Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Costco - Elavon Merchant Services / POS Services

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  • Aug 24th, 2014 11:43 am
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 4, 2006
2642 posts
160 upvotes
Burlington
dani_toronto wrote: With the price of toner you should seriously consider getting all your faxes through a fax-to-email service, and only print the ones you really have to.
Yeah, its on the agenda to get dealt with this summer. Faxes in general are getting annoying when people's writing is terrible and the fax makes it worse
Sr. Member
Jul 10, 2005
758 posts
123 upvotes
Toronto
DarkMasterMX wrote: Yeah, its on the agenda to get dealt with this summer. Faxes in general are getting annoying when people's writing is terrible and the fax makes it worse
I have good service from srfax.com. You could just open an acct there and port your number.
Jr. Member
Oct 8, 2010
181 posts
42 upvotes
There are always ups and downs. Elavon is based in the USA (Atlanta). I had a business friend that opened a restaurant and went with Costco/Elavon. He had issues getting it started and with the language barrier and american accents from the call center, just got him really frustrated. He went with Costco because of the no contract rental deal and he didn't know how to run a business so it worked out for him (no huge penalties).

One thing to keep in mind though is that you have more bargaining leverage when you are using your bank because you have a chequing account and they don't want to risk losing this and will work better with you. Also transfers are faster and customers feel safe with familiar looking terminals. If you call them up and say a competitors offered you whatever rate, they will usually match/beat the it and lower the monthly rate.

When you use 3rd party, there are tons of hidden fees they don't tell you about or even inform the sales reps. Maybe they tell you that you will get a really low rate of 1.X% but charge 3% on reward cards and Amex since not everyone has a Visa/MC from their banks.

In my opinion, renting a machine is stupid. Owning it is a great option if your business is in for the long term. There are good private companies out there if you can find them. Usually TD will charge $250 to break the contract if you are looking to move. Plug all the numbers in a spreadsheet and see what option is best for you. This is usually the job of the sales people that do come around and ask for a sit down to compare your statements to their rates. If you are worried their numbers might be a little inflated, analyze everything yourself and see if it works for you. This is why emailing or leaving a brochure is not effective. I mean, if a customer comes to your store and you want to sell them your product or service, do you tell them you will email them information and hope they come back? Most likely not unless it's a high value sale. You will try to close them on the spot. That's what these business to business sales agents are attempting to do and if you get the experienced ones that know what they are doing, you can always work a good deal out.
Newbie
Sep 11, 2012
19 posts
2 upvotes
MAPLE
DarkMasterMX wrote: ^... that lol. The amount of sales calls, faxes or random drop ins I get at my place is getting annoying.

I have one company that faxes 3 pages of random adds daily no matter how many times I call to request it stopped or fax a message back asking them to stop it comes. And often full page picture crap so it burns through toner... I resorted to sending the entire pile of faxes back every time they fax me a new set of 3 pages. Seemed to work a few years back when I did that, not working atm tho :*(
LMAO for the fax..... who even fax anymore *jk*

You should fax them back with three pages of black pages with white font in the middle stating *STOP THE SPAM*(one word per page). At least waste their ink and see how they feel.

I remember my buddy telling me his old boss hired someone just to do that. LOL!
Member
Feb 18, 2014
254 posts
56 upvotes
Renting a machine is, by far, the best way to go. Changes in technology are constant. Look at that last 6 or 7 years. EMV, IP, even Bluetooth technology. You get stuck leasing a terminal, and because it's only the private companies that offer this option, have to cross your fingers in regards to service, fee increases etc. Want to upgrade your leased unit? NOPE, going to have to lease a brand new one...Renting a unit, with little to no cancellation fee is by FAR, the best way to go.
Jr. Member
Oct 8, 2010
181 posts
42 upvotes
gamechanger wrote: Renting a machine is, by far, the best way to go. Changes in technology are constant. Look at that last 6 or 7 years. EMV, IP, even Bluetooth technology. You get stuck leasing a terminal, and because it's only the private companies that offer this option, have to cross your fingers in regards to service, fee increases etc. Want to upgrade your leased unit? NOPE, going to have to lease a brand new one...Renting a unit, with little to no cancellation fee is by FAR, the best way to go.
Although I do agree with this as I haven't checked pricing on the units in the last 5 years. I remember buying a wireless terminal for $700 at one point. Typically worth $40-$60 a month from some companies. A little over a year it's paid itself. Prices are probably a lot more than they used to but if you can find some good deals from closing businesses and direct connections, your set.
Member
Feb 18, 2014
254 posts
56 upvotes
bargainhunter99 wrote: Although I do agree with this as I haven't checked pricing on the units in the last 5 years. I remember buying a wireless terminal for $700 at one point. Typically worth $40-$60 a month from some companies. A little over a year it's paid itself. Prices are probably a lot more than they used to but if you can find some good deals from closing businesses and direct connections, your set.
Yes, but if you choose this route, you have other considerations, such as Warranty / terminal replacement. For something as crucial as your processing terminal, you NEED to have the ability to have the terminal fixed, and fixed quickly if it goes down. Depending on which private provider you work with, this may or may not be the case. And, if they do provide a warranty / replacement solution, it will typically cost you an additional $10 / month. Add this to the statement fees, etc, and you are at $20 / month. For pricing in that range (I can provide the full solution for under $30), you can rent a terminal, no capital outlay, and have peace of mind, knowing that your terminal will be replaced, and that you don't have to worry when new technology, inevitably arrives.
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Apr 19, 2002
2263 posts
488 upvotes
Renting does have its perks. One other option is rent to own where you pay the monthly rental fees and after a certain number of years they stop charging you for the unit as it has been paid out. For me, I had some issues with the pin pad handheld extender unit so they swapped out a whole new unit for me just before they stopped with the monthly fees. Worked out well, but I still wonder how much it will cost if something breaks down as I'm not on the rental/lease program anymore. When I first started my business I was searching eBay looking to buy a unit outright as someone mentioned that Elavon can reprogram them, but after talking with a rep they said they don't do that. It might depend on how long of a customer you've been with them I guess as someone reported success previously. With new clients they probably don't provide that as an option.

