5 Ways to Save Money and Get More out of Credit Card Processing

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Small business owners across the US are constantly being solicited by credit card processing companies via telephone, postcard and sales visits with offers of "The Best Rates", "The Lowest Rates", "Free Credit Card Terminals". Many of them are promised there is "No Contract" or that they can "Cancel at Any Time".

These same business owners find themselves paying significantly more after review of their first few monthly processing statements. Sadly, many do not even realize it for months or even years. They have simply chosen to trust their salesperson that their businesses best interests were being protected.

Most of these business owners end up locked into 3-5 year processing contracts with early termination fees of $250 - $750 or more. Many of them are even locked into expensive leasing contracts for 48-60 months on hardware they could purchase for a fraction of the total cost of leasing.

Small business owners are and should be busy focused on what they do best. This leaves them little time to devote to the subject of credit card processing, merchant accounts and rates for accepting credit cards. They want to spend their time and energy developing their business.

These tips will help business owners save time, money and stress no matter who they choose for credit card processing

  1. Learn the Language of the Merchant Services Industry - With such a large and ever-expanding glossary of terms and definitions it may seem a daunting task to understand it all - Here is a great resource from the Electronic Transactions Association - http://www.electran.org/glossary/

     

  2. Look for a Short Term or Month to Month Contract - If a company is really going to deliver on their promises and provide low rates, great service and access to the programs and technologies business owners need, they won't need a contract to keep a business owner satisfied and loyal. All business owners should ask for and review the merchant applications and program guides with complete rates, fees, terms and conditions before signing.

     

  3. Customer Service Is Key - In the rush to get the lowest rates and fees many business owners lose sight of other important issues like customer service and support. Be sure to inquire about 24/7 toll-free technical support, local support, sales and customer service contacts numbers and email addresses.

    Remember "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur". - Red Adair

     

  4. References, References, References - If the credit card processor a business owner is considering can really live up to all the expectations they are setting, there must be at least a few examples of current customers receiving the quality service, low rates and other benefits they are offering. Look for testimonials and contact a few references

     

  5. Ongoing Review - The most important thing is to ensure that business owners continually review, monitor and audit their processing activity, statements, and costs. Many merchants fall victim to this and simply do not notice when their rates and fees are increased and /or additional fees are added. Just because they have negotiated a good deal now does not mean it will always remain that way. All credit card processing providers should be willing to provide a rate review every 6-12 months. 

    We here at Dependable Solutions would be happy to work with your business no matter how large or small. We strive to service our customers with the best rates & customer service, WITH NO CONTRACTS. Feel free to reach out to us today about how to you can start saving money from a local honest company. 

    Office - 717-806-5429

    Email - info@dependablesolutions.org

Powerball? What Powerball?

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Want to win the multi-state Powerball? Or your own state's lottery?

Want to become financially free? Say "no" to any boss? Do what you want, when you want, how you want?

Because, here's the thing: You really can. I've done it, and thousands more have done it, too.

The "how" springs from the fact that you and I live in a free society with virtually unlimited choices, unlimited paths and unlimited potential. We live in an era of prosperity never before seen on this planet, despite what certain cable networks and politicians say. You can make as much money as you would ever want to and live a life that 99 percent of human beings throughout history would have killed to have.

And, then, when you have all that money, you can invest into the Kingdom of God, travel the world, feed the hungry, buy a Tesla or accomplish whatever else your dreams look like.

It's yours for the taking! The winning lottery ticket is in your hand! You truly can win!

Now, of course, you probably won't. But that's not because someone didn't pick your number, someone didn't choose you. But the reason isn't that you aren't lucky. In fact, you are unbelievably lucky to have been born at a time when anything is possible! So, in a way, you've already won the lottery. You may merely have failed to cash-in the ticket for your reward.

Why? Because:

  • It's easier to buy a lottery ticket than read a solid business book.
  • It's easier to put your hope into six random numbers than into the nights and weekends it takes to truly win.
  • It's easier to blame your lack of success on bad luck than to read and take action, create and sell a product

A 100 percent chance of winning?

The chance of winning the Poweball is, what? 1 in 292,000,000?

But the chance of winning the wealth game through intentional planning? It's 1 in 1 That's right: 1 in 1. 100 percent. As in, "guaranteed." You will succeed if you truly want it.

I don't care if you don't have the cash. I don't care if you don't have the knowledge. I don't care if your a Democrat, Republican, black, white, purple or blue. You will win the lottery if you truly want it, and take the steps necessary to claim your winnings.

No one has to pick you. You already have the winning ticket. It's you.

Don't, for one second, believe that someone else holds the key to your financial freedom. You hold that ticket, and only you can redeem it. In the words of Jim Rohn, "You can’t hire someone else to do your push-ups for you."

Is winning easy?

Now, I'm not saying winning is easy. Nor is it quick. It might take years of testing and trying, flailing and failing, sleepless nights and self-control. But, honestly, what do you have to lose?

So, instead of putting your hope (and money) into a six-digit number, try this instead: Pick up the following books and read them twice. Your life will never be the same afterward:

If you don't have the money, get it from . . . the library. If you don't like reading, listen to the audiobook while you drive to work, shower, walk the dog or whatever. And, if you don't like listening, go get your lottery ticket -- cause it's the only hope you have.

For everyone else, it's time to claim your winnings. Because, congratulations: You just won the lottery.

 

3 Quick Tips for Handling an Upset Customer

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I have owned my own business since 2012 and have been building a monthly customer base since our start. And with that we have experienced different varieties of customers expressing their frustrations, wether in the right or wrong, It's important to keep composure. Here are a few tips I have put together based on our experience of dealing with over 500 monthly customers. 

