Zero Cost Credit Card Processing for Auto Body Shops

Zero cost credit card processing for auto body shops in California has gotten quite a bit of attention. These business owners see it as a fair way of apportioning the processing fees onto those customers based on their form of payment and the amount of the bill. So each customer paying by credit card pays a small portion of the credit card processing fees pro rata instead of the business owner paying a large merchant processing bill at the end of each month. Zero fee processing is also allowed in about 40 other states including New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

While zero cost credit card processing for auto body shops has been around a few years, it was very difficult to meet the requirements established by Visa and the other major credit card brands.  For instance, there were no credit card terminals that had the capability of separating out the processing fees and itemizing them on the bill as the card brands required.

Auto Body Shop Using Zero Cost Credit Card ProcessingNow there is one terminal that has been approved and certified that handles all of that and we advise our clients on the proper notices to be fully compliant with state law and the credit card companies. There is also a filing that we do to register the business for this zero cost credit card processing program for auto body shops.

Not all processors are offering this program, by the way, and most merchant sales representatives are not authorized to promote the software to merchants. The program we are offering merchants in the approved states allows them to use either an approved zero cost credit card processing terminal, or they can use a computer or mobile device, since the payments page is mobile optimized. This can save businesses a significant amount of money in merchant processing costs each month.

EXAMPLE: An auto body shop paying 2.5% on $35,000 of processing each month, is paying their processor $875. By switching to a zero cost processing program, the $875 would be paid proportionately by their customers that month and clearly stated on their credit card receipt, providing full disclosure to the customers. The business would be saving over $10,000 per year based on this example.

We are seeing increased interest in various industries across the board. Each business owner must make their own decision on whether this program is right for them, but as it is seeing increased acceptance, it is likely to be very common with the majority of small businesses in the next few years.

Small business owners see this as not only a way to cut costs, but also as a way to pass the cost on to only those customers it affects. It is a better alternative than increasing prices.

While the business is passing on the transaction processing costs and fees to the customer, there are some monthly costs involved such as a PCI compliance fee, monthly service fee, debit enablement fee, credit card terminal and software fee, as well as possible other fees depending on the needs of the particular business. These monthly fees are typically in the range of $50 to $100, not too bad based on what the business will be saving each month.

Test the Waters Before Fully Committing.

Think carefully about whether or not a program like this is right for your business. One alternative would be to do a trial period of 1 or 2 months. We are seeing more and more businesses start to switch over to this zero fee processing program to save costs and improve their profit margins.

The automotive servicing industry in particular seems very interested in allocating processing costs to customers and taking advantage of this zero cost credit card processing program. This includes tow truck operators, auto body shops, auto repair shops, auto servicing centers, oil change shops, auto painting and auto tire shops. Even business that service the trucking industry are starting to take notice.

Let us know if you would like to try zero cost credit card processing for auto body shops or any other business you may operate.  The only real restriction is that the program is not open to high risk business categories and is currently not available in Connecticut, Texas, Kansas, New York and Massachusetts. Feel free to contact us today.


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