Let's have a chat about running a business and looking professional! As a machine quilter finishing customer quilts for payment, we have responsibilities in keeping our bookwork straight, providing invoices and taking payments securely and safely from our customers.
Whilst cash is always welcomed, in today's society we are quickly becoming cashless and will not see this offered nearly as often in the future. With this in mind, we need to consider options on receiving payments for work completed.
The safest way to receive payment would be by Electronic Funds Transfer to your business bank account, however some customers may not want to do this in advance for you to then release their quilt to them. The most common method of taking payment is to take a credit/debit card payment upon inspection and handing over of their beautiful quilt. Going to your local bank to apply for a merchant facility is always an option, but can be quite expensive unless you have a high turnover of credit card payments. For many machine quilters in business this is not an affordable option to have a card terminal that is mobile from a bank.
So the more appropriate option as quilting business owners would be to consider signing up with a mobile credit card processor for:
Ease of payment for quilting services
Selling add-ons (books, tools, patterns) to customers
Selling products at craft shows, pop up shops or guilds
Fortunately, processing credit or debit card payments on your mobile phone or tablet is easy and affordable. You just need to plan ahead to sign up for the service, install the app, and order the device. I’ve compared some of the most popular mobile processing services so you can choose wisely. See below the table for an explanation of each field.
Swipe refers to running a card’s magnetic strip through a reader. This is the simplest method of processing a credit card in person. Some processing companies will give you a swipe reader that plugs into your smart phone’s audio jack for free when you sign up for their services, or charge you a fee for a swipe reader that plugs into your lightning jack. The banking industry warns, however, that the swipe method is not as secure as using a chip, and if you swipe a chip card instead of inserting it into a chip reader, you are responsible for covering any fraudulent charges — not the bank.
Chip - Insert into reader
Chip cards are also known as EMV cards (short for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa.) You probably know a chip card by the little metallic square on the front. The big difference between a metallic strip and a chip is that Swipe cards store a digital string of numbers held in the magnetic strip on your card andare static and don't change. Chip cards (EMV cards) use encrypted codes to keep this information secure.Traditional swipe card information is relatively easy for criminals to steal and subsequently transfer onto a new, fraudulent credit card. According to some data, fraud rates have gone down over 50% with chip-enabled processors. Considering the banking industry’s preference for this newer technology, a chip-enabled reader is definitely worth the investment.
A contactless payment allows you to pay for something by waving or tapping your contactless device over a special ‘reader’ unit. You don’t need to enter your pin. A contactless device can be a chip credit card, debit card, a mobile phone, a key fob or another device. Contactless devices use radio waves to transmit data, which some processors explicitly refer to as “Bluetooth” while others simply use “contactless.” Two of the most popular systems are Apple Pay and Google Pay. Considering the growth of contactless payments and the security benefits, the banking industry is encouraging a move toward this method of mobile credit card processing.
Credit card processing companies charge you a fee for using their services. For businesses that process under $10,000 a month in sales, most companies offer a pay-as-you-go plan, which doesn’t charge a monthly fee. They do, however, have higher fees for swiping, using a chip, or manually keying in a credit card number.
Swiped rate is the fee per transaction for a swipe, chip, or contactless payment.
Keyed rate is the fee if you enter the credit card number and data through a web or terminal-based app manually, rather than using the strip or chip.
No matter what you choose or how you receive payments for your services, you need to keep good records to provide to your accountant. Careful consideration of all options is recommended and only YOU can determine how you want to run your own business.
A great place for advice is always your own accountant who will understand the nuances of your personal position regarding running your business.
Hope this helps you with some choices to research what will work best for your own business.