Debunking 3 Silly Myths Contractors Believe About Credit Card Payments

July 10, 2023
Education

3 Silly Reasons Home Improvement Contractors
Don’t Accept Credit Card Payments

And 3 Great Reasons You Should Start Accepting
Credit Card Payments—A. S. A. NOW.

“Do you take credit cards?”

If you’re a home improvement contractor who cringes every time a customer asks you that question, here’s some advice…

Stop worrying!

The credit card is not your enemy. It’s not a margin-minimizing robber of profits. It’s a hugely popular method of payment — and if you don’t take credit cards, you ARE stunting your company’s growth.

It’s just that simple.

The most successful remodeling companies understand that NOT accepting credit cards is NOT an option. Every contractor doing $10M+ per year takes plastic. Every. Single. One. (Go ahead, ask them!)

That’s because truly successful contractors know tripping over dollars to chase pennies is a bad business strategy. And that’s exactly what refusing credit card payments is—losing out on high-ticket jobs to avoid tiny transaction fees that are, at the end of the day, a drop in the bucket.

And we can prove it. Keep reading for a thorough debunking of the silly myths and misconceptions contractors believe about credit card payments.


Silly Reason Not To Accept Credit Cards #1: “Credit Card Fees Are Too Expensive”

Myth

Credit card fees eat too much into profits. As such, accepting credit card payments just isn’t worth it.

Fact

It’s true that you’ll pay a processing fee for each credit card transaction. According to Forbes, the average credit card processing fee is between 1.5% and 3.5%.

Let’s say you pay a 3% processing fee on a $10K job. That’s a $300 fee. Seems pretty steep, right?

Maybe. But not really. Not when you consider that, according to USA Today, 35% of homeowners say they plan to use a credit card to pay for their home renovations. That means if you don’t take credit card payments, you’re potentially LOSING up to three jobs per every 10 sales appointments. If your average sale is $10K, that’s $30K (minus the processing fees) in lost sales!

So what’s going to cost you more: A 3% processing fee … or not getting the job at all?

If processing fees are a real sticking point for you, you can easily offset the costs a few different ways:

  • Slightly increase your prices to cover the cost of the fees (i.e., your $10,000 job now becomes a $10,300 job).
  • Offer a discount if a customer pays by cash or check. So if your job is $10,300 with a credit card, make that job $10,000 if the customer pays by cash or check.

Silly Reason Not To Accept Credit Cards #2: “It’s Too Easy For Customers To Dispute A Charge”

Myth

Credit card chargebacks happen often and will destroy your profits.

Fact

Do credit card chargebacks happen? Yes.

Do they happen enough for you to worry about them hurting your business? Not even close.

Just like offering a workmanship warranty, the benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks here. You may occasionally get a chargeback dispute, just like you may occasionally get a warranty claim. Except a chargeback is far rarer than a warranty claim. There isn’t much data on the number of chargebacks in the home improvement industry. But across EVERY industry, the chargeback rate is about 0.60%.

No, not six percent… POINT SIX PERCENT. As in, 6 out of every 1,000 payments via credit card. And again, consider this is across ALL industries—including ones with high chargeback rates like retail and digital services. It stands to reason that chargebacks in the home improvement industry are much, MUCH more infrequent.

If chargebacks are a concern for you, here are a few ways to reduce the chances of one happening:

  • Provide customers with clear, itemized estimates
  • Have a detailed written description of the work performed
  • Take before and after photos of the project
  • Treat customers well during the job (establishing a good relationship with customers goes a LONG way)

Silly Reason Not To Accept Credit Cards #3: “My Customer Base Typically Pay By Cash Or Check”

Myth

Customers who have the money to pay for their home improvement projects don’t or won’t consider using credit cards.

Fact

It’s true—cash and checks are still the most common way homeowners pay for remodeling projects.

But it’s also true that some of these homeowners WOULD prefer to pay by credit card—even if they have the necessary funds in their bank.

