Why You Should Offer Online Payments For Your Customers

We live in a day and age when most everything we do revolves around an electronic device.  Most people have at least one computer in their home, or access to a computer and the Internet throughout the day.  Many people also have mobile devices, such as phones and tablets that allow them to communicate online throughout the day.  A person who avoids learning the intricacies of the Internet will struggle to do many tasks in the current system.  Because of this, it has become necessary for many companies to set up their online presence and offer their services to their customers over the Internet.  With this comes the necessity of hiring the best online credit card processors to handle credit card payments for your customers.  But offering online payments doesn’t just benefit your customers; it also has benefits for your company.  The following are a few of those benefits.

 

Larger Customer Base

 

Have you ever been shopping in a department store or clothing store, and found something you like, but not been able to find your size?  Or do you live far away from one of your favorite stores and wish there was a way for you to order their products to be brought to your home?  Rather than driving the far distance to get to your store for these products, you can offer your customers the option of online shopping and payments.  By doing this, you broaden your customer base to include those who don’t live within regular driving distance of your store.  You can offer your products or services to many more potential customers by setting up a solid online presence and hiring the best online credit card processors to handle your payments.

 

Many customers prefer the convenience of online shopping, especially during busy times like the Christmas season.  If they don’t have the ability to pay for your goods online, they may simply choose the product from another store that does offer online payments rather than coming into your store.  Without the convenience of online credit card payments, you may lose a large potential set of customers.

 

Extended Business Hours With No Added Cost

 

Have you ever wondered how much your business would increase if your store was open later or earlier, or if you extended your hours in some way?  With online shopping you can do just that without the added costs of hiring personnel to man the store.  When your customers can pay for your goods or services online, they can shop at any time of the day.  If they get a whim for something at midnight, they can go online and purchase it.  If they had to wait until the next day and make the trip to the store, they may change their mind before the purchase is made.  By making your goods available to your customers at all hours of the day, you can greatly increase the amount of business you do.

 

Many purchases made online are also considered impulse buys.  These purchases are made before a customer has time to think and rethink the purchase and before they can change their mind.  When you offer online payments, the speed and efficiency with which a customer can receive your product will help with customer retention and will likely increase your sales numbers.

 

Save Time And Money

 

When your payments are processed online, you will hire the best top online credit card processors to handle the payments.  You won’t have to do any of the work.  For a small fee that you will figure before you sign a contract, the company will handle all of your billing needs.  Think of all the time you can save by letting your customers shop and pay this way.  No more paperwork for you, or filing or saving receipts.  Everything is done electronically and handled by the processing company.  Not only do your customers benefit from saving time when shopping online, but you can also.

 

You may also save money by offering online payments to your customers.  When you hire the processing company, you will set up your fees with them ahead of time and pay them a certain percentage based on individual transactions or overall sales.  The total amount will depend on your agreement and the amount of business your company does.  But you save money when you don’t have to hire an additional person to handle these tasks, and you don’t have to purchase the equipment necessary to do it yourself.  Credit card processing companies have all the equipment and materials necessary to successfully accept credit card payments fees online and offer them to you on loan as long as you use their services.  There is no expensive up front cost, and again, you save time and money by letting someone else handle the details for you.  You are better able to focus on the products you offer and the service you provide to your customers when you let someone else handle the payment side of your business.

 

Give Your Customers Freedom To Spend When They Want

 

Have you ever been shopping in a store, and wanted to purchase something, but didn’t want to wait in line, or didn’t want to wait for a representative to help you?  Or have you ever been so turned off by an employee of a store that you changed your mind about purchasing a product?  Your company can overcome these potential problems by offering goods and payments online.  Your customers don’t have to wait on anyone else to spend their money on your products.  They can spend independently of anyone else, and are therefore more likely to spend more.  By cutting their wait time, and the time they have to deal with other people, you put many customers in a better mood and encourage them to spend more money.

 

Keeping Up With Current Trends

 

It is quickly becoming absolutely necessary for companies to offer online services and online credit card payments.  Without these things, your business may quickly become irrelevant and struggle in the current economy.  By hiring an online credit card processing company, and offering online shopping and payments for your customers, you increase your customer base and ensure that your business stays relevant in a changing world.

credit card payments fees

The benefits of having your company offer online payments.

Four Ways To Handle Credit Card Payments

More and more customers today are paying with credit cards. This is happening in physical store locations, over the phone and for online orders. Even some workers, such as residential plumbing repair personnel, are finding ways to accept credit card payments wherever their job takes them. The convenience of using a credit card for payments has led to the rise of many credit merchant services.

 

How can you tell which of these are the best credit merchant services for your business situation? Here is an overview of four different ways you might offer your customers the option of paying by credit card. Generally, payment methods are either completed by swiping a credit card or keying in the credit card information. However, sometimes both entry methods are available.

