Restaurant customers are still very likely to use cash—more so than in any other small business type—and restaurant owners have been known to encourage cash-based payment behavior in customers. But the times are changing, and more people are leaving cash behind in favor of cards and digital wallets as their payment methods of choice. This trend will force you and other restaurant owners to start seeking a credit card processor so you can be equipped to handle cashless transactions.
But what is a credit card processor, and why, as a restaurant owner, should you use one in your business? The ability to accept credit card payments is not quite as easy as obtaining a reader, swiping a card, and voilà—you have money in your account. There are nuances to consider when adding a credit card processing system, or modifying your existing one. When these are carefully considered, you reduce costs and time and can achieve high ROI for your efforts.
How Do I Get Started with Credit Card Payments?
Choose Your Payment Options Wisely
The first question to ask yourself is what type of payments you would like to accept. The range in payment types is much more than choosing between AmEx, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa. There are several technologies associated with each of the major card platforms that must be identified before you can approach a credit card processor to negotiate services. Some examples are:
- EMV chip-enabled cards
- Traditional magnetic stripe swipe cards
- NFC (near-field communication) cards, otherwise known as tap cards
- Digital-based eWallets, which typically store credit card information on a mobile device
- Invoice-based credit card payments via an included web link
As you can see, you definitely have multiple options available to you. Even if you are accepting credit cards, it is likely that your current credit card processor is not offering you the ability to accept all of the above credit card-based options. By adding these payment options to your business, you are not only reaping the benefits of a broader customer base but the benefits of a more modern internal POS system as well.
Make Sure Your POS System Can Support Your Payment Options
It is important to note that to use innovative or trending payment options, you must have a technical solution in place that can help manage the incoming data. Cloud-based POS software is an ideal choice to provide your business the necessary tools because it is securely storing and moving data from place to place. It is also capable of supporting transactions from virtual sales channels, allowing you to expand your brand outward through a website.
Not only must your POS software be able to process, sort, and transmit these very different types of payment information, the POS hardware you use should be able to read these different payment types. Multi-purpose card readers have become widespread, especially ones that can support mobile interactions. Barcode scanning of eWallet apps, the ability to handle swipe or insert, and NFC card readings all must be present in the payment hardware you choose.
Leverage Payment Technology to Expand Your Brand
Branching out into multiple forms of credit card payments will give you exciting new options that can be leveraged for business marketing. Since many of the latest payment types work well with mobility, you can take your brand to the online world to start utilizing additional sales channels for your restaurant. Some of the most exciting options are:
- Building an online website that integrates into your POS system.
- Using your website with QR codes or tableside tablets to create a contactless dining experience.
- Utilizing web-based invoicing software that takes your catering or special events billing operations into the digital world.
- Partnering with third-party delivery services to expand takeout options.
- Creating additional carryout options such as click and collect or curbside pickup.
Implementing modern credit card payment processing opens the doors to an expanded world of customers. But to maximize your profits from these new channels, you need to ensure your credit card payment processor is on board with you by offering favorable terms that are flexible and don’t lock you into extended contracts.
Seek Out Flexible, Business-Friendly Payment Processing Terms
Payment processing fees can, in some cases, take a large enough chunk out of a margin to force a restaurant away from accepting credit cards at all. Your processing fees have to be fair and manageable regardless of the type of credit card payments you choose to accept. They must be without hidden fees, such as volume penalties, to help you balance an already tenuous operating budget.
Your POS solution provider should be able to manage the majority of this for you. Using their relationships with third-party institutions, they should be able to present you with both of the items needed to process the credit card payment types you want to accept: the hardware and the back-end payment processing services. This gives you the ability to change the payment types you accept without any worry about what is happening behind the scenes.
What Can a Credit Card Processor Add to Your Restaurant?
A credit card processor is a necessity of modern business. A payment platform should be flexible enough to adapt to your customer base and should not prevent you from branching out to boost growth. This is where an experienced POS solutions provider can help by using their years of technology and business experience to help you achieve greater flexibility in your restaurant.
The tools and relationships at talech are here to help you grow. We utilize our POS technology in conjunction with our third-party relationships to help you accept almost any payment type available today. With modern payment tools in your pocket like a credit card processor, you can sit back and watch your business become limitless.
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