Costs are going up for consumers in all areas – gas, groceries, medical, products, services, etc. Business owners are also having a tough time managing their costs as well. Inflation, talks of recession, the political climate is making everyone think twice before spending.
While commerce may slow down, we still need to eat and buy things, so the wheels of commerce will never stop. Thanks to the convenience that technology brings and the trend of online shopping, we are using debit and credit cards more than cash. According to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, in 2021, the average number of cash transactions accounted for just 20% of all payments.
Gary Froonjian of EPSG Credit Card Processing said that his clients, on the Treasure Coast, are collecting 80 – 90% of their revenue through credit and debit cards. This is a cost of doing business that can be quite expensive, especially for the small businesses in the tri-county area and beyond.
Today’s episode of Treasure Coast Connector concentrated on merchant payment services and the work EPSG is doing to help local businesses navigate their options as they respond to market conditions and consumer buying preferences.
The coronavirus has taught us that we need to be agile and flexible to compete in the marketplace, both employers and employees alike. As the virus made us retreat to our homes, contactless and online shopping became our new normal, as did working from home. This caused many brick and mortar businesses to revise their business model and payment collection processes.
Alex Alexander, Gary’s colleague at EPSG, spoke about how they helped one of their clients make the necessary technological changes required during the pandemic to stem the loss of sales he was starting to experience as a brick-and-mortar business. The change was made quickly and seamlessly even allowing their client to work from another state without missing a beat. Gary stated that there has been a lot of acceleration of new technology to combat and address the new conditions the pandemic brought about.
Another issue that can wreak havoc on a company’s operations is an issue with uptime as it relates to their computer systems, phones, website, and payment processing systems. Gary and Alex were proud to report that EPSG’s network has 100% uptime due to their infrastructure and redundancy protocols. Hardware is the area where downtime can occur, and they are as prepared as they can be. Because they are family owned and locally operated, when a client has a problem, they do not have to call an 800 number and deal with a call center technician. They have direct cell phone numbers to the EPSG team.
Gary spoke about a client in Vero Beach that had a problem with a terminal during the lunch rush. He reprogrammed another terminal and brought it to the client, and they were back up and running within the hour. They also have other options for maintaining uptime with the different types of equipment they work with.
EPSG offers a complete array of payment processing options – hardware and software – for all industries. Convenience usually comes at a cost, which can alienate small businesses and startups. This is not the case with EPSG. They do not offer teaser rates and then increase the price. They also do not lock their clients in to a contract, although they offer them for those that want them. Another client advantage is uniform rates. Gary Froonjian, Alex Alexander, and Sarah Eckman are very a consultative and hands-on team, and bring statements of clients in the same industry sector to show them what they can expect to pay for the service. Sensitive client information is redacted, but the rest of the transaction details are on display.
They also have a large number of testimonials on video of other Treasure Coast businesses that are using EPSG and are happy to talk about their satisfaction with the level of service they receive along with savings. Sarah Eckman mentioned that a number of her clients have been able to do great things with the savings, such as hire more people, give raises, etc.
Most accountants and business consultants advise businessowners to audit their operational costs. Gary, Alex, and Sarah could not agree more. They love educating people on their systems and teaching them how to read and analyze statements. The biggest takeaway is the business owner will either validate that their current system meets their needs, or they will learn how much more efficient they can make their operations and save money at the same time. It all starts with a conversation.