 

Cash Register Transactions

 

Many customers are very comfortable with the idea of swiping their credit card through a credit card machine at the point of sale, or cash register. There are many ways that this can be convenient for you as the business owner. Some of the advantages for you include:

 

•             Low costs for debit card transactions in addition to credit card transactions

•             The ability to offer customers gift cards that can be swiped

•             Fast verification that the customer has funds for the transaction

•             The ease of keying in information when swiping isn’t working

 

Mobile Device Transactions

 

For any professional who must travel in order to provide their customers with goods or services, the use of mobile credit card devices adds tremendous convenience. The convenience of receiving an instant payment will be appreciated by both the customer and the professional. The best small business credit merchant services can often be customized to the needs of niche businesses. What are the advantages if you are a small business owner? Consider the following scenarios:

 

•             You own and operate an organic produce business. Your best customers shop from you at the local farmer’s market. Taking payments on your mobile phone allows you to attract a wider range of customers and you don’t have to risk carrying around a lot of cash.

 

•             Your business is based on providing repairs to electric systems in both residential and commercial settings. You can provide each of your technicians with a mobile device to collect payments while on-site. Every payment can be processed the same for greater consistency in reports.

 

•             You have often lost money when customers didn’t follow through on making payments. Your mobile device allows you to get paid before providing a service such as housekeeping, music lessons, or house painting.

 

•             Many of your sales happen at seasonal boutiques. You can accept large and small payments from customers with credit cards. The payments are verified and completed before the customer moves on to another booth.

 

Internet Merchant Services

 

There are a wide variety of businesses today which are offering their customers the option of purchasing goods online. These businesses may provide the chance to make purchases both at the store site and from an online website. Internet transactions usually require some specific software. This software may also allow your customers to pay through an electronic check or an ACH payment. In some situations, you may be able to arrange for scheduled payments to be made automatically. As with some of the other methods, this can mean a great deal of convenience for you and for your customers. More advantages include:

 

•             The ability to reach customers from a much larger area

•             Automatic and near-instant payments from your website

•             Ease of obtaining reports online from any Internet-connected computer

 

Phone Transactions

 

If you are a vendor relying on mail order or phone orders, you can also benefit from retail credit merchant services. With a connected computer, you can key in the information that customers provide you on mailed forms or over the phone. Processing the payments through your own payment gateway and still enjoy the quick verification of payments before you send out any orders.

 

•             You won’t need to purchase additional credit processing machines.

•             Your customers may appreciate the opportunity to speak to you in person in order to provide specific details or to get answers to questions.

•             You enjoy control over how information is entered into your payment software.

How to Decide Which Method Works for You

 

As soon you are ready to upgrade your business in order to allow your customers to pay with a credit card you should begin to consider your options. The best retail credit merchant services for your business may involve the use of credit processing devices. These are the scanners that you use at the cash register when you swipe your card. Many are connected to the register at the point of sale and also connected through software to the main computer systems of the store. Other devices are wireless which allow for more versatility in use. Some retailers prefer to have the swiping mechanism as part of the cash register.

 

You will need to consider how much space you have for a swiping device and whether you will have the means of plugging in a device. You may also want to consider how much Internet access you are able to provide to your business or whether you are going to be able to access any at all.

 

If you or your employees do a lot of traveling for your business, then you may want to consider the use of mobile payments applications. Then you will also need to consider how much of your budget you will be able to devote to the maintenance and operation of those devices.

 

If you are operating purely through a website, then your choice will probably be much simpler and you will only need to decide which of the credit card processing companies can provide you with the most competitive package.

 

You Will Be the Judge

 

In the end, you will be the only person who is fully qualified to determine which method is right for your business. You have the understanding of your highest priorities and the needs that you are struggling to meet. You are the individual who must be able to balance the budget each month and at the end of the fiscal year.

 

With an idea of your options and how the different methods can be put into practice, you will be better qualified to choose the right processing service for your business.

mobile payments

Four different ways to hand credit card processing payments.

Why cash advance payday loans are in high demand?

Are you suffering from financial troubles? Are you not being able to perform serious activities of your life due to financial shortage? Now, you can get a complete solution that can solve all your financial troubles at least on a temporary basis as a result of which you can maintain an absolutely peaceful and stress-free life by means of avoiding all sorts of financial tensions. The cash advance payday loans have recently come up with the perfect solution for dealing with any financial distress and thus maximum people are choosing the concerned flexible option. These loans can be gained either by common individuals or by corporate concerns. Payday loans can also be compared with same-day loans which are usually received in the form of liquid cash. There is a specific procedure for making application of these loan and these loans are mainly provided by some rich investors who play the role of potential lenders. They merge together to form an association so that their collective or accumulative funds can be utilized as short-term loans.

 

Basic utilities that can be gained from these loans

 

If you follow the online reviews on cash advance payday loans, then you will definitely come to know the intricate details about these loans revealing the utilities and potentialities of these kinds of cash loans. Since these loans are received in liquid cash therefore they can be utilized for solving different big financial deficits.

 

• If you want project loans for your business projects, then this is the best option and can provide you requisite amount of loans instantly without any hazard. You can also apply for different other trifling expenses for your business like electricity, property taxes, administrative costs, employee salary, insurance premium and others. You can also take loan for expansion, development and research of your business. This kind of credit card processing for national merchant services is mainly applied by only small concerns and medium-scale companies. In some cases, these loans are also taken by young entrepreneurs for setting up their new business or for catering promotional costs of the company.

