Recent case law in the U.S. has opened up new possibilities for business owners. Now you can have more control over the way you attribute the costs of payment processing. That is why Echo Daily has introduced the Merchant Advocate Program to incentivize your customers to use cash instead of cards.
This innovative program is a massive change on the way you charge your customers, and you might be asking yourself, “What if I lose customers because they’re offended by the 4% service charge?” That is a natural concern. However, there’s a multitude of reasons why your customers will stay, and your business will thrive. In the case of credit card processing, there are excellent reasons to make the switch.
When you switch to The Merchant Advocacy Program or MAP, it’s a positive step for your customers and you. The MAP program enables you to give the best prices to cash customers. At the same time, you’ll serve customers better by providing a transparent cost structure.
The traditional format of interchange discount rates and fixed transaction fees force you to accept unnecessary expenses for your business. They force you to subsidize financial companies and card users by concealing the cost within your sale price. That arrangement distributes the cost across all of your customers, regardless of the liabilities and risks that they bring to your business.
Why should you do that? If you look at what it means for your business, the traditional arrangement is unfair. It prevents you from informing your customers of the true cost breakdown. It cuts into your profit margin and raises the price for cash customers. When you look at the big picture, the MAP program stabilizes your costs and produces a fairer pricing structure for your customers.
A lower price for cash sales just makes good business sense. Cash has fewer risks associated with fraud, data theft, and chargebacks. Payment in cash costs you less, it’s immediate and definite, and so it should be incentivized for your customers too.
Discounts for cash have been in place for a long time in industries such as gas stations, convenience stores, and public municipalities. You’ve probably paid lower prices for cash many times and continue to choose those businesses. If you think like many consumers, you proactively look for these kinds of savings.
When the traditional rivals of your current merchant services provider come knocking in a bid to replace them, all they promote their ability to shave off a portion of their discount to the interchange rate. Here, small businesses are doubly at a disadvantage because the largest retailers had the muscle to demand the lowest rates when they negotiate with Merchant Services Providers.
Additionally, the big-box retailers have helped to distort the choices of payment methods that consumers made, in favor of the banks that issue the cards. Small businesses have to take what the market dictates to them. The worst part of this battle for market share is that, as the cost of card processing seems to go up each year, the perverse incentive in favor of cardholders grows bigger.
The natural reaction is to fear losing customers, which equals lost revenue. However, when you eliminate costs and streamline your point of sales operations with MAP, you’ll increase your income and keep more of it. The program eliminates card-processing fees from your pricing. At the same time, customers who prefer cash will seek you out if they know you can give them the best price.
All of the other strategies to increase your income, such as advertising campaigns or expanding into new markets, are speculative. You have to make a best-guess assessment of where the opportunity lies, pump cash into it, and hope for a positive return, without a guarantee of success.
The MAP program is a guarantee, and it’s a mutually beneficial proposition for your customers and you, they get lower prices for cash. You do all of your customers a favor by making their spending transparent. Customers today expect a smooth purchasing experience, and that retailers will conform to specific norms.
One of the central expectations customer have is that your policies and pricing will be transparent. MAP is more transparent than traditional processing fees. You post notice of your policy at the entrance to your business and the point of sale. You provide a clear breakdown of the cost, printed on the customer’s receipt.
It might sound like a technicality, but either the customer pays the cost or the retailer pays, but then passes it on to the customer in any case. The difference here is that you have more control with the MAP program, and your customers can choose their payment methods based on a clear understanding of the costs.
Rather than powerful third parties deciding what information you can and cannot share with your customers, you give your customers a transparent breakdown of your pricing. If you can break down the costs and attribute it to the actual source, then you control who pays it. It’s also more transparent because you can show the surcharge as a line item on the cardholder’s receipt.
So, will the difference offend your customers? Experience shows that when you communicate the value of MAP, customers appreciate the cash discount and the transparency, and they continue to shop.
The new regulations and legal precedents mean that you no longer have work on terms dictated by the card payment industry. Implementing a cash discount program through Echo Daily will help you achieve the most efficient pricing configuration for your business, while we ensure that all of your transactions are all PCI compliant.
To learn how the MAP program will help you avoid offending customers and deliver an outstanding purchase experience, contact Echo Daily today.