Think of it this way: If you don’t take credit cards, how do you know your customers don’t want to use them? Remember—35% of homeowners plan to use a credit card for their home renovation.

And a big reason WHY they do? Those sweet, sweet credit card rewards. Most consumers (probably you, too!) use at least one credit card religiously so they can accumulate cashback, travel points, and other bonuses.

Now consider this…

Let’s say a customer spends $10,000 on a remodeling project with you. They have the money in their bank account to pay for it… but they also have a credit card that offers 2% cashback on purchases. Two percent on a $10K project is $200.

That may not be enough money to retire or travel the world. But still… it’s $200!

That’s not chump change. It’s groceries for the week. It’s an extra night in a hotel on a vacation. It’s 5 tanks of gas (maybe). So why wouldn’t the customer want to use a credit card? They can pay it off immediately—thereby accumulating no interest—and watch the free bonus cash roll in. It’s all upside.


Contractor holding a credit card and happily pointing to himself

3 Reasons You SHOULD Take Credit Card Payments… Starting Yesterday

Get Paid Faster And More Reliably

No chance of bounced checks. No waiting for checks to clear. No need to make constant trips to the bank to deposit cash. Credit cards are one of the quickest, most convenient, and most reliable ways to get paid.

This is especially true for online credit card payments.

Picture sending an email to a customer for an unpaid invoice… with a LINK a customer can click to immediately pay online by credit card. Think of how much easier that is for them than mailing a check or stopping by your office to drop off a payment. That convenience will make them MUCH more likely to pay you faster.


Reduce Paperwork, Confusion, And Errors

  • “Where did I put Miss Johnson’s check?”
  • “Oh, no. Mister Smith wrote the wrong amount in the ‘Pay To Order’ line.”
  • “Whose project was this $5K in cash for again?”

If any of these sound familiar, you know firsthand the frustration that can come with cash and check payments.

Credit cards? They have none of these problems. You can’t misplace a credit card payment. Customers can’t accidentally pay you the wrong amount. And there’s never any question as to who, exactly, a credit card payment was made by.

Bottom line: Credit cards reduce paperwork, mistakes, and confusion across the board.


Increase Your Average Sale Amount

Research shows that consumers make larger purchases when they pay with credit cards than when they pay with cash. How much more is about 12-18%.

Using those numbers, that means accepting credit cards could turn a $10,000 project into an $11,800 project… a $20,000 project into a $23,600 project… and so on.

Now THAT’S how you offset a 3% processing fee.

Why, exactly, do people spend more money when they use credit cards? To make a long, psychology-heavy story short—emotion. People don’t feel as emotionally attached to credit card purchases as they do cash and check purchases. It’s no surprise that small businesses see their revenues increase substantially after they start accepting credit card payments.


Hand holding money coming through a computer screen

We’ve established that accepting credit cards can be a boon for your business. Now here’s how Builder Prime — the all-in-one CRM software suite for contractors — makes credit card payments even easier for you:

  • Automates Your Payment-Recording Process: When a customer pays you online via credit card, Builder Prime automatically attributes that payment to specific invoices and customer records. No manual entry necessary!
  • Reduces Issues With Your Cash-Flow Management: Online credit card payments with Builder Prime get you your money MUCH faster than checks. You’ll have quicker access to the funds needed to pay your people, buy materials, and keep your business humming.
  • Improves Organization: With Builder Prime as your central payment hub, all of your credit card-related payment info is in one place.
  • Credit Card Fee & ACH Processing Options: Builder Prime gives you the choice to pay credit card fees yourself—or pass the fee on to the customer. You can also accept ACH payments via Builder Prime, which typically have lower fees than credit card payments.

And this is just one of many, MANY ways Builder Prime can help you grow your business. If you want to discover more features that make up Builder Prime’s comprehensive CRM software suite, schedule a live demo or try out Builder Prime free for 14 days!


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