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Brandes Elitch

Brandes Elitch is Director of Partner Acquisition for CrossCheck Inc. A certified cash manager and accredited ACH professional, he garnered a Master of Business Administration from New York University and a Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University.

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Recent Posts

When to Buy Auto Parts for Modern Cars

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Fri, Oct 04, 2019 @ 07:45 AM

No matter what kind of car you drive, at some point you are going to need to buy auto parts. A modern car can have a few thousand parts, of which about a third are moving and will wear out over time. Most of the time, these parts would be considered normal wear and tear, but sometimes not. You will need to buy auto parts at either a franchise dealership or an auto aftermarket store. Let’s start by taking a look at what you will have to replace if you keep your car for a few years or longer. (See the related article, "Where to Buy Auto Parts for Modern Cars.")

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Tags: Multiple Check

How the Glut of Off-lease Vehicles Affecting Dealerships

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Wed, Sep 11, 2019 @ 08:45 AM

Over the last few years, an interesting development has occurred in the business of selling new cars — a glut of off-lease vehicles has hit the market. Let’s take a look at what this means to dealers and consumers.

During the new vehicle sales bonanza of 2014 ­– 2016, records were set for annual sales, and surprisingly, about a third of those sales ended up as leases. By the end of 2019, an estimated 12 million low-mileage cars were coming off lease to create the glut of off-lease vehicles.

First, a recap of how leasing works. There is an up-front cash payment, and then you make a monthly payment for typically 24 or 36 months, with an option to do a buyout at the end of the lease. In theory, you are just paying for the depreciation during that time.

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Tags: Auto Dealerships, C.A.R.S.

Where to Buy Auto Parts for Modern Cars

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Mon, Sep 09, 2019 @ 07:45 AM

Owning a car is expensive. The American Automobile Association (AAA) says it costs about $8,469 if you drive an average of 15,000 miles a year. But Nerdwallet gets more granular and they calculate a typical monthly cost as follows:

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Tags: Auto Aftermarket, Auto Dealerships

Why Is Fixed Ops Important to a New Car Franchise?

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Tue, Aug 20, 2019 @ 07:45 AM

Consumers think that selling new vehicles is the most important and profitable part of running a new car franchise, and that dealers make a lot of money on each unit sold. Yes it is important, but there is another part of the business that really pays the bills and keeps the lights on: the parts and service operation. This now comprises 49% of a dealership’s gross profit, up from 45% in 2012. You will hear this referred to as “fixed ops.” That’s a strange term; what does it mean?

Car dealers have historically called one part of the business variable and one part fixed.

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Tags: Auto Dealerships

The Shortage of Car Mechanics Can Affect Dealership Revenue

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Fri, Aug 16, 2019 @ 08:55 AM

A current study by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) found that there is a serious shortage of car mechanics at dealerships, somewhere around 20,000 – 25,000 people. The trade group predicts that dealers will need another 46,000 more people by 2026. If you own or manage a dealership, this will keep you up at night, because today the parts and service area (aka “fixed ops”) comprises fully 49% of the dealership’s gross profit. It’s what keeps the lights on and pays the bills!

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Tags: Auto Dealerships, Auto Repair

CrossCheck’s Lifetime Residuals for ISOs Can Change Your Life

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Wed, Jul 31, 2019 @ 07:45 AM

CrossCheck started in the check guarantee business way back in 1983. Checks ruled at the time, and nearly every merchant accepted them at the point of sale. Back then, in fact, many merchants did not take credit cards at all. This was due, in part, to the high cost of interchange and because processing a card transaction was much more complicated than taking a check.

Merchants had to put a bulky multi-part carbon form in a knuckle-busting sliding imprinter (aka “Zip Zap machine”), and then sort out the forms and send them out for processing. There is a reason why it was called a “knuckle buster.” By comparison, taking a check was pretty easy, comfortable, and familiar to merchants, and consumers commonly wrote them for purchases at the store.

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Tags: Independent Sales Organization (ISO)

Merchants Generate More Revenue with CrossCheck’s Plus Sales Service

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Fri, Jul 19, 2019 @ 07:54 AM

When merchants sell something, they expect to get paid in full right away in order to generate more revenue. They don’t expect to have the payment fail for one reason or another, and never get the money. This seems pretty obvious, but every payment system has failure points, except perhaps the Federal Reserve Wire Transfer system (and even this is not immune from fraud).

In this short piece, we will explore the concept of check guarantee, and how check guarantee providers manage their business to meet predictable targets for payment failure, salvage, and write-offs. Not every business is a candidate for check guarantee, but for those that are, such as car dealers and building supply companies, they can’t live without it!

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Tags: Plus Sales

Best Practices: How CrossCheck Helps Mitigate Auto Dealership Risk

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Fri, Jul 12, 2019 @ 03:22 PM

Here at CrossCheck, I am fortunate to attend a variety of payments industry events, such as the CardNotPresent Expo (CNP) last month, and two previous conferences by the Information Security Media Group, the world’s largest media organization devoted solely to information security and risk management. Seminar sessions are offered at most of these events, and the informational sharing is invaluable.

I thought I had a good understanding of the perils involved in accepting payments, but I was very surprised to learn at the CNP Expo that fraud is now increasing auto dealership risk. If your dealership has not experienced a recent uptick in consumer fraud, you are about to, so you might want to read this.

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Tags: Auto Dealerships

How Can Merchants Prevent Loss from Stop Payment Orders?

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Wed, Jul 03, 2019 @ 10:45 AM

If you are a merchant, there cannot be too many things that are more aggravating than getting a notice from your bank that you are not going to get paid because a customer put a stop payment on a check written to you.

Your first reaction would probably be surprise, then disappointment, and then anger. “How could they do this to me? … I gave them a good product at a good price and I provided good customer service too.”

As detailed below, there are legitimate reasons for requesting stop payments. On the other hand, writing a check and then stopping payment to avoid getting charged can be considered check fraud, which is a crime actionable at law. Before we get into all that, let’s look at how a merchant-customer relationship is supposed to work.

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Tags: Brandes Elitch, Stop Payment Protection

Will Merchants Need to Accept Facebook’s New Libra Cryptocurrency?

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Wed, Jun 26, 2019 @ 08:45 AM

Recently Facebook made a big announcement. They are launching their own currency, hoping to go live in the first half of 2020. Actually, it is a cryptocurrency called Libra. They are developing a digital wallet to take the currency, called Calibra.

Facebook says that their goal is to bring a new type of digital payment to anyone with a smartphone, which some people say is the functional equivalent of an online digital bank. You buy or cash out your Libra online or at a local exchange point, like a grocery store. You spend it using interoperable third-party wallet apps, or the Calibra wallet that is built into WhatsApp, Messenger, and its own app. The idea is that sending money to friends or paying for something at a merchant is just as easy as sending them a Facebook message.

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Tags: Brandes Elitch