Does your shop accept credit cards?

We have been open since 1997, and have always accepted cash exclusively as payment. Everyone always asks why we don't take cards. We turn a couple of people a day away, but I always thought we saved more in fees than this small amount of business we were losing. I am about to start accepting cards finally, and I was just wondering what your card experiences have been in general, and more specifically if anyone has gone from strictly cash to accepting cards? If so what has been your return on investment. I feel like I am currently the only guy out there not taking cards, and I should be capitalizing on this untapped (by me) resource. Thanks in advance!

We do accept all major cards and it has helped business because many people say they wouldn't have stopped if not for seeing our signage that we accept cards. Problem is in this case we are a mobile unit and the satellite connection would be expensive, so what my wife did was buy the card machine directly instead of leasing and we use a "store/forward" system which allows us to swipe the card on the spot and download all the info later for payment. This saves us time as well as the customer and no connection needed such as phone line or satellite. Most think lots of money is lost on card processing fees, but my wife says our rate is around 1.7% so I'm guessing that's pretty good. She does the business side of things and I do the technical side of everything... Later!
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Thanks for the reply. The rate I am starting with is 1.75 plus $0.25 per swipe. I know that it will increase sales I just hope that it's by more than the percentage of people who will switch from cash to cards. I hope that the average check goes up and that we attract more customers. We are kind of in a similar situation as we are a free standing kiosk and we have no land line or cable Internet to base it off of. So we went with a GPRS wireless system. We'll see how it goes.
Yep master card visa and discover. I have a great program with my processor that nobody can beat.
I have actually made money from people that say they can beat my processing. LOL!!!
I think you should leave both cahs and credit card payments - that will save your old customers and bring in some new.
And,as about the minimum order, I don't think you need it. Yes, it may affect your business at first but then it will cover the expenses, I'm sure. People will get used to your cafe and then start paying and ordering, so that the wolves are sated and the sheep intact.
Hi Bay Islands Coffee! Sorry for this late reply and for my previous answer as well. It seems that either me or you or we both haven't understand each other, so here is my more detailed explanation.
You asked an advise here about using credit crads as a payment in your store, am I right? And about the possibility to establish a minimum order - to save the expenses on the cards' processing.
So I suggest that you don't do this as it will , imho, hold away some of the customers + you will soon have so many customers thanks to the innovation who will fill your budget with money that some fees on processing will seem minor (I hope so, at least).
Hope you will understand something from this mere verbiage but I did try to explain as clear as possible :oops:

Find a processor thay will set you up on a program especially for small ticket items. Tell them your average ticket sale is between3-7$ (whether it is or not) My swipe charge is about 0.12. Do not take american express, the fees are way to high as of today. Although that may change. I was fortunate enough that my old-school Onmi-3200 was part of my purchase when I bought the I mean shoppe. So I had my own equipment. Get a tip line. Watch the sales increase. 1/3 of my income is credit/debit.
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Here is where we are at right now. $3 minimum which doesn't seem to offend anyone, at least not yet. I am taking all cards because we have a lot of college students with their parents credit cards, and yes a lot of them are heavy point Amex cards. We are going no signature, no tip line. We are no sig for the speed, and no tips for the logistical paperwork nightmare it creates. We are a drive through so speed is a big deal. We have still been making our tip average of 12%. People who use the cards have still been tipping cash. Strange, I know. I have a pretty high swipe fee, but I am with a company that I have no contract with. I have no other fees to pay other than my statement fee, but no merchant club, annual, batch fees etc. I will renegotiate the swipe fee with them after the first month when I'm sure I will find that I am still paying too much. I did have to pop for the terminal, brand new verifone vx610 gprs wireless. It is a great piece of equipment. I bought it as opposed to leasing it. 48 months at $40/month=$1920? I don't think so. I paid less than half of that to buy it outright.
FYI... I know there are allot of people that have posted minimums... and as you say so far so good...
That is how it went with me until apparently someone did not like it and called Visa and reported it. The merchant company then got in touch with me and I had to send a letter stating that I would not charge any extra for cards and not have limits. They told me that Visa's minimum fine was $5,000... Lovely.

The bizarre thing is that you can offer a discount for cash. All it does tho is add to complications. It is frustrating trying to offer a great price but then getting hit with all the card transaction and swipe fees. The smaller you are the more expensive it is.

Watch AMEX.... How often they send you statements. Each time they send you one they charge you almost $5. for it... I found out the hard way.

Best of luck....
we used to have transfirst. I thought the cost was high. when we started up the second time in Jan, I talked to Sam's club and thought their prices were better. we do a lot of credit/debit sales. hen we first reopened, we didn't have a credit/debit service set up and I saw how many people use their cards and choose to go places where they can.

another local shop put a price point for using a card, and the university kids boycotted them.

I suppose a cash discount would be fair, but then there is confusion at the register during rushes. I've always thought an ATM machine would be good. people would get a $20, feel like spending a bit more, and buy a biscotti too.
It would be great if the ATM machines could dispense $10 bills instead of $20. One of the coffee shops that I worked in was next to an ATM machine, and people kept coming in for a $1.75 cup of coffee and paying with a $20 bill. It was a royal pain trying to keep enough change in the cash drawer.