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PICList Thread
'[OT] Accepting credit cards for PIC contract work'
2000\02\18@123854 by M. Adam Davis

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I'm sticking my neck out, I probably oughtn't bring this topic up, but I think
there are others in my position, so here goes.

I've been looking for a solution for accepting credit cards for my electronics
(PIC) work lately, and my wife's scrapbooking business.  Most of the programs
we've seen require a setup fee (which often does not include a credit card
terminal) and a fee per transaction, which includes a flat per transaction and a
percentage of the transaction.  I'm reluctant to jump into it (catch-22) because
my business isn't blooming yet, though I suspect accepting credit cards may be
the catalyst for growing the business a bit.

I suspect many of you have gone through this before, and I'm looking for a
little help.  I would prefer online reports and card purchases so I can automate
my website, but I also want a terminal so I can swipe cards in person when
needed (more for my wife's business than anything).

My first question is:  What do you do to accept credit cards?

Here's the crux of the matter:
I was told that today was the last day to sign up for a banking account at
http://www.x.com/ when they will start my account off with $20 free.  Apparently
I can transfer money into the account from my credit card.  So, in theory, I can
request my customers start an account with X.COM, transfer money from their CC
into it, and then transfer that money to me.

So my second question is:  Do you think customers (both the average joe, and
large corporations) would be willing to set up accounts in order to pay me for
my services?  It is an extra step, more like a middle-man, but I really don't
know what the industry attitudes are towards electronic banking.  There are no
fees on my part or theirs for this sort of transaction, and the bank X.COM is
FDIC insured (though that really doesn't show the reputation of the bank, except
that they are federally licensed)

So this is ideal for me, but I don't know what others will think.

I'd appreciate your thoughts and comments.  I've set my reply to my email, as I
suspect this thread doesn't belong on the list.  Those that are interested in
the resulting discussion can also email me and I will make a webpage, or send
out an email based on the interest.

-Adam

P.S. Yes, you do get $20 if you apply for an account today, and if you put in
the email of the person referring you they get 10 dollars.  I heard the end of
the offer is today, but I didn't see anything on the website about the money.  I
would appreciate it if you used spam_OUTadavisTakeThisOuTspambaladyne.com as a referral if you decided
to sign up.  (It'll fund my PIC habit ;-)

P.P.S. As an aside, no, you can't register single letter domains.  X.COM was an
older name for the X-WINDOWS program which got the domain when there were no
such restriction, and was grandfathered in.  I suspect they sold the domain, and
I can only imagine how much they did it for...!

Tom Crum, author of The Magic of Conflict
You either move toward something you love or away from something you fear. The
first expands. The second constricts.

2000\02\18@124500 by adavis

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I'm sorry, I just tried and it looks like hitting reply will send the reply to
the PIC List!

Please reply directly to me.  This message should have the reply-to set as me
now.  Check your message address box before hitting send.

-Adam

In a few years e-commerce will just be commerce and the letter E will resume
it's role as the fifth letter of the alphabet.

2000\02\18@125515 by Harold M Hallikainen

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       I haven't tried it, but http://www.paypal.com and http://www.x.com look
interesting.

Harold


On Fri, 18 Feb 2000 12:37:42 -0500 "M. Adam Davis" <.....adavisKILLspamspam@spam@UBASICS.COM>
writes:
{Quote hidden}

FCC Rules Online at http://hallikainen.com/FccRules
Lighting control for theatre and television at http://www.dovesystems.com

________________________________________________________________
YOU'RE PAYING TOO MUCH FOR THE INTERNET!
Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
Try it today - there's no risk!  For your FREE software, visit:
dl.http://www.juno.com/get/tagj.

2000\02\18@131947 by Robert A. LaBudde

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<x-flowed>At 12:37 PM 2/18/00 -0500, Adam wrote:
>I suspect many of you have gone through this before, and I'm looking for a
>little help.  I would prefer online reports and card purchases so I can
>automate
>my website, but I also want a terminal so I can swipe cards in person when
>needed (more for my wife's business than anything).
>
>My first question is:  What do you do to accept credit cards?

