MJM Associates Blog

Encouraging Repeat Business with Your Point of Sale System

Monday 21st October 2019

“You don’t earn loyalty in a day. You earn loyalty day-by-day.” – Jeffrey Gitomer, American author, professional speaker, and business trainer

It’s no secret that repeat customers are the lifeblood of any successful business. According to smallbiztrends.com, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5 to 20 percent. However, earning a customer’s loyalty and repeat purchases requires a lot of time and effort. Fortunately, with a smart POS (point of sale) system like Exatouch®, there are a number of tools that make growing your customer base faster and easier.

Built-in Integrated Loyalty Programs

An integrated loyalty program is one of the best ways to encourage repeat business. And with Exatouch®, it’s easy to start a program because it’s built right into the system. Using a points-based program, you can offer your customers giveaways, bonus gift cards, or other special offers once they’ve spent a certain dollar amount. Because points are automatically tracked and applied to your customers’ accounts in your POS system, no recordkeeping is required. 

Branded Gift Cards

With programs like eGiftSolutions®, your business can reap the many benefits of offering branded gift cards—just like the larger retailers!  Using your Exatouch® system, you can take advantage of free gift card processing, design and fulfillment services, real-time online reporting, and in-house support. By increasing cash flow with advanced sales revenue, and reaching new customers, branded gift cards can create a continuous cycle of repeat business. 

A Personalized Shopping Experience

Exatouch® has built-in tools that capture detailed information from every customer sale. Once you identify the products your customers purchases most frequently, you can invite them back to your store when a new style or complementary item is available. You can sweeten the invitation by offering a special offer, coupon, or giveaway. By making relevant product recommendations, you will create personalized shopping experiences for your customers. 

Meaningful Customer Connections

With a built-in customer database, Exatouch® makes it easy to stay digitally connected with your regular shoppers and convert one-time purchasers into repeat buyers. By sending emails about new products and special promotions, you will deepen your relationship with your customer and encourage additional purchases.

Exatouch® POS Systems for Retail Stores in NH, ME, MA, and VT

MJM Associates provides sales and service for Exatouch® POS systems for retail stores and other businesses throughout New England. Contact us to learn how you can put this system’s powerful features to work for your business.

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Using your Point of Sale System to Boost Profits

Thursday 19th September 2019

Most of us just think of a point of sale (POS) system as a way to process transactions. But your POS system is capable of doing so much more. Day after day, it captures critical information—from which items are selling the most, to the times when the majority of your customers shop. Here are six ways a cutting-edge POS system like Exatouch® can help you increase your profit margin.

1. Providing Valuable Inventory Insights

Exatouch® POS systems make inventory management easy so you can keep tabs on your stock counts. Using built-in reports, you can easily identify which stock items are slow to move, which ones are selling the fastest, and which ones provide the highest profit margins. And because Exatouch® maintains your purchase order history, you can easily view how many items you purchased the last time you re-stocked your shelves, how much you paid for each unit, and how long it took to move those items. Using these key insights, you can adjust your next inventory purchase to maximize your overall profits.

2. Preparing Your Business for its Busiest Sales Periods

Understanding how your business performed during your busy season can help you be better prepared for the next one. For example, using Exatouch’s reporting features, you can identify how many employees worked on certain holidays, and what you brought in for sales. This helps you plan your staffing to ensure your customers get the appropriate level of service, without paying for any unneeded labor costs. This reporting applies to your inventory as well. Knowing what your best-selling items are will help you determine how much inventory to purchase in advance, allowing you to keep up with customer demand and make the most of your sales.

3. Adjusting How You Do Business

By running one of Exatouch’s 70-plus reports, you can gather key insights to help you better refine how you do business. For example, you might think of yourself as a retail clothing store, but your high accessory sales might be telling you to dedicate more shelf space for your purses, belts, hats, and jewelry. When you generate a report to learn when most of your customers make their purchases, you might want to adjust your hours to better accommodate their shopping habits. Opening and/or closing even an hour earlier—especially on particular days—can make a huge improvement in your profit margin!

4. Staying Informed

It’s important to have real time information about how your business is doing. And getting and sharing this information between business owners, partners, managers, etc., can be challenging. Exatouch can be easily programmed to create a daily sales report that is mailed to all key parties. It’s like a snapshot of your overall business. This reporting feature can also be used to deliver whatever information your accountant requires to complete their duties.

5. Preventing Theft and Loss

Unfortunately, any time cash is involved in a business, there is a risk of theft. Using Exatouch’s reporting, you can identify how many discounts, refunds, and voids are processed during each employee shift. Having this kind of information can help you detect and prevent fraud and stealing.

6. Identifying Top Sales Performers

POS reports can help you identify your top sales performers so you can recognize and reward them for their outstanding service. And we all know that happy, appreciated employees create happy, loyal customers!

Exatouch POS System Sales and Support with MJM Associates

A robust POS system like Exatouch provides all the data you need to make strategic decisions on how you run your business, helping you boost sales and your bottom line. Talk to the pros at MJM Associates to learn how to put Exatouch to work for your business.

