So What about Customer Credit Cards?
I want to talk about an awkward subject before you and I close our discussion about how to work with credit cards. Here I talk about — gulp — how to handle customer credit card payments.
Okay, if you don’t already know this, although your customers probably love to pay you with credit cards, customer credit cards create a headache for you. The reason is that your merchant bank or credit card processor aggregates customer credit card charges and then — maybe on a daily basis or maybe every few days — deposits a big wad of cash into your bank account. The cash represents the sum of the recent credit card charges minus a (hopefully modest) fee.
This all sounds innocuous enough, but here’s an example of how this works: Customers A, B, and C come in on Monday and spend $5, $10, and $15, respectively. Then, on Tuesday, customers D, E, and F come in and spend $10, $50, and $30, respectively. On Wednesday, say that you don’t sell anything to someone who uses a credit card, but you do see a $105 deposit into your bank account from the credit card company.
The problem is that you’re looking at the last two days of credit card transactions, and you know they total $120 because that’s the total you sold to customers A, B, C, D, E, and F. So what’s with the $105? Is the missing $15 a service fee? Oh, no, wait. Maybe Customer A called his credit card company and blocked that first $5 charge . . . or maybe it was Customer B?
If you accept a credit card, you ...