If you use PayPal, it's 100% free, uses secure transactions, but both sides
have to be signed up:


https://secure.paypal.com/refer/pal=ral%40pobox.com

When you sign up, you get a $10 bonus, and if you use my ID (.....ralKILLspamspam.....pobox.com)
as a referral, I also get $10. Once you sign up, you can get your own
referral fees.

I use this service on eBay a lot.


>Here's the crux of the matter:
>I was told that today was the last day to sign up for a banking account at
>http://www.x.com/ when they will start my account off with $20
>free.  Apparently
>I can transfer money into the account from my credit card.  So, in theory,
>I can
>request my customers start an account with X.COM, transfer money from their CC
>into it, and then transfer that money to me.

As of today, the $20 bonus is cancelled. X.com is actually a bank: you can
get checks and buy money market or mutual fund shares.

>So my second question is:  Do you think customers (both the average joe, and
>large corporations) would be willing to set up accounts in order to pay me for
>my services?  It is an extra step, more like a middle-man, but I really don't

As long as there's a bonus involved, about 50% of the customers are willing
to do it. The other 50% are gun-shy.


================================================================
Robert A. LaBudde, PhD, PAS, Dpl. ACAFS  e-mail: EraseMEralspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTlcfltd.com
Least Cost Formulations, Ltd.                   URL: http://lcfltd.com/
824 Timberlake Drive                            Tel: 757-467-0954
Virginia Beach, VA 23464-3239                   Fax: 757-467-2947

"Vere scire est per causae scire"
================================================================

</x-flowed>

2000\02\18@132538 by jamesnewton

face picon face
My best bet for you is:
http://www.merchantonline.com Merchant On Line No per transaction charges,
just account setup.

Or check drafts....

All that I know (and its quite a bit) is at
http://techref.massmind.org/ecommerce

There are details of the banks interface to cc processing houses and user
access to that network that I would like to know.

A local company just somehow got access to the fed network and I'm dying to
know how. The locals are not that big and not a financial institution but
they are processing transactions for others at very low prices so I know
they are paying zip per transaction.

Please share what else you find. Some one with an in at a bank dp center
would be nice to talk to...


---
James Newton jamesnewtonspamspam_OUTgeocities.com 1-619-652-0593
http://techref.massmind.org NEW! FINALLY A REAL NAME!
Members can add private/public comments/pages ($0 TANSTAAFL web hosting)


{Original Message removed}

2000\02\18@132939 by Bill Pierce

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<x-flowed>I sell software and have the same problem, my stuff has a few users but
definately not enough to support a monthly terminal fee. I use Kagi
(http://www.kagi.com) and RegSoft (http://www.regsoft.com). They both charge a pretty good
fee and I don't think RegSoft will do hard goods but you might try this
route at least for a while until you know what kind of cash flow you are
going to have.

Bill


{Quote hidden}

______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

</x-flowed>

2000\02\18@175330 by Peter Anderson

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My personal experience was that I swallowed hard a few years ago and obtained a merchant account with a terminal program.  At that time the whole thing seemed a bit unnerving as those handling merchant accounts touted handling all kinds of high risk accounts that I really didn't want to be associated with.  The cost of the terminal program was an outrageous $700 and when all is said and done I pay about 3 percent in fees.

However, over the last two years, it has served me well.

Another option is Amazon zShops which I now use as well.  The cost of a listing is a pittance.  They collect the money and move it to my bank.  This costs about 3 percent.  However, it works very well and is ideal for someone who is new; no startup costs and the buyer need do no more than enter their credit card with Amazon.  That is, they need not join anything.

My own feeling in glancing at x.com is that many buyers will not want to "join".

For what it's worth.