 

• The normal individuals who are having small income or those go are suffering from a lot of outstanding dues can take this kind fog instant loan for getting acute financial relief. If you are having immediate cash requirement for some critical medical purposes, then you can definitely rely on this form of cash loan for gaining requisite financial relief. You can also take loans for meeting up both your normal and luxury wants of your family.

 

• If you are having too much of credit card processing services or else you are having lots of creditors, then in that case you can choose this option of cash advance as the most appropriate one. You can also pay off your undue repayment installments of any existing loan to any financial institution from this new loan.

 

• Your life-style and living standard will be increased to a great level in case you opt for the purchase of different luxurious arrangements from this cash loan. You can also take this loan in order to run your daily expenses in case you have recently left your job.

 

Importance of lenders providing cash advances

 

One of the major steps for gaining cash advance loans is that you need to look for the most efficient and expert lender. You also need to go through the lending policies and terms sop that that matches up to your requirement and affordability of repayment. The interest rate foxed up by the lender can be either fixed or negotiable and so you must check out the same. The authenticity of the lender also needs to be judged in this regard for avoiding scams.

cash advance loans

We go in-depth at why payday loans are in such high demand.

 

Benefits Of Including American Express In Your Merchant Services

Picture this scenario: you have a customer come into your store.  They make a beeline for one of the most expensive items on display.  You can tell they are interested.  They ask questions, you answer them.  The sale is so close, you can almost taste it.  They utter those magic words, “I’ll take it.”  You move over to the customer service station, ring up the amount, smiles all around.  The customer reaches into his wallet and hands you a credit card.  It’s an American Express.  Your smile dims: “I’m sorry,” you say, “but we don’t take American Express.”  Your happy ending deflates like balloon that has had the air let out of it.  The customer does not have cash and is reluctant to use another payment method.  There are two ways this can go: they will either use a secondary method or payment, or walk out without making the purchase.  In either case, the customer service experience has been diminished.

 

Being able to meet your customers’ needs is a primary function of any business and in this respect, incorporating AMEX merchant services into your business can have positive results beyond just sales.

 

The Virtue Of Variety

 

Once you have made the decision to provide your customers with the capacity to use credit cards to purchase from you, it may be tempting to limit the types of cards that you accept in an effort to reduce your merchant service fees.  However, sometimes offering a limited service can be as frustrating for customers as providing no service at all.

 

When it comes to considering what the best AMEX merchant services are and how they can improve your business, you might want to consider the following:

•             There are nearly 50 million AMEX cards used in the US.

•             According to a Phoenix Consumer Payments & Preferences Study conducted in January 2011, 36% of AMEX cardholders who are employed say that their companies either “require” or “prefer” that business expenses are covered by AMEX.

•             The same Phoenix Consumer Payments & Preferences reported that AMEX holders spend an average of 43% more with this card than with other cards.

 

When looking for card processing services you may want to factor in looking for the best AMEX merchant services providers in order for you to have the widest reach.

 

What Card Processing Services Can Do For You

 

The benefits of offering your customers the capacity to purchase from you using credit and debit cards, and investing in these services and also the equipment needed to offer them, is sales.  You want to make it as easy as possible for people to spend their money with you and for this process to be fast and simple.  However, offering these services can also impact on how your business is perceived.  For many customers, the fact that your business has the capability of being able to process major credit cards gives your business extra credibility and a sense of stability.  This can be important and assuring for both current customers as well as attracting potential customers.  In a business environment where it is of the utmost importance for customers to feel that their transactions are being securely handled, you want to present yourself in a professional and trustworthy light.

 

If you are offering customers the ability to purchase items or services online, experiment yourself with the online experience that you are offering.  Be your own customer and test your services to gauge how simple they are to follow.  Are you capturing all of the information you need to process a secure payment?  Are you maybe asking for too much information?  Do you want to only deal with customers who have registered with you in some way?  Customer registration can be a great way to capture contact information, but be cautious about your transactions taking too much time.  Online shoppers can be impatient, and if it is taking too long to purchase something from you, it only takes a couple of clicks for them to leave and go somewhere else.

 

It is also important to offer your customers the opportunity to pay with convenience. If you’re a business that arrives at the client’s office, make sure they are able to provide their payment on location. Mobile payment processing for AMEX cards ensures that you’re able to close the deal while showing your client you’re dedicated to your business.

 

Brand Association

 

In addition to the credibility factor of being able to offer the best AMEX merchant services availability to customers, another element of associating yourself with internationally-renowned brands such as American Express is that some of their shine can reflect onto you and your business.

 

You may be a small business but by engaging AMEX merchant services you are aligning yourself with that brand.  Branding and marketing efforts that the credit card companies spend a lot of money on to promote the use of their cards, including loyalty programs and offering exclusive card member benefits, may affect customer spending trends and can be of benefit to you.  If a card holder has been building up rewards points or there is some kind of incentive to use a particular card, being able to use it in more places is going to be appealing.  Once again, it comes down to doing everything that you can to not only attract a sale, but close a sale.  The psychology behind what makes people spend money is complicated, but when it comes to being able to justify a purchasing decision, a built-in incentive for using a particular card such as AMEX may be the deciding factor.