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How Restaurants Can Better Manage Inventory, Boost Profits, and Improve Service

Wednesday 28th August 2019

If you own or manage a restaurant, you’ve got a lot on your plate:  scheduling employee shifts, maintaining food inventory, engaging with customers, and more. Many restaurateurs are discovering the benefits of using Fresh Sheet⸺a key feature in the Exatouch® Point of Sale System⸺to improve customer service, better manage inventory, and boost their bottom line. Here’s a review of some of the ways Fresh Sheet can help you streamline your operations and keep your customers coming back for more.

Managing Food Inventory and Maximizing Profits

Undoubtedly, one of the most costly parts of running a restaurant is managing food inventory. With Fresh Sheet, you’ll reduce food spoilage and waste, and ensure you never run out of key ingredients needed for your most popular dishes. With a few touches of the screen, you can easily add, delete, or edit menu specials and items. You can even move menu items with the highest margins to the top of your list, keeping them on top of mind for your staff. These and more functions are built into a smart POS system to set up your restaurant for success.

Making Menu Specials More Lucrative

Your chefs work hard to create specials incorporating fresh, seasonal ingredients. Fresh Sheet supports their creative efforts with POS features that help you better manage those short-lived ingredients. This technology, combined with good communication with your front-of-house staff about the creative specials and highest ticket items, will boost orders. 

TIP:  Come up with a reward system for servers who sell the most of these high-ticket dishes and realize a win-win-win for your chef, servers, and bottom line!

Improving Restaurant Customer Service

One of the most important aspects of good customer service is meeting expectations and avoiding disappointments. There’s nothing worse than taking a party’s order and having to return to the table to tell them an item is no longer available. In addition to disappointing your customer, all that back and forth delays the overall serving time, slowing your table turns, and reducing your profits. This is why your servers need to be up to date on what’s going on in the kitchen. Fresh Sheet can help by tracking menu items as they are ordered. Your servers get real time alerts when an item is about to run out or is no longer available. This information is displayed right on the POS lock screen, so no login is required. 

Exatouch® POS Systems for Restaurants in NH, ME, MA, and VT

MJM Associates is a leading provider of Exatouch® POS systems for restaurants and other businesses throughout New England. Contact us to learn how you can leverage the Fresh Sheet feature to better manage your inventory, improve customer service, and boost your profits.

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5 Myths About Credit Card Processing

Tuesday 23rd July 2019

The merchant services industry can be quite a challenge to navigate. To assist you in understanding and making the right decisions about your credit card processing, here are some common myths and facts:

MYTH 1: You can’t afford to accept credit cards.

FACT: It’s actually quite the opposite. You can’t afford not to accept credit cards! Today’s consumers often prefer to pay with credit cards, and there are many benefits that come with accepting them–including increased sales, improved cash flow, and more. 

Read more about how accepting credit cards can benefit your business.

MYTH 2:  The bank that gave you your business loan is going to provide the best credit card processing rate.

FACT:  Chances are, your bank subcontracts its credit card processing services. And the true cost of your credit card processing is much more than simply the rate your bank offers you, so shop around!

MYTH 3: The best merchant services provider is the one with the lowest rate.

FACT: This is probably the biggest misconception when choosing a credit card company. When selecting a merchant services provider, don’t just look at the credit card rate. From the cost to purchase or lease your credit card terminals, to monthly service charges–there are many factors that go into determining the effective rate, or the true cost of your credit card processing.

Learn how to determine your effective rate.

It’s important to ask about the level of service you can expect to receive from your merchant services provider. For example, MJM Associates provides local, 24/7 customer service to all our clients. We also have a demo center where you can “test drive” any of our POS systems.

MYTH 4:  With credit card processing, your funds will be delayed.

FACT:  Because credit card sales are processed electronically, funds will be deposited into your account very quickly—typically within a day.

MYTH 5:  If you don’t process a lot of card transactions, you don’t have to worry about PCI compliance.

FACT:  Even if you only accept one card a year, you still must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which exists to eliminate credit card fraud. 

At MJM Associates, we’ll make sure you have everything you need to be PCI-compliant. Contact us if you have questions.

Local Merchant Services Providers in NH, VT, ME, and MA

MJM Associates is your local merchant services provider, servicing business owners throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. Contact us to discuss the best solution for your needs.

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Building Loyalty with a Personalized Customer Experience

Tuesday 25th June 2019

Now more than ever, shoppers expect a personalized customer experience. By combining good old-fashioned customer service with the latest tools and technology, you can give your customers the experience they want and expect from your company. Here are some tips on how to create a personalized customer experience and maintain long-term, satisfied clients:

1. Get to know your customers.

It goes without saying that the best way to serve your customers is to know what they want and need. And it’s the first step toward creating a customer-centric business. Surprisingly, many business owners fall short in this area. Start by placing yourself in your customers’ shoes. How and why do they use your products/services? How do they prefer to shop? What is the best way to communicate with them, and how often? Email? Text? Snail Mail? Consider all these factors when developing a strategic plan. 

2. Make a connection.

The best customer experiences are often created through emotional connections. By making your customers feel emotionally connected and attached to your products and/or services, and your team, they’re more likely to remain long-term, loyal patrons. There are many ways to do this, but here are some great ones to start with:

  • Make your customers feel welcomed. Anyone who visits your website, office, or store should feel like a valued guest. 
  • Help them search and find. Your website should be easy to navigate and should speak to their needs and wants. 
  • Teach the basics. Train your employees on how to serve your customers in a polite and respectful manner. Incorporate role playing exercises to teach your staff how to effectively manage common customer scenarios.
  • Encourage positive interactions. Customers who interact with store associates are more likely to make a purchase. 

