The Truth About Payment Processing
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 0:02
Hey, everybody, welcome to September, I can’t believe we’re at the end of q3, I’m like really freaked out. But I’m Sammy here along with my sidekick, Patrick, wa. And we are here for our guest expert training and so excited to have Jen molesky here, and I’ll let her introduce herself in a little bit. But credit card processing is not a sexy, fun thing to talk about, but is sometimes very expensive cost of doing business. And so we really wanted to have her come on today and just kind of share some insight on the jargon that is around financials and help us understand what we don’t know. So that we can make sure that we have all the knowledge that we can make wise decisions, and make the choices that are right for our own unique businesses. So this is great for nonprofits. But this is also great for any small business that just might want to be taking a look at their financials going into 2024. So that they can save as much money as possible, or at least know how to ask the right questions to make sure they’re not paying more than they should for different things. And we’ll get into more of that. But welcome, Jen, thanks for joining us today.
Jen Nielesky 1:17
Yeah, thanks for having me.
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 1:20
So why don’t you just kind of introduce yourself and share a little bit about how you got into this world of payment processing?
Jen Nielesky 1:27
Sure. So I live in Central Oregon. And my background is a mix of hospitality, working in restaurants and in hotels. And then business, I always kind of had a corporate job, and I went back and forth. And then when I had kids, I really wanted to find a way to generate an income that I was proud of. But that also allowed me to be a mom. And so I knew somebody who had done what I’m doing now about 20 years ago before the days of square and Stripe and all the other 10,000 choices. And so I knew it was a thing. And as I looked into it, what I came to realize was that these processing companies give somebody like me the ability to set the rate for business clients. And I can be as generous as I want, and still generate an income for myself. And what I knew from having been a general manager in a restaurant was that the p&l is pretty thin, especially for restaurants, there’s very thin margins. And credit card processing is a big expense. But it’s not regulated, it’s not created equally, everybody pays a different rate. For the most part, it’s really confusing. And so I found that I could support my family by creating value for business owners not just in reducing their rates and helping them save more of their hard earned money. But by becoming an expert, and knowing the things that they don’t know, they don’t know. And so today, six, maybe even seven years later, I don’t keep track. I’ve been doing this, and it’s been great. And yeah, I work with all kinds of businesses all across the United States. And you know, cutting the fees is one thing, but I like to educate people on how to be a good shopper, what I find is most businesses, they just take the path of least resistance. And so they might end up with somebody like square who seems free and transparent. But on the flip side, they’re paying the highest processing rates in the industry, you know, and we’ll get into some of the numbers when that matters when it doesn’t. But anyway, so that’s how I got into it. And I love it. And I love to nerd out on credit card processing. So this should be really fun,
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 3:26
really fun. Well, I’m there’s kind of three, correct me if I’m wrong, I feel like there’s kind of like three big buckets, right? There’s like the square stripes pay piles of the world that are just kind of anybody can create an account set up and start taking people’s money. There’s the banks that only offer their platform. So you might go to like a chase or somebody and you can get your credit card processing, but they only represent their individual bank. And then there’s people like you that are more on the broker side like health insurance, where you can help with the navigation of all the different options that are out there to find kind of the right fit for your organization.