 

1) Be pleasant

This can be tough especially when you feel the customer is wrong or out of line. However you still need to make sure your body language, tone of voice and word choice project a calm demeanor.

2)Be patient

If customers want to vent, let them vent. Proposing a solution too quickly -- even a perfectly viable one -- could leave customers feeling they’re not being heard. “It’s really about showing empathy and being a good listener.”

3) Be professional

Once the customer has had their say, you have a chance to propose a solution or, better, two. If it’s possible to give more than one option to resolve the situation, that is ideal. That’s putting the ball in their court to make a decision on how they want to resolve it

5 ways To Teach Your Kids "Dreams Are Possible"

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On the Rich Dad Radio show, entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki said, “The worst thing you can teach your kids is to go to school and get a job.”

I wouldn't go that far -- if one of my kids wants to be a doctor they’ll need college -- but as an entrepreneur, I want to teach my kids how a life of freedom leads to happiness. Entrepreneurship is one option to experience that freedom.

Today, the average college graduate will leave school with $33,000 in student loan debt. Of those graduates, only 27 percent will get a job in their major. The days of going to school and getting a great job after you graduate are over.

Student loan debt stays with many people for the rest of their life. Entrepreneurship can be one way to avoid that struggle. We can teach our kids how to build a business that either supports them, or generates enough income to pay for their college outright. Here are someways to teach your children that their Dreams are possible to reach. 

1. Don’t make allowance contingent on chores.

If you give your children an allowance, do it to teach them how to handle money. Giving it to them for the chores they do teaches them to trade time for dollars. Subconsciously, they’re learning that how much money they earn depends on how many hours they spend at the job. Entrepreneurs don’t buy into that argument, so why teach it to your kids when they’re young and impressionable. Teach them that income results from creating value. 

2. Get them involved in your business with little tasks.

There are little task you can delegate to your children, pretty much whatever their age. You can have them help you with your equipment or let them write a few lines in an email you’re sending out. When they’re older, you can have them answer email. There are tasks that won’t harm or help your business that your kids can manage. They feel special, even with handling the little tasks. My 5 yr old daughter Leyla Rose loves to bring me things when I am working at my desk. I can tell she feels included in what I am doing and that gives her a sense of accomplishment. That little thing can inspire her in the future to do something great. Don't overlook the little things.

3. Discuss openly why entrepreneurship is important.

Your message will fall on deaf ears until your kids understand the "why'' behind what you do. Teach them that life is short and time is our most precious resource. Teach them it affects every area of their life when they spend 40-plus hours at a job, especially one that doesn’t fulfill them.

Teach them that entrepreneurship can let them live life on their terms while earning money. Teach them that it takes time to grow, but it’s well worth the effort to build something that’s yours. For the longest time my kids asked me all the time "Daddy, where is your work?" They couldn't understand why their daddy could go to a lot of their school functions while their friends dads couldn't. Or why we would be able to do a lot of family vacations throughout the entire year verses only a few weeks. Now they see the value of what their dad does, teach them to think outside of the traditional work week.

4. Help them start a small business around their passion.

This one is something I am still working through. My son loves movies and nature. I am still trying to help him cultivate those passions In to something. Will it be a six-figure business someday like his dad's? Who knows, but the experience is invaluable.

Help your kids start a small business around something they love. You will train them to do what they love for “work” and they can make some money. They can grow that business to someday be something significant or at least send them through college without debt. Michael Dell comes to mind with this model.

5. Teach by example.

You can talk to your kids until you’re blue in the face but they study what you do and tune out what you say. Your results teach them what’s possible in their life, your actions teach them what's required. Show your children what entrepreneurship is and how it works by taking action and inviting them to witness the journey.

For the early portion of my children’s life, I worked a job 40 to 60 hours a week and hated it. My kids took note of what I went through and how it affected me. It took a few years of hard work to now I am able to work for myself and help other small businesses around the U.S. save money for their business to continue to grow. 

My kids have noticed the difference and it’s helped them understand what it means to live free. Your children will notice things that you try to keep to yourself. If you love entrepreneurship, teach your children the why and how. Teach them by the actions you take in your life that their dreams are possible.

EMV and the Changes that Face Payment Processing

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EMV and the Changes that Face Payment Processing

In order for a business to run successfully, the simple act of paying for a product or a service using a credit card or a debit card should be efficient, fast, and most importantly, safe. And because it is money that is at stake here, there are a lot of regulations in place to make sure that the processing of payments using a card is safe and secure. One of the ways that makes card payments more secure is the EMV technology, where payment cards used in an ATM and POS terminals have been embedded with microchips. This form of payment technology has long been in use and is widely accepted in many regions such as Europe, Canada, and Asia Pacific. Ironically, the US – considered to have the largest number of plastic card users – is one of the countries that have not – yet – fully optimized this otherwise global standard.

The Advantages of EMV 

Note that an EMV-embedded chip is a lot more secure than the traditional magnetic stripe method, especially when it comes to face-to-face credit/debit card transactions. Theft and credit card fraud is rampant now more than ever, but using this embedded chip has added another layer of protection against consumer fraud. Once the card has been inserted into a terminal, the payment will then be authenticated and processed using the EMV network. Also, the chip contained within the card is hard to duplicate, making it very hard for swindlers to duplicate your customer’ cards.

What Does This Mean for You? 

If you are in the process of upgrading your accepted payment methods, it is important that your POS terminal also be equipped with an EMV chip card reader. You will create more credibility and garner more customers in the marketplace by utilizing this more safe and secure payment method. There will be increased consumer confidence which will drive up more sales and increase your profits in the long run.

What Happens When You Don’t Update 

There have been changes made to the EMV Liability Shift. Currently, if a payment processing transaction has been approved and it turns out to be fraud, the card issuer is the one that absorbs the loss. With the new rule, however, liability shifts to the merchant who has not implemented the EMV technology. If and when fraud happens, the responsibility falls on the party who makes the transaction – which means YOU, the business owner.