 

Being Connected

 

If you do decide to purchase AMEX merchant services as part of your merchant account, another benefit is being able to connect to a broad customer support network.  While your AMEX merchant services provider will offer customer services of their own, you should also be able to connect to the wider credit card company’s services.  Many have excellent online toolboxes for you to use to get the most out of your services and also offer information on broader business issues.  Navigating the world of credit services can seem daunting, especially if you are running a small business.  This is an industry that is experiencing increased security concerns and that has certain requirements that are continually changing and evolving.  By aligning yourself alongside industry giants you are not only able to share some of the reflected glow of credibility and respectability, you have the opportunity to be part of a larger network.  It is often said it is not what you know, it’s who you know.  It can also be who you do business with that can help you to get ahead, make more sales and succeed.

mobile payment processing

The benefits of having an AMEX credit card for your business.

 

What To Look At When Comparing E Commerce Credit Card Processing Services

Running an Internet based business is a great way to reach more customers, but you’ll need to be able to process payments from consumers in order to move stock. The ability to process credit card payments is a boon, and with 92.5 million households in the US reporting that they have at least one credit card, the easier you make it for customers to pay with their card, the more revenue you are likely pull in. However, even when you know how important credit card processing is to the success of your e-store, it can sometimes be hard to decide which e commerce credit card processing company is right for your needs, so here’s a guide on what to look for when you are shopping around.

 

The Price of the Service

 

You will notice that the price quoted by each e commerce credit card processing firm may be slightly different, but keep in mind that the service with the lowest rates may not necessarily be the most cost effective. Some companies may charge you hidden fees that will negate any benefits gained from lower per transaction fees or discount rates. The best e commerce credit card processing company is one that has all charges spelled out up front so you’re not taken by surprise when that monthly bill is much higher than you thought it would be. Here’s a breakdown of the kind of fees you should be looking at to get the whole picture.

 

•             Discount rate: The discount rate is a percentage of the monthly credit card revenue you process that you are charged each month for the services you are receiving. Reasonable rates tend to fall into the two to three percent range, but rates may be as high as four to five percent for companies that are considered high risk.

 

•             Transaction fees: This is usually a flat fee on each transaction that is processed, but in some cases it may be percentage-based. Transaction fees are usually set by the credit card issuer and generally range from 25 to 75 cents per transaction.

 

•             Installation or set-up fees: Some e commerce credit card processing services may charge you a set-up fee when you first begin processing credit cards. Installation fees may also apply if you’ll be using any hardware or need software installed. Because these fees can vary widely from provider to provider, be sure to ask an agent about any that apply to you.

 

•             Gateway fees: Taking credit card payments online usually means you will need to set up a payment gateway on your website, and this may cost extra. When getting a quote from an e commerce credit card processing company, ask if gateway services are included or they are an add-on.

 

•             Monthly service fees: Depending on your provider, you may also be charged for some monthly services, such as statement preparation (typically $10 a month). Ask about any monthly charges not included in the discount rate or transaction fees.

 

•             Minimums: Though your revenue is charged according to the discount rate, some processors have monthly minimum fees for services. That means that should the fees collected from processed credit card transactions fall short, you will be charged the difference.

 

What Services the Provider Offers

 

The best e commerce credit card processing is the processing that has all the features you need. Because providers will vary in this area as well, it’s important to know what kinds of services you should expect to find.

 

•             Shopping cart: Having a shopping cart on your website helps customers keep track of their order, especially if they are buying more than one item. Many e commerce companies include this technology in their services.

 

•             Virtual terminal: This allows clients to enter in their payment information themselves and may or may not be offered by every e commerce credit card processing firm.

 

•             Payment gateway: Payment gateways help keep customer information secure and prevent your business from becoming the victim of theft by interfacing directly with a card holder’s financial institution. As was noted, some processors will charge you extra for this feature.

 

•             E-checks: Virtual checks are becoming more and more popular, so some providers now allow you to process these as well.

 

•             Recurring billing: If your online service is, say, a subscription-type service, then a recurring billing feature may be just what you need.

 

As you look at the different features available with different card processors, also be sure to find out how long it will take for a payment to be processed and reach your merchant account. Throughout the industry, one to three days is fairly standard.

 

Security Features Available

 

In 2007, credit card fraud the world over resulted in more than 5.5 billion dollars lost, and it continues to be a problem for consumers and merchants alike. Higher rates of credit card fraud mean more costly fees and rates for your business, so taking measures to prevent it is important. The most basic e commerce credit card processing providers have verification services that will at least check to make sure the billing address entered by a consumer during checkout matches the billing address on the credit card used. However, the best e commerce credit card processing firm will have more advanced security features. Real time processing allows the credit card issuer or financial institution to immediately authenticate consumer information and then accept or decline a transaction. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) features encrypt transaction information to protect it from being hacked. Requiring customers to enter in card security codes—a three-digit number on the back of most cards known as the credit card verification value—can also help prevent fraudulent card use.

