If you run an auto shop, then the chances are you accept credit cards as a form of payment. It is also likely that a high percentage of your customers will want to pay using a credit card as the cost of your services is higher than the average retail purchase and they do not always have the cash available.
This means you are probably paying hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars each month in credit card processing fees. That is money that would be put to much better use reinvesting in your business. There has been a lot of negative press lately about credit card companies charging too much for processing, but until now there was not a lot mechanic shops could do about it.
No Fee Credit Card Processing through the Cash Discount Program
Can you imagine how much money you would save if you had nothing (or very little) to pay in credit card processing fees? Here is an example of how this would work. Let’s use $100 as a simple example.
At the moment, the customer will pay you $100 if they choose to pay cash or with a credit card. If they choose a credit card as their payment method, you will have to pay a processing fee. Let’s say they are using an American Express card with double or triple rewards miles and the processing fee is 4%.
So if the customer pays cash you will receive the full $100 and if they use a credit card you will only receive $96. If the service cost was $200 then you would lose $8 through credit card transaction fees. Over the course of a year, this can represent a lot of money if most of your customers pay with a credit card.
Up until 2010, zero fee credit card processing was not available, but now you can benefit from this by taking advantage of the cash discount program. Legislation in 2010 known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act enabled businesses to offer their customers the incentive of saving money by paying in cash. This is accomplished by adding a 4% service charge to all your prices that is automatically charged to those who pay by credit card. Those who pay cash do not have to pay this service charge, hence the term “cash discount.”
Going back to our example, this means that for a $100 car repair service the customer would pay exactly $100 in cash or $100 + the service fee (more on this later) if they chose to pay by credit card. So if the processing fee was 4%, the customer would pay $104 with a credit card. Either way, you end up with $100.
How can you Implement a Cash Discount Program in your Auto Repair Shop?
It is very simple to operate a cash discount program for your mechanic shop. The first thing you need to do is to switch to a credit card processing company that provides a preprogrammed terminal that automatically calculates the 4% service fee.
Once you have the new terminal in place, you will need to post signage in your auto shop that clearly states that you provide a cash discount. The sign needs to be in a prominent place where it can be seen by all of your customers. The credit card processing company will normally provide the signage for you, so you do not have to worry about using the proper terminology.
Will your Auto Shop Lose Customers by changing to a Cash Discount Program?
This is an understandable question to ask and it has held back a number of businesses from realizing the savings they should through a cash discount program. Thousands of businesses have already switched to a cash discount program with no-fee credit card processing and have reported minimal impact on their business.
The Payments Journal conducted a survey that showed that 99.2% of customers had no problem with paying the small service fee for the convenience of using a credit card. Customers pay transaction fees a lot and it can actually cost them more to withdraw the cash amount from an ATM than paying the service fee.
Will your auto repair shop lose customers if you implement a cash discount program? It’s certainly possible. You may be one of the exceptions where you get a customer or two that are upset. There is a better than 95% chance that won’t happen, but there is still a small chance the program won’t work out for you.
At Trinity Business Services, we’ve made it very easy for car repair shops to try out the cash discount program risk-free. Everything is month-to-month, and there are no long-term contracts to sign, so you can cancel the program anytime.
All we ask is that you try the CDP for yourself and see if what we are saying is true. We are confident that once you are able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month with little to no effect on your customer base, you will never want to go back to paying credit card processing fees.
That said, if for any reason, the program is not working out for you, we’ll gladly switch you back to traditional pricing and still guarantee that you’ll save money over what you are paying through your current processor. Sound fair?
To get started with the cash discount program, call us today at 651-202-8636 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.