Accept Credit Cards?


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Aug 13, 2004
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I have a drive thru and am thinking about accepting credit cards.

Would anyone be willing to share where you get the best rates? The best I have found was 1.65% of transaction, plus $.21 per transaction.

Thanks in advance.
Accepting credit and debit cards (w/VISA or MasterCard logos) are a great way to go. More and more places are increasing sales in a big way! I might suggest checking with Costco, they seem to have a good program with both the machines as well as sign ups with the credit card companies. However, you are still going to have to find the best rate based on how much business you plan to do. Companies are pretty competitive when it comes to rates. Depending on what part of the country you are in, rates and transactions fees are pretty competitive. I know that American Express runs all of their stuff differently than Visa, Master Card, Discover, etc. so you will have to contact them separately. I'd say start off with what you have to get the program started, then you can continue searching. But at least get things going. :lol:
Hey Timbay:

An important point to remember is that drive thrus are for convenience. This means that you must offer something that your other coffee competitors may not. Also keep in mind that sometimes in between pay days customers may not have that couple of extra bucks to get that drink and muffin, so your answer to that is to accept credit cards. I can speak for us in the northwest, credit card purchases have become common place, just like the drive thru. It wasn't that long ago when people only had carts and or coffee sit downs, and the drive thru concept was unheard of. Now look what's happened in this industry. After all you are in the service industry, and part of that service is to welcome your customer. We were one of the first drive thrus to accept credit cards a number of years ago, and we haven't regreted it one bit. And our customers haven't either. :lol:
Thanks for the advice Coffee Guy! Our internal discussions regarding the pros and cons of accepting cc's have basically come down to service vs. the cost of a land-line... just wanted to know from someone who has been there that our soon-to-be customers might readily use their cc for the express transaction... thanks again!
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Coffee Guy,

Would you share with us who you use for Credit services? The best rates I have found were 1.65% of the transaction plus $.21, on an average sale of $2.50-$3 it is hard to justify losing 10% of the transaction to credit card merchant. Perhaps you have a better source. By the way, in an effort to share more information here is the best rate company I have found so far

I still have a hard time justifying doubling the cost of goods to complete a sale.
Hey Drrule:

That's a great question. However, I don't don't keep up with that portion of the business personally. However, the company we use is called First Payment Systems in Hagerstown, MD and their toll free phone number is 1-800-858-1166. You might want to give them a call and see what they have to offer. Hope this helps in some way... :oops:
just a quick thought. Some places charge a small fee (.50) when you use credit or debit cards. Even 7-11 charges. I don't know how cutomers will feel about it, but most probably won't object....people don't look at credit purchases as out of pocket costs. Not until they get the bill anyway :shock:
Here's a thought:

You could offer a frequent buyer program. You know... the "punch cards". Buy 10 get one free. Then you could stipulate that the punch is only for cash sales, not for credit or checks.

If that eats into your bottom line, just hike prices 5 or 10% or whatever.

I'm sure not all of those punch cards get cashed in for the 11th free coffee anyway.
Hi tronno:

I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one :twisted: . Customers look forward to cashing in the free card. That is one of the incentives for them to come back. We have some customers that save up some of their free ones for a rainy day :oops: (I know you're going to say it rains here everyday). Good point you make janie1963, however, everyone that has a credit card knows that there are fees associated with them. Besides if it were a problem with them they wouldn't use them. Keep in mind you are running a business and accepting credit cards is one way of helping your customer get the product they want. :wink:
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I answered my own question here. Wish someone would have just save me a month, but I will step up. :?

3% per transaction/no transaction fee/$00 monthly statement/$25 per month to lease their equiptment.

One of the best deals I could find, with an average sale of $4, will cost you $.12... perfect for a drive thru.

Maybe the guy that has the info for the debit card will share as well? I mean come on, you are not giving trade secrets, the only thing you are doing is sharing savings information, even if a competitor of yours gets it he does nothing but save a few bucks.