3. Keep them informed.

Ensure your customers are up to speed with your latest product and service offerings. 

4. Let them know they’re appreciated.

When it comes to encouraging customer loyalty, a little appreciation goes a long way! Surprise your customers with a “thank you” email or text, reward large purchases with a store gift card, or create a loyalty program that includes special offers and frequent buyer discounts.


Speak with us about the benefits of loyalty programs.


5. Ask for Feedback.

The best way to know what’s on your customers’ minds is to ask them. Use post-shipping surveys, phone calls, or targeted emails to solicit their feedback. 

6. Stay in touch.

Strong customer relationships don’t happen overnight. It’s important to stay in touch with your customers so you’re always on top of mind. If you’re not regularly reaching out to them about your upcoming events, sales, promotions, and new products and services, chances are, your competitors are!

7. Take advantage of technology.

The right point of sale system will help you keep up with the needs of your customers, and grow your business. Talk to the pros at MJM Associates to learn how to leverage your POS system to better understand your customers’ needs and wants.

Local Merchant Services Providers in NH, VT, ME, and MA

Because we live and work where you do, we’re well-positioned to help you create a personalized shopping experience for your customers. To learn more about our Exatouch, Procharge, and Clover point of sale systems, contact our professional team for a no-obligation consultation.

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Grow Your Business with the Latest Merchant Service Technology

Wednesday 29th May 2019

Anytime you partner with a professional services organization—whether it’s an accounting firm, marketing agency, or merchant services provider—it’s essential to make sure they’re the right fit for your business. It’s equally important that they have the knowledge, tools, and technology to support your business as it continues to grow and evolve.

More than Credit Card Processing

“I have found myself always trying to stay ahead of the curve, which at times is very difficult with ever-changing technologies,” says Joel Breton, President of MJM Associates, a leading merchant services provider in New England. Breton notes that merchant services used to be just about the ability to accept credit cards as payments. But today, it’s much more than that.

MJM’s Point of Sale Systems include advanced features and functionality to help today’s businesses succeed:

  • Inventory Management
  • Time Clock 
  • CRM Programs
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Electronic Invoicing
  • Recurring Billing
  • Cash Discounting
  • Financial Reporting

Boosting Profits with Advanced Merchant Service Solutions

“Technology has forced every business to adapt and we, as a merchant service provider, are no different,” Breton notes. For example, MJM Associates’ merchant service solutions provide detailed inventory tracking and reporting. “This allows businesses to identify their top selling products as well as those items that are not meeting sales projections,” he adds. This information helps businesses improve their product offerings, boost their productivity, and maximize their overall profits.

Access to Working Capital? We’ve got that, too.

“When I first started in this business, I never thought that providing access to working capital would fall within our capabilities,” Breton says. But MJM’s merchant provider services now include:

  • Small Business Loans
  • Business Cash Advances
  • Lines of Credit

Is your POS system not meeting your needs? Contact MJM Associates for a free demo.

Embracing the Latest Credit Card System Technology

Companies who do not embrace change fall to the wayside. With access to the latest credit card and POS system technology, tools, and resources, you’ll help grow your business and move ahead of the pack.

Merchant Service Providers in NH, VT, ME and MA

The right point of sale system and merchant services provider will help you grow your business, keep with the needs of your customers,  and maximize your profits. Contact us to learn how to select the right system for your needs.

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Improving the Checkout Experience for Your Customers

Monday 29th April 2019

You spend a lot of time, money, and effort getting customers into your store. By improving their checkout experience, you will elevate their overall satisfaction with your business, and ensure they keep coming back.  Here are five ways to improve your checkout process:

1. Train your employees in customer service.

Your checkout staff can leave a lasting impression on your customers, so it’s important to train them in the basics of good customer service, including:

  • Having a warm smile and extending a polite greeting.
  • Giving full attention to your customers and their transactions.
  • Asking customers if they found everything they needed and offering help, if necessary.
  • Opening up additional checkout lines as needed.

A pleasant checkout experience is increasingly rare these days, so it is a good way to elevate your business above your competition.

2. Provide fast and secure card processing.

A smooth checkout experience requires fast and fluid credit card transactions. If your point of sale system and software doesn’t meet the needs of your business, or isn’t intuitive to your employees, it can make transactions less efficient and slower.  The result? A reduction in overall customer satisfaction.

3. Offer several payment options.

Today’s shoppers expect that you will accept all major credit or debit cards. And an increasing number of consumers are using alternative wireless payment methods with services like Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

Contact MJM Associates to learn how you can accept NFC-enabled payments.

4. Establish a loyalty program.

A loyalty program makes customers feel special each time they cash out. By tracking your customers’ purchases and eligibility for certain specials, promotions, and discounts, they won’t have to keep a bunch of paper receipts and coupons in their wallets. If you’re interested in implementing a customer loyalty program at your business, contact the MJM team.

5. Partner with the right merchant services provider.

Not all merchant services providers are created equal. The right payment partner will take the time to know you and your business before recommending the best point of sale system for your needs. Be sure to try before you buy. Don’t sign any contracts or buy a POS system without a hands-on demo.

Merchant Services Provider in NH, MA, VT, and ME

Your point of sale system is critical to your checkout process and the overall success of your business. Contact us to learn how to select the right system for your needs.

