<img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-3257" alt="Summer 2014 Credit Card Processing" src="http://www.cpnusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/summer-2014-credit-card-processing.jpg" width="326" height="262" srcset="http://www indian cialis.cpnusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/summer-2014-credit-card-processing.jpg 326w, https://www.cpnusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/summer-2014-credit-card-processing-285×229.jpg 285w” sizes=”(max-width: 326px) 100vw, 326px” />The 2014 summer business season is about to begin. Unlike seasonal counterparts like the holiday shopping rush, summer is an industry of its own, spawning jobs and revenues during the official start and end times of Memorial Day and Labor Day. The economic impact from tourism-related firms is far too big to ignore, and companies that essentially hibernate for 8 months of the year come alive during the all-too-brief summer months. Temporary employees are hired, inventory is purchased, and maintenance experts are called out to repair, paint, and clean venues that were ravaged by a seemingly endless winter.
Some seasonal businesses, like camps and vacation resorts, may claim a century or more of continuous operation, but customer payment behavior is a lot more dynamic. While tourists of yesteryear carried cash, traveler’s checks, and a checkbook, today’s visitor may be paying with smartphones and QR codes. The local lodge may have been chosen thanks to a Groupon offer. Boat and raft rental, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting excursions may be taking credit cards with smartphone apps where in the past all transactions were handled in cash on the barrelhead.
As the owner of a seasonal business, it is important to be ready for new trends in card processing and acceptance. Chip cards are becoming more prominent in 2014, and by 2015 they will be almost universal. If you serve more affluent (or international) travelers you should be ready to accept their payments. Smart wallets and phone-based payments utilize contactless technology that just isn’t compatible with older credit card terminals. Depending on the age-range of your customer base, you will want to have machines with check readers for those who still prefer paper transactions. Younger buyers, on the other hand, will be wanting to make purchases with more advanced techniques, but a versatile terminal may be all it takes to satisfy both demographics.
Even if you aren’t strictly seasonal, you may still be expecting most of your business during the summer. Landscapers may keep a crew of lawn-mowers busy in warmer and wetter months. Tree trimmers, painters, construction crews, and air conditioning repair services all thrive in the summertime. Even though the kids may be out of school, and vacationers swell the population count, there are still plenty of busy workers making a living while others play. Lots of independent business owners may choose to pay with personal cards or corporate credit cards that offer points. In these cases portable terminals make for faster authorization and settlement at preferred “swiped” rates versus “card not present” charges.
Much like traditional retail establishments, seasonal operations can reap the benefits that come with credit card acceptance. Cardholders traditionally spend more than they would if they had cash in their pockets, and this means there is a chance to offer value-added services. Restaurants may push higher end menu items, boat and kayak renters may offer top-end models, and tour guides can sell excursions beyond the “tourist-friendly” experience. Upgrades to vacation packages often make the difference between a marginally profitable offer and one that keeps seasonal businesses in the black.
At CPN, we have a variety of systems and setups available to seasonal merchants as well as those who do a majority of business during summer months. Whether you have a bed-and-breakfast, a small amusement park, summer camp, cabin rentals, or lake excursions, there are ways to capture maximum revenue during peak season even if your company is dormant for the rest of the year. With the right merchant services setup, your busy time will be more profitable, providing better security for all of the months in between.