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Brandes Elitch: Auto Industry Payments Expert

Posted by Harrison Friedes on Mon, Sep 16, 2019 @ 12:04 PM

Brandes Elitch is the director of Partner Acquisitions here at CrossCheck, Inc. Apart from that, he has years of experience being involved with the payments and automotive industries.

Elitch (on the right in the above photo) worked in cash management for a Fortune 500 company, consulted for bankcard acquirers, and has sold cash management services for major banks. He was the also the first cash manager at Charles Schwab and directed middle-market sales group at Wells Fargo.

His automotive experience includes being the owner of numerous collectible cars; attending well-known collectible car shows (e.g. Pebble Beach and Concorso Italiano); and authoring Lancia Loraymo and the Loewy Logic of Industrial Design, a comprehensive history of Raymond Loewy’s specially designed car.

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Tags: Brandes Elitch, Independent Sales Organization (ISO), 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

The Benefits of Using an Auto Dealer Management Systems Pt 1

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Fri, Apr 12, 2019 @ 09:45 AM

Thinking of starting a car dealership? You’ll be in good company and want to launch the venture with the help of an auto dealer management system. This two-part series will explore the challenges and intricacies of being a new car dealership and why one would need a reliable and robust dealer management system (DMS). We begin with a description of the retail automotive space and related statistics.

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Tags: Brandes Elitch, Auto Dealerships

Merchant Cash Discounting, Surcharging and Convenience Fees

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 06:45 AM

There has been a lot of interest in merchant cash discounting and surcharging recently, and people seem to be confused about what is permissible and what is not. This brief overview begins with examples showing how cash discounting, surcharging and convenience fees affect merchants as well as consumers.

A consumer drives into a gas station and there is a sign showing two prices: one for cash and one for credit. When they use a credit card, they pay the higher price. This is cash discounting.

A consumer goes to a local merchant and there is a sign saying if they pay with a credit card, they will be charged an extra fee equal to what the merchant pays to have the transaction processed as a credit card sale. That is surcharging.

A consumer calls the city to pay a parking ticket. The city says they only accept cash or checks, but the consumer can call their payment processing company and pay over the phone with a credit card for an additional $12 fee. This is a convenience fee.

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Tags: Brandes Elitch

How to Succeed in Running Small Businesses

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Fri, Mar 29, 2019 @ 08:45 AM

One of the most famous books on running small businesses is called The E-Myth, which was written 30 years ago by Michael Gerber. He used to have an office just down the street from us here in Petaluma, but he has since moved to sunnier climes. The book sold 150,000 copies when it came out and Gerber was featured on many television talk shows. His successor book, The E-Myth Revisited, is one of the five top-selling business books of all time. It has been translated into 27 languages and is required reading in some MBA programs.

In a nutshell, Gerber says it’s a myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs, and also have tangible business skills.

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Tags: Small Business, Brandes Elitch

Driving Old Cars Helps Auto Repair Centers Turn a Profit

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 @ 06:45 AM

A consumer just found their dream car and believe they got a good deal from one of the local auto dealerships. Isn’t this one of the big things in life? Of course it is.

Being a savvy shopper, this consumer knows the car depreciated 10 percent the instant they drove it off the car lot and that it will depreciate another 10 percent over the first year of ownership. They may also be aware that studies show it will lose about 10 percent of its value each year over the next four years.

If one does the math, this means that after five years, it is going to be worth about half or even 40 percent of the original sale price. Many people, including me, find this to be a scary statistic.

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Tags: Brandes Elitch, Auto Dealerships, Auto Repair

How to Speed Up the Sales Process at Auto Dealerships: Pt 2

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Mon, Mar 25, 2019 @ 07:45 AM

In our previous blog, we listed ways for consumers to leverage preparation as a means of speeding up the sales process at auto dealerships. As the old Boy Scout motto says, “Be Prepared!”

This second article in the two-part series discusses how to accelerate the process once consumers arrive at dealerships. The discussion begins with a brief explanation of dealership interests.

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Tags: Brandes Elitch, Auto Dealerships

Generating Bank Revenue with Merchant Referral Programs

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Fri, Mar 22, 2019 @ 06:45 AM

Of all the different components in the payments ecosystem, only one commands absolute trust among its clients — the banking industry. This is one of the main reasons why merchant referral programs are excellent revenue sources for banks.

After all, a bank is where you keep your money. No matter what form of payment you tender when you buy something, all payments begin and end in a demand deposit account. You know that whenever or wherever you access your bank — branch, ATM or online — it will be open and ready to serve you 7/24/365. You also trust that your statement will balance to the penny and be delivered on time. Aside from the banking industry, I don’t know of any other ecosystem that is 100 percent reliable.

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Tags: Brandes Elitch, Independent Sales Organization (ISO)

How to Speed Up the Sales Process at Auto Dealerships: Pt 1

Posted by Brandes Elitch on Fri, Mar 15, 2019 @ 06:45 AM

A recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults by Capital One Auto Finance found that most consumers are not confident when it comes to understanding the process of buying a car at auto dealerships. Only 20 percent of consumers feel sure of themselves when buying a car. On top of that, 62 percent of those surveyed believe they did not get the best price on the last car they bought. Ironically, almost half of those surveyed said that getting the best deal was the single most important part of the car buying process. Fully 82 percent said that negotiating the price is still necessary.

In perhaps the understatement of the year, Jeff Rabinowitz, managing VP of Capital One Auto Finance, said, “The current state of trust and transparency in car-buying needs to be addressed.”

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Tags: Brandes Elitch, Auto Dealerships