Rod and Martha Nelson started The Moose Hut (TMH), a gift shop in Calgary, Alberta, more than 15 years ago. The Nelsons have capitalized on the tourist trade drawn by the Calgary Stampede, which is one of the largest rodeos in the world. The shop sells a wide range of Canadian themed items to rodeo and other tourists who visit central Alberta throughout the year. TMH’s offerings range from inexpensive food items, such as pure Canadian maple syrup and smoked salmon, to much more expensive handcrafted gifts, including Inuit and First Nations artwork. The company’s trademark product, the Moose Mug, is one of its biggest selling items.
Many of TMH’s customers return to the store whenever they visit Calgary. TMH’s line of Canadian Day Party Favours is especially popular with homesick Canadians who have moved to other countries and TMH has been selling those products by mail order for the past several years. After reviewing the sales numbers for these mail order items, Martha has decided that it might be a food idea to expand the mail order operation and begin accepting orders through a Web site. Many of the store’s items have a high value to weight ratio and would be easy to ship to customers around the world.
TMH currently accepts only checks denominated in Canadian or US currency in its mail order operation; however taking orders on a Web site will probably require the company to be more flexible in accepting multiple payment methods. Rod and Martha asked you to help them examine payment processing alternatives for TMH’s new Web business.
To be acceptable, a payment processing method needs to handle all major credit cards , perform currency conversions, and be available to a Canadian merchant. Most important is that the payment processing method must be reasonably priced. The margins on most gift items at TMH are between 10% and 30 % of the selling price, but the extra costs of shipping and handling items sold through the web site will reduce those margins. TMH would like t keep the payment processing costs below 4% of the selling price, if possible.
1. Prepare and one page memo in which you make a specific recommendation to Rod and Martha. Include an explanation of the reasons for your recommendation.