With junk fax, definitely consider an online fax service. I'm with Rapidfax for $9.99 a month, and they've been okay. I have had some faxes refuse to go through for some reason, but that's not very common. Support isn't that great, but for $10 a month I don't expect too much. There are cheaper options out there. They gave me a 1-877 number, and I think I have unlimited incoming/outgoing faxes. I don't have to have a dedicated fax line, and I save on toner/paper. I have a fax machine as a backup to fax on one of my main phone lines, but I think I've used it like twice in 6 years.
My avatar is Shandi Finnessey
Play Hay Day!
Member
Apr 6, 2010
494 posts
54 upvotes
Toronto
gamechanger wrote: Yes, but if you choose this route, you have other considerations, such as Warranty / terminal replacement. For something as crucial as your processing terminal, you NEED to have the ability to have the terminal fixed, and fixed quickly if it goes down. Depending on which private provider you work with, this may or may not be the case. And, if they do provide a warranty / replacement solution, it will typically cost you an additional $10 / month. Add this to the statement fees, etc, and you are at $20 / month. For pricing in that range (I can provide the full solution for under $30), you can rent a terminal, no capital outlay, and have peace of mind, knowing that your terminal will be replaced, and that you don't have to worry when new technology, inevitably arrives.
Any decent provider will ensure you get a replacement within 24 hours. The better ones will not charge you.
For "new technology" - this is a catch thrown in by companies that provide rental only. The only "change in technology" that happened in the last 20 years or so is the introduction of the chip cards. Providers I sold for at the time (and still sell for) made sure all terminals - purchased or leased - were replaced free of charge, regardless of how long the merchants were with them. There wasn't even a shipping charge for it. The next technological advance may be where a fingerprint or retinal scan will be required and that will take many years. The implementation of the chip card system took what - 10 years?

So no, if you deal with a good provider, rental is not the better option - unless you decide to change providers within 3 years or so.
Cristian.
Member
Feb 18, 2014
254 posts
56 upvotes
Cristian_01 wrote: Any decent provider will ensure you get a replacement within 24 hours. The better ones will not charge you.
For "new technology" - this is a catch thrown in by companies that provide rental only. The only "change in technology" that happened in the last 20 years or so is the introduction of the chip cards. Providers I sold for at the time (and still sell for) made sure all terminals - purchased or leased - were replaced free of charge, regardless of how long the merchants were with them. There wasn't even a shipping charge for it. The next technological advance may be where a fingerprint or retinal scan will be required and that will take many years. The implementation of the chip card system took what - 10 years?

So no, if you deal with a good provider, rental is not the better option - unless you decide to change providers within 3 years or so.
Cristian.
So, if they are not charging for shipping, and not charging for the replacement of a terminal that was purchased outright (and the sales rep made most of the profit), how are they paying for these hard costs? They are either losing money, or have hidden fees that are covering these costs...

As for "no new technology", take a look at the Ingenico line. 10 years ago, their countertop terminal was the elite 510 with the en-crypt 150 pin pad. Obsolete. Then, they moved to the i5300. Obsolete. Once IP became available, the i5310. Obsolete. From there, the i5100 dual mode. No longer in production, and servicing of these units is being phased out. Now, the latest and greatest is the Ingenico Telium line. New features / technology include an integrated contactless solution (tap and go) Awesome terminals...for right now. Give it a few years, and they too will be obsolete. Same can be said about wireless, both Bluetooth and GPRS. Once again, how is a private processing company (ISO / MSP) supposed to pay for this new hardware and upgrade the client for free?
Member
Apr 6, 2010
494 posts
54 upvotes
Toronto
gamechanger wrote: So, if they are not charging for shipping, and not charging for the replacement of a terminal that was purchased outright (and the sales rep made most of the profit), how are they paying for these hard costs? They are either losing money, or have hidden fees that are covering these costs...

