Visa card for grants accounting??

Dr. Michael T. MacDonell sendero at ix.netcom.com
Fri Jan 3 11:42:53 EST 1997


In <djt2-0301971015320001 at path22285.path.cwru.edu> djt2 at po.cwru.edu
(Dennis Templeton) writes: 

Dear Dennis:

I will answer you below, interleaved with your questions and
comments...

>In article <5ah9h9$s3d at sjx-ixn9.ix.netcom.com>,
geneco at ix.netcom.com(The
>Great American Gene Company ) wrote:
>
>That is true for all small merchants too, and it seems worth it to
>them. What does it cost to process a P.O., including bad debt?

Here's the thing in a nutshell:  In three years of operation, neither
we nor our parent company (Ransom Hill Bioscience) have had more than
one bad debt.  This involved a very small amount, and had to do with a
one-man sequencing company affiliated with a very prominent Boston-area
institute.  You see, nearly all of our customers (as are the customers
of nearly all suppliers of biologicals) are (1) universities, or (2)
government labs.  There are very few bad accounts in that lot.  The
cost of processing a P.O. is what is called a "sunk cost".  You have to
have a business office, if for no other reason than to deal with the
avalanche of tax and regulatory paperwork.  The real business, i.e.
processing of orders, is only a fraction of the workload.  Anyway, most
small businesses would MUCH rather hire a human being than pay a
percentage to a bank.

>>In addition, we have learned that VISA is placing
>>a positive prohibition on all electronic transactions.  We have been
>>given an affadavit, which we must sign, stating that we will conduct
>>NO VISA or MASTERCARD related business by either email or by through
>>the web. 
>
>! Wow ! That seems unbelievable, and stupid. No wonder places like
>First Virtual are surging ahead. It also belies the thousands of
>Visa-charging distributors already on the web.

It IS unbelievable and it IS stupid.  It is, moreover, arrogant. 
Curiously, we have gotten feedback from the issue I mentioned, having
to do with obtaining a waiver from Bank of America, allowing us to
conduct VISA/MASTERCARD business by email.  They will not allow it, but
are "working with us" on wording which will evade the meaning of the
requirement, rather than replace a faulty logic behind it.

Keep in mind that the bean-counters who come up with these things only
know of the internet from Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw on the nightly
news.  I suppose if that were my basis for evaluation, I would prohibit
it as well.  The internet, according to the network news sources, is
consistently portrayed as "a sewer" and the preferred residence for
nearly all scams being perpetrated on the world public.  While that is
not entirely inaccurate, it entirely overlooks the good parts, i.e.
rapid and inexpensive communication, source of extremely useful
information and collaboration (viz. bionet, etc.).

This is just a form of growing-pain.  

Best Regards!
Mike
-- 
+--------------------------------------------------------+
| This should shake things up -- they've just found      |
| conclusive evidence that acid rain is caused by whales |
+--------------------------------------------------------+






More information about the Methods mailing list