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The True Cost of Your Credit Card Processing

Monday 25th March 2019

When you cash out at the grocery store, your receipt clearly tells you what each of your purchases cost. So if the $6 watermelon you bought rang up as $8, you’d immediately know you were overcharged. Unfortunately, merchant credit card statements aren’t this straightforward. At best, most of them are confusing, and at worst, they frequently include “hidden fees.” As a business owner, it’s important to know the true cost of your credit card processing. 

Calculating Your Effective Rate

When reviewing your credit card statement it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the various chargesfrom interchange rates and POS equipment costs, to monthly minimums and transaction category fees. Don’t let these line items bog you down. Instead, take just a few minutes to calculate your effective rate, or the true cost of your credit card processing.

To determine your effective rate, pull out your most recent statement. Simply add up your total fees and divide that number by your total monthly card volume.

 Here’s an example:

  • Last month’s TOTAL monthly charges added up to $672.76
  • Your total card sales for the month were $18,978.36

By dividing your total monthly fees by your total monthly volume, you will arrive at your effective rate:


Understanding Your Credit Card Processing Rate

Once you know how to calculate your effective rate, you won’t have to keep track of your transaction fees and monthly charges. It’s important to keep an eye on this number each month. Because the prime interest rate changes overtime, you will see some variation. However, if you see a drastic change in your effective rate, be sure to contact your merchant services provider.

Choosing the Best Merchant Services Provider

If you’re looking for a new merchant credit card processing company, do your homework before signing on the dotted line. “All too often companies reel customers in with a low rate, and then add in a variety of hidden fees—causing the customer to pay significantly more than they expected,” says Joel Breton, president of MJM Associates. Since your credit card processing can have a major impact on your bottom line, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before signing a contract.

Related:  5 Common Mistakes When Choosing an MSP

Merchant Credit Card Processing in VT, NH, ME, and MA

MJM Associates prides itself in providing local merchant credit card processing services. Because we live and work where you do, you can count on us for the highest level of honesty, integrity, service, and support.  If you’re looking for a MSP or have questions about your current credit card processing system, contact us. We’re here to help your business succeed.

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5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Merchant Services Provider

Monday 25th February 2019

Choosing the best merchant services provider for your credit card processing can be overwhelming. Since this decision can have a major impact on your bottom line, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before signing a contract. To help you make the right decision for your business, here are five common mistakes to avoid when choosing a merchant services provider.

1. Failing to thoroughly read your contract.

The biggest mistake you can make is failing to carefully review your contract. We understand that this type of contract can make even the most attentive reader’s eyes glaze over, but there’s a lot at stake. Take the time to go through your contract line by line, and ask questions about any area you don’t understand. If you’re not satisfied with the answers you’re getting, don’t sign anything!

“I’ve met many business owners who’ve rushed through this important decision, ending up with a contract that’s negatively affected their bottom line for years,” says Joel Breton, President of MJM Associates.

2. Choosing an MSP based on selling price alone.

Many merchants make the mistake of choosing an MSP simply because it offered the lowest price. “Price is just a number. In our industry, processing rates are set by the card brands and issuing banks, so we have no control over it,” Breton explains. “You should choose an MSP who takes the time to learn about your products, services, and business model, so they can recommend a system that will be able to grow with the needs of your company,” he adds.

In addition, be sure to ask what kind of customer service and support you can expect to receive with your contract. All too often, sales reps disappear once you’ve signed on the dotted line. For the best customer service and support, work with a local merchant services provider. Because they live and work where you do, they’ll be more invested in your business.

3. Selecting an offer that’s just too good to be true.

When it comes to credit card processing offers, the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” usually applies. Be wary of any merchant services provider that offers an agreement that is significantly lower than its competitors.

RELATED: Why You Should Be Wary of “Free” POS Systems

 4. Not understanding the true cost of your credit card processing.

Interchange rates. Monthly minimums. Transaction categories. POS equipment costs.

With so many contract details and variations among pricing strategies and program structures, many merchants sign contracts without knowing the true cost of their credit card processing.

“The best way to do this is to look at what I like to call the effective rate,” Breton explains. To find your effective rate, add up your all the fees associated with your contract, and divide that number by your average or estimated total volume. This will allow you to make an apples-to-apples comparison among competing MSPs.

5. Signing a long-term contract with steep termination fees.

A long-term contract is greatfor your MSP. Don’t lock yourself into a long-term contract, especially one with steep termination fees. A reputable merchant services provider like MJM Associates builds its success on happy, returning customers, not by locking businesses up with the threat of a hefty contract cancellation fee.

Choosing the Right Merchant Services Provider

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the right merchant services provider for your business. Before selecting a new MSP or renewing an agreement with your current provider, carefully consider each of the points noted above. And above all, make sure your MSP has a thorough understanding of your business.

Credit Card Processing Merchants in NH, VT,  ME and MA

If you’re looking for a credit card processing provider, contact the knowledgeable professionals at MJM Associates. We understand that choosing an MSP can be little overwhelming. We’re here to explain your options and help you choose the one that works best for you and your business.

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Why Your Business Can’t Afford NOT to Accept Credit Cards

Tuesday 29th January 2019

When you first open a business, it feels like a lot more money is going out than coming in. Any smart business owner is always looking to get the maximum ROI for every dollar spent. But some small businesses, in an attempt to keep costs down, don’t accept credit (and debit) cards. This can be one the biggest mistakes you’ll make as a business owner and we’ll tell you why.