Jen Nielesky 4:01
That’s true. So like the squares and stripes of the world. They’re called Pay fax, whereas people that get an independent merchant account for them for their own business, they’re getting a direct account. And there are some benefits there. For example, the squares in the stripes pay facts, if you will pay pals who just give anybody a count and then ask questions later. The risk there is you know, based on what you’re selling, anytime there’s anomalies or large transactions, they don’t know who you are, you haven’t been put through underwriting. And so the transaction is risky, you find that people complain about funds getting frozen, being put on reserves, and so not just in terms of rates, but in terms of security. For example, I had a client that ran a $42,000 transaction not too long ago, and rather than stop their processing and shut them down and make their life really terrible. I was contacted and I contacted the client and I just needed to get an invoice and present it to underwriting and we went on as usual. That’s really a crazy thing. $42,000 is a huge red flag. So yeah, there are buckets. What I like to tell people though, is it really comes down to how the industry has changed is more it used to be, you would buy your point of sale or your software to run your business. And then you would choose your processing. And they were separate how the industry has changed. Now it’s a lot of, there’s so many more software platforms, there’s so many more point of sale options, and some of them forced you to use their processing. And oftentimes, it’s expensive, and you have no room to negotiate. So one of the things I like to share with people is, as we’re shopping for point of sale or software, let’s also consider the processing, I’ll give an example. So toast is really great, and restaurant space, because for a while they were giving away free equipment. But what people weren’t doing was they weren’t reading the contract when it was relevant to the processing. Nor did they know it was a good rate. So they just signed on. But a lot of these restaurants were paying 1000 2000 $5,000 More in credit card processing than they maybe would have with a company that I set him up with. And so that free equipment that might have cost him $3,000 is actually costing him $3,000 into perpetuity. And they just that’s the thing they don’t know they don’t know. Yeah. And so whenever there’s a system a point of sale, or a software program, or a platform that you’re looking to purchase or to use, if the if they only give you one option for processing, that’s where they’re making their money. That’s where you’re spending though. So what happens is people compare point of sale monthly fees, Oh, this one’s $79. And this one’s $69, I’ll go with the $69. One, but they’re paying an extra $1,000 a month in processing because they don’t know it. And so in terms of buckets, it really comes down to your processing your point of sale or your software, and or you know that your operational needs?
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 6:40
Yeah, well, I think we share this all the time, with organizations like, you know, you go, you sign up for your email marketing software, and it says it’s $29 a month, or you sign up for your CRM, and it’s $150 a month, and we’re just like, okay, that’s the price, I gotta, I gotta click that I gotta pay for it, you know, but there you can negotiate, you can call them and you could talk to them. And you can try to negotiate a different rate, especially for nonprofits. That is open. And I think the same is true with the example you just shared with point of sales is it’s like, this might be the deal that they’re offering. But that doesn’t mean you can’t call them up and have a conversation and say, This is exactly what I need, I can’t afford, you know, you can have those conversations, because a lot of times I know you’ve worked worked with the same company on point of sales where for this client, you might have them rent the software, because it makes more sense. But for this one, you might have them buy it out, or you know, like, no two situations are exactly the same.
Jen Nielesky 7:35
Yeah, and that’s, that’s what makes it really difficult for shoppers. So we’ve talked to business owners, and one of the most frustrating things is picking a point of sale and their credit card and understanding credit card processing. My advice and sort of how originally I got into this to write somebody’s rates and save them some money and make some money for myself, what it’s evolved into was really more of a consultation role in that over time, I’ve learned about systems, what they can do what they can’t. So when you’re you know, when when a restaurant or a business is looking at software or point of sale systems, they’re looking at the sales stuff, they’re looking at the marketing, they’re looking at all the good stuff. And so again, it’s you don’t know what you don’t know. And they all look the same, they have small little caveats that are different, you just spend an hour looking at something you looked at yesterday, and you don’t know. It’s frustrating. And so probably the best value that I offer. And I know there are other people like myself out there. So feel free to find somebody local to you, but look for somebody who is set up like a broker. So you had mentioned health insurance earlier. That’s how I’ve set myself up. Because I have industry