How to Prepare Your Business for EMV Migration

All you have to do is update your card reader. It’s that simple. If you upgraded your POS recently, then your terminal is most likely already EMV-ready. Whatever the case may be, all you have to do is contact Dependable Solutions and we’ll help you understand what changes you need to make to prepare your business for the EMV migration.

Improving on your current payment processing system is not that complicated – and with Dependable Solutions help you will be able to implement EMV into your business.

 

Office: 717-806-5429

Email: info@dependablesolutions.org

7 Signs That You're Making Progress As A Business Owner

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As a business owner, it may be challenging to know if you're making progress. Besides earning money, there are other tell-tale signs that you have been getting wealthier.

When your business is booming, you may not realize it, but there will be signs that will tell you. These are 7 signs of wealth in your business that I came up with as I reflect on the first 3 yrs of my business. I believe these signs will ensure your prosperity for the years to come.

1. New Friends: As your business is growing, others will ask you to make alliances with them. At first, many of them will not offer good propositions, but after a while, you will be able to make a few deals a year that will be favorable for both parties. You'll also be able to lose some old friends along the way after you see how detrimental their emotional fits can be to your business. 

2. Different Opportunities: Your clients will start to come to you and make suggestions that will improve your business significantly. Not only this, but you will also make room for more business opportunities, which you weren't able to handle in the past. It will give you more income streams as you develop more vehicles on your road to wealth.

3. Referrals: Once you start getting referrals, your business will start taking off. You'll have people selling for you on your behalf if you have exceeded their expectations. If you impressed one person, they will tell 10 people about it and 5 will buy. In short, for every client that you amaze, 5 more will come. Keep getting better at what you do and more people will advocate you and your business. 

4. More Critics: As you're playing the game of business, a few naysayers from the stands will call you out on what they think you aren't doing right. They just want your attention because they cannot do what you do. Jealousy is when they want what you have; Envy is when they can't stand what you have! On the plus side, critics make you do it better, but haters make you do it faster!

5. Strangers Stop Selling You: When I first opened my business, I had random people who wanted to sell me of their social media, website, and other services. Once I realized that I had to search out instead of being a target for searchers, my business skyrocketed because I took more control. Nowadays, I have friends who recommend certain people and I barely have to search hard to find talent.

6. People Ask You For Help: Out of no where, people will start running to you with all kinds of problems and concerns. Because you've been able to deal with yours, they'll think that you can deal with theirs. This is a major sign of progression and wealth. One thing I know for sure is that the ability to deal with conflict is in direct proportion to how wealthy you become. Just look at our society.

7. New Competition: As you move up the food chain, you'll stop looking at the old competition because the new ones will be glaring in your face! It will get rougher, but you'll have more wisdom and understanding in which to deal with them. Their tactics may be harder to deal with, but you'll use appropriate moves to avoid or counter them. If the competition is fair, you'll learn a lot from each other. If it isn't, they'll fail by the time you get to the next level. 

Starting Up Well

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We all know that this life often can be a roller coaster with lots of uncertainty and chaos. When you’re in the struggle, it’s tough to see a clear path to success, but it’s crucial to let your vision guide you, not your current circumstances. You must embrace those challenges, because that’s where your hunger for a better life is developed.

Nobody wants to be broke, and nobody wants to struggle, but it’s part of the process. It’s asking the right questions, and taking the right action while in the struggle, that can change everything. When I was in my toughest spot I was dead broke but six months later I had started my own company and in charge of my own destiny. What it took to make the change is available to everyone. Here are three things to start up well. 

1) Clarity

It's easy to make decisions once you determine what your real values are.

Reflecting back on the lowest points of my life, I’ve realized I didn’t take responsibility for anything. I was playing the victim role. I was blaming the economy, my job, lack of resources and even my location. I soon realized my focus was jaded and what I needed to change was myself. The moment I got clear on that, my life shifted.

Clarity is the ultimate power, and if you want results you’ve never had you need to get 100 percent clear on what you want. Only when you take full responsibility for your current reality can you change it. Clarity is a great way to run your business, and a great way to run your life. Get rid of the messes and noise in your head and figure out who you are, what you want and what you must give up to get there.

2) Confidence

Insecurities will destroy you, while real confidence will take you to a level very few attain.

An interesting thing happens when you start to gain clarity. Your confidence follows. If you don’t have confidence, you will always find a way to lose. Everything you accomplish is based on the confidence you have in yourself and your ability to “make it happen.” The bigger the goals, the bigger the challenges.

You must realize the moment you go after your biggest goals, obstacles will show up. They are there to test your character and faith, and to see if you are serious about your goals. When I got clear on the actions needed to start thriving, I felt my motivation and energy elevate. These days, the only security you have is the confidence in yourself and your ability to make things happen.

3)Shifting Your Circle of Influence

There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did and who always will.

Once you get clear on who you are and what you want, you must re-evaluate your Circle of Influence. It's like my pastor always say, "Who you associate with is who you become" - Sam Masteller (Follow him on Twitter @sammylu) The term "role model'' is not used enough in our society. It’s extremely important to have role models. A role model will raise your standards. A role model will not let you get complacent. Finding a role model or mentor will spark your mind because they are playing the game at a higher level than you are.

If you hang around five confident people, you will be the sixth.

If you hang around five intelligent people, you will be the sixth.

If you hang around five idiots, you will be the sixth.

If you hang around five broke people, you will be the sixth.

It’s inevitable!

Such a simple concept, but what a difference it can make on your performance and business. There’s no faster way to advance into the top 5 percent of your industry than this. Yet, most people don’t do it. I challenge you to find those people, because you’ll become a lot like the people you spend the most time with. Their belief systems, their ways of being and their attitudes are contagious. Once you elevate your peer group, your standards will follow.

