Cafe Oliveto is a busy pizza and pasta restaurant in Melbourne. They offer counter and table service as well as home delivery 7 evenings a week, and are also open 4 days for lunch service.

Paying in excess of $6000 a year in merchant service fees, owner Kumar was looking to recover some of these costs. With surcharging a common practice, and even government agencies charging a card fee, he felt his loyal, local customer base would understand how he could no longer absorb these significant costs.

It’s working so well for him that he plans to bring his 3 other businesses across to Smartpay.

I used to pay $500 a month in fees which now I pass on to the customer easily. It’s calculated on our Smartpay device – I don’t have to calculate.

– Kumar, Cafe Oliveto

What was the challenge you were facing with your previous EFTPOS solution?

Our turnover is hard to predict; it is usually between $40,000 to $50,000 a month. We had EFTPOS through our bank with a set rate for credit cards but our fees could still vary from $500 –  800 a month.

Most of the government offices charge a card fee. I went to pay my registration and you can’t pay online or by cash but I had to pay a charge for using my card!

“The government is already surcharging so why not a small business?”

I used to pay $500 a month in fees which now I pass on to the customer easily. It’s calculated on our Smartpay device. It’s a lot easier – I don’t have to calculate.

What was involved in getting set up with Smartcharge?

It was easy. I signed up in the morning and the next morning the terminal was already at the shop. The application was easy and convenient to sign – just 2 pages, not like the bank’s 10 pages.

How did you implement the surcharge?

We’re not in the city so we depend upon local, regular customers and our traffic varies with the weather, school holidays, footy match etc. I gave notice to customers that from a particular date there will be a surcharge due to increasing bank fee costs. I let all my customers know. They all said “that’s alright, you are allowed to charge” and they are happy to pay. If I see a new customer I always tell them.

How do new customers respond to the card surcharge?

If customers aren’t happy with surcharge they always pull out cash and pay that way; 98% are happy to pay the surcharge. Customers don’t care as long as you provide good food and good service – that is what they want. Money comes after that.

“98% are happy to pay the surcharge. Customers don’t care as long as you provide good food and good service – that is what they want.”

– Kumar, Cafe Oliveto

How’s it all working for you?

Nothing changed with regards to how we take a payment. Just punch in the amount, that’s it. It’s good software, I like it. It’s good for small business.

How much are you saving with Smartcharge?

I’m saving about $6000 +GST a year on this business. I was paying about $500 a month on average for merchant fees and other charges. Some months up to $700 or $800. This was going from our docket – these fees, GST, then I still have to pay rent, wages etc. With Smartpay, if I sell a product for $9.90, then I’m getting $9.90 I don’t have to pay any other charges. I’m getting all I am supposed to get.

I have another 3 businesses that I am working on moving to Smartpay soon. With $50K – $100K turnover for these businesses, these bills are even higher – into thousands a month on fees.

What are you investing the money in/spending the savings on?

We’ve only been on SmartCharge for a month. In a few months we’ll start feeling the savings. The money will go towards something else, like improving something in the business.

“With Smartpay, If I sell a product for $9.90 then I’m getting $9.90 I don’t have to pay any other charges. I’m getting all I am supposed to get.”

– Kumar, Cafe Oliveto

Want to know more about surcharging?

If you’re keen to learn more about how surcharging on EFTPOS works, or what you could save, find out more about SmartCharge. To talk about how surcharging could work for your business get in touch with the team at Smartpay.

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