contacts, I know who does what within the industry. Like I said, what’s good. When somebody comes to me, and they say, Here’s my business, this is what I’m trying to do. These are one of the problems I’m trying to solve. This is how I want my operation to operate. There’s oftentimes somebody like me knows the solution that’s already out there. Because we’ve seen that before, maybe we have a client that had that same problem. Most restaurants have the same issues. Most accountants have the same issues. Most nail salons have the same issues, you know. And so I always say find a partner in payments, whether it’s me, I’m happy to work with anybody that’s watching this, you’re welcome to reach out, I’ll give you free guidance or somebody that maybe you know, perhaps you have a friend who owns a business and they’re always talking about their credit card person. That’s who you want. Ask business owners do you know that first name of your credit card processing person, that’s always a really good way to go? If they don’t know their that person’s name? You don’t want to use them. But if they go, oh, yeah, my girl’s name is Jen or my girl’s name is Sammy, she’s great. That means that that person is not just somebody who set the rates but as knowledgeable. I have clients that will call me for example, I have a Indian hotel, tribal organization and they wanted to go to an all vending situation. I don’t do vending machines, but it’s the IT director called me because I do all things payment processing. And so guess what I learned about I learned a lot about vending, I figured it all out and I reached out to my contacts and so while he’s doing his full time job, he’s got me working for him getting him solutions. And so there’s a lot of people out there that are set up like me who aren’t just going to try and sell you The one thing that we have to sell, but instead we’re going to try to understand your business and reach into our own industry contacts. Now, you’re not going to get that with the squares and stripes. So what happens is a lot of small businesses, they just spend hours and hours and weeks searching and researching, and eventually, they’re just going to go with what everybody else is going to go with. And that’s costly. It’s kind of my point.
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 10:21
Well, let’s talk about some jargon. Because, you know, it took me months of talking to you to like, really, Jen and I have been working together for probably just as long we both started our businesses right around the same time. And so I have learned from over the years, you know, all the words, but it takes a lot to like process all of this. So, you know, we might see a fixed rate with a per transaction fee, we might see a variable rate, like, you know, what do we need to know about those differences, so we can really understand our actual cost of processing.
Jen Nielesky 10:58
So there are a few different rate structures. Back in the olden days, we had something called tiered pricing, which basically put transactions in a bucket, if it was a plain old credit card, maybe a debit card went into this bucket, if it was a rewards card, you got some miles, and it was based on you know, those three, you’d have three different costs, and they would fall into buckets, then it went to something called interchange plus or cost plus, which is the pricing program I like to use, and I suggest people always try to get cost plus is really simple, it means you’re gonna pay the actual cost for each card plus a pre negotiated markup, okay, so you’ll know what that markup is. And then you’ve got the flat rate. So you don’t really see any flat rates anymore. It’s always flat rate plus transaction, because the money is in the transaction. So square, for example, used to be 2.75, flat, they were losing money, they went to 2.6 and 10 cents, and their revenue skyrocketed. So the problem with that, though, is that they bulk all of the transactions into one rate. And so the cost really ranges per card from point oh, 5% and 22 cents all the way up to like 3.6%. So you’re dealing with the law of averages. And so square just says forget the law of averages, we’re just going to give you this same price or any flat rate, we’re going to give you even toes 2.49 and 30 cents, whatever, that’s going to be the rate for every transaction, so you lose the benefit of the lower cost ones. When you put somebody on interchange, plus they’re paying that cost plus a small markup. So it’s kind of like being in a restaurant, where they’ve got 10 items on the menu, ranging from salad, chicken dinner, pasta, all the way up to steak and lobster, but everything is 50 bucks, one price, 50 bucks, versus you go into that restaurant next week. And it’s new management, and you see the actual cost for every item plus the markup plus the total. And you’re like that chicken dish was, after all the markups, like $22. Why did they pay 50? Well, you pay 50 Because the steak dish with this stuff was 55. And so what they’re doing is hedging against that fluctuation, they’re not going to give you a fair or low rate. Because what if everybody comes in and eat steak and lobster, then they’re upside down. So most people are going to have salad or the chicken or the pasta, but they’re not going they’re going to pay overpay for it. Because it’s transparent. And it’s nice to know what my rate is people telling me that all the time, I want to