No matter what the news is trying to feed our culture, I believe that the time is now to start a start up. In 2015 begin to dream, begin to plan, begin to take risks because if you don't..... this time next year you will wish you did.

 

16 Reasons To Start Your Business

 

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Sitting here in a parking lot as my Wife & Sister shop on Black Friday as I entertain the kids with a movie in our GMC, I begin to think of how blessed I really am for having the finances & freedom to take 6 days off and spend with family over the holidays. I didn't have to put in a request, take vacation time, my wife and I just decided to jump in our vehicle and drive 5 1/2 hrs south to Va. 

If you’re an entrepreneur you have heard the million reasons not to go into business: It’s too risky, you might go into debt, you’ll probably lose sleep, your social life is kaput, and the list goes on & on. But even with all these uncertainties, people are still attracted to the startup world. There are just as many, if not more reasons to take the leap and go start your own business.  Here are just a few I can think of while I wait on the shoppers:

1. Spare Time 

This one can take some time.  Initially you’ll work longer hours for less pay.  But if you do it right, you could start to master your schedule and the freedom that being an entrepreneur provides is awesome. 

2. A Story To Tell

Whenever I tell someone I run my own business, they always want to know what I do, how I do it and how it’s going. I always am able to provide a tale or two, and the best part is that I get to determine the story's chapters. (When working for a corporation, people most likely have less input.)

3. Tax Benefits

For entrepreneurs (freelancers included), they have the opportunity to take advantage of some nice tax perks. Many can write off expenses like travel, food, phone bills, portions of car payments, and the list goes on. Also, certain startups qualify for government incentives. Make sure to ask your accountant about what tax benefits you may be eligible for.

4. Pride

When you build something successful, it’s a great feeling. You had a vision, were able to execute it and not can reap the benefits of saying "I did this." On the other hand, it’s tough to be proud of the zillionth request for proposal you fill out for your employer.

5. Your Future Generations

If you’re a doctor, plumber or bus driver it’s hard to imagine you passing your career on to your loved ones. But if you own your own business, that’s something you can pass on to the next generation. And be proud of it, because you created it.

6. Job Security

Have you ever been laid off, downsized, or fired?  If you have, you get this. With entrepreneurship the security lies in the fact you are your own boss. You run the show and don't have to worry about getting let go.

7. Networking

Entrepreneurs are communal creatures.  We love to meet each other, swap stories, and learn from each other’s experiences. Your circle of friends and acquaintances always grows when you become an entrepreneur, as many founders need others to lean on to survive and talk about the challenges only known to them.

8. Doing Good

While this isn’t exclusive to entrepreneurs, it’s definitely a perk. You control where your company profits go and if you choose, you can give allocate your financial gains to others. You can give more to your Church, sponsor a charity, a non-profit or just personally give back to the community.  This is quite honestly one of the best parts of being an entrepreneur.

9. Mentorship

Having had mentors and getting to be a mentor have been some of the best experiences of my life.  Learning from the masters and getting to help those less experienced than you gives you such a sense of satisfaction. From my experience (and other's stories) the entrepreneurial community is very willing to give back and lend a helping hand.

10. Becoming An Expert

This point goes along with mentorship.  Regardless of what you do as an entrepreneur, if you stick with it, you’ll probably become very good at it. And this gives you a sort of soapbox, so use it. You'll have the chance to be interviewed for your expertise, write about it and get to spread your message.

11. Skills

People ask me how I learned about Merchant Services and  I tell them that I was forced to learn them, otherwise I wouldn't survive.  The same way I was forced to learn countless other skills I picked up because I was the only resource I had. While developing new skills can be tough and takes times, it can pay off in spades.  These skills will be invaluable throughout your life.

12. Determination

Everything I’ve done as an entrepreneur has affected me in my personal life.  I used to be poor at committing to changes. But having been an entrepreneur for the last 2 1/2 years has forced me to become dedicated and determined to causes. (Now I can stick to an exercise plan much easier.)  I’m also better at being a father and husband because of that determination I learned.

13. Recognition

There are literally thousands of local, regional and national awards that recognize entrepreneurs in every field and industry. This shouldn’t be your only reason to start your business, but it certainly is a great feeling when you receive this recognition.

14. Financial Independence

Let’s be honest, this is probably the biggest reason people get into business for themselves.  And that’s a good thing!  You should want financial independence.  However you define financial independence – retirement stockpile, unlimited cash potential or having the money to buy what you want --  entrepreneurship can allow you to achieve it. Trust me, money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does make finding happiness much easier.

15. Your Brand

Being known for something is awfully enjoyable.  People may start referring to you as the credit card guy, marketig guy, the retail maven or the software guru.  Whatever it is you’re recognized as, it’s fun to build that brand and earn that recognition.

16. Your Reason

I’ve given you a list of why I think you should start up your own business.  But all that really matters is YOUR reason to start your own business.  So, what is it?  Tweet out this story and add your reason.  Comment below and share with us why you did it.  I know it will be a good one. 

Glenwood Foods Saves Over $20,000 A Year By Switching Processors

We are happy to welcome Glenwood Foods to the Dependable Solutions family!

Glenwood Foods is a Family Owned and operated Discount Grocery Store based in Ephrata Pa. Visit them today to Discover why locally owned and family operated they are the grocery shopping destination for customers who value quality and appreciate savings. 

Unlike some small discount stores that offer only a limited selection of grocery items, Glenwood Foods offers the full range of departments you would expect to find in a supermarket but without their super high prices!

Glenwood Foods felt very comfortable to process the customers credit cards through Santandar Bank until they found out they were paying much higher fees then they should be. 

