Something to keep in mind when you are wanting to eliminate all of your credit card processing fees is that you have primarily two options. You can opt for a cash discount program or a surcharge program. Both are exactly the same when it comes to eliminating the credit card processing fees but the programs differ when one chooses to pay with cash.
Both of these programs have their advantages and disadvantages which we will review on this blog post. The goal is to help those who are unsure which direction to take when comparing a surcharge program vs a cash discount program.
The reason why most people get this far into the research process is simple. Instantly realizing an extra 3%+ on gross revenue (if a majority is credit card sales) is an attractive proposition. To become more profitable, you must cut expenses or increase sales. You can turbocharge your business by utilizing the savings to fuel additional advertising or marketing efforts proven to yield a positive ROI. But let’s take a look at when you could use each program.
A cash discount program works great in commoditized industries. This is because you can attract customers by marketing your cash discount program that cares about deals. Most people prefer coupons and saving money, especially with high inflation. Some examples include convenience stores, grocery stores, gas stations, etc.
You can buy a coca cola anywhere but instead of you paying the credit card processing fees and receiving 3.5% less, you offer that discount to the customer. This enables you to stand out from all the other companies just doing the status quo and expecting to grow.
Also keep in mind that while the marketing sounds great, many people will happily pay more money for the convenience of using their cards. Want a perfect example? How often do you run into the gas station to save a few extra percent on gas? Sure – some people do. Based on my observations nearly every single car always inserts their card into the gas station pump.
A surcharge program works great in non-commoditized industries. You might be thinking, when is price ever secondary!? There are a few industries! Such as hotels that always charge resort surcharges, parking surcharges, and credit card surcharges will just be looked upon as “another” expense, etc.
Also consider plastic surgeons or cosmetic dentists, many patients will search for days, weeks, or months to find the perfect surgeon by analyzing their before and afters. Surely a customer who has gone through extreme due diligence wouldn’t mind paying an extra 3.5% to 4%. In fact, recently after getting new tires there was a sign in the shop that said all credit card transactions will incur a 4% non-cash rate adjustment. So even auto repair shops are using surcharge programs.
Surcharge programs work great if you prefer not to give a cash discount to your customers and be ultra-profitable with the transition from traditional processing to a surcharge program. You’ll have your credit card fees covered and cash covered, netting 100% of the sale price every time.
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