As for "no new technology", take a look at the Ingenico line. 10 years ago, their countertop terminal was the elite 510 with the en-crypt 150 pin pad. Obsolete. Then, they moved to the i5300. Obsolete. Once IP became available, the i5310. Obsolete. From there, the i5100 dual mode. No longer in production, and servicing of these units is being phased out. Now, the latest and greatest is the Ingenico Telium line. New features / technology include an integrated contactless solution (tap and go) Awesome terminals...for right now. Give it a few years, and they too will be obsolete. Same can be said about wireless, both Bluetooth and GPRS. Once again, how is a private processing company (ISO / MSP) supposed to pay for this new hardware and upgrade the client for free?
Hidden fees will cost them a lot more in business losses than the terminal replacement - merchants are not stupid or disinterested. And when I mention decent providers, there are no hidden fees there.

The Ingenico line? Actually, the Ingenico 5100 was in use for many years, and it still is. Sometimes with the 3500 pinpad. Providers do not offer customer support for them anymore, but will only replace them if they become defective - which they are supposed to do anyway. Same for some providers using the Hypercom line.

For the obsolete thing: you may not be aware, but most terminals in use sold over the last 10 years came with a slot for chip reading. So no, it wasn't the terminal. Yes, the internet prompted an ADDITIONAL feature, but it was not indispensible, in fact a large majority of terminals out there are still using dial up. So no issue there. Contactless? Not a big deal, it is not a requirement either, and very few merchants actually use it.
Wireless (that and GPRS are the same) and bluetooth are not a requirement either, in fact again, the large majority of merchants do not use it.
So the only VITAL change in a terminal was - finally - the mandatory chip reader. But still, there are merchants today that do not have that capability yet and they are quite happy about it. Go to some convenience stores or dry cleaners and you will see. The old terminals work just fine. And btw, I've seen Moneris terminals that are about 15 years old or so, they still work.

Bottom line, all those goodies you described are not ESSENTIAL for a very, very large majority of merchants. Nothing obsolete there.

As for the terminal costs, providers and banks make a lot more money from your processing than they do from the terminal. Think about averages, not the merchants processing a couple of grand a month.
Cristian.
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Aug 16, 2009
1483 posts
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Cristian_01 wrote: Hidden fees will cost them a lot more in business losses than the terminal replacement - merchants are not stupid or disinterested. And when I mention decent providers, there are no hidden fees there.

The Ingenico line? Actually, the Ingenico 5100 was in use for many years, and it still is. Sometimes with the 3500 pinpad. Providers do not offer customer support for them anymore, but will only replace them if they become defective - which they are supposed to do anyway. Same for some providers using the Hypercom line.

For the obsolete thing: you may not be aware, but most terminals in use sold over the last 10 years came with a slot for chip reading. So no, it wasn't the terminal. Yes, the internet prompted an ADDITIONAL feature, but it was not indispensible, in fact a large majority of terminals out there are still using dial up. So no issue there. Contactless? Not a big deal, it is not a requirement either, and very few merchants actually use it.
Wireless (that and GPRS are the same) and bluetooth are not a requirement either, in fact again, the large majority of merchants do not use it.
So the only VITAL change in a terminal was - finally - the mandatory chip reader. But still, there are merchants today that do not have that capability yet and they are quite happy about it. Go to some convenience stores or dry cleaners and you will see. The old terminals work just fine. And btw, I've seen Moneris terminals that are about 15 years old or so, they still work.

Bottom line, all those goodies you described are not ESSENTIAL for a very, very large majority of merchants. Nothing obsolete there.

As for the terminal costs, providers and banks make a lot more money from your processing than they do from the terminal. Think about averages, not the merchants processing a couple of grand a month.
Cristian.
I do wish the Tap n Go was more prevalent as I prefer this method over swipe/signature & chip n' pin. I think the reason you don't see it is simple....it doesn't generate additional revenue for the processors. As far as I know ISO's who resell with Elavon, First Data, and Global Payments don't even have the Tap n Go on offer.
Member
Apr 6, 2010
494 posts
54 upvotes
Toronto
smokescreen15 wrote: I do wish the Tap n Go was more prevalent as I prefer this method over swipe/signature & chip n' pin. I think the reason you don't see it is simple....it doesn't generate additional revenue for the processors. As far as I know ISO's who resell with Elavon, First Data, and Global Payments don't even have the Tap n Go on offer.
It actually generates the same revenues (if not more) - it's a credit card use.
However there are limits to what you can spend on the tap and go, I think gas stations accept up to $100 and the rest of the merchants $50. High security risks. Aside from that, there are severe security risks - that's why they placed limits.
Cristian.
Member
Feb 18, 2014
254 posts
56 upvotes
Cristian_01 wrote: Hidden fees will cost them a lot more in business losses than the terminal replacement - merchants are not stupid or disinterested. And when I mention decent providers, there are no hidden fees there.