Amos began conversations with Dependable Solutions after the owner Derek Weidman stepped in to talk with him about what Dependable Solutions could offer. Taking advantage of the DepSol Challenge they found out could save over $20,000 in one year on processing fees. 

 If you think your business is paying to high of fees every month to process Credit Cards, contact us today and take the Depsol Challenge to see how much you can start saving! 

Office: 717-806-5429

Email: info@dependablesolutions.org

 

Do EMV Chip Cards Really Prevent Credit Card Fraud?


EMV Chip Cards and Credit Card Fraud

Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chip cards are a huge hit in the retail world. They reportedly prevent credit card fraud, helping to make point-of-sale transactions more secure.

Unlike traditional swipe-and-sign credit cards, EMVs come with embedded chips that assign a unique ID to every purchase. Below are two standards.

  • With chip & signature cards, the customer must sign his or her name to complete a transaction.
  • With chip & PIN cards, the customer must include a personal identification number (PIN) to authorize a purchase.

But are these security features just hype? Or do EMV chip cards truly offer greater protection?

Do EMV Chip Cards Really Prevent Credit Card Fraud?

It's worth noting that no payment option is 100 percent secure — not even cash. But according to Andi Coleman (of the Accredited Standards Committee X9), "It's very difficult if not impossible to clone the (chip and PIN) card." And the Aite Group’s Julie Conroy adds that, "These new and improved cards are being deployed to improve payment security, making it more difficult for fraudsters to successfully counterfeit cards."

But then again, quotes from industry insiders don’t really prove anything.

For evidence, we need to look at the numbers. Here are some hard, cold facts that every retailer in the United States should probably note:

  • After embracing chip & PIN cards, the U.K. witnessed credit card fraud go from $356 million in 2004 to less than $100 million by 2008.
  • The U.S. is responsible for roughly 25 percent of global credit card use, but nearly 50 percent of all credit card fraud. What makes these statistics so interesting is that the U.S. is also the only major market on the planet where EMV credit cards aren’t yet mainstream.

Based on the above, it appears that EMV chip cards are more secure. With traditional swipe-and-sign credit cards, it’s relatively easy for thieves to remember the 16-digit credit card number (or clone the magnetic strip on the back). But with chip-enabled credit cards, you must have the plastic in hand in order to successfully complete a transaction.

Should Your Retail Store Invest in EMV Credit Card Readers?

The numbers don’t lie. But is this added security worth the investment? After all, retailers must buy additional equipment in order to read chip-enabled credit cards.

It’s ultimately a personal decision — but an incredibly easy one.

You can think about it this way. In a world where EMVs exist, magstripe credit cards are pretty easy targets.

By investing in EMV credit card readers, you can erect extra hurdles between shoppers and would-be thieves. The end result is:

  • Fewer losses (for both you and your customers)
  • More sales (i.e. higher consumer confidence)

Use EMVs to Prevent Credit Card Fraud at Your Store

To learn more about EMV chip credit cards, contact us today:

Office: 717-806-5429

Email: info@dependablesolutions.org

5 Ways To Establish Long Term Relationships With Clients

Everyone knows customer relationships affect the success of your business, but few understand how impactful loyalty is. One study reported that 89 percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service.

Bain & Co, meanwhile, reports that a customer is four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related, rather than price or product related. Competition is fierce, and your customers may not remain customers long if you don’t take active steps to build your acquisition efforts and secure their loyalty.

To show you how to maintain a devoted customer base, here are five tips and insights to build strong customer relations with you customers.

1. Engage with your customers -- but at the right time. 

According to a recent study conducted by Totango, 81 percent of customers are willing to pay for a high-quality customer experience. This shows that experience matters as much as the product itself. With proactive, well-timed engagement with customers, you can make sure they are getting all the support they need before they even ask.

Take Sidekick by HubSpot. One week after you create an account, the company follows up with an automated email customized to reflect your last interaction with the product. For example, if you’ve signed up with Sidekick but haven’t engaged with it heavily yet, the follow-up note provides tips on how to use the two most fundamental features.

2. Understand what value you provide to customers, and maintain it. 

Customer interactions are too often treated as one-off instances. I can't tell you how many times I get told by a new client that they haven't heard from their previous sales rep since they got set up with them. If you want to succeed, it is crucial to understand the customer experience as a journey with a long string of interactions, continually building loyalty.

Trader Joe’s is famous for valuing their customers by continually imagining new ways to make the shopping experience easy and enjoyable. Market researchers agree that Trader Joe’s strategy of rapid checkout lines, well-curated product selection, deals on items we all love such as wine, and an array of sample foods keep customers coming back.

3. Monitor customer behavior every day. 

If you want to keep customers on board long term, you must understand how customers are engaging with your product throughout their journey with it. Best-in-class companies understand that historical snapshots of customers no longer cut it. Instead, to make their actions actually matter, they are using sensor-based capabilities to collect real-time feedback, which they act on immediately.

On the verge of its IPO, file-sharing company Box has mastered the art of predictive analytics to ensure customers are using the platform properly. Through its various monitoring systems, Box learned that their system of evaluating the number of customer users then projecting a price for that company was not working efficiently.

Through real-time feedback, the Box product team realized more customers wanted to consume Box “on more of a usage basis.” This product adjustment would not have been possible had its team not been closely monitored what customers wanted in real time.

4. Prioritize customers by knowing who needs your immediate attention.

Rapidly growing grocery-delivery service Instacart knows how to draw customers in -- and keep them. This inspires me in my ever changing industry that my company is in. We however have maintained a great customer base who has stayed with us through the changes. Instacart sends well-timed text messages and emails, updating users on the status of their delivery. After users receive their groceries, Instacart asks you to rate your experience between 1 and 5. Instacart follows up with a personalized email to every user who gives below a “5” and responds within 10 minutes to any concerns.

