Category Archives: Best Practice

PDQ Machines Christmas Stars 2: Confetti Box

Confetti Box Accessories

In the second of our series of PDQ Machines Christmas Stars, another of our clients, Manchester-based wedding shop, Confetti Box, had some nice words to say about our credit card machines and our customer service. And in the Spirit of Christmas we return the favour.

Here’s what Maria from confettibox.com said about us:

“I have used the PDQ machines and I cannot highly recommend them enough for their service and patience with me have been wonderful… even supplying me with a machine at such short notice, just before a huge exhibition was fantastic.”

The ‘dropping-off-and-collection’ of the machine is just another part of their service which is also really good.”

Now as Confetti Box are a wedding shop it’s a bit trickier to recommend a present from their website as you may not know anyone that’s getting married next year.

However, you could take a look at the tiaras on their Accessories page, and their collection of rogue tiaras from Liza which consist of real aurora borealis crystals, swarovski crystal and sea pearls.

Confetti Box Accessories

Now these could be ideal for any princesses in your life, and the perfect accompaniment to that Blu-Ray version of “Sing-A-Long Frozen” that we’re certain will be in many Princess Anna or Princess Elsa’s Christmas stockings…

Our Christmas Star No 1 was Zaini Hats.

How to accept a Credit Card Payment

credit-card-paymentsSay you’re at a show and a customer is interested in your product, but he’s spent all his cash.  “Do you take a credit card payment?” he enquires.

It’s the sales you lose by not having a credit card machine that you should worry about, but whether the fear is real, it’s hard to quantify.  More and more customers like to pay by credit card.

People like a credit card payment because it gives them security. However, would the potential extra sales cover the costs of setting up to receive payments by card?  There is no doubt that it will cost you money, and time too, as credit card processing providers won’t give prices until they have risk-assessed your particular business, making shopping around for the best deal a time consuming process. However, PDQ Machines offer their customers a competitive rate and a straight forward order form through their website which in turn cuts down the time spent shopping around.

Electronic payments have advantages that outweigh the disadvantages of handling cash.
To receive credit card payments, you need a terminal to transmit the cardholder’s details to the acquiring banks, and a merchant bank account to receive credit card payments.

Merchant Accounts

Credit-Card-Machine

Credit Card Machine

The merchant account ‘acquirers’ process the credit card payment for you.  PDQ Machines offer both the terminal and the merchant account facilities. You can have a merchant account that covers face to face and CNP (cardholder not present) telephone sales and eCommerce (Internet sales). Therefore, if you are already with an acquirer and you are in need of an extra machine for a Short Term Rental, then PDQ Machines has a solution for you that can help you take sales at shows .

There will be, a monthly minimum service fee, transaction charges, PCI Compliance charges and authorisation charges, however PDQ Machines do not charge a set up fee.

Credit card payment transaction fees are charged as a percentage of the transaction value, while debit cards are charged at a flat rate. Some providers make separate charges for services such as statements and set up fees.  

Many acquiring banks and terminal providers’ want to assess the business before they’ll give a price.  They look at many factors, including how long you have been trading, turnover, proportion of credit/debit cards, and risks of fraudulent and/or disputed sales.  They may run credit checks, and ask for references. It’s a long process – could be from 2 to 8 weeks, so allow plenty of time to set this up before, say, a show. PDQ Machines are currently working on a time frame of between 5-11 working days depending on the type of business.

PDQ Machines acquirer partners will still have to see how long you have been trading, turnover, proportion of credit/debit cards, and risks of fraudulent and/or disputed sales and will run credit checks, and ask for references but we are only one of the providers that will offer you a price before all this happens.

PDQ Machines can set up your account to accept credit card payments but not commit you to hiring or buying a terminal on a permanent basis.  You pay a small monthly minimum merchant service charge (MMSC) account management fee per month and then hire a terminal on a short term rental when needed.

