Frequently Asked Questions About
Universal Charge Accounts Services
Q. How often does UCA pay me for my in-house charge sales?
A. Every week the funds are deposited into your bank account.
Q. How do I send my charge transactions to UCA and how often?
A. Send your charge transactions to Universal every week. We can accept a data transfer from most POS and computer systems, or you can send us your charge slips if you don’t use a computer.
Q. How is UCA different than credit cards issued by banks or finance companies?
A. We don’t charge late fees or over the credit limit fees.
Q. Will I lose control of my accounts?
A. Absolutely not, we work for you. It is important that your customers feel like nothing has changed. We work hard to maintain your “Special Relationships” with customers, such as relatives, local officials, business associates, and even difficult and demanding customers. When you hire UCA, we help manage your credit department and work very hard to meld into your store’s procedures, personality and philosophy. We pride ourselves on providing service that is personal, warm, friendly, and flexible.
Q. Are there additional fees for postage and stationery?
A. No, the printing and mailing of your statements is included.
Q. Can I personalize my statements? Is there an additional fee?
A. Yes, you can personalize your statements. Consider them as part of your marketing communications – customize them with sale items, coupons, new product pictures, community information, or pictures of your staff. Our processes are so flexible that you can change your statement messaging every month, AND, there is no additional fees.
Q. When are my statements mailed?
A. Typically statements are mailed on the first day following your billing date.
Q. What reports will I receive and how often?
A. The detailed “Statement Report” will be sent to you on the same day that your statements are mailed. There are many different ways you can receive the Statement Report – email, fax, postal mail or via download from our web site. Please retain all your Statement Reports, as they contain all the information that is on the statements.
“Status Reports” and “Past Due Alert Reports” are sent to you each week. Once you receive new ones, you may discard the previous reports. If there is a custom report you prefer, we can create one and it will typically be free of charge.
Q. What do I tell customers when they see that their statement was mailed from out of town?
A. You can tell them that you’ve hired a credit manager and your statements are now handled by them.
Q. How do I communicate questions or changes regarding a customer’s account?
A. We are here for you! Call, fax, or email us – whatever is most convenient.
Q. Who does a customer call if there are questions about their account?
A. It’s up to you. Customers may call us at 800-873-8760, or they may call your store, whichever is more convenient for you.
Q. How quickly will UCA process a new charge account application?
A. We process new applications as quickly as possible, usually within a few minutes. You can fax or call-in an application and we’ll get right back to you. If you prefer, you can also mail an application, which we’ll process immediately upon receipt.
Q. What about delinquent accounts?
A. Most of our customers prefer not to handle collections themselves because it can put them in an uncomfortable or embarrassing situation. Our collection staff members are trained and experienced in collection techniques. They are diplomatic, personable, empathetic, and persistent.
We try “softer” collection tactics first, like personalized statement and messages, collection letters, and personal phone calls. When necessity dictates, we will help report delinquent accounts to the credit bureaus, although most customers prefer to avoid this situation and work out payment terms prior to us taking this step.
UCA can do everything a collection agency does, with better results, at a lower cost to you, and maintaining your relationship with customers. Our primary goals are to collect the past due balance and retain your customer.
For your business to be successful it is essential to maintain a balance between being too tough during collections and too lenient. We understand that being too tough can retard sales, however, being too lenient with credit balances can increase delinquencies. We’ve been in the business since 1957 and have developed a successful process for maintaining that balance for our clients.
Q. How will I increase my sales?
A. One way is to offer your customers the opportunity to apply for a personal charge account which can give them more flexibility with their spending. In addition, with UCA billing services, your monthly statements can be customized to advertise sales, and provide information on new products or services.
Q. Are UCA’s services worthwhile for my business?
A. UCA’s service can help you increase sales and profits, retain existing customers, and attract new customers to your business. By using our billing services, you can free up, and immediately use, the funds you currently have tied up in receivables. This will help provide you with a higher return on your investment. While a financial analysis may help to demonstrate why our services are smart business, to really prove it, you have to just try us! Of course, we wouldn’t have any customers if there wasn’t a significant cost benefit to you. In addition, there is no risk to give us a try, as we don’t include minimum contract terms in our agreements. This means you can discontinue our service at any time.
Q. How do we begin after a decision has been made?
A. The best time to start is with your next billing date/cycle. Print two sets of statements and mail the first set of statements to your customers as usual and send us the second set of statements. From there forward (beginning the first week of the next billing period and every week thereafter), UCA will pay you each week for your last week’s charge sales.
Q. What about confidentiality?
A. All information about your accounts is strictly confidential including information for credit proposes. All of our employees adhere to a strict confidentiality policy. UCA never has, and never will, sell any information to third parties.