One recent study claimed 42 percent of consumers complaining on social media expect a response within 60 minutes. When you are managing multiple accounts, you need to know which customers need your attention so you can distribute your time and resources efficiently.

Every customer success team should have a system that evaluates both self-reported feedback and contextual customer actions to create a prioritized list of customers who require follow up. Ultimately, that list will include the users who are at risk and need your help as well as those who are most engaged and ready to get to the next level.

5. Don't limit yourself to only large corporations. 

McKinsey reports that 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. This means that investing in lower revenue accounts can be valuable: a customer’s value grows based on their experience.

Today’s winning companies serve a wide range of customers, from small and mid-size businesses to large enterprises, and cannot afford to view customer success through the traditional low- and high-touch account-management lens. Make sure you are monitoring all accounts -- not just high powered ones -- to ensure 100 percent of your user base is successful, engaged and receiving the attention they need.

I have built a 6 figure company in less than 2 years by targeting small business clients. No client is too small and every client matters to your business. Develop this mindset today.

A customer's decision to remain loyal to your company or move on to a competitor often hinges on the level of support they receive. Data from Totango shows that 90 percent of churn is preceded by poor product usage. By focusing on all of your customers -- not just a select group -- you can ensure every user has the tools needed to take full advantage of all product features. 

6 Traits Of A Successful Salesman Learned From Derek Jeter

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Sitting here in a local establishment for lunch I watch as ESPN cover Derek Jeter’s fairytale end to a fairytale baseball career. Here are a few facts, he had 12,000 plate appearances, Jeter struck out over 1,800 times placing him 13th on the all-time strikeout list. And yet, Jeter is widely considered to be the greatest ballplayer of his generation. He, much like Babe Ruth before him, trained himself to overcome the fear of striking out in pursuit of getting on base.

Great salespeople do the same thing everyday. Being a sales professional requires a special kind of mental toughness to ignore all of the times the word no is spoken in pursuit of yes. In my experience, there are six  traits found in every extraordinary salesperson that help define this resiliency. Here are a few things I learned from the career of Derek Jeter 

1) Achiever

Sales professionals invented the use of game mechanics in the workplace. Leader boards, the President’s Club and special incentives have been part of the institution of sales for decades. It is effective because salespeople care so much about winning. Achievement—more so than money—is the primary motivation for the best reps. They want money, of course, but they also want the thrill of winning the big deal and being recognized by their peers.

2) Focus

Exceptional salespeople don’t get flustered. They have a Zen-like ability to focus on the specific task at hand while exuding an aura of calm confidence. In the early 1980s, the Macintosh development team used the term “reality distortion field” to describe Steve Jobs’ charisma. Winning salespeople typically have a flavor of this condition that makes them unflappable in the face of challenges.

3) Excellence

The average tenure for a VP of Sales is 18 months. That is CRAZY!  The reason it’s not 24 or 36 months is that somewhere along the way they get surprised by a missed forecast and don’t have enough time to backfill the lost deal. That’s why the very best salespeople obsess over every detail of the presentation. They dress rehearse meetings. They’re at Kinkos at 5:30 a.m. meticulously assembling the proposal. Good salespeople hate surprises. And the best way to reduce the chances of being surprised is to focus on every detail of the process. In the years of contaminated professional sports Derek Jeter has managed to carry himself a step ahead of everyone else. A valuable lesson any of us salesman can learn from.

4) Loyal

The stereotype of salespeople is that they are constantly scheming to line their pockets with the customers’ money. While this might be the case for bad sales reps, the opposite tends to be true for exceptional salespeople. The best are intensely loyal to their customers and step in to solve problems. If things happen to go awry after the sale, the sales rep works on their behalf to fix the situation. This is the social contract that all great salespeople live by.

5) Optimistic

 Salespeople are optimists. They have to be to survive the emotional rollercoaster of winning and losing deals. But that optimism is often balanced by a healthy dose of paranoia. The best salespeople constantly ask themselves how could this go wrong? In one column, they will write down all of the ways in which they could lose the sale. And then in another column they write down what they are going to do to reduce the risk of that happening. 

6) Toughness 

Over my sales career I have went through extreme high's of closing 20 plus sales a month in Merchant Services sales, to extreme lows in dealing with long drawn out fleet management sales. But through everything I have learned that mental toughness is half the battle. If you have what it takes to be told no on 50 consecutive times just so you can get the yes on the 51st pitch, then you are on the path to an exceptional career in sales. Possessing these six traits will get there faster.

5 Lessons I Learned About Switching From Employee To Owner

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Every person who ever clocked in at work has had this thought: “If this were my business, I would run things differently.”

But what happens when you actually have the chance to grow your own company? I found out in 2012 when I started my own Merchant Services company called Dependable Solutions. I was only 30 years old, and I transitioned from employee to owner almost overnight.

The lessons I learned as I drastically changed roles helped me honor the business I valued enough to start and take the company to the level of success I dreamed of.

Here are five takeaways from my experience:

1. Don’t leave a vacuum behind when you transition. 

Becoming the owner means you’ll have tons of new responsibilities, from customer relationship management to business development, marketing, and accounting. Before you step out of your previous role, have a plan in place to cover your former responsibilities so vital tasks don’t fall through the cracks.

It’s not realistic to expect to do both your former job and your new one, especially since ownership will keep throwing you curve balls. You may miss certain aspects of your previous job, but you’ll discover the importance of your new role as owner and CEO -- to work on the business as opposed to in the business

2. Don’t be afraid to redefine the status quo. 

Merchant Services seems like an over-saturated industry to start a fresh company in. If you own a business you most likely don't go through a day without a salesman calling you and telling you that they can save you money. That is how everyone told me I should grow my business. However I was determined to grow it in a more grassroots approach. Going out and meeting with people face to face. This has been at the core of our success and growth.