Price is not the only consideration, therefore, when choosing a merchant account provider, make sure that they are a reputable business.  Check that they are known to the leading credit cards, Visa and MasterCard, and perhaps ask contacts about their experience with providers.
Chip and Pin Terminals

credit-card-payment-terminal

Credit Card Terminal

As well as a Merchant Account, you will need a terminal to process the credit card payments.  In a face-to-face transaction, the favoured equipment and soon to be industry standard is the chip-and-pin terminal.  It’s the most secure system because it authorises the transaction before it takes place, then the customer endorses it with a PIN number.  To receive the authorisation, the terminal must be connected, either by telephone or broadband, to the bank’s computers. The machine prints a receipt for the customer, and saves a sales list for the trader.  At a show, you’re unlikely to get landline connections, so you need a mobile chip-and-pin credit card payment terminal.

Chip and pin terminals can be rented or bought.  If you buy, you still need to pay monthly telephone charges.  Rental fees  may or may not include telephone charges, so check this.

Mobile phone alternatives

There are some options based on mobile phones.  They cost less to set up, but are more risky, because they generally don’t offer the trader indemnity against fraudulent transactions.  They also don’t provide the customer with a printed receipt, although some offer the option of an e-mailed receipt.  Since a common reason for chargebacks is that the card holder doesn’t remember the transaction, this makes these solutions risky.

Show Organisers Process Card Payments

Some event organisers make arrangements to accept credit card payments on behalf of exhibitors.  This means that stallholders don’t have to worry about hiring terminals  and setting up merchant accounts : the show organiser does all that.  There is a high cost involved, but it could be modest compared with setting up credit card payment services  for one show only.

Increasing numbers of customers prefer credit card payment, either because they’re run out of cash, or for the protection a credit card offers them on higher-value purchases.

Only you can tell whether you can generate enough turnover to justify the costs.  Furthermore, only you can tell how many sales you might lose if you don’t take cards.  Why not go to the PDQ Machines website to get more information, just click here

11 ways to maximise Christmas sales from PDQ Credit Card Machines

Christmas-with-pdq-machines

Christmas Sales

Christmas is usually a godsend for businesses, particularly those in retail, leisure and hospitality. But retailers are likely to have to work harder than ever for every penny. Follow PDQ Machines’  tips to help you make the most of your potential sales this Christmas.

  • Negotiate with your suppliers. Everyone’s feeling the pinch, so there are good deals to be had even with your credit card machine supplier. What can your suppliers offer you this Christmas, in terms of price, credit limits and payment terms? Many firms are tightening their credit control, but if you are a valued customer, they are likely to be flexible.
  • Don’t order too much stock. Be realistic about what you are likely to sell – the last thing you want is unsold stock you have to let go at ridiculous prices. Start thinking about the January sales now, as people are likely to be saving their cash and credit cards for New Year bargains.
  • Create a festive feel as your customers will appreciate seasonal jollity. Window displays, decorations and even Christmas music can take people’s minds off their worries, raise a smile and generate goodwill.
  • Value good customers. Show your regulars that you appreciate their custom by sending cards or e-cards if you’re on a tight budget. Include discount vouchers and invite your best customers for a Christmas drink or meal. One tip is don’t charge them a credit card machine fee!
  • Understand your customers’ budget constraints. Take a lesson from the budget retailers offer low-cost alternatives, discounts and special offers where you can and consider selling gift vouchers as well – many people are likely to give them so their friends and family can take advantage of January sales.
  • Promote your best offer. Whether it is in the local press or on the internet. Draw attention to your most enticing offer. Once people are through the door, you can introduce them to your full range of goods and services including your ability to take their money via a credit card machine.
  • Throw in a little extra. If you serve food and drink, offer complimentary mince pies or Christmas pudding. If you own a shop, offer to gift-wrap items free. People will appreciate the gesture and may recommend you to friends.
  • Use your surplus space. Some retailers generate extra revenue by using surplus space (such as car park space, for example) to display and sell seasonal products, such as Christmas trees, cards and wrapping paper. If you have the space, products and the footfall, take advantage of it.
  • Check your staffing levels. Make sure you have enough staff to make every sale you can – don’t risk losing customers because they’re stuck in a queue or left hanging on the phone. Advertise seasonal posts to students or invite existing staff to earn extra cash by working overtime. And ensure you train them properly especially on how to use the credit card machine.
  • Maximise online sales. Online retail has grown this year. If you use your website to promote your business or make sales, make sure your offer is clearly displayed and people can easily make purchases or enquiries. Ensure the site is search engine optimised and consider a Christmas pay-per-click advertising campaign. If you are an online retailer check out our costs for credit card processing compared to what you’re paying!
  • Get a great deal on your ability to take credit and debit cards, especially if you’re taking a mobile pdq machine to Christmas Fairs. And don’t forget to do things in advance. We can offer you a complete set up for a credit card machine fast and at a great price.