Accepting Credit Cards Boosts Sales

According to Small Business Trends, accepting credit cards can significantly widen your customer base, boosting your sales. One survey, sponsored by Intuit, found that 83% of small businesses that accepted credit cards experienced an increase in sales. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed increased their sales by at least $1,000 more a month and 18% made at least $20,000 more a month.

Alexandra Lozano, attorney and author says that not accepting credit cards was one of the worst mistakes she made in running her business. “I did not accept credit cards for years. I feared that credit card processing fees would make me lose more money than I would make. I was wrong—so, so, so wrong. The first month that I started accepting credit cards, my income doubled. Within about six months of accepting credit cards, I began having six-figure months,” she says. “If I could go back in time, this is the first thing that I would change,” she adds.

Your Customers Will Spend More Money

Using a credit card is quicker, easier, and more convenient than paying with a check or cash. Because your customers are not limited to whatever cash they have on hand, credit cards also increase impulse purchases. And according to research from Psychology Today, paying with a credit card is a lot less “painful” for your customers than using cold hard cash.

“In a sense, the combination of credit (which itself is an abstract concept) and payment that comes at a much later point in time may act as a numbing balm for the pain that is normally associated with spending money,” explains Hal E. Hershfield Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

You’ll Improve Your Cash Flow

Because credit card sales are processed electronically, funds will be deposited into your account very quickly—typically within a day.

You’ll Reduce the Risk of Fraud

With secure credit card processing from a provider like MJM Associates, you’ll reduce the risk of fraudulent payments. One bad check can take a big slice out of your profits and waste valuable time tracking down the customer.

You’ll Save Time and Money

As a business owner, you know that time is money. By increasing your credit card sales, you’ll reduce the amount of staff time spent on counting and depositing cash. Because electronic credit and debit card sales provide a detailed report for each transaction, you’ll also spend less time on manual accounting and bookkeeping tasks.

Choosing a Merchant Services Provider

Choosing a merchant services provider is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when starting your business. Do your research and choose a vendor that truly understands your unique business needs. And before you sign on the dotted line, make you know the true cost of your credit card processing. This decision can affect your bottom line for years to come. 

Credit Card Processing Merchants in NH, VT,  ME and MA

If you’re looking for a credit card processing provider, contact the knowledgeable professionals at MJM Associates. We understand that the process of getting your business ready to accept credit and debit cards can be a little overwhelming. We’re here to explain your options and help you choose the one that works best for you and your business.

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How to Find the Right Merchant Services Provider

Monday 17th December 2018

When you’ve been in the industry as long as we have, you’ve heard nearly every “horror story” there is about the less-than-honest merchant service provider sales reps out there. From receiving broken sales promises, to paying thousands of dollars to lease a $200 POS terminal, to experiencing hidden monthly service fees—many merchants just like you have been duped into paying too much for their credit card processing.

Be Wary of MSP Sales “Professionals”

The problem with these merchant service provider sales “professionals” is that they only focus on getting the sale. As soon as they lock you in an agreement, they move onto the next sale—probably before the ink on your contract is dry. “So many mom and pop merchants get promised “x, y, and z” and end up getting only “x” because they were sold something that isn’t real,” explains Joel Breton, president of MJM Associates, a local merchant services provider.

Breton explains that once the merchant discovers these terms and tries to terminate their agreement, they often face severe cancelation penalties. “At this point, the salesperson is long gone because they only cared about their commision,” Breton notes.

Don’t be Fooled by Complex Pricing Structures

If you’ve gotten a raw deal on your merchant credit card processing, you’re not alone. “The pricing structures used in the merchant credit card processing industry can be extremely complex and confusing to the average business owner,” Breton explains. He points out that some MSP companies even claim to offer free point of sale systems. “As we’ve discussed in previous blogs on the topic, nothing is free,” Breton adds.

Work with an Honest and Ethical Merchant Services Provider

It is important to partner with a MSP company that has an honest, ethical, and hands-on approach. You should feel comfortable asking questions and have an opportunity to try the system before buying it. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the total cost of your credit card processing before you sign anything.

Look Beyond the Price Tag

Unlike many of our competitors, whose focus is selling on price, MJM Associates uses a consultative selling strategy—identifying the specific needs of our customers and finding the best way to help them.

“The more we understand a potential business, its products and services, and how it operates, the better we can help them select a system that will meet and grow with their needs,” Breton points out. Breton says that after this discussion, he begins to review price with his clients. “Price is just a number, and in our industry, processing rates are set by the card brands and issuing banks so we have no control over it,” he points out. “We can always provide a savings compared to the current provider. It’s just a matter of how much above and beyond the added products and services we recommend,” he adds.

Ask About Service

With most MSP companies, you’ll only see your representative during the course of buying your system. At MJM, our service reps stick around long after the sale, assisting clients with installation, training, and ongoing education. “We have also helped with PCI compliance, as many small merchants have difficulting answering the card networks’ PCI programs,” Breton says.

With a focus on customer service, MJM Associates has become a leading provider of merchant credit card programs in New England. “When customers have the education, training, and support they need, they are going to be more successful in using their system—and more likely to send referrals to us down the road,” Breton points out.

