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Credit card processing - about to take the plunge

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Skamokawa

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Up to now, we've not taken credit cards, but most are asking, and its time to take the plunge. In the past, folks on this forum have recommeded Tom Weiskotten, but when I click on the link here in resources, or do a paste into the URL box, no luck.
Anybody working with a 'service' they actually like? We need to mesh with Reservation Nexus, also need to swipe cards on site for gift shop sales.
I've searched the threads, but must not be using good search terms

-KathleenM
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Personally, go with your local bank who can provide it right there and try to get the best rates. I hear issues on this forum with a national provider, but when I have any issues at all I just call the bank or call the call center and it is fixed. imnvho. my 2 cents.
PS I spoke to a woman and took a booking from Lynden WA yesterday. :) Not near you but same state.
 

Copperhead

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I agree to check with your local bank but DO comparison shopping as well - even with nationals. Make sure you get ALL the information - rates for all levels of cards (qualified, mid and non, debit, swiped vs keyed), authorization charges, batch charges, statement fee, start up charges and then the new PCI compliance charges. Some processors have different rates based on your monthy take in.
While we all fight the battles regarding taking credit cards, I know that my business would die if I stopped taking them. The world has become plastic!
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I have had cash once this year so far and it was this weekend. Yes good point about contracts as well, some charge you if you cancel. Don't lease the machine either, buy one outright and see if they can throw that into the deal! Or at least negotiate the price.
 

Morticia

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Is there a limited number of processors who CAN mesh with Res Nexus? That's who you should call in that case. If it's wide open, hate to say it, but good luck. I doubt there is anyone who is 100% satisfied with their provider. Between hidden fees, additional costs, etc, it's never what you think it's going to be.
When getting rates, be sure to ask about what they charge for the cards that provide points, business cards, international cards, hand-entered cards (if you'll be doing GC's, or deposits), etc. The rates quoted are generally only for basic cards with no frills.
So, they may advertise that the 'discount rate' is 1.98% but that is usually for plain vanilla V & MC. If someone gets reward points, miles, free gifts, etc then the rate may be 2.1%. AmEx is higher still. International cards higher (possibly 4%).
Sometimes there is an access fee to look at your account online, a fee to send you a snail mail statement, a fee for this insurance for being PCI compliant, etc. There are fees to dial in to get an auth code using the card swipe, a higher fee if you want to talk to an agent.
All of that needs to be taken into account when deciding which rates are best.
Also be sure they know you are a lodging property. I've heard, but do not know for certain, that lodging properties have better rates than retail.
 

Copperhead

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I have had cash once this year so far and it was this weekend. Yes good point about contracts as well, some charge you if you cancel. Don't lease the machine either, buy one outright and see if they can throw that into the deal! Or at least negotiate the price..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
Don't lease the machine either, buy one outright and see if they can throw that into the deal! Or at least negotiate the price.
Ask if they have any reconditioned ones to sell or buy one online. Reconditions ones go fairly cheap - just make sure they are guaranteed. Before buying independently make sure the model will work with your processor and that it is not 'out-dated' as you can be taken. Know what you need!
Our last machine just died about a month ago. We did some looking online and then called our processor. Their prices were about the same, and guaranteed so when with them.
 

Morticia

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I have had cash once this year so far and it was this weekend. Yes good point about contracts as well, some charge you if you cancel. Don't lease the machine either, buy one outright and see if they can throw that into the deal! Or at least negotiate the price..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
Don't lease the machine either, buy one outright and see if they can throw that into the deal! Or at least negotiate the price.
Ask if they have any reconditioned ones to sell or buy one online. Reconditions ones go fairly cheap - just make sure they are guaranteed. Before buying independently make sure the model will work with your processor and that it is not 'out-dated' as you can be taken. Know what you need!
Our last machine just died about a month ago. We did some looking online and then called our processor. Their prices were about the same, and guaranteed so when with them.
.
Luckily, our processor will provide the machine for free if ours breaks down, we only pay the overnight shipping costs.
 

Samster

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Personally, go with your local bank who can provide it right there and try to get the best rates. I hear issues on this forum with a national provider, but when I have any issues at all I just call the bank or call the call center and it is fixed. imnvho. my 2 cents.
PS I spoke to a woman and took a booking from Lynden WA yesterday. :) Not near you but same state..
Well, the local bank isn't always great. I had issues with my online banking today for my business account & it's going to take 24 hours for me to be able to sign in again. What the?? I can't believe it in the year 2009!!
 

JBanczak

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Our experience for what it is worth is the following:
* Some local banks are good, many/most are not lodging certified, nor do they understand lodging transactions
* Many gateways - including Auth.net - are not lodging certified. Make sure you ask if they are lodging certified and accept things like check-out dates in their data. Without them, you have virtually no protection against chargebacks
* A few processors have extensive backgrounds and reputations in the business, are lodging certified, have virtually unbeatable rates, and understand how small properties work. We have almost 300 properties using Quickbooks Merchant Services, and dozens using Tom W - and the results are outstanding. Rates are transparent, fees low, reliability great, etc.
* Finally - determine if your PMS is PCI compliant - if you are using a non-compliant PMS, or these days one that has not gone through a 3rd party audit - we think the days are numbered until your processor has to drop you.
 

swirt

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Looks like Tom has a problem with his website at the moment, here is his number. 518-963-7272
I'm using intuit processing (quickbooks) and pretty happy with it so far.
 

