Point of sale payment processing has changed to the point where it is no longer recognizable when compared to where it was twenty years ago. The wide range of payment options available to the consumer, as well as the use of digital payments in an online world has changed the way payment processing looks through a lens upon examination. And while there are some great, flexible payment processing options on the market, there are even more payment processors that will nickel and dime you into the red.
Taking an intelligent approach in identifying what payment processing features you need is a must for a variety of reasons. You must engage with a payment processor that allows you to change the terms, software, or hardware equipment to account for changes in consumer payment option usage. The payment processor of your choice must have flexible support options and should provide distance in your margins from the dreaded red areas of your ledger.
Versatility of Payment Options
Accepting cash, check, or credit card have long been the pillars of payment acceptance. The influx of payment expectations can be seen with younger consumers, with 69% of Gen Z-ers using a mobile payment app daily, versus just 17% of baby boomers. What this means for you as a business owner is that you must be flexible in the payment options that you present to your customers.
A large portion of this is simply knowing your crowd, and acquiring a payment processor that meets their needs. However, as times change and as large payment networks such as MasterCard and Visa change their card requirements and infrastructures, you will need the versatility to change as payment networks dictate. This leaves you better positioned to accept credit cards, from magnetic stripe cards to cards loaded into eWallets, without having to awkwardly turn customers away.
Is Cash No Longer King?
It is anticipated that by the year 2022, only 17% of consumers will use cash or check when making a purchase. As the cashless trend gains hold with Millennial and Gen-Z consumers, (33% and 18% rates of cash usage respectively), it may be tempting to do away with the cash drawer. But unless you are confident that you will not be alienating a large group of customers, in particular Baby Boomers and to a lesser extent, Gen X, you may need to hold off on moving to a cashless model for now.
Freedom of Choice Means Freedom of Movement
The most debilitating aspect of managing payment processing is being locked into a contract that keeps your hands tied as the world around you evolves. Avoiding having a payment processing contract dragging you down can be achieved by taking two simple steps. First, avoid using any POS software that comes with a “free” label. A majority of these free POS solutions come with a pre-packaged, non-negotiable payment processing plan that will severely limit your growth.
Taking the step of choosing your POS credit card processing service will by nature give you the flexible, scalable payment processing solution that is recommended. Your payment processor must become an asset through its ability to accept multiple payment options, and not just from major payment networks like Discover, MasterCard, or Visa. Gaining the ability to accept online payments from places such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, or Google Pay, will elevate you over the competition and give you the confidence of having overturned every possible stone.
The higher levels of functionality gained through being able to freely choose a payment processor removes a key, limiting factor to your overall growth. The ability to change terms as your business grows, or to accept the latest hot mobile payment option, is vital in staying ahead of the game. Having the right solution in place provides retailers with deeper levels of customer engagement, increased inventory accuracy, and an easy way to balance the books.
Restaurants gain some key functionalities exclusive to the nature of their business model. Restaurateurs can gain the freedom to choose their own hardware, making tableside ordering and payment options a customer enticing reality. QSRs and cafes can dive into the world of mobile ordering, expanding the reach of their brand and achieving higher levels of customer retention. The advantage of choosing an unlocked, easily changed payment processing system unleashes the full potential of your business.
Ensuring Support is There When Most Needed
Support is an often neglected aspect when considering payment processing options. Many payment processors have tiered support options that determine support hours and SLAs (service level agreement) that dictate response time to any issue. These can make what appeared to be a great deal a losing endeavor. You must have the support you need, when you need it.
Getting the level of support you require should meet three basic requirements. First, support must be available to you during all of your operating hours. Second, support must cover all aspects of the payment processing services being provided, from card terminals to the software. Lastly, the responsiveness of the support team must fall into acceptable industry standards, which are largely based on the issue’s impact on your ability to operate and the potential security severity that an issue could cause.
Negotiating support terms into an already open payment processing contract must be done with the same flexibility in mind. The terms of support must be transparent and easy to understand and should evolve as your business demands change. The dynamic flow of your business cannot be impeded by a support contract that does not cover you in all aspects of the payment processing process. Also, you must be sure that upgrades to software or outdated hardware are included as part of the support package.
Understanding the Finer Points of Point of Sale Payment Processing
Knowing what exactly is in the fine print of any payment processing contract is going to test the limits of your legal knowledge. This is why it is important to engage the help of an experienced POS consultant to help navigate the terms and conditions of any payment processing contract before you sign. Your consultant will operate as a partner and will examine and match every aspect of your operations to the language in the contract to ensure you are covered on all sides.
Successfully onboarding a payment processor requires a high level of flexibility on all fronts. From support to payment processing costs, talech is ready to help you to modernize and streamline your payment processing aspect of your business. Contact us today for a free demo and more information on how to bring cutting-edge technology to your customers.