Merchant Credit Card Programs in NH, ME, MA, and VT

Looking for a new merchant services provider or have questions about your current credit card processing system? Contact the professionals at MJM Associates. We’re here to help.

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Understanding the Real Cost of Cash Transactions

Monday 12th November 2018

For many business owners, cash sales may seem attractive because there’s no obvious cost for these transactions. Most businesses accept cash, or even prefer itunaware of the costs of doing so. As the saying goes, nothing is freenot even cash sales. Take a look at six ways cash transactions cost you money:

1. Bank Fees

“Banks can charge as much as $150 per month, per location for cash handling fees,” explains Joel Breton, President of MJM Associates, a local merchant service provider. Breton points out that there can be additional charges for deposits, adjustments, and change orders.

2. Employee Error and Theft

Employees are humans, who inevitably make mistakes. These mistakesfrom inaccurate deposits, to incorrect register counts, to change errorscan cost a business a lot of money. “While accepting cash is probably a good idea for most businesses, it presents a far greater risk for internal and external theft than do debit cards, credit cards, or checks,” Breton notes. In fact, the 2015 U.S. Retail Fraud Survey found that cash theft is the second-largest contributor to store loss.

3. Counterfeit Money

Counterfeit currency is a huge problem for businesses and consumers alike. According to businessinsider.com, over $220 billion is lost each year from the practice. And the Federal Reserve estimates that anywhere between $70 and $200 million may be circulating throughout our economy at any given time. However, in the case of fraudulent debit or credit transactions, the issuing card companynot the merchantabsorbs the loss.


4. Manual Counting

If you accept cash, you need to count it at the end of each day. Depending upon the number of stores and registers you have, as well as your average daily cash sales, this can amount to a lot of staff time. Of course, there is a labor cost associated with the time it takes your employees to count this cash and deposit it.

5. Accounting & Bookkeeping

Unlike credit and debit card transactions, cash sales leave no paper trail, and therefore, make accounting more complicated and expensive, and less accurate. Electronic credit and debit card sales provide a detailed report for each transaction, requiring less manual bookkeeping.

6. Lost Interest due to Delayed Funds Availability

Some merchants may wait a few days before making cash deposits at their bank. And once the deposit is finally made, it could be one to two business days before their account is credited. “This delay in funds availability results in a loss of interest that could have been earned while the cash sat in a register or safe,” Breton explains. Funds from debit and credit card transactions are typically credited to the merchant’s account by the next business day.

Cash Sales and Your Business

To meet the wants and needs of a broad range of customers, most businesses must accept cash payments. However, you might want to think twice about encouraging cash sales because they may actually cost you more money in the long run.

Merchant Services Providers in New England

MJM Associates makes it easy for your customers to pay for their orders, leading to more sales, and higher profits. We provide a variety of payment consoles for your location, as well as mobile credit card processing solutions for businesses on the go. To learn more about our merchant services programs, contact our friendly and professional team.

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5 Ways Custom Gift Cards Benefit Your Business

Tuesday 23rd October 2018

The temperatures are dropping, and with the change in weather, most businesses are thinking about how to make the most of the winter holiday season. A great way to bring in additional revenue (and new customers) is by offering gift cards. Why? Because consumers love gift cards! In fact, the average person purchases at least two gift cards during the holiday season. In this month’s blog, we share 5 ways gift cards benefit your business:

1. Advanced Revenue

No marketing strategy has the power to increase cash flow like a gift card. Every time you sell one, you’re paid before any product or service is rendered.

2. Increased Brand Awareness

Gift cards keep your business top-of-mind because they remind customers to visit you every time they see the card in their wallet. Think of a store gift card as a portable mini-billboard.

3. Higher Returns

Industry research tells us that customers who pay with gift cards are 2.5 times more likely to pay full price for a given itemversus bargain hunting, comparison shopping, or waiting for the product to go on sale.

4. Increased Spending

Consumers who shop with gift cards feel like they have “bonus” money to spend and are likely to spend more than the amount on their card. Those consumers who don’t deplete their cards on their first visit will return to your store, providing you with additional upsell opportunities.

5. New Customers

People frequently give gift cards to encourage friends and family to try new businesses, products, and services. As a business owner, this provides you with an opportunity to convert these new shoppers into long-term customers.

Custom Gift Cards for Black Friday, Hanukkah, and Christmas

Planning to order custom gift cards for the winter holiday season? MJM Associates can help. The deadline for ordering custom gift cards for Black Friday and Hanukkah is November 1. Get your Christmas gift card orders to us by December 1.

Custom Gift Cards for Businesses in NH, VT, MA, and ME

Gift cards have, and will continue to be one of the top requested holiday gifts. In fact, the total volume of gift cards annually sold is projected to reach $160 billion this year. The merchant services professionals at MJM Associates can help you tap into this booming market. Contact us today to learn more about our custom gift cards program.

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Is Cash Discounting Right for Your Business?

Wednesday 12th September 2018

As business owners, we’re always seeking ways to reduce operating costs and improve our bottom line. Cash discounting, which offsets the cost of credit and debit card processing, is one way to do this. How does it work, and is it right for your business?

How does cash discounting work?

With cash discounting, a business rewards customers who pay with cash or check by offering them a discounted price. Those customers who choose to use a credit or debit card for their purchases will pay a higher price in the form of an added service fee (typically 3 to 4% of the sale) to help reduce or eliminate the merchant’s processing fees.