 

Conclusion

 

The more you know about credit card processing companies, the more able you will be to compare different services and find what’s right for you. Be sure to delineate each and every fee associated with a service so you understand the total cost of credit card processing. Examine available services to make sure the processor you choose can give you what you need. Lastly, check out the security features provided so you know whether or not you will be sufficiently protected from fraud. Once you have compared all these aspects of processing services, you’ll then be better able to determine which provider is the right e commerce credit card processing firm for your business.

credit card processing companies

Things to watch for when trying to find the right E-commerce credit card processor.

The Best POS Restaurant Systems Makes Transactions Easier

The Best POS Restaurant Systems are the right choice instead of using the traditional cash register that most restaurants are still using. The cash register is just a place where the money is placed when collected. Combined with a PC and Software, the system will be able to do much more than a cash register. It can do things such as taking orders from customers, performing fast credit card transactions, order and track inventory; labor management and create loyalty programs for customers.

 

The equipment is based on advanced computer technology where restaurants can capture food orders, print receipts or food tickets and record data. The system is not only limited to cashiers, but bartenders and servers can use it to enter orders for food and beverage. Hostesses use it to book and manage reservations.

 

Its Capabilities

 

The system operates in a similar capacity like a computer. It can also be used as a terminal for credit card purchases. It displays a touch screen to view orders. Having a system like this in a restaurant adds a high level of flexibility and convenience; it saves time and offers accuracy, especially because restaurants can get busy during rush hours.

 

Additionally, the system is able to perform multiple functions that include:

 

•             Computing cash owed for each order that is entered

•             Recording the type of payment made

•             Managing cash collected

•             Generating hourly and daily reports for all sales

•             Permitting hourly employees to clock their time

•             Estimating labor and payroll numbers

•             Determining items on menu that are sold

•             Recording data on individuals who are repeat customers

 

How The System Is Used

 

Bear in mind that not all systems work the same because every restaurant has different operating styles. However, for the most part, the ensuing steps below symbolize the regular procedure of taking an order using the POS system:

 

1.            The employee accesses the system by entering their full name and employee code using the touch screen display.

 

2.            A new food order from the customer is entered in the system. If it is a full service restaurant, then the employee can use the system to select a table number for the patron and add another order to the existing check.

 

3.            The system then sends the order to the kitchen or the bar digitally or by printing a ticket.

4.            The employees in the kitchen or bar will assess the order and make the applicable items for the servers to pick up and serve the customer.

 

In a fast food restaurant, the employee will be able to see the total charge on the touch screen display and the cashier will collect payment right away from the customer. In a full service restaurant, the wait staff will bring the food check to the customer, collect payment and then enter the payment in the system.

 

For the past eleven years, Hospital Technology has tracked the development and latest trend of the POS technology in the restaurant industry using their internal study. Restaurant operators in the last four years have specified what they think is the best POS system function and 77% thought that the accounting system came out the leader. However, labor and enterprise management followed close by with 71%. Take-out and delivery came up at 55%.

 

System Location

 

Point of sale systems can be displayed in various places in the restaurant. However, this depends on the restaurant layout and style. In a fast food or casual restaurant, the system would be visibly displayed; possibly close to the door of the restaurant. In contrast, it would be displayed in a inconspicuous area in a full service restaurant to maintain the restaurant’s ambience and the customer’s dining experience.

 

A restaurant owner can get the system customized to the items of food that it carries and this will allow for a more efficiently run restaurant. All of the important information in the restaurant will be kept in one place; integrated into a reliable system where reports can be run and other information compared.

 

A POS system accommodates various environments in the service industry. A restaurant that offers fine dining is not the same as the service received at a bar or café. However, regardless of the type of restaurant you run, the system will still work. In fact, it helps the restaurant staff to operate faster and more efficiently.

 

Staff members use the system to tack all their sales at the bar and with the servers. It is also a way for management to tell the make-up of their patrons. This information can be gleaned from the hostess station where patrons are booked and seated. In a pizza delivery restaurant, there is always a rush to fulfill orders. With this system, deliveries can be taken quickly and orders filled in less time.

 

This turnkey system helps club owners to run a smooth operation. It also allows restaurant owners to take orders on the Internet, manage and control their inventory and accept mobile table orders as well as payment. With all of these features, restaurants can see an increase in revenue, a cut in cost and a boost in their bottom line.

 

Configuration

 

When you decide to get a POS system, you should choose one that fits your restaurant style, especially if you have specific requirements and specialty items for your restaurant. The software can be configured to match your precise operation. You will be able to add the items available on your menu as well as prices and any other important information.

 

What to Expect

 

Not all POS systems are alike. Be sure to do your own research. Ask the salesperson for a demo so you can check it out for yourself before making the actual purchase. You need to ask as many questions as possible and make sure you explain the concept of your restaurant so that you will receive the best system that fits your operation. When selecting a system, look for price as well as quality. Terminals can run close to $5,000 for each station and the software can be $2,000 or more. If you choose add-on features, there will be an extra cost. Check for warranties, but there may also be an additional cost. Get different price quotes for installation, software, hardware and even system support.

point of sale systems

Why having the perfect PoS System for your restaurant makes transactions easier.


