We are always looking for ways to streamline our business – by refining our processes to achieve increased internal efficiency, while looking for ways to serve our clients better.
One of the difficulties with our model of on-site iPhone and iPad repairs is in the collection of payments. We have had many cases were our clients have told us that they will pay us by EFT when they get home/their meeting is over/their partner can do the payment. The sad truth is that lives are busy and in many of these clients forget to pay us and this means we have to follow up for payment, which uses up resources that could be better spent. We iPhone and iPad repair specialists, not debt collectors.
It was obvious to us that the time delay between the repair and payment was causing issues and being able to take payment immediately after the repair has been completed would make life easier for both ourselves and our clients. Our clients have busy lives and we know that if we could fit in with their lives, we would have less trouble with receiving payments.
At the beginning of 2013, we started looking into a mobile credit card machine solution. Payfast.co.za gave us a way of receiving online card payments but the process is web based and is not anywhere as simple as swiping a card through a machine. While Payfast offers a good solution for eCommerce stores, we needed something different.
We figured that giving away a small percentage of our sales to a credit card processor would be worth the cost if it meant we received payments on time and didn’t have to spend any money or labour following up on outstanding payments. We were going to go ahead with a 3rd party supplier when our bank (FNB) finally came through with an offer that we could not refuse. They offered us 3 mobile card machines and offered us 3 months of free rental on each machine so that we could test the system with little risk. There were no setup fees, no long term contracts (it is month to month) and the processing fees are far lower that the quotes we received from 3rd party suppliers. If you own a business and are in need of credit/debit card machines, please contact us and we’ll send you the contact details of the star at FNB who organised this all for us.
FNB sent a specialist out to us to hand over the machines and to train our staff. They then issued us with a certificate of compliance stating that we know what we are doing when it comes to fraudulent card payments and sent us on our way. We have been using the machines for two months now and it seems they are worth their weight in gold. Our clients are blown away by the fact that they can pay us on the spot by credit or debit card and we have seen a marked reduction in late payments.
It is always exciting to be able to lead the industry and to be the first to take these exciting steps. We believe that we are not doing our job effectively if we don’t impress our clients on a daily basis. For nearly two years, we have been pushing the boundaries of the Apple repair industry in South Africa, upsetting the “Apple cart” and trying things that others said could not be done. Some things we have tried have not worked out while others have been a resounding success. If you take a look at our testimonials page, you will see some of the fruits of our labour.