For example, say a business is billed 3.84% for their processing fees. To completely eliminate the cost of processing for every credit or debit card sale, it would assess a 4% service fee on each customer purchase. As shown below, the service fee is high enough to cover the merchant’s processing fee:

$100 sale x 4% service fee =  $4 (additional amount card customers pay)

$100 sale + $4 service fee = $104  (total customer purchase price)

$104 (total customer purchase price) x 3.84% processing rate = $3.9936 (merchant’s processing fee)

Cash Discounting Rules

U.S. law and Visa and MasterCard rules permit cash discounts, but require businesses to post signs stating that a service fee will be added to purchases made via credit, debit, or prepaid cards.  Contact the MJM Associates team for help with specific verbiage requirements.

Is cash discounting right for your business?

To determine if cash discounting is right for your business, consider the following:

Your market: Are other businesses in your area using cash discounting? If so, your customers might expect it. If not, you might upset your customers and lose their patronage.

Your average ticket price:  Cash discounting is better suited for merchants with higher average ticket prices. So coffee shops and other high volume, low ticket businesses are not great candidates for cash discounting.

Your customers: If most of your business comes from repeat customers, a cash discount program might cause you to lose them to nearby competitors who don’t charge service fees. However, if most of your customers make one-time purchases (e.g. tourists), a service fee may not have much of an impact on your sales.

If you’re interested in learning more about cash discounting, contact the friendly and helpful professionals at MJM Associates.

Credit Card Processing for Businesses in New England

For 40 years, MJM Associates has provided local merchant credit card programs with competitive rates and outstanding service and support. From check and credit card processing and gift and loyalty cards, to point-of-sale (POS) equipment and wireless solutions, we provide the tools you need to you succeed in business. Contact us to learn more.

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5 Good Reasons to Work with a Local Merchant Services Provider

Tuesday 14th August 2018

In today’s competitive global marketplace, one can purchase nearly any product or service from virtually anywhere with just a few clicks. Yet many business owners are realizing there are several benefits to doing business locally. If you’re looking for a merchant services provider, here are five very good reasons why you should work with a local business like MJM Associates.

1. Better Customer Service

When you do business with a local merchant services provider, you’ll deal with people who live and work where you do. Since they are invested in their community and work hard to establish relationships within it, you will get better customer service. “We’re in the business of building valuable, long-standing relationships,” says Joel Breton, president of MJM Associates, a merchant services and point of sale solutions provider serving New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts.

2. Tailored MSP Products and Services

A local merchant services provider offers products and services that fit your specific business needs, versus limited, “one-size-fits-all” programs offered through a national sales company. This ensures you’ll receive the products and services that are tailored to the current and future needs of your business.

3. Locally-owned businesses provide local jobs.

Did you know that small, local businesses are our nation’s largest employer? Small businesses account for the largest share of net new jobs generated each year, and locally based businesses provide some of the most stable employment opportunities in our community.

4. Keeping money in the local economy.

Locally owned businesses help keep more money in their community because they tend to spend more of their profits where they operate.

5. Greater support for non-profits.

Because they are deeply invested in their communities, locally owned businesses provide up to 350% more financial support to non-profits than nationally-owned businesses. “At MJM Associates, we pride ourselves in supporting those organizations that make our community a better place to live and work,” says Breton.

Local Merchant Services Provider in NH, VT, ME, MA

If you’re looking for a merchant services provider, contact the knowledgeable professionals at MJM Associates. A local, family owned business, we offer competitive merchant credit card rates and outstanding service and support. To receive news on industry trends and product updates, join our mailing list.

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Choosing a Merchant Services Provider & POS System: Try Before You Buy

Wednesday 18th July 2018

Choosing the right merchant services provider and point of sale system for your credit card processing is one of the most important decisions you will make as a business owner.  The right provider and POS system is going to make your job a lot easier and help you grow your business. However, because POS systems are a not a “one size fits all” solution, it’s important that your MSP thoroughly understands your specific needs and allows you to try before you buy.

Tailored Credit Card Processing

Your credit card processing company should meet with you to get a solid understanding of your current and future needs. For example, if you are running a traditional retail business, do you plan to expand into internet sales? Do you have or anticipate having a mobile workforce that would benefit from wireless credit card processing?

“By spending time upfront with you and getting a detailed understanding of your business, we can recommend a tailored credit card processing program that best suits your needs and budget,” explains Joel Breton, president of MJM Associates, a local merchant services and point of sales solution provider. “We’re committed to doing everything we can to help our clients remain competitive and successful. By taking the time to thoroughly understand their business, we often identify opportunities they hadn’t even thought of,” he notes.

Hands-on POS Demos

You wouldn’t buy a new car before driving it. Why would you invest in a point of sale system wouldn’t giving it a test run? MJM Associates is unique in that it provides on-site POS demos to all of its customers. “We like our clients to try working units so they can see how they would operate in their particular business environment,” Breton points out. “These units are set up to include the same menus and functionality you would use in your normal, day-to-day operations,” he adds.  

A detailed POS demo is critical to selecting the right system for your business. “Without one, you run the risk of purchasing a system that will fail to grow with your business, or spending too much on functionality that you will never need,” Breton explains.

