Thursday, March 30, 2023

Now that cash transactions are all-but-nonexistent in the luxury ground transportation industry, the importance of having a reliable credit card processor for your business can’t be overstated. With that in mind, the Illinois Limousine & Bus Association (ILLBA) welcomed guest speaker Jay Pearson of EBizCharge/Century Business Solutions on their latest Coffee With ILLBA webinar to share the value and importance of finding a processing company. ILLBA members and guests from around the country took part in the discussion.

Jay Pearson ILLBA guest speaker Jay Pearson of EBizCharge/Century Business Solutions

What should you look for when selecting a credit card processor? According to Pearson, rates are important… but aren’t everything. While you should look closely to determine your “true rate” and shop rates periodically, it’s also important to consider whether your processor knows the industry. Did you know that the luxury ground transportation industry has more chargebacks than average, according to data presented by Pearson? It’s important that your credit card partner is aware of trends and potential trouble spots. Similarly, having a single number to call when you need assistance is vital. When you introduce a third-party company—say, PayPal—you’re only adding another level of potential aggravation when there’s a chargeback or fraud.

WLA Director Paula DeBiasi WLA Director Paula DeBiasi of Chicago Coachworks

Following Pearson’s presentation, ILLBA Executive Director Paula DeBiasi of Chicago Coachworks opened the session up to questions and free discussion. Construction at O’Hare Airport was raised, though it’s currently on schedule to meet its October 2022 conclusion. Other problems at the airport were talked about, notably an increase in homeless people in the terminal and the relentlessness of unlicensed black car services. DeBiasi theorized that the penalty doesn’t fit the crime since many of these illegal operators just factor the fines they receive from the police into their cost of daily business. Ultimately, reporting the unlicensed drivers to airport officials or the police remains the best way to counteract them. Other topics discussed included an increase in the theft of catalytic convertors and the dissolution of the federal mask mandate for transportation services. Many attendees agreed that they will continue to use masks based on client requests (also, your state and local mandates may still be in effect).

The next Coffee With ILLBA session is slated for Tuesday, May 17. It’s free to attend, and operators from any market are invited to take part. Register by emailing info@illba.org.

Visit illba.org for more information.