Doodie Stark clothing boutique

How an independent retailer in West Sussex saved £2,000 a year by switching its chip & pin supplier with Make It Cheaper.

Liz Jefferson, owner of Doodie Stark Clothing Boutique in Lindfield, West Sussex

The Doodie Stark clothing boutique in West Sussex has slashed the fees it pays for processing customer card payments by 41%.

The number of payments made by card in the UK rose from 821 million in 2011 to a record high of 875 million in 2012, according to the UK Cards Association. With more and more payments now being 'put on plastic', retailers are also being offered different methods of accepting chip and pin. And - if you're a busy independent shop - it makes sense too as cash can be expensive and inconvenient to bank, not to mention a security risk.

However, there are a number of 'merchant services' providers that process non-cash payments and the rates they charge can range enormously. To make matters worse, the way in which they calculate their charges makes it almost impossible to work out whether or not you are getting a fair deal.

Doodie Stark Clothing Boutique in Lindfield, West Sussex

Liz Jefferson - AKA Doodie Stark (her childhood nickname/maiden name) - first contacted Make It Cheaper because she was looking for a better deal with the electricity at her new shop in Lindfield, near Haywards Heath. However, once the electricity was sorted, the conversation with her business saving adviser soon led on to the subject of credit card payments.

Liz's biggest gripe was the slow speed at which her PDQ terminal would process payments. Her advisor told her the options for upgrading the card reader and running it through a broadband line instead of a phone line. He then offered to take a look at the rates being charged by the provider she thought she was stuck with because it was her business bank's 'preferred supplier'.

To her astonishment Liz found out that, just by switching providers, she would save £1,924 a year - or 41% - off the annual cost, taking her annual charges down from £4,697 to £2,774. This included a faster terminal with cheaper rental charges and the compulsory monthly anti-fraud fees (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) pushed down from £17 to £4.99.

It was just nice to talk to someone who could understand the bills and explain them to me in layman's terms. At first I was pretty angry that we'd been ripped off by someone the bank had recommended but then I quickly realised we didn't have to suffer in silence and could ditch the old provider without the hassle of changing banks as well. It was surprisingly easy in the end and now, whenever a customer pulls out a credit card, I'm no longer secretly irritated about how much it's going to cost me to take their money!" - Liz Jefferson

Doodie Stark clothing boutique is one of nearly 6,000 independent retailers Make It Cheaper has helped reduce overheads since 2007. Indeed, retailers can reduce other costs with our free and impartial service - they can save on business gas and electricity, landlines, broadband and mobile phones. Through our sister company Make It Cheaper Financial Services, they can also source new business insurance policies with a view to reducing their premiums.

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