Payments for Holidays or Excursions couldn't be easier. You can pay either by Card (Credit or Debit), by Cheque or by Bank Transfer.. In this Blog we go into a little more detail on how I keep my payment systems as simple and safe as possible. 
Card Payments: This is by far the most popular method of payment.  
From January 2018 a law was passed that prohibited anyone selling a product from charging a premium for choosing to use a credit card.  
 
There are 2 ways in which I can process card Payments using either "Pay by Link" or via a "Virtual Terminal". Both of these methods are administered by a card acquirer called "WorldPay" 
 
Pay By Link: If you have an email account this is considered as the safest way for the customer. The process starts with you placing your order over the phone. I then place the order onto a "Pay by Link" programme stating what you have ordered and how much. You then receive an email from WorldPay saying words to the effect "Caltours of Birmingham Ltd requests payment of £nn" and quotes the trips that it refers to.. On receipt you click on the Pay Button and follow the instructions to enter your card details.  
 
Why is it the safest method? The merchant does not see or need to store any of your card details you type the information in yourself leaving less people in the loop, you are in control.. As soon as payment has been made I receive a confirmation email and send out your tickets either by mail or email. The fees that the Card Acquirer charges (a percentage of the amount being processed) is less for payment by this method than for the Virtual Terminal described below, it is considered safer and less vulnerable to fraud. 
 
Virtual Terminal: This is a piece of software resident on my computer that allows me to take a customers card details and process the card manually. This means that I have to have to collect all your card details from you over the phone (or face to face if we are on a coach) and enter it into the terminal at the earliest opportunity. Once an order is processed and confirmation that the transaction is sucessful (usually within a couple of minues of pressing the go button) it is part of my process to shred any information relating to your card numbers, expiry date and security code. The only information relating to your card visible electronically is the last 4 digits of your card number and the type of card. With my own processes and that of WorlPay This method keeps your card details as secure as I can make it, The downside is that I have to ask you for the same information everytime you place an order. 
 
Cheques: The number of cheques received are on the decline. That does not mean I am unhappy to receive them. The issue I have with cheques is that it currently means a trip to the bank which is time consuming. Currently I wait until there is a group of cheques before depositing them in the bank. On occasions this can mean up to a month before some of the cheques are deposited.  
 
The banks are changing their methods of clearing cheques and it now takes just 1 working day before cheques are cleared. A new inovation to be rolled out during July and August 2018 will enabe me to send a cheque to the bank simply by taking a photograph (through the banks mobile App). However initially there will be a limit of 1 or 2 cheques that can be processed on any one day and a maximum limit on the value of the cheques being deposited. (Currently it looks like the maximum value of any one cheque will be £500 and a maximum value of cheques deposited in one day will be around £1000). When we realise this method cheques will be stored for 5 working days to ensure they are not going to bounce before being shredded. 
 
Bank Transfer: Some times referred to as BACS or Faster Payments. To use this method you will need to be set up for internet banking. All you have to do is phone through your order, say you want to pay by bank transfer and I will give you the sort code and account number to send the money to. Once you have set up my company as a Payee in your bank system you sholdn't have to enter the bank accont and sort code a second time. The advantage of this system is that it is quick (on Fast Payments the money arrives in my account within 2 hours), From my point of view it attracts less bank charges than any other payment method. The disadvantage is that should things go wrong (i.e your dealing with a rogue trader or you type in the wrong numbers) there is no recourse through the banks. 
 
Cash: By virtue of the bank account I have; it does not allow me to deposit cash without incurring a large charge. (This is because when it was set up all cheques had to be posted to Glasgow. Today the bank is part of the LLoyds consortium and cheques can be deposited into a Halifax branch. To change the account I would loose the advantageus charges levied on processing cheques. The bottom line therefore is that I do not accept cash as payments. 
 
 
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