actually cheaper for the business than a regular credit card processor. Square takes a higher percent of each charge than regular processors, but they do not have ANY other fees, like a the monthly fees the regular processors add on to your monthly bill.

I am doing a webinar for SBA about SQUA RE next month. They have told me (SQ that is) that the only charges that are problematical is if the charge is over $25K. It gets dicey at that point. So I think they have refined it a bit. And I - even I - have had more than $1000 in charges in a month.

I swipe the card, with in minutes I have a e-mail telling me I had a transaction for whatever from card xxxxxxxxxxxx0000 and then it tells me how much will be deposited to my account. It keeps a running total and then the next morning (except Sunday) I get an e-mail telling me the total that is being deposited to my account. I can verify the percentage. i could not do that with the processor because I never knew the % being taken for that particular card and I did not find out how much they were taking in fees from May until June 25 when I got my June Statement - they took the fees on June 1 AFTER I got my May statement. I have several reasons for liking SQ. (Plus no space taking up on my desk for the machine)

Arks's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

I - even I - have had more than $1000 in charges in a month.

THIS site says the break point is $5,000 to $10,000/month, not the $1000 I mentioned: "As you can see, Square is the frontrunner for businesses with less than $5,000 in credit card transactions a month. Once a user hits $10,000 though, merchant accounts become more affordable."

jmj
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Can Square be used with Res key?

Skamokawa's picture
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08/24/2008

I use Square, and use Reskey, we have a low volume so I am very happy just sliding the card outside the reservation system (2.75% per swipe) but you might look into Paypal, since Arks says they are compatible.  Paypal now has 'Paypal Here', like Square, it uses a card slider that can be used with your iphone or ipad.  You may end up with the best of both worlds.

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Arks's picture
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jmj wrote:

Can Square be used with Res key?

Not directly, but you could take the reservation through ResKey and manually run the charge through Square, or a regular processor terminal. (You pay a slightly higher fee to enter card numbers manually vs. swiping the magnetic strip.)

ResKey only accepts the following services for direct payment at time of ResKey booking: PayPal, Authorize.net, Vacation RentPayment Gateway, PaygistiX, and First Payment Gateway.

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Arks wrote:

jmj wrote:

Can Square be used with Res key?

Not directly, but you could take the reservation through ResKey and manually run the charge through Square, or a regular processor terminal. (You pay a slightly higher fee to enter card numbers manually vs. swiping the magnetic strip.)

ResKey only accepts the following services for direct payment at time of ResKey booking: PayPal, Authorize.net, Vacation RentPayment Gateway, PaygistiX, and First Payment Gateway.

Interesting point. If I have a square and use it with my android or iPhone while overseas, wouldn't it still be the same? Goes into my account and I swipe the card. ?

It couldn't be blocked if I am using my own phone, right? Okay I am super tired, this is weird. I know my sister in ireland cannot download free songs I send her on her internet, but this is not on her phone. 

happykeeper's picture
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12/11/2008

for those of us that missed out on the discussions about SQR and others, how has it worked out with financials and function. I am assuming your first thought would be...really great! I'm interested in that little list in your head that starts with, "Well, for starters I don't have to.....

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gillumhouse's picture
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The only thing I noticed was my revenue did not agree with my excel total. In searching out why, I discovered a canceled reservation that it did not zero out when I canceled it. Now when I block rooms or do a cancel, I set the rate to zero. IF it then re-books, it puts the rate back in. A minor thing. I kow I do not use it to its possible functionality, but it gives me what I want. the first time I got an e-nail asking to be put on the waiting list I was blown away! It has happened several times now (I had no idea it existed until I got the first one) Once it was same day, next time it was I had blocked rooms because I was going out of town and I ended up getting both (second was a repeat & DH took care of the breakfast I left behind & she sent a check for payment  - he could not run the processor). The last time I contacted them and told them there was not a snowball in heck's chance of a cancel that weekend.

There is NO list in my head of what I wish it would do. It is now even hooked up with innrewards.com for availability and reservations.

happykeeper's picture
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12/11/2008

Hi GH

Actually, I was asking about square. We are thinking of changing and I wondered how it is. So far.. I think it is too expensive for a larger volume. I just wondered how it weighed against the pluses. We don't take deposits typically, so we wouldn't need to use it on the road much.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

What do i like about SQ UARE - let me count the ways.

No machine to take up space, break down

I can now take AMEX or Disc (did not before as my choice due to % bite)

Guest sees me run the charge

No paper receipts to deal with (e-mail receipt to guest)

Immediate notice of how much I am getting WITH copy of signed receipt if I click details

Accountability with charges (had no idea if the processor was charging correctly/fairly)

No worries if power is down as long as cell phone works

Can use cell phone or iPad (iPad gives bigger signing space)

E-mail notice the next day that money was sent to bank 

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

I've had two machine swaps, for the 1st although Elavon where my transaction processor the machine was leased through Forrester UK Holdings but it was Hypercom who did the swap, the other was with my current processor, First Data merchant services.

In the first case a thunderstorm blew the machine, in the 2nd there was a bug in the software which kept causing software upgrades to fail.

In both instances the new machine was sent by over night courier and I was charged for neither.

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

That's why I'm upset... It's a substantial charge to replace THEIR machine. If it was mine, I'd understand, but it's not.

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