The past couple of weeks my local fish and chip shop opened its doors for car park pick up, the whole family was delighted. However, the excitement of picking up the family favourite got a little frustrating for me.

It wasn’t the service and as always the fish, chips and mushy peas were spot on! But while collecting and standing in the queue (sigh), I wanted to reach out to the owners who were so busy. I couldn’t bring myself to say something at the time and I didn’t want my fish and chips to go cold.

How the way you’re taking customer payment might be hurting your bottomline

The process they’ve adopted in these unprecedented times, is to call the number on the window and place the order over the telephone, while I’m in the car park.

Facebook and Instagram isn’t much different, local restaurants and pubs doing something similar by posting the menu for Sunday lunch on a post, then asking customers to call and order, pay over the phone, be given a collection time and they pop the car boot open for their food to be safely deposited in there.

Now, this may all go swimmingly at first, but my frustration is that a typical CNP (Customer Not Present) charge for a debit card is .50p + Authorisation fee, percentage rate for processing the payment, not even taking into account monthly standard charges for PCI and terminal rental, this method of taking customer payments probably isn’t sustainable long term and it’s likely you’re paying too much for processing debit and credit cards, using your chip and pin card machine.

Putting this into perspective, if you’ve opened up the doors for take-out food and beer doing delivery and collection, you may not be aware of how much those orders are actually going to cost you to take payment. I’m now talking to restaurant owners and landlords who’ve received their latest acquiring statements, some are eye watering and in some cases 50% more than they were before lockdown. It’s the CNP charges that are doing this!

The way your customers pay you has changed, you need to change the way you take these payments. If 100 food orders are taken a day, that’s a whopping additional £50 alone which is 5% on an average £10 transaction.

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