3. Don’t be shocked if everyone doesn’t get with the program.

When things change, some people won’t want to go with the flow. They may choose to hop off the train at various stops. That’s not the end of the world. You don’t have time to waste on stragglers or stubborn people. Instead, invest in those who share your ideals and want to be part of the team that carries the company forward.

4. Find someone to lean on. 

A major role shift is going to be stressful, no matter how positive it may be. Finding a mentor, business coach or trade organization of fellow professionals can be invaluable. Having a support system will give you perspective and lead to stronger choices earlier in your transition.

5. Be Honest With Clients

When change comes, it’s natural for people to feel nervous. Set aside time to reassure clients. Be open about  what you envision for the future. Projecting confidence and being positive will help your clients feel more secure.

 

No matter what kind of company you’re considering buying or starting, whether it’s a law firm, restaurant, construction company or a sales company it’s important to consider all the angles of life as a future owner before you make the sacrifice to sign on the dotted line.

Transforming from an employee to the owner is a huge step, but if you have Character, Integrity, stellar ideas and the will to make the business your own, the rewards and unlimited potential of becoming an owner are worth every challenge.

A Lancaster County Pa Business Finally Finds A Local Family Owned Merchant Services Company

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We welcome Weaver's bike shop in Ephrata PA to the Dependable Solutions family today. Weavers bike shop has been servicing the Ephrata area since the 50s. They specialize in Fuji bicycles and Marin mountain bikes. They also offer full-service on all bike models.

Nine years ago when the owner Samuel Weaver started to except credit cards he had a terrible experience with EMPS. He's had nothing but negative experiences since Dealing with Prodigy Payments, Susquehanna Merchant Services, PNC Merchant Services, Certified Payment Processing, and his most recent one Prestige Payment Systems.

He has tried everything to be able to take credit cards for payment in a affordable way but has not had a single positive experience yet. Companies misleading him in miscellaneous fees, misleading him in supposedly free equipment and then it turns out to be a lease, all to which he even thought to stop taking credit cards for payment. 

Samuel began discussions with Dependable Solutions about saving him money but really he was interested in dealing with a local company that he could trust.

 "I never even knew that I could deal with a family owned & operated company with merchant services"Samuel Weaver 

After reviewing his statements and performing an analysis we at Dependable Solutions were able to save him over $1,200 in a years time. 

We at Dependable Solutions are excited to have Weaver's Bike Shop apart of the family and we look forward to servicing him in the years to come. If you find your experience much like Samuels please give us a call today so we can help you have a positive experience with your merchant services provider.

Office - (717) 806-5429

Email - info@dependablesolutions.org

Susquehanna Bank Merchant Services Over Charges Ephrata Business $1,800 A Year

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Ken's Educational Joy's in Ephrata Pa has been providing the area with educational crafts since 1992. This has been personally fulfilling for owner Kenneth Sauder as he sees families coming in and buying crafts they all can enjoy & learn from. 

After Kenneth gave Dependable Solutions the opportunity to look at his credit card fees he was shocked to learn that he could save over $150.00 a month with Dependable Solutions at no upfront cost. Now he can trust that another family operated business is looking out for his businesses well being. 

If you feel your paying too much in Credit Card processing fees, let us at Dependable Solutions take an honest look at what we could do for you. Call us today and ask us about the DepSol Challenge 

 

Office - (717) 806-5429

Email - info@dependablesolutions.org

Prodigy Payment Systems Over Charges Business $2,100 For Equipment

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Rob’s Rod Shop was founded in 2004 as a part time hobby business.  Their primary service was to assist vehicle owners with restoration or modification of their muscle car era vehicles. 

Today they are a full-time traditional speed shop. They have both a brick and mortar storefront with shop area, as well as their webstore.   

Their focus is on upgrading 1960’s & 1970’s muscle cars, and 1980’s through early 1990’s domestic performance cars and trucks while retaining their original character.  They provide both parts and service on suspension, brakes, ignition, wiring, fuel systems, engine, transmission, and axles.   

Ask them about available upholstery services. 

Rob’s Rod Shop specializes in cars of the former Chrysler Corporation.  Muscle car era GM, Ford, and AMC products are welcomed as well. 

  •  Rob’s Rod Shop is a member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). 

  •  Rob’s Rod Shop supports Maple Grove Raceway's Money Trail race series.More Info 

  •  Rob’s Rod Shop was featured in the April-May 2013 issue of Cruising Magazine. More Info 

4 years ago they contacted Prodigy for their Merchant Services needs. They regreted it ever since. Prodigy locked them into a unnecessary long-term lease agreement for their equipment. They pay over $40 a month for 48 months totaling over $2,100 for a machine they could have bought outright for $375.

They now process with Dependable Solutions and are happy to not only deal with a business who is local but also who they can trust to keep their best interest in mind. 

If you would like more information about dependable solutions please contact us today

Office: 717-806-5429

Email: info@dependablesolutions.org

Fulton Bank Merchant Services Cost A Paradise Pa Business $10,000 A Year In High Processing Fees

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We welcome Amish Trader in Paradise Pa to the Dependable Solutions family today. 

Amish Trader started out working directly with Amish craftsmen and distributing their high quality handcrafted products directly to store owners. They eliminated the middleman with their daily "cash & carry" warehouse and shipping department. This enabled them to offer the best prices thus giving you the edge over your competition. Amish Trader now distributes all the items displayed on their site plus an expanded line of country, primitives, fence, garden items and gifts from around the world.

The Amish Trader warehouse is in Paradise, PA, in the heart of the Amish country (Lancaster, PA) located half way between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. We encourage you to visit this beautiful part of Pennsylvania and stroll the aisles of their store while on your vacation.

