Hello folks,


As you all know, CC fees take a substantial chunk out of what you net when you have lots of small transactions.  Has anyone here had success (or failure) with a cash-only format? Beyond this, for those that do take plastic, how do you set CC policy at your shop: do you suggest or require a minimum amount for a CC transaction? Do you stick to it? Do you have many complaints? and what percentage of your business ends up being cash?


There are a few food establishments in my area that are cash-only, and they have trained their customers to work within this practice. I'm speaking from experience--I know that if I go to restaurant X, I need to stop off at the ATM. Not that big of a deal. Is this doable in a shop, given that a customer generally would not go to an ATM and pay a $2 fee in order to get five bucks to buy a couple of coffees? (On the other hand, shops rely on regulars who are in a better position to adjust/prepare.) And what are the potential drawbacks, aside from lost customers: employee theft? crime (burglars and--yikes--robbers)?





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IMHO, HUGE mistake not to accept credit cards.  Like Jack, over 30% of my sales are CCs, sometimes near 40%.  Many, many people do not carry cash anymore.  Build the cost into the prices and then write off the fees as a business expense.  The potential loss of customers FAR outweighs whatever the monthly fees add up to.  As mentioned, offer a discount on preloaded gift cards to get your CC transaction average up.  I love gift cards, especially when customers lose them or never use their last buck.  Pure profit.

Tried the cash only but it back-fired, especially if you live in an area with alot of competition and people are affluent and used to not carrying cash. I set a minimum of $5 (not enforced though) if possible and nearly all customers are comfortable with this as they are aware of the fees we are charged. I also sell food so it works out ok with the check average. I will switch over to a POS based system at some point as our menu evolves more, but if you are just a simple cafe/coffee shop it is not necessary to have an expensive POS system. We now do about 60% of our business in CC sales and I expect it to be 75% in the next 12 months.

Research the Durbin Amendment; it is applicable to this discussion.


FWIW- it's not necesarily "big evil credit cards" but also "big evil Banks" that are charging fees.

Everyone has someone to answer to.....


Keep that in mind as we all have to do business. 

Don't polarize one without polarizing the other; if that is your true conviction.

Most importantly, know your rights. 

The Durbin Amendment Explained

this Reform Act takes place July 21, 2011

When we opened our shop we build the cost of the cc fees into our prices. We just figured that 40% or our customers would use credit and built the price points accordingly. So far the percentages are working according to plans. 


In regards to tips. We set it up so that people wouldn't have to sign under $25 but when they didn't sign hardly anyone left a tip, especially in the drive through. Now that we have everyone sign no matter the amount the number of tippers has gone up but only slightly. The amount of tip to total bill would be maybe 8% on a good day and down below 2% some days. Now some people do leave a cash tip when paying with a cc but not many.

Well, at least on the debit card side, your merchant fees are likely to drop quite a bit next month: http://www.loansafe.org/retailers-cheer-banks-are-worried-about-cha... .

[hit "save" twice. sorry]

ok, this CC processing is really new to me. I am just starting out and have been researching different companies. The rates are astronomical (in my opinion)


Please can someone chime in and tell me if this is normal (or if my math is off)


Here's an example:



CC processing company 1.55% + .14cents per transaction.


I estimate that each transaction will be $5.

I estimate I will have about 200 transaction per day.

So... 5 x .0155 = 0775 + .14 = about .22 cents per transation

.22 cent x 200 = $44/day

$44/day x 6days/week =$264/week

$264/week x 4weeks = $1056/month!!!


$1056/month in transaction fees!!!! 


Please tell me if this is a normal rate or can I do much better!

Thanks :-)



Presuming your numbers gives you a monthly total of $30,000, you're still talking about 3.5%, which is lower than the average metric of 4% we've discussed in this thread.


So, is it really "too much"?  Up for you to decide.


BTW, as Jack has stated:  Square POS for iPad charges a simple 2.75% on transactions, which works out to $825/mo in fees.


Two months and you've paid for the cost of your iPad, and you can play Angry Birds between customers.

The recent changes to the credit card laws make it legal to set a minimum charge.


Before this change, many businesses posted notices that "prices reflect a cash discount - add 5% for credit card use"


"the oldest guy at your party"

You can not set a minumum but you can now offer discounts for cash and you can also offer discounts if they use different forms of credit such as debit cards or the visa gift cards which by the way have the highest fees.

Kathy, take another look at the new regulation as well as the MC and Visa Merchant agreements.  In the past, a merchant could NOT set a minimum or maximum purchase amount, but could offer discounts for cash.  The new regulation allows merchants to set a minimum purchase amount of not more than $10 for credit card transactions.  


Here's the language that appears on the Visa website:  http://usa.visa.com/about_visa/ask_visa/index.html

Thanks  Jay. I think I was put off by the initial percentage but the extra change per transaction charged by other companies puts the cost of a transaction waaay above 2.75%.


Thanks for that :-)

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