So there you have it. Have a great Christmas Sales, a good break and face 2014 in a positive way. PDQ Machines are here to help your success. Find out more by clicking here .

Benefits of mobile credit card machines

If you accept credit cards, you need a credit card machine to ensure your business can bank more sales. If your business extends beyond the confines of brick and mortar, you will be taking payments at client locations, on-line or open-air events. If you can use a credit card machine from any location where there is mobile service, you will do more transactions.

Your mobile phone plus a mobile credit card machine will give you real-time validation and payment processing, low rates and fees for each transaction and on-line account management.

If you can take different forms of payment, you will boost revenue. The best credit card machine  processing services let you to take different forms of payment. Also, the best services let you make sales in various locations. You should be able to accept payments on-line or at remote locations without access to the internet. The best credit card machine processing services empower you to accept all forms of payment at any time. So they need to handle credit cards and debit cards.

Fraud protection is another important factor as you select from the competing on-line credit card machine suppliers. The right service will protect you from fraudulent customers by using Address Verification Services. It will also use VeriSign SSL Certificates.

The best credit card processing companies take a number of forms of payment, and let you receive payments from anywhere. The best also provide protections against security and fraud.

Credit Card Machine Processing: What to Look For

The criteria to consider are as follows:

  • Pricing

  • Several fees determine the real cost of using any credit card machine service. Aside from setup fees and monthly service fees, there are also fees each time you process a debit or credit card. The per-transaction fee is typically composed of two elements, the base rate and the processing rate. These vary by the payment gateway and merchant account you use. While one service may have a low per-transaction fee, the authorisation rate may be high. Calculate your average sales to find out which combination is the best for you.
  • Average Approval Rating

  • How quickly a credit card machine supplier approves applications? What is the application fee? Out of all applicants what percentage are approved?
  • Cost per Month

  • What are the monthly costs with one statement, charge-back and gateway fee. The best providers charge low fees and communicate about on-going fees and charges.
  • Start-Up Cost

  • How much it will cost to establish a merchant account and set up a payment gateway?
  • Account Set-up Time

  • The best credit card machine suppliers give great service and approve applications and establish merchant services accounts within 3 working days.
  • Customer Service

  • If a credit card machine company doesn’t offer a same or next day service seven days a week, it is probably not the best choice.
  • Internet Based Features

  • Merchant account should provide an on-line payment gateway. They should also support more than one type of virtual terminal.

With these points in mind, you will be able to pick the best credit card machine processing service. We are confident that we are one of the best credit card machine suppliers in the UK. We say so because of our great service ethos. PDQ Machines knows when a credit card processing service is fair. We also can spot abusive transaction fees. We can help you sidestep hidden traps and duck outrageous fees.

Just contact us here to get a great deal and great service.

Halinkas Fairies clap their hands for PDQ Machines!

Halinkas Fairies WebsitePDQ Machines supported several businesses at the Country Living Xmas Fair #clxmasfair last month at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

One of PDQ Machines’ short term credit card machine rental clients is Halinka’s Fairies who produce “exquisite fairies and characters designed and handmade by Halinka”.

They are currently offering an excellent selection of Tree Top Fairies for your well-dressed Christmas tree. Fairy figurine artisan Halinka Fraser, said this about our credit card machine service during the show:

Halinkas Treetop fairy 1“PDQ machines is not only much better value for money  than any other short term rental merchants, the PDQ Machines team there provide an excellent service and are always there to help.

I was at a Christmas Fair where other exhibitors were having problems connecting due to poor reception.

I was surprised that their rental agent had not given them a second SIM card on a different network.

Luckily I had none of these problems and there is always someone to help if I do!”

Halinkas Treetop Fairy 2Do you believe?

If you believe in fairies, Clap your hands three times and take a trip to Halinkas Fairies!

But if you believe in low cost short term credit card machine rentals just click here for PDQ Machines‘ easy-to-follow online application form.