4 Things To Look For In A Good Point Of Sale System

A lot of American households like credit cards.  In fact, they like them so much that 47.6% of them carry a balance on credit cards, and according to a study released by the Federal Reserve in July of 2012 the average credit card balance was a whopping $15,325.  It’s painful to read the Fed’s statistics, but given the current economic climate it shouldn’t be all that surprising to realize that American family finances are hurting.  While some families have put the credit cards away, many still rely on them for every day purchases.

If you’re a small business owner, finding the best point of sale system is a big deal.  It can make a difference in the speed and accuracy in which transactions take place, and from a busy customer’s perspective both speed and accuracy are absolutely essential.  There are a lot of options available when it comes to purchasing a reliable point of sale system, so if you’re in the market for one you can take advantage of being in the driver’s seat.  Pinpoint what the needs of your business are and look for a system that will provide you with the best solution.  You may want to consider the following:

1.            What will you primarily use your POS system for?

 

Point of sale systems can be as simple as a single credit card terminal, or can include more complex hardware items like touchscreens, barcode printers, and PIN pads.  If you are a small operation, like a low volume quick service restaurant, for example, a single credit card terminal may provide you with all the options you need.  A high volume full-service restaurant, however, might benefit more from a point of sale system that includes a touchscreen.  The kind of system that would provide you with the best options for your business really depends on what kind of industry you are in.

 

2.            What kind of terminal options might be available?

 

There are lots of different kinds of point of sale systems that you can choose from.  It’s best to determine what your needs are and what you might be doing with the system before making a decision.  Here are a few options:

 

•             Cash box point of sale.  This is the most archaic of all point of sale systems.  It involves the use of a cash box and a book to write receipts in.  Ultra small businesses that have not yet embraced modern technology still use this kind of system today.

 

•             Mechanical point of sale register.  This system requires a cash register, but allows for subtotals and sales tax to be calculated within the register.  No separate calculations are required in order to process a sale.  The register can also calculate change and will print sales receipts.  This is also an example of a useful but archaic system.

 

•             Electronic point of sale register.  An electronic point of sale register is similar to a mechanical register with a single but important difference.  An electronic register can calculate subtotals, sales tax, change, and can print receipts, but it can also provide an employer with informative sales reports based on hourly, weekly, monthly, and yearly data.

 

•             Point of sale systems that are software based.  Some systems are software based enable more reporting options for the business owner.  Sales reports would be available but adding more complex variables can make the reporting more meaningful.  A quick service restaurant, for example, might be able to track which products are most popular by manipulating the report to include the most purchased items of the day.  A business owner could also generate a report to see what employee sold the most items during the course of a shift.

 

•             Point of sale systems that are web based.  This takes a software terminal up a notch.  It operates the same way a software based terminal would, but enables upgrades to software to occur at scheduled times.  It also enables more technical support options to the business owner.  The system may have a standard monthly fee associated with it, so do some investigatory work to make an informed decision before getting one.

 

•             Wireless point of sale system.  Wireless point of sale systems are web based terminals that enable the business owner to be mobile.  Vendors at county fairs and street locations might benefit from having mobility while accepting credit and debit card payments.  Many full-service restaurants also have wireless systems that allow staff members to process transactions table-side.

 

3.            Does a point of sale system have peripheral devices that are helpful?

 

To determine if PoS systems have helpful peripheral devices, it might pay to do some research and find the best point of sale system reviews to help in your investigation.  Some peripherals might include:

 

•             POS printers.  Some systems require a separate printer for the generation of receipts.  Many companies prefer using SureMark branded printers, but there are other options available as well.  A POS printer can be used by specialty shops, department stores, restaurants, and by other retail locations.

 

•             Flat panel displays.  A flat panel display is an attractive way for employees to gather all the information they need as they close sales.  Sometimes it’s necessary to have a full-screen that video displays data in a retail environment.

 

•             POS keyboards.  Usually these are not necessary in small retail shops, but department and specialty stores may benefit from having a sturdy keyboard.  It would enable them to enter inventory items into the system quickly.

 

•             Cash drawers.  In a retail environment it’s important to have a cash drawer that can withstand a solid beating.  Employees get in a hurry and can easily drop the unwieldy cash drawer.  If it’s not sturdy it can become damaged and even break.

 

4.            Is customer support available after purchasing a terminal?

 

A service plan would likely include a monthly fee, but in order to keep things running smoothly it might be worth it.  Oftentimes service would be available 24/7 and would enable replacement parts to be delivered overnight if needed.

Compare Before You Buy

Before settling on a system it would be worthwhile to engage in reading the best point of sale system comparisons.  Comparing systems would help you determine if you are getting the most out of your terminal or if there are other options that might be helpful for your business.

pos systems

Four key aspects to look for in a good pos system.

 

Conduct Business Outside Your Office

Over the last ten years we have seen technology advance from bare communications technologies to new strategies for handling all aspects of business from anywhere. For businesses of all sizes there are affordable and effective solutions for mobile computing and communications that every business owner and professional should be more than aware of. It is important for the modern day professional to be aware of the strategies and technologies commonly in use all around the world for conducting business when outside of the office.