Amish Trader Distribution is a wholesale ONLY business so be sure to bring your business credentials.

If you have any questions CALL THEM (717) 442-4141

About a year ago we begin our discussins with the owner Gill concerning their credit card processing fees. After Gill got over his feeling of commitment to his local bank Fulton Bank he sat down with us to do an analysis of his monthly statement. In doing so he learned that Fulton Bank Merchant Services was charging them over $10,000 a year in high unescssary fees after making the switch to Dependable Solutions.

 If you would like to see if Dependable Solutions can save your business money contact us today. 

Office: 717-806-5429

Email: info@dependablesolutions.org

Yoder Industries Saves Over $1,200 A Year After Leaving EMPS Merchant Services

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Yoder Industries, LLC located in Leola Pa specializes in precision cutting services. Since 1994, they have been advancing their technology to meet their expanding customer base. In addition to their laser cutting machines, they now have a 5-axis water jet which allows them to add edge bevels up to 60 degrees. Their warehouse is well-stocked with raw materials to facilitate customer service. They can cut a variety of materials from .010 to 6 inches thick, including:

  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Rubber
  • Foam
  • Plastics

Their multi-axis brake press will put the finishing touch on your parts. Whether you need one part or thousands, Yoder Industries can provide you with precision parts. They are dedicated to providing quality parts at competitive prices in a timely manner to put you on the cutting edge.

Contact them today for a free estimate on your next laser or water jet cutting job.

EMPS has been handling their credit card processing needs for the past few years. After we contacted them about our rates and fees they were interested in having us come in and see what savings we could drum up.

After the review we found that we can save them over $1,200 a year in processing fees. EMPS was charging them $14.95 to process through the First Data Gateway. Where our cost as an ISO is only $4.95. After reviewing that with them they decided to buy 2 machines that would ready for the EMV cards that are coming out soon eliminating that $14.95 charge as well as multiple high rates and fees.  

 If you feel like your business is being charged too much in processing fees, contact us today for a free analysis.

Office: (717) 806-5429

Email: info@dependablesolutions.org

Central Payment Cost Business $6,000 A Year In High Fees

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We welcome the volleyball corner and Lancaster PA to the Dependable Solutions family today!

If it is for volleyball, they have it.  Their selection ranges from net systems to shoes and kneepads to volleyballs and everything in between.  They have been proudly serving the volleyball community from their retail store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania since 1986.  To meet all of your needs, they carry a wide selection from top manufacturers such as Asics, Mizuno, Under Armour, Nike, Baden, Molten, Mikasa, Spalding, Wilson, and Tachikara.

For the last three years they have been processing their credit card transactions through Central Payment. Holly Helm one of the owners, would keep a close eye on the fees that would go out every single month associated with the credit card transactions. And she noticed it would cost them anywhere from 3 to 4% in total fees.

Overtime she thought that this was too much to to pay for credit card fees. But she knew in this day & age she had to except credit cards because that is the preferred payment these days.

About a year ago they begin conversations about changing credit card processors. Holli really wanted to deal with someone local so that they would have a local rep to have a face to face interaction who could service them. After looking into Dependable Solutions they felt that it was the right way to go. So we sat down and did a cost analysis for them and found that we would be able to save them over 50% a month on their monthly statement saving them over $6,000 a year and credit card processing fees.

If you are paying over 3% in credit card processing fees contact us today and start saving money! 

Office - (717)  806-5429

Email - info@dependablesolutions.org

The Fine Print Behind The Costco Merchant Services Program

 

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Similar to Sam’s Club merchant services, Costco offers merchant services to its members. Costco has good prices on bulk groceries and other items, but is it a good place to go if you are looking for a new Merchant Account? Maybe not. Read more to find out why.

Costco uses a company called Elavon, Inc. formerly NOVA, to provide their merchant processing services. NOVA Merchant Services changed their business name (much like other merchant services companies) because NOVA had too many "Ripoff Reports" and poor reviews about them. They changed their Business Name to Elavon a few years back.

Elvavon Inc. is a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp. At first glance it appears that Costco has great rates – 1.38% and $.19 cents per card-swiped transaction.

When you look at the fine print on the Costco credit card processing page you will notice the following:

  • Rates listed are for qualified transactions
  •  A  Monthly Minimum charge may apply
  • A $25 Application Fee applies for Non-Executive Members
  • Rates and Fees may change without notice
  • This promotional offer is valid for a limited time
  • Additional Fees may apply in certain circumstances

After you read the fine print you might ask yourself, What am I getting myself into? If rates and fees can change, what am I actually committing to and for how long? Also, if the rates they quote are for “qualified transactions”, what is the rate that I will pay if the transaction is a rewards credit card for instance?

Costco offers Tiered pricing. At Dependable Solutions we only provide Interchange Plus pricing because it is most cost effective for merchants. 

Before enrolling in a Costco merchant account, ask them these questions:

  • How much is the Cancellation fee if I decide to cancel my merchant account early?
  • Will I pay a monthly PCI Fee? If so, how much?
  • Does my business qualify for the Visa “Emerging Market” Interchange rate?
  • Does Elavon pass the Durbin Amendment savings onto to the merchant?
  • Does Elavon have a way to pass Level 2 and Level 3 data for business-to-business transactions?

At Dependable Solutions, we focus on education to make sure you completely understand Interchange Plus pricing and all the different solutions available so you can make the right decision for your business. In addition, at Dependable Solutions we never lease a terminals. We only sell them at a fraction of the cost of leasing them or purchasing them directly from Costco.

If you would like to learn more about the solutions we offer, contact us today. 

Office: 717-806-5429

Email: info@dependablesolutions.org