ARE YOU STILL ACCEPTING CHECKS?
Just a few years ago the question was, "are you accepting credit cards?" Now it's "are you accepting checks?" The days of running around collecting cash are gone, especially for the RMR monitoring and service charges. But why would I ask if you accept checks? Because I believe the extra "vig" you're going to pay the credit card processing companies is well worth the transaction. From a business standpoint my office has accepted credit cards for fees and even decided to accept credit cards from those we sued in collection.
With credit cards I've found far less chance of "bouncing" which would happen if the payor challenges the card transaction. That's a lot more work than failing to have sufficient funds on hand when the payor's check is hits the bank.
A back check often takes a week or more to find out. If you're checking with your bank several times a day to see what "cleared" then you are running your operation with insufficient capital and you are wasting too much of your time trying to balance your accounts receivables and accounts payables. You should be out there generating business or making sure your personnel are doing their jobs.
There is a natural progression in your business design.
- You decide on the business you will look for and accept [ie residential/commercial/fire/cameras, etc]
- You get the Agreements you need
- You find the staff you need to supplement your talents, skills and how you want to spend your day
- You figure out how to generate the business
- You get the Agreements signed, work done and invoice your customers
- Then you wait for payment, except for the cash you may have gotten up front or you're willing to return for
- Payments come by check, money order, credit or debit card.
- You have to process the check or credit card unless you've set up ACH or automatic credit card charging
- You have to wait for your bank to clear the check or the credit card processor to clear the transaction
Any glitch in processing the payment is a waste of your time and aggravating as hell.
My experience is that there are less clearance issues with credit cards and funds are available much faster. Bounced checks versus challenged credit cards is [I'm guessing] maybe 1000 to 1, at least at my office. And if there is a bounced check we have to redeposit and wait or get a new check. I don't pay bank fees, but you might, and it can be $25 or more. I believe we prevail on the challenges to the credit cards, especially when we have authorization in writing, which we frequently do [I am really talking about the collection recoveries, not the fee payments, I don't think we've had a challenge to payment of our fee].
So if you still don't accept credit cards I suggest you look into it today. I've recommended SkyBank Financial and because of my recommendations that company has developed a niche in the alarm industry. Besides the best service and support it will also give you the best rates. Give Tom Aronica a call at 800-617-9980 or email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.skybankfinancial.com. Be sure you tell him you heard about him on The Alarm Exchange [SkyBank Financial has been on The Alarm Exchange under Financial Services for long time, with no complaints I might add]