The Ingenico line? Actually, the Ingenico 5100 was in use for many years, and it still is. Sometimes with the 3500 pinpad. Providers do not offer customer support for them anymore, but will only replace them if they become defective - which they are supposed to do anyway. Same for some providers using the Hypercom line.

For the obsolete thing: you may not be aware, but most terminals in use sold over the last 10 years came with a slot for chip reading. So no, it wasn't the terminal. Yes, the internet prompted an ADDITIONAL feature, but it was not indispensible, in fact a large majority of terminals out there are still using dial up. So no issue there. Contactless? Not a big deal, it is not a requirement either, and very few merchants actually use it.
Wireless (that and GPRS are the same) and bluetooth are not a requirement either, in fact again, the large majority of merchants do not use it.
So the only VITAL change in a terminal was - finally - the mandatory chip reader. But still, there are merchants today that do not have that capability yet and they are quite happy about it. Go to some convenience stores or dry cleaners and you will see. The old terminals work just fine. And btw, I've seen Moneris terminals that are about 15 years old or so, they still work.

Bottom line, all those goodies you described are not ESSENTIAL for a very, very large majority of merchants. Nothing obsolete there.

As for the terminal costs, providers and banks make a lot more money from your processing than they do from the terminal. Think about averages, not the merchants processing a couple of grand a month.
Cristian.
Nobody said stupid or disinterested...The truth is that the majority of business owners, have no idea about these fees, as it is too convoluted, and they focus on their business. Yes, the i3050 pinpad and the 5100 are still around, but being phased out. Again, if you are telling me that a private provider, that sold a terminal, and gave commissions to the selling rep, is now upgrading to a new terminal at no cost...well, we are just going to have to agree to disagree.

The slot for chip has been around for over 10 years. This is because they are manufactured the same for all countries, including the European ones that have been using this type of technology for years. That said, NONE of those terminals were compatible with EMV in Canada, and they could NOT be converted to be EMV capable.

As for technology, and whether it's vital or not, yes, the EMV is the only MANDATORY change that has come about, however, it does not take away the validity of my previous points. A busy fast food restaurant, for example, can obviously use a dial up terminal, but they become far more efficient if they have IP capability. Even more so, if they have tap and go. If they've purchased / leased a terminal, they now have to purchase another one! Not vital? It is when the restaurant across the street has an IP, tap and go solution, and is servicing it's customers quicker!

Anyway, for business owners, this is all food for thought.
Newbie
Feb 3, 2013
48 posts
9 upvotes
Toronto
Cristian_01 wrote: Hidden fees will cost them a lot more in business losses than the terminal replacement - merchants are not stupid or disinterested. And when I mention decent providers, there are no hidden fees there.

The Ingenico line? Actually, the Ingenico 5100 was in use for many years, and it still is. Sometimes with the 3500 pinpad. Providers do not offer customer support for them anymore, but will only replace them if they become defective - which they are supposed to do anyway. Same for some providers using the Hypercom line.

For the obsolete thing: you may not be aware, but most terminals in use sold over the last 10 years came with a slot for chip reading. So no, it wasn't the terminal. Yes, the internet prompted an ADDITIONAL feature, but it was not indispensible, in fact a large majority of terminals out there are still using dial up. So no issue there. Contactless? Not a big deal, it is not a requirement either, and very few merchants actually use it.
Wireless (that and GPRS are the same) and bluetooth are not a requirement either, in fact again, the large majority of merchants do not use it.
So the only VITAL change in a terminal was - finally - the mandatory chip reader. But still, there are merchants today that do not have that capability yet and they are quite happy about it. Go to some convenience stores or dry cleaners and you will see. The old terminals work just fine. And btw, I've seen Moneris terminals that are about 15 years old or so, they still work.

Bottom line, all those goodies you described are not ESSENTIAL for a very, very large majority of merchants. Nothing obsolete there.

As for the terminal costs, providers and banks make a lot more money from your processing than they do from the terminal. Think about averages, not the merchants processing a couple of grand a month.
Cristian.
Like a typical salesman you seem to be completely clueless about technology. Up until recently, a 1024 bit RSA key length was considered strong enough for every day encryption. However, as computers have gotten stronger, this is no longer considered the case. The whole industry is moving to 2048 keys and guess what, 5100 can't support 2048 keys, hence obsolete.

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