“MJM was great to work with. Not only are they a local, NH-based business, they provided us with a demo to show us how the system would solve our problems and improve our efficiency,” says Ian Dowling, Owner of Rek-Lis Brewing Company Bethlehem, NH. “Their knowledge of the systems and their ability to allow us to demo the system in person was a great approach,” he adds.

Merchant System Sales, Service, and Support

Most merchant services providers offer support–that’s pretty standard in the industry. But with the best MSP’s, support begins with the sale of a POS system. “At MJM, the same person who sold you your system is going to help you with installation, setup, and training. These local relationships are what set us apart in the industry,” Breton explains.  This level of initial support ensures the client’s system is set up correctly, runs smoothly and efficiently from the start, and provides easy access to the reports they need. “While our robust systems are essentially ‘plug and play,’ ongoing support is always available 24/7,” he adds.

Local Merchant Services Providers in NH, VT, ME, and MA

Your point of sale system is critical to the success of your business. Make sure you select the right system and the best local merchant services provider for your needs. At MJM Associates, we offer customer-centered solutions with outstanding service and support. Contact us to learn about the MJM difference!

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Benefits of Working with a Local Merchant Services Provider

Monday 18th June 2018

If you’re in the market for a merchant services provider, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices you have. Many companies promise a lot, but come up short, especially in terms of customer service. And between equipment costs and processing fees, choosing the wrong company can cost you a lot. Today, many businesses are discovering the benefits of working with a local merchant services provider, including:

1. Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, you can’t beat having a local merchant services provider. “Anytime our customers have a question or need assistance, we’re just a phone call or visit away,” explains Joel Breton, president of MJM Associates, a merchant services and point of sale solutions provider serving New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. “Service is really the cornerstone of our business and we strive to create customers for life,” he adds.

2. Training and Support

Local merchant services providers like MJM Associates also work more closely with their customers and have a better understanding of their strategic goals and system requirements. “Because we’re a local provider, we’re with our clients every step of the wayfrom choosing the best solution for their business, to installing and testing their system, to providing ongoing training and support,” Breton says. MJM Associates plans to take this a step further by providing hands-on customer demos and training in its recently expanded office space.

3. Understanding of Local Markets

Let’s face it. There are a lot of benefits to partnering with someone who lives and works in the same time zone as you. A local merchant services provider is going to have a much better understanding of your community, including its culture, demographics, and geography. And a company that’s vested in the your local business community is more likely to stand behind the products and services they sell you.

Local Merchant Services Provider in NH, VT, ME, MA

If you’re looking for a merchant services provider, contact the knowledgeable professionals at MJM Associates. A local, family-owned business, we offer competitive merchant credit card rates and outstanding service and support. To receive news on industry trends and product updates, join our mailing list.

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Why You Should be Wary of “Free” Point of Sale Systems

Friday 11th May 2018

The idea of getting something for free is always alluring. Even though in life, we have learned that in most cases, nothing is ever truly “free.” The same holds true for merchant credit card point of sale systems. There are companies offering “free” POS systems, but if you do a careful “apples to apples” comparison, they nearly always come up short.

There’s no such thing as a free point of sale system.

The pricing structures used in the merchant credit card processing industry can be extremely complex and confusing to the average business owner. So, whether you are setting up a merchant credit card system for the first time or thinking about changing your services to another provider, be sure to read the fine print before signing any merchant agreement.

Buyer Beware

If a merchant credit card provider is offering you a free POS system, chances are, one or more of the following is happening:

  • You’re paying higher-than-average processing fees.
  • You’ve signed a long-term contract with steep cancellation penalties.
  • You’re paying other add-on “fees” that exceed what you would typically pay in routine credit card processing fees.

“In the end, you’re going to spend much more than what your ‘free’ system would have cost you,” notes Joel Breton, president of MJM Associates, a merchant services company serving businesses in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont.


Determining the true cost of your credit card processing.

POS equipment costs. Interchange rates. Transaction categories. Monthly minimums. The details of most merchant credit card agreements are enough to make even the most attentive reader’s eyes glaze over.  

And with such variation among pricing strategies and program structure, how do you really know the true cost of your credit card processing? “The best way is to look at what I like to call the effective rate,” Breton explains. To find your effective rate, look at a recent statement. Add up your total fees, divide that number by your total volume, and you get your effective rate.

“When comparing various credit card processing options, this is the number you want to look at. At the end of the day, nothing is free,” he adds.

Merchant Credit Card Services in NH, MA, ME, VT

A family-owned business, MJM Associates offers competitive merchant credit card rates and outstanding service and support. If you have questions about your credit card processing, or would like a pricing structure review to determine if you can reduce your monthly fees, contact us today. To receive news on industry trends and product updates, join our mailing list.

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Corporate Office:
1160 Hooksett Rd
Suite F6 2nd Floor
Hooksett, NH 03106
Phone (603) 623-0561
Fax (888) 877-1403
Mobile (603) 540-8894

Seacoast Office:
11 Westman St.
Somersworth, NH 03878
Phone (603) 692-2408
Fax (888) 534-7890

Electronic Payments Inc is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Walnut Creek, CA. SPS is a registered ISO/MSP of Chase Paymentech Solutions, LLC. SPS is a registered ISO/MSP of Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati OH. SPS is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Walnut Creek, CA. American Express® requires separate approval.