The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has offered businesses of all sizes a harsh lesson in the importance of being adaptable. Who could have thought a customer with a handful of cash would one day become a serious problem? And yet, as the 2020 holiday season approaches, such an event is enough to make any manager queasy.
The cashless solutions retailers, restaurateurs, and salon managers have had to embrace to keep their revenue streams flowing may be one of the few upsides to 2020. Avoiding the potentially perilous exchange of physical cash has forced businesses to expand their transactional options, and that flexibility will better prepare them for the consumer diversity of the coming decade.
This means ensuring that your point of sale cashless payment options for customers include at least:
- Chip and PIN readers
- Wireless tap ‘n’ go
- Mobile POS
- Smartphone apps
- Gift cards
Fortunately, the same digital advances that have given rise to so many different ways of paying have also made it possible to unify these options within a single point of sale solution.
You can negotiate the unpredictability of COVID-19 and beyond using the same systems that drive your inventory, staff, and sales management. As the pandemic is teaching us, the most important asset is adaptability.
Cash, Card, or Phone?
The need to limit physical contact has increased the adoption of cashless payment options, but it has also highlighted the reality that switching from one exclusive system to another is not the answer for long-term growth.
The use of hard currency was on the decline anyway, with the demand for coins dropping by 50% over the past decade, but extreme measures such as the Federal Reserve quarantining dollars returning from Asia, and the accessibility of digital options have further eroded its appeal.
On the other hand, cities including New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco have banned merchants from refusing cash and adopting purely cashless solutions on the basis that it discriminates against low-resource communities.
The result is a marketplace where, despite the upheaval of COVID-19, cash remains the second-most common form of payment behind debit cards.
A totally cashless solution, therefore, isn’t the answer to taking your business to the next level. The answer is providing your customers with enough transactional options that nothing prevents them from making a purchase.
Cashless Solutions From Your POS System
A digital POS system is an all-in-one platform that can give you control over your entire business from any personal and professional device you can connect to the internet. By turning your cash register and employee terminals into iPad-powered, multimedia, cloud-computing hubs you can connect all your transactions, purchase orders, staff management tasks, and business software needs across a touch-screen simple network.
Centralizing your business like this also makes it easy to offer a range of cashless solutions. Your hub contains all the software necessary to do the math and inventory, and you can fit out a range of hardware options to master each transactional option.
The result is an interchangeable, always ready payment solution that can accommodate any customer preference and maximize your sales potential. Each of the following options should seamlessly connect to your POS network with plug ‘n’ play simplicity.
1. Chip and PIN Readers
Chip and PIN readers have become one of the most common sights in the consumer experience, and their usefulness is by no means in decline. The preferred option of all the major banks, your POS solution should be institutionally agnostic so you can move between providers depending on the shifting rates and packaged offers.
Debit and credit payments combine to be the most popular method of customer payment, and there are a range of hardware options that connect with a POS network either through cable or wireless means.
Most importantly, these card payments can be secured within a POS network using the latest authentication technology and end-to-end encryption.
2. Wireless Tap ‘n’ Go
These discrete, highly mobile payment options perform much the same function as the chip and PIN readers above, with the added bonus of store-wide mobility that should connect to a POS system wirelessly or through a powerbase. Great for restaurant and service industries where you’ll want to limit interruptions to the customer experience, wireless devices help take the awkwardness out of the final transaction.
From the customer point of view, there’s little difference between these first two options—both accept the same kind of cards—although merchants face additional transactional fees from third-party providers.
3. Mobile POS
Smartphone-powered mobile POS apps are the most niche of the main cashless solutions, as they generally carry a limited cartilage of items. However, if you cater to small markets, temporary sites, or want to take your wares on the road, then a mobile POS connection can make sure you bring all the best business software with you—and save you the extra work of handwriting receipts and carrying bags of cash.
The main advantage is customers can use their preferred digital payment types beyond the confines of a shopfront or eBusiness, while merchants can usually enjoy mobile POS without monthly fees.
4. Smartphone apps
The current highpoint of digital transactions is the card-free, cash-free smartphone solutions operated by iOS and Android. These digital wallets complete the consumer journey to total smartphone dependence by letting people pay just by scanning their mobile.
If you’re using an iPad-powered POS solution, then adding such payment options is as easy as downloading a new app, because that’s basically what all these solutions are. Removing the need for hardware gives you more freedom to turn your retail space entirely over to the customer experience, leaving payment to be an afterthought.
5. Gift cards
Gift cards always rank among the most popular holiday gifts and are often overlooked as a form of payment. Your POS solution should include the capacity to create both digital and physical gift cards adorned with your brand and logo and you should be able to accept payments across your existing hardware by offering either magstripe, standard barcode, or QR code accessibility.
Having a personalized gift card program just extends further your customer-pleasing avenues to a sale.
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt businesses of all types, being able to adapt to whatever means a customer has at their disposal could be vital.
Cashless Solutions for Every Sale
Nothing should ever prevent your customer from making a purchase. Adding a range of cashless solutions to your POS network, while continuing to accept coins and notes where safe, means your customer can shop, dine, and pamper themselves in comfort.
Finally, with each payment form flowing through the same all-in-one POS platform, you can be confident that every transaction is being balanced against the overall performance of your business.
There may be a multitude of different ways to collect it, but revenue remains the bottom line, and adaptability—not specialization—is the way to help it grow.