27 September, 2017
We at Commercial Logic have been looking for ways to mitigate the financial and administrative costs of credit card processing for our CPA firm clients and we have come up with a candidate solution from a company called Client Payments.
These folks are oriented toward professional firms. They seem to have good answers to the tough questions and have worked out some uncommon features that save on the merchant fees. They also support charging the client a convenience fee to recover the merchant fees.
We are interested in your thoughts and feedback. If credit card processing is becoming an issue at your firm, read on!
Accepting credit card payments is administratively tedious — and to add insult to injury, the firm must pay a merchant fee of 2-3% or more, especially with credit cards issued to businesses.
Thus CPA firms have historically discouraged payment by credit card. But the times are changing and the credit card companies are selling hard to the individuals and companies who are your clients. They in turn see the benefits of extending the cash outlay another 30 days and of receiving the incentives (e.g. airline miles) from the credit card banks. I had a call recently from American Express, who wanted CLI to start using Amex business credit card. The pitch was that the dollars spent on the company card would add to my miles on my personal card!
So the pressure to accept credit cards is mounting. How is it at your firm?
The good news is that with Client Payments (or similar applications) the client does most of the work: he or she logs in to your firm’s branded portal at Client Payments and proceeds to make a payment to your firm. The payment is deposited in the firm’s designated bank account and you get an activity report whenever you want it. This makes credit card payments no more trouble administratively than receiving checks in the mail — and CLI’s negotiating power means significantly lower merchant fees.
If we go forward with this, the above process would be Phase 1. Phase 2 would permit downloading records from Client Pay and importing them as unposted payments, thus making credit card or ACH payments easier to accept than checks.
So that’s where we are in September 2017. What about you? Are you taking credit cards? Is it costing you money in merchant fees? Have you found good solutions to the issues outlined above? Where do you see this going? We’d love to hear from you!
We are currently facilitating the analysis of merchant fees for our PowerPM users. If you are interested in a no obligation analysis of your fees, we will set up a call with the folks at Client Payments
We will keep you posted as as developments unfold.