Why Accept Credit Cards at Gun Shows ?
The decision for gun dealers to obtain FFL dealer services to accept credit cards is a wise one for any firearms retailer.
From a practical business point of view, any retail firearms business that does not accept credit cards is leaving money on the table. Research has shown that accepting credit cards increases revenue and helps with cash flow since you receive the money within a couple of days instead of waiting up to a week for a check to clear.
Credit cards don’t bounce, as some checks have a tendency to do. Credit card users are also more likely to buy on impulse and spend more when they do. Bad news for them, but good news for you. If you accept credit cards at gun shows you can expect an increase in sales as much as 60% or more.
To accept credit cards at a gun show you typically need four things for your FFL Dealer Service to work. The requirements may vary a little, but the following applies in most cases.
You will need:
1. A way to enter the customer’s credit card information into a verification and processing system. This can be done with a swipe terminal, point of sale system, or by calling the credit card in by phone;
2. A credit card gateway company to verify the credit card’s validity and process the payments;
3. A FFL Dealer credit card merchant account in which the credit card processing company will deposit payments made to you; and
4. A business bank account into which the settled funds will ultimately be deposited for your use.
Here’s how the process works. (1) You make a sale and the customer pays by credit card. (2) Using a card swipe machine or telephone, you contact what is known as a “gateway company” who takes the card information you submit and verifies that the card is valid and the charge can be made against the card account. The gateway company returns an approval code for the purchase.
With a swipe machine or point of sale terminal the verification process happens in a matter of seconds. If you’re doing telephone verification it can take a couple of minutes. You call the gateway company, give them the credit card number and expiration date and they give you an approval code that you write on the credit card charge slip. Either way, the money is typically deposited in your FFL dealer within 24 to 48 hours (less fees, of course).
You’ll also need to apply for a gun dealer merchant account with each credit card company whose card you want to accept. To do business with American Express and Discover all you have to do is fill out an application, but to accept Visa and MasterCard you must have a FFL dealer merchant account. A firearms dealer merchant account is a special bank account set up for the expressed purpose of accepting credit card payments processed by the gateway company. FFL dealers are usually associated with banks, though you can also use credit card FFL dealer service companies to perform the same function if you can not get approved for a FFL dealer merchant account.
FFL dealer services: FFL Dealer Merchant Services are available for FFL Dealers who need FFL Dealer Services to accept credit cards online.
If you are a gun dealer and want to accept credit cards call us toll free 800-757-5453 and we’ll answer all your questions for you.