Skamokawa

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Is there a limited number of processors who CAN mesh with Res Nexus? That's who you should call in that case. If it's wide open, hate to say it, but good luck. I doubt there is anyone who is 100% satisfied with their provider. Between hidden fees, additional costs, etc, it's never what you think it's going to be.
When getting rates, be sure to ask about what they charge for the cards that provide points, business cards, international cards, hand-entered cards (if you'll be doing GC's, or deposits), etc. The rates quoted are generally only for basic cards with no frills.
So, they may advertise that the 'discount rate' is 1.98% but that is usually for plain vanilla V & MC. If someone gets reward points, miles, free gifts, etc then the rate may be 2.1%. AmEx is higher still. International cards higher (possibly 4%).
Sometimes there is an access fee to look at your account online, a fee to send you a snail mail statement, a fee for this insurance for being PCI compliant, etc. There are fees to dial in to get an auth code using the card swipe, a higher fee if you want to talk to an agent.
All of that needs to be taken into account when deciding which rates are best.
Also be sure they know you are a lodging property. I've heard, but do not know for certain, that lodging properties have better rates than retail..
Thank you Bree, Swirt and all the others who have chimed in thus far. Bree's 'punch' list is great for all the details that I've read about. They will go on my check list as I talk to providers. There is a local (Sterling Savings) that processes in house, and does month to month with low fees. I will also ask more before I next talk to Res Nexus. And thanks for Tom's number. I've seen the error message several times over some weeks, and was wondering if he is still in the biz.
Years ago, I was a member of a cooperative services organization. We used one provider, all had the knucklebuster sliders, and one member would divy out each members charges once a month. I haven't heard of any organization doing that recently. I wonder if any of the lodging organizations act in that way. I don't think our state's guild does. If it did, perhaps it would be more worth their very steep membership rates.
Thanks again, The people on this forum have been a great help----so many times.
-Kathleen
 

gillumhouse

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Is there a limited number of processors who CAN mesh with Res Nexus? That's who you should call in that case. If it's wide open, hate to say it, but good luck. I doubt there is anyone who is 100% satisfied with their provider. Between hidden fees, additional costs, etc, it's never what you think it's going to be.
When getting rates, be sure to ask about what they charge for the cards that provide points, business cards, international cards, hand-entered cards (if you'll be doing GC's, or deposits), etc. The rates quoted are generally only for basic cards with no frills.
So, they may advertise that the 'discount rate' is 1.98% but that is usually for plain vanilla V & MC. If someone gets reward points, miles, free gifts, etc then the rate may be 2.1%. AmEx is higher still. International cards higher (possibly 4%).
Sometimes there is an access fee to look at your account online, a fee to send you a snail mail statement, a fee for this insurance for being PCI compliant, etc. There are fees to dial in to get an auth code using the card swipe, a higher fee if you want to talk to an agent.
All of that needs to be taken into account when deciding which rates are best.
Also be sure they know you are a lodging property. I've heard, but do not know for certain, that lodging properties have better rates than retail..
Thank you Bree, Swirt and all the others who have chimed in thus far. Bree's 'punch' list is great for all the details that I've read about. They will go on my check list as I talk to providers. There is a local (Sterling Savings) that processes in house, and does month to month with low fees. I will also ask more before I next talk to Res Nexus. And thanks for Tom's number. I've seen the error message several times over some weeks, and was wondering if he is still in the biz.
Years ago, I was a member of a cooperative services organization. We used one provider, all had the knucklebuster sliders, and one member would divy out each members charges once a month. I haven't heard of any organization doing that recently. I wonder if any of the lodging organizations act in that way. I don't think our state's guild does. If it did, perhaps it would be more worth their very steep membership rates.
Thanks again, The people on this forum have been a great help----so many times.
-Kathleen
.
Be especially aware of the exit charges. I was beyond the term of contract and was told I would have to pay them $295 to say goodbye. So in this upsidedown world we live in, you not only have to pay to USE a service, you also have to pay to STOP using that service. And somehow it is legal to have to pay for services not rendered.
 

egoodell

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Regarding Tom W - I just heard that an innkeeper had an emergency with a downed processor, emailed him at 10:30 pm and he called them 7:30 the next day and solved the problem.
RIki
 

Breakfast Diva

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Regarding Tom W - I just heard that an innkeeper had an emergency with a downed processor, emailed him at 10:30 pm and he called them 7:30 the next day and solved the problem.
RIki.
egoodell said:
Regarding Tom W - I just heard that an innkeeper had an emergency with a downed processor, emailed him at 10:30 pm and he called them 7:30 the next day and solved the problem.
RIki
As I've stated before, I also use Tom. I hooked up with him at a PAII conf and frankly, it did take a while for him to actually set us up because he was swamped after the conference. But after I was set up, things have gone very well. Any time I've needed his help (mostly in the beginning), he's been there for me.
My endorsement of Tom is because I have saved an enormous amount of money since I've switched over to him a few years ago. He understands the way B&Bs work and got me the best overall deal. I've never had a chargeback in 8+ years.
 

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