know what my rate is. So with cost plus there’s a little ambiguity, because we don’t know what someone’s cost is going to be until they’re processing. But we know what the averages are. I know with restaurants based on certain trends, you know how how high their transactions are, I have an idea. If somebody is processing currently, with a normal merchant service provider, they’ll have a statement which will show us all the information we need. With that I like to take that and break it out and show I essentially break it into two buckets, the negotiables and the non negotiables. And so there’s part of your rate, that’s just not negotiable. And then there’s part that is and I would say nine out of 10 business owners wouldn’t be able to differentiate that on the statement. And so that’s super valuable when we break that out and say here’s the part. So for example, there’s a restaurant out of Georgia that I just signed over there. They were paying 1.92% and 60 cents over cost. That’s outrageous for prospective we put them down to point one 0% and 10 cents a transaction over cost saving about $5,000 a month. So this woman who I knew because I have a different have her butcher shop called me one day and it was like the restaurant is doing well. We’re sold out every night. But we’re not making money. And I’m wondering if you can look at my credit card processing statement. And right away I saw what this company was doing and it was outrageous. And so we fixed that but the thing is, this is a smart woman her and her husband owned a few businesses, big ones. They’re doing a couple $100,000 and processing. How would she know what probably happened is when she signed up the salesperson probably said How does 1.92 and 60 cents down to you and she thought that was probably it. But he forgot the overclass bar so that’s something to consider. And then the last one is the dual pricing and so this is really catching on where we’re passing the fees to the customer. Part of the reason this is happening that was because the score errors in the Pay Pal in the stripes have driven the cost up to where people are paying three and 4%. Now, most of my clients pay between two and 2.7. That’s totally reasonable. But the industry is changing in such a way where people are going well, I don’t care what my rate is now, because I’m going to pass it to my customer. For nonprofits, this is totally acceptable. Everybody understands business to business totally acceptable, we’re starting to see it in the restaurant and retail space as well. And I always tell people, that’s, that’s a personal choice. If you wanted to do that, fine. I’m a big advocate of passing a fee that is close to what you’re actually paying. So what we see is, salespeople in the credit card processing industry talk a restaurant in the passing three and a half or 4%, when their cost is only two and a half, that excess goes to the sales rep. And that’s really unfortunate. We don’t deserve to make that much money. So I’m cautious of that. But it is a good program, because there are a lot of businesses that are paying three 510 $1,000 a month in credit card processing fees. And the idea behind dual pricing, which let me just explain that I should have in the beginning is you offer one price for cash, and you offer a different price for credit card obviously. And and you want to be in compliance and all that stuff. But the benefit is that essentially you’re passing these 1000s of dollars of fees off to your customers in very small chunks, it works really well in coffee shops, where the transaction amount is small, the smaller the transaction amount, the higher the effective rate on credit card processing, because those per transaction rates get you. And so on a coffee shop, I have zero problem giving 4% I don’t mind paying an extra 13 cents on my coffee, so that my favorite coffee shop can stay in business. But if I go to a fine dining restaurant, and I’m dropping $160 A plate, don’t charge me 4% to use my credit card, I won’t come back. So it’s I feel like it’s a personal choice. I don’t push either way. But those are the pricing structures. And that’s how that works.
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 16:54
Kind of like what I think a lot of people also don’t realize is when you’re shopping on your favorite e commerce platform, they’re charging you market rates for shipping, but they’re getting negotiated rates for the shipping, you know, to make that little buffer which you know, helps them because same thing, sometimes things get a little bit out of whack with their shipping costs. But like that happens, I think in a lot of different industries, people just don’t know unless you’ve worked kind of behind the curtain in some of those some of those spaces. And I think so for nonprofits, it’s very common. Hopefully, your donation platform on your website offers that fee recovery piece. And if it’s not, then you’re not if they don’t have that option. There’s plenty of other free ones that Patrick and I could throw your way that do offer fee recovery. So definitely do that. We’ll be doing that. Yeah, every nonprofit should be doing that. And I think the other thing that maybe people don’t realize is you can have Ach, ECheck and credit card all within the same platform and same processing. So it’s not like you have to go to three different places to get that to put that somewhere where people can complete those transactions.