Peter H. Anderson, TakeThisOuTphaEraseMEspamspam_OUTphanderson.com, http://www.phanderson.com

Sign up for Free-for-Life E-mail at http://www.Africana.com

2000\02\18@191926 by Tom Handley

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  Peter, that 3% figure is interesting. Back in the middle 70's, I had
a VISA vendor account with that old mechanical machine where you inserted
the transaction slip, the card, and slid the handle back and forth. That
also cost me 3% per transaction.

  - Tom

At 05:41 PM 2/18/00 -0500, Peter Anderson wrote:
>My personal experience was that I swallowed hard a few years ago and
obtained a merchant account with a terminal program.  At that time the
whole thing seemed a bit unnerving as those handling merchant accounts
touted handling all kinds of high risk accounts that I really didn't want
to be associated with.  The cost of the terminal program was an outrageous
$700 and when all is said and done I pay about 3 percent in fees.
>
>However, over the last two years, it has served me well.
>
>Another option is Amazon zShops which I now use as well.  The cost of a
listing is a pittance.  They collect the money and move it to my bank.
This costs about 3 percent.  However, it works very well and is ideal for
someone who is new; no startup costs and the buyer need do no more than
enter their credit card with Amazon.  That is, they need not join anything.
>
>My own feeling in glancing at x.com is that many buyers will not want to
"join".
>
>For what it's worth.
>
>Peter H. Anderson, RemoveMEphaspamTakeThisOuTphanderson.com, http://www.phanderson.com


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Handley
New Age Communications
Since '75 before "New Age" and no one around here is waiting for UFOs ;-)

2000\02\18@213343 by Randy Glenn

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Have you tried asking your local bank? Around these parts, they seem pretty anxious to get
small businesses set up with credit & debit cards (this is Ontario).

Also, if you'll settle for doing credit cards online only, check out
http://store.yahoo.com

-Randy Glenn
E-Mail: PICxpertEraseMEspam.....yahoo.com
Web: http://i.am/PICxpert

Currently wondering why I can't get in to Safe Mode - where's a Mac when you need it?

{Original Message removed}

2000\02\20@175644 by kayode.ayandokun

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www.ukprime.net/cards/index.htm

This link was posted on usenet in response to a similar query.  It is UK
based.  Not sure if it is genuine so I've asked then to send references
to other companies/sites using the service.  Still if it is genuine it
would be an extremely good service.

Kayode.

Dr O. K. Ayandokun,
The BlackBoxCamera Company Limited,
Unit U7, Lenton Boulevard,
Nottingham, NG7 2BY,
England.
EraseMEkayode.ayandokunspamvirgin.net
Tel / Fax: 0700 BLACKBOX  ( 2522526 )
For the latest in home security camera technology and the best ideas for
using it visit http://www.blackboxcamera.com

2000\02\21@081347 by Edson Brusque

face
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Very interesting the possibilities of sending/receiving money by the
internet, but any of these services support international subscribers?

Best regards,

   Brusque

2000\02\23@102330 by Lawrence Lile

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Several of us seem to be doing custom programming and electronics as
consultants.  My work is gravitating in that direction.

Been there, done the in an other industry and it worries me:

For you guys doing independant contracting/small firm stuff:

How stable is your business?  Is it boom and bust, or turning away work all
the time?

How the heck (in th e US) do you get health insurance?

Do you face high charges for liability insurance?  Do you even carry it?

These three issues killed off the last consulting business I was in.  We
paid enough to hire another employee in liability insurance (coulda used
him+ACE-).  I had to sponge off my wife to get health insurance, and we hired on
12 people to finish one huge job only to close the doors forever when it was
done with.

On the other hand, Nobody wore ties, people catnapped under their desks when
they pleased, we'd all go for a long hike at noon for an hour, the boss
always took us out Tuesday evening for pool and beer, and then work our
butts off to make up for it.

Lawrence Lile

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