3 Payment Solutions Ideal for Car Dealerships

Car dealerships often feel stuck between a rock and a hard place when it concerns payment solutions. As high-risk merchants that are dealing with expensive purchases and partial payments, they are more likely to experience chargebacks. And when you’re a business whose profit margin is challengingly slim, it’s no wonder why car dealers avoid the expenses of card present payment solutions.

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But there are solutions for card present face-to-face environments that won’t cost car dealerships an arm and a leg. We’ve gathered here three payment solutions that will not only improve dealerships’ customer service, but they'll optimize the security of their payment processing, too. Check out our solutions below.

1. Countertop Terminals

When you’re dealing with major purchases like cars, you need a solution that’s not only convenient but ensures that a customer’s card information is secure. Credit card fraud continues to cost Canadians billions with each passing year, which is why high-risk merchants all experience chargebacks at some point in running their business.

Countertop terminals are perfect for debit and credit card transactions in card present face-to-face environments like car dealerships. While they are fixed to wherever you locate your payment stations, this makes transactions easier to keep track of and assures customers with a secure checkout. Countertop terminals can accept all current forms of e-payments including contactless, EMV (a.k.a. chip and pin), and even mobile NFC (i.e. Apple Pay and other mobile wallet technology).

2. High-Risk Merchant Accounts

Before you can set up your payment terminals you’ll need to acquire a reliable payment processing account. But finding a merchant account provider that is sustainable for a high-risk business can seem like a tall order. That’s why you need to shop for providers that offer tailor-made account plans for high-risk merchants.

The right provider won’t try to soak you for all you’re worth by cluttering your monthly bill with additional fees. Progressive providers will also have benefits like chargeback protection, which will reimburse you on chargebacks up to certain amount.

Be sure that the merchant account provider you choose to partner with doesn’t charge you a termination penalty if you decide to cancel a contract early on. There are a lot of providers out there that will try to take advantage of high-risk merchants, so ask up front about penalty clauses.

3. E-commerce

While this might seem the strangest of our payment solutions, e-commerce in the car industry has become increasingly common over the last few years. Canadian dealers who rely on e-commerce to help close deals aren’t making it their only solution, but have made it part of the process of attracting more customers and making car sales more streamlined.

One of the most challenging aspects of running car dealerships is having customers willing to visit in-person to discuss closing a deal. The old way of advertising to prospective customers, through print media and billboards is dying out. Most customers nowadays are on the internet, whether via a laptop, tablet or mobile device.

By offering a website that presents a customer with all the information they need to research a car and a way to complete a down payment, there’s more customers walking into a dealership to complete a purchase than before.

The future of car sales is integrated payment methods, with a mix of online and in-person transactions. All 3 of these solutions discussed in this blog represent a strategy for car dealers to optimize their customer service and protect their business revenue at once. Providing customers with e-commerce options pays off in a big way.


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Lisa Gibson

Lisa is the Credit Manager of BNA Smart Payment Systems and has over 18 years of experience in diverse roles of credit and credit risk management. She graduated from the financial program at Boreal College and is an expert in personal loans and line of credit, mortgage underwriting, private label commercial credit cards, small business loans, and merchant account underwriting. Lisa is also an avid railfan and HO scale train modeler, and enjoys curling.

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