Jen Nielesky 17:58
Sometimes it’s been, it was actually pretty challenging for me to find one platform that could offer both ACH and credit card transactions in the same without it being expensive. So I like I said, I have a lot of relationships, and one of the companies that I work with is they now have a gateway, which is just software where essentially you can send an email invoice out to whoever needs to pay you and the choices will come up right away, would you like to do ACH or credit card processing. So here’s a good example, I have a franchise. And the master franchisor wants to bill the franchisees once a week for their fees. And so she has an automatic where they get their invoice emailed to them once a once a week. And they can choose to pay with their credit card or with their bank statement information. And once they do at one time, it’s all saved, and it’s automatic. But if they choose if they pay with their credit card, if she’s like, I’m not paying their credit card fee, you know, because she’s the master franchisor. So we pass on 3%. And they pay that and it’s really effective because she’s getting paid on time they have an effective system. And they have a choice. And so that’s kind of where with dual pricing you always want to offer you cannot just say we’re cashless, I guess you can because I’ve seen places do it like live nations. I don’t know how they do it, but they do. But you’re not technically supposed to be able to say we’re charging you extra to use your credit card without giving an option to not do that. And so the cash and debit transaction should be that option or ACH.
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 19:22
Yeah. Patrick, do you have any questions?
Patrick Kirby 19:25
Jen, if you’re a board of directors, and you see some of these transactions going forward, and somebody gets the crazy idea that we should probably start talking about how to negotiate Yabba This, again, whatever processing system you’re having. There’s a tendency to immediately reject any call to do anything different than what you have been doing. And I think from a nonprofit standpoint or a small business prep, we know we got the C suite leadership team who’s like, Well, it worked for grandpa and he still writes checks and they’re gonna not be impressed with your what is gonna save us 12 bucks? How do you have this conversation? I think or facilitate a conversation as somebody who’s leading an organization to begin to chip away at, hey, we could save ourselves a lot of money and be a little more respectful of the amount of money that people donate to us or give to us, etc. How do you start that combo? Nicholas? Big difference between
Jen Nielesky 20:20
working with somebody who’s running a large organization and a small one, the large one is much easier, because they’re much more financial conscious. So I’ll give you an example. There’s a man who was the CEO of an organization who moved over to a different company became the CFO, his first order of business was to contact me and say, can you look at our numbers, that’s an intelligent person. So he knew me from a prior job that we worked together, right? So he had that going for him. But instead of, you know, trying to figure it out himself, or just not doing anything, which is what you’re suggesting most do, he asked me to look at it. This is the hotel resort golf course, the whole nine yards. And we’re saving them over $10,000 a month, we didn’t have to change a single piece of hardware, not a single piece of software, it was literally going into their POS and changing a code. And so now he gets to go to his board of directors and say, in my first year, I’ve added over $120,000 to our p&l. Now most people go well, if you’re doing you know, a few million dollars a month and process and you probably got a great rate, not so much at a terrible rate. You know why? Because nobody was checking it. And so over time, you know, these processing companies, most of the accounts that are managed or managed by salespeople, and if they can let the rate go up, they will because they make more they get paid on how much someone’s paying. And so somebody was making a ton of money off that account until I came along. And so when I was so sad, it’s always it’s always good business sense to check your numbers. Now, going back to what I said earlier, the reason they don’t is because they don’t know what they don’t know. So for example, my taillight is out on my car, I know it’s out on my car, I’m not going to fix it, I don’t know how to fix it. Right? And so it’s easier to just not deal with it until I get pulled over. And then I’m like, you know, people avoid this conversation. Now, if if somebody’s doing, let’s say, $10,000, or less than processing, they’re using a platform that they really like, and it’s going to cost them 12 bucks more a month. I say, stick with it. In fact, the email I sent to Travis last night was stick with what you got. Yeah, because I want to clarify that
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 22:25
but really quick. $10,000 a month, not 10,000? Yeah,
Jen Nielesky 22:29
yeah, and here’s this last but and there’s some caveats. I mean, if it’s a retail store, and they’re doing a ton of transactions, that’s different. Sometimes I’ll take a small client, because they’re, what they’re selling is super risky. And I’m doing it as a favor to them. But if there was a platform that they like, and if there’s $1 amount, I mean, a restaurant that I show maybe $100 savings to but we’d have to change their POS, that’s probably not going to happen, that’s okay. But what they can do is they can take my findings and go back to their POS company and threatened to leave and see if they can get a better rate. There’s a lot of things we can do. Does that answer your question?