 

Many professionals often utilize a computer as a part of their daily business. We check our email through our computer. All of our files are stored there to ensure that we have access to them. We take our calls at the desk and make sure we are on schedule. These are all things an astute professional is able to do from the comfort of their smart phone. Modern technologies have advanced to the point of being able to be entirely productive when you’re outside the confines of your office.

 

Accessing Your Files

 

There are a number of online services that provide businesses with the ability to access their files from anywhere. With the onset of remote control technologies there are software packages that allow businesses to securely access their computers from outside of their network. Most of these solutions involve installing a piece of software and accessing a website in order to obtain remote control over the computer. Many of these solutions also contain a mobile app allowing a savvy phone user to access their computer from remote.

 

There are, however, many alternatives to having to remote access a computer. There are a large number of competing online backup and cloud storage services that contain their own mobile apps giving you a wide range of features for accessing, editing, and creating your documents while you’re away from the office. Many of these services work regardless of what platform you’re using whether it is an Android phone, Windows phone, or another popular mobile device. Many of these solutions also work regardless of whether the user is on a 4G connection or using Wifi.

 

The greatest benefit from these types of services is being able to conduct business from any area where you have some form of Internet connection. With great power comes great responsibility, however. It is important to ensure the account credentials used to access these services are secure otherwise the files could be accessed by someone looking for stray information to sell to others. Often times users find their accounts illegally accessed when their passwords are not properly secured or they have their password written in a location where it is easily accessible.

 

Communicating With Your Team

 

Group communication is often a very important dynamic for any business regardless of size. While smart phones are built to communicate through cellular signals to make calls there are a large array of different ways to communicate with your team. Smart phones support a number of applications which either utilize popular VoIP services including Skype and Google Voice or access private phone networks allowing a smart phone user to be on their company’s phone system while they are on the go. Popular business VOIP services including Vonage now support smart phones being implemented within their phone systems.

 

Outside of phone conversations many users find email to be one of the most important features of a smart phone for business. Many businesses communicate often through email as they receive important announcements from their vendors and customers or requests from their team members. Most smart phone platforms support email accounts straight out of the box and do not require any special features to access an email account. In some cases there are third party email applications that can produce more advanced features for having a full email client within your smart phone.

 

Processing Payments

 

There are a number of solutions for handling payment processing on the go. Whether you’re a smart phone user or are looking for a mobile solution in the form of a point of sale solution there are a number of mobile credit card processing solutions that can help process the payment remotely and securely. Some of these solutions include the use of a mobile app while others require a mobile version of a piece of payment processing hardware.

 

At the end of the day smart phones are a smart investment for any business owner or professional. They contain a lot of features that are often not only helpful but essential to daily business. For those that are always on the go a smart phone is their best friend.

mobile credit card processing

Ways to conduct your business from outside your office.

Make More Money Using Point Of Sale Cash Registers

Every physical store needs a good cash register at the point of sale.  Cash registers facilitate transactions between the store and the customer.  They allow the store to collect money and make a profit.  For this reason, physical stores cannot function without an effective cash register.  In addition, the best point of sale cash registers allow stores to maximize the point of sale experience and make more money.

 

The Right Equipment

 

Keep in mind that there are several different options in terms of cash registers.  The best point of sale cash registers allow any store to process transactions quickly and accurately.  Therefore, stores need to prioritize the following with their cash register:

 

•             The cash register should be easy to use.

•             The cash register should work quickly.

•             The cash register should utilize up to date technology.

•             The cash register should be in good condition.

•             The cash register should be clean.

•             The cash register should not break down.

 

Many stores do not prioritize these features with their cash register.  For example, some stores utilize outdated technology.  Sometimes updating these systems can be costly.  However, it is a good investment in the long run that will speed up the transaction time and help increase sales.

 

Good Credit Card Reader And Scanner

 

In addition to the main equipment needed, a cash register should also come equipped with a good credit card reader and a decent scanner.  This may sound like a no-brainer.  Sadly, many stores have longer lines and dissatisfied customers because they are constantly keying in items that should be able to be swiped or scanned.  Imagine how much longer the average transaction takes when the credit card does not process and the scanner will not scan the merchandise.  This can easily be avoided with updated equipment that functions properly.

 

Back Up

 

Remember, that the machine is only half the battle when it comes to processing transactions.  The data recorded during the transaction is just as crucial.  This data allows the store to collect money from credit merchants, record data, and determine their sales performance.  Since this information is vital, every point of sale cashier register needs to have a back up system.  This system should protect the store from unplanned emergencies, including power outages and computer crashes.  Stores without a proper back up system are more likely to lose money if something goes wrong.  This is a risk that no store can afford.

 

Trained Cashiers

 

In addition, it is important that the cashier operating the cash register understands how to operate the equipment at the point of sale.  For this reason, many stores require cashiers to spend time training before they use the cash register with a customer.  This training minimizes errors.  It also allows the cashier to be more effective and timely when they start on the register.   Proper cash register training should be conducted when the store is closed to minimize distractions.  During this time, employees should be able to ask questions and receive all the training necessary to succeed on the cash register.