Patrick Kirby 23:00
It totally did. And I think you know, when you’re also involved, and I think this is where, what’s what’s interesting about your process, and how you sort of work through these things, and it really where you think you can make the biggest lead, giving days statewide giving days, citywide giving days, sort of, you know, things that you’re doing in a finite amount of time where you’re trying to get as many transactions as possible, there’s where I think the real bump is or opportunity to have a conversation about like, Listen, what can we not only save those that are, you know, sort of generously donating their their money, but what makes it better on the back end, that we don’t necessarily have to dump off the processing fees that are that high to the donor themselves? What can we do to go to the little more reasonable for everybody, since there’s going to be so many.
Jen Nielesky 23:49
And that’s what makes sense, you know, if you if a if a nonprofit or whomever can get the best rate as well, bottom line is the best, right? It’s always better to get a better rate than not a better rate. Right? So and I don’t mean to offend anybody. When I say this, I’m really talking more to the small business. But when somebody goes with Square, usually they’ll start with square when they open their business, but to stick with it, it’s not great. Same with toast, you know, they’ve got a great software platform. But we go back to let me give you an example. Have you ever seen McDonald’s, Burger King, dairy, queen, Kentucky Fried Chicken, any of these large profitable organizations using square toast? You’re not. It’s it’s because there’s a lot of money being burned on the credit card processing, and they’re in the business of making money. Whereas the food truck owner or the gourmet, you know, chef who just has a passion for cooking, he just wants to get it’s an afterthought. Does that make sense? And so you’re just like you’re playing it’s easy. So I can understand a business starting with something like that. But sticking with it is not wise. And it all really goes back to they don’t know what they don’t know. But the toasts and the squares and the papers of the We’ll do and that’s why all the POS companies are tackling the processing, because suddenly they recognize there’s a lot of money in it, the consumer doesn’t really understand it. And so now when people used to pay 2%, pretty much on average, now people are paying three and a half 4%. And that’s the reason why, but there are still a lot of people, most of my restaurants that are still in that two to two and a half percent. So to answer your question, you know, you want to maximize your dollars as much as possible. And sure, like, as a donor, I would rather pay two and a half percent on that process on the process that I’m donating to, then three and a half percent, but at the same time, it just comes down to what the person wants to set it up. Another example I’ll give you is I had a wine bar, and he wanted to pass the fees on but he didn’t want to make as his clientele upset. And so his fee, his effective rate was like 2.15, we agreed we would pass 1%, one measly percent didn’t make anybody upset. There was some language on the menu that said, Help us offset our costs, they don’t know he’s only paying 2.15, the guy was only paying 1.15. After all, that that’s a great settlement. And so there’s different ways to run the program.
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 26:04
Yeah. And kind of one of the last things that I want to make sure, at least for me, is, you know, it’s really important to when you enter into a conversation with somebody that you come armed with the tools that you’re using, because it’s very common in the nonprofit space, that your software is probably integrated with stripe most often because stripe does offer a nonprofit rate. But most software sets are integrated with stripe, especially if it is a free platform. So it’s really important to when you enter into these conversations that you bring the the technology that is critical for you to run your business, your CRM, your online fundraising, software, all of that, because that’s part of the conversations you would have with someone like Jen, you might be processing $75,000 a month. But 50,000 of that is already on a platform that is not going to allow you to bring in a different credit card processor. So could you maybe talk a little bit more about, like how we might find out that information? Or what questions we might want to ask the platforms we’re using to figure out even what our options are on that side?
Jen Nielesky 27:11
Sure. Well, part of my discovery call is what are you using? So what point of sale you’re using? If you’re a retail restaurant or some other kind of business? What software? Are you using? Anything that takes payments? What are you using? So for that hotel I just told you about I got an email this morning saying, hey, are equine centers still using this little terminal from the old company? I didn’t know about that, you know, so they didn’t ask. And so it just comes down to that. And they’re you know, there are some platforms that are gonna lock you into the processing, especially in the nonprofit world. And, you know, the platform is so great that you want to use it anyway, then that’s just the cost of doing business, you know, you’re fine. But a lot of the bigger more professional ones give a choice, they give a choice through using a gateway. And so if there’s a gateway, if they say, for example, we integrate with Braintree or we integrate with authorize dotnet or, you know, there’s a variety, then that basically opens the door to being able to pick their own processor. And there you go. But yeah, the question really just is, what are you using? What web platform are you using? And if we can integrate great, if not, you know, it is what it is? Yeah, that should be part of the decision that I think a lot of people when they start their business, they think, Oh, I gotta go find the software I want to use. And they’re just looking at the features and functionality. And so what part of the shopping experience should be talked to me about your credit card processing, I can’t tell you how many websites I look at, like for apps and platforms that are out there, and I go looking for the pricing on processing, when it’s not like super visible on their website, that’s a huge red flag. Because they don’t want you to know, don’t ask that question. That’s where they’re going to be, you know, oh, we’re gonna give you this look at this low low low price for this awesome software and then whammo and so just know that, yes, the question.
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 28:48
Um, you’re taking notes. Patrick, do you have more questions?
Patrick Kirby 28:52
No, because I think I have like several people that Jen Nice to talk to, and I think this guy has to sell like, but again, I think this goes to, I think it’s an interesting conversation to, to have and to listen to. And I think it goes far beyond credit card processing fees, it goes to do you know your numbers? Do you know where your money’s going? Have you taken the time to just reflect upon where your inputs are coming in, where your outputs are going, whatever, like, this is such a great and helpful reminder, this is where I was jotting notes down. I was like, I was like, Well, I don’t think our client base our friends, our colleagues in the nonprofit even small businesses are just taking a few freakin minutes and just thinking about where they might be bleeding cash or this revenue process or haven’t thought through where people come in, to visit to give to buy to sell whatever that is. They’re not thinking about it. And I think this is a really nice time to reflect and this time of the year to write the fall your turtle ramping up for 24 What are you doing? How are you analyzing Where are you saving money? Were you saving others money? What are you doing for your own business? And I think this is such a really timely topic. holistically, there’s everything you can do. But starting here makes a lot of sense.
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 30:08
Yeah, there’s two things I want to say about that. The first one is, the beauty of the payment processing side is that if you can save money, that savings is immediate. So it’s not like it’s something that you have to spend all this time do. I mean, some projects are bigger than others. But for most of the people that are in this network, it’s not going to be a huge transition of things of software. And that savings is happening as soon as that that trigger is pulled, which is amazing. And I think also, to your point, Patrick, like thinking outside the box, like, especially right now with businesses have to be extremely, not frugal in the sense of we need to be cutting back. But we really need to be paying attention to those subscriptions and the expenses that we’ve just been kind of letting go all the time. The example I’ll give you is my husband’s job. He works for a huge international company. And they said to all of their employees, like, can you guys all help us the C suite think outside the box and ways that we might be able to save money that we can’t see, because we’re not in the day to day, and somebody figured out that if they would fold their statements in a different way and stick them in a different envelope, they would save $400,000 a year on postage, right? So it’s like something they’ve just been doing it this way forever and ever and ever. And all of a sudden, someone was like, well, we can change the pricing on our postage, just by folding things in a different way. And so I think that’s what this falls into is like, how can we really think outside the box and take a fresh look at absolutely every place that we’re spending money? Because you might be surprised?
Jen Nielesky 31:43
Yep, credit card processing, there’s a lot of fat to trim. And people just don’t know it, and they shut their eyes and pay it. Because they just think they have to, but they don’t. And so once a quarter, pretty much. Every quarter, I put out a notice to everybody that I know, hey, I’m looking to do free statement analysis, whether they go with me or not, it’s really easy for me to read an 11 page statement and pull out the information that’s relevant. And it all goes back to that’s why others don’t, because they don’t know how. And so, you know, yes, we can say it’s responsible to check your numbers. And yes, we can say there’s a lot of fat to trim and all this good stuff. But at the end of the day, if you don’t know how to do it, you don’t know how to do it. And so my advice is, find somebody if you want to work with me, great, I’m free. But if you want to work with somebody local to, like I said earlier, ask around, see if somebody praises their credit card processing person, make sure that person doesn’t work for just one company. Don’t go to your local bank, local banks kind of rely on people walking in thinking that there’s one rate for all. And so most of the time when I do a statement analysis, especially like with Costco, and the banks, that’s usually what I find people are paying the most because they’re they kind of walk in like unsuspecting, and they have this big sign on their said that on their head that says, I don’t know, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m coming to my bank, and I trust you. So anyway, find somebody who is an expert in this industry, they get paid off of your processing, make sure of that, try not to get somebody who’s a W two employee, ask them with their 1099 contractor, because the way that we’re compensated should matter to a business owner, or paid a small, very small residual off the profitability of the processing account every month. So the way I look at that is if you quit me or go to somebody else, because I didn’t give you good service, or whatever the reason is, doesn’t matter what the reason is, I lose my income. And so as a 10, a 910 99, contractor getting paid that way, you business owner can rest assured that you’re gonna have a partner, somebody you can call in six months or 12 months when things change in your environment, and you are looking for solutions. That person is motivated to help you because they’re motivated to keep you. Whereas a W two employee, a bank employee, they don’t care, they got a big bonus, they hit their comp for that month, and they’re on their way. So just another thing to think about when you’re shopping. Yeah, find the part.
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 33:57
Yep. I love that. Well, anything else, Jen that you think would be important to bring up? I think we covered all of the kind of bases. It’s a very clear call to action with this one, you don’t have to do too much. Grab your statement, find a person, send it to that person, and have them give you an analysis of it. This is the easiest call to action of any training we’ve ever had.
Patrick Kirby 34:23
Just one thing you need to do. Yes. And again, again, I just appreciate the fact that we get to think about this, because it’s something that we don’t and addressing it with your leadership team as a simple solution. That is something that I think is really intriguing to them. Number one, but again, it speaks to the fact that you were talking about mission first, how do you get the most amount of bang for your buck as a donor etc. I think it’s thoughtful on a lot of different levels. And that’s what I appreciate about it.
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 34:55
Thank you. Awesome. Well, thanks everybody for watching this And we will see you all in the next guest expert training. Thanks for having me. Actually, before we hang up, Hello, how rude of me, Jen. If people want to connect with you or get so excited if people want to with you, how do they do that?
Jen Nielesky 35:19
They can email call whatever they want to do. My website is high desert merchant services.com And probably the best way really would be email because it’ll get to me quicker. Which is Jen je n at high desert, Ms like merchant services.com
Sami Bedell-Mulhern 35:38
Yep. And for those of you watching the replay, it will be in the somewhere around this video in your dashboard. Okay, now we can officially say thank you, and we’ll see everyone in the next one.