 

Interactive Point Of Sale System

 

Furthermore, many stores are taking advantage of interactive point of sale systems that work with the customer and the cashier at the same time.  For example, many stores have screens visible to the customer to help them understand what they are paying for.  Other stores allow the customer to charge their own credit card during the point of sale.  These functions eliminate some of the cashier’s duties, and allow them to focus primarily on ringing.  Accuracy is enhanced with this interactive point of sale because the cashier is less likely to be distracted by customer questions.  Furthermore, the customer leaves satisfied.  They tend to have fewer questions and are less likely to complain.  These benefits result in loyal customers, and they have a positive influence on sales.

 

Multiple Cash Registers

 

In addition to interactive point of sale cash registers, many stores also provide multiple cash registers to process transaction.  The best integrate point of sale cash registers cater to the various needs of customers.  If the store wants to decrease wait time to facilitate the needs of their impatient customers, they may provide multiple checkout locations.  Some stores also include a variety of check out options.  The cashier can check out customers at the point of sale area.  The customer can process his or her own transaction using a designated self-checkout area.  In addition, many stores are now using smart phones to process transactions anywhere in the store.  These options are greatly beneficial to the sales experience.

 

Accept All Credit Cards

 

At the cash register, the cashier spends the majority of time processing credit cards.  Therefore, the most effective stores accept all major forms of credit cards at the point of sale.  Customers like to be able to pay their own way.  Many stores lose out of sales when they do not provide this luxury to the customer.  Accepting all forms of credit cards (even if they require higher fees) is the best option to maximize sales at the cash register.

 

Customer Database

 

Smart stores also use their cash registers for more than just the transaction process.  In fact, many stores use the cash register to capture pertinent customer data.  Salespeople can use this data to increase their sales.  When they understand what a customer purchases, they are more likely to suggest the right additional items to a customer.  Customer databases are also helpful to the marketing department.  Stores can understand what sales work, what products sale the best, and who to target for various specials.   Furthermore, customer databases can be used for customer loyalty programs.  These programs create customer satisfaction and often provide discounts to VIP customers.  Research indicates that they have a positive influence on sales as well.

 

Many stores overlook the critical role that the pos system plays in the sales process.  In doing so, they miss out on potential sales that can be generated from maximizing the point of sale experience at the cash register.  Stores everywhere (no matter how small or how large) can benefit from making the cash register a priority in terms of customer satisfaction and sales.

pos system

The benefits to using point of sale cash registers

How To Choose the Right Online Payment Solution

Online businesses have become very popular and successful lately, so if you have decided to try your hand at your own online business you have probably made a wise decision. Starting up your own online business takes a lot of work, but the payoff can be well worth the time, effort, and money that you put into it. One of the most important decisions that you will make in regard to your online business is the type of payment processing services that you will use on your website. The type of payment processing that you choose will largely determine whether your customers have an easy time purchasing items on your website or whether they will have a difficult time purchasing from your website. To make sure that your payment processing system is as user-friendly as possible, consider following this helpful advice.

 

Consider what you are selling

 

When you are choosing which payment processing companies to hire for your online business needs, you first need to consider what you are selling. For example, are you planning to sell to individual clients or are you trying to sell goods or services that are targeted at groups? Are you re-selling items that you have purchased at a cheaper price or are you selling a self-published book? Are you selling a one-time service or do you want to sell a subscription or membership? The more you understand about the nature of the products and/or services that you want to sell, the easier it will be for you to choose payment processing companies that can help service your unique website purchasing needs.

 

Basic types of sales

 

When you are choosing payment processing services, you should consider the basic type of sales that you will be conducting so that you can set up your payment processing system correctly. Some of the basic types of sales and the corresponding payment processing setups include:

 

•             Multiple items or services at a time (shopping cart)

•             One-time purchase (“purchase now” or “buy now” button)

•             Regular automatic billing (subscription)

•             Formal requests for payment (Invoice)

 

If you aren’t sure what type of payment processing services would be ideal for the goods, services, or subscriptions that you are selling, simply consult with the best payment processing companies about the type of setup they would recommend for your particular website.

 

How will you deliver your goods or services?

 

Before you can choose the ideal payment processing services for your website, you need to carefully consider how you will deliver the goods and services that you are selling on your website. This is especially important if you are planning to ship physical products from your location to the location of the buyer. Since you most likely use a fulfillment house to help you prepare and ship your customer orders, you will need to set up a payment processing system that will alert your fulfillment center of each newly-placed order and provide them with the information that they need in order to prepare and ship out the products.

 

If you are selling an electronic product instead of a physical product then you will need to choose a payment processing service that will take the customer’s payment and distribute the product automatically. One of the most convenient ways to set up such a system is to purchase a payment processing service that can handle secure downloads, or you can purchase a payment processing service that you can hook up to an auto-responder that will send the purchaser a link to their purchased product via email.

 

If you are selling a service rather than a physical or electronic product, then you will need to set up a payment processing system that will notify you when a service is purchased so that you can begin your process for providing the purchased service.

 

What type of sales volume do you expect?

 

When setting up a payment processing system, you need to estimate the volume of sales that you expect to receive. Some credit card processing companies will offer you better rates for higher volumes of sales, so if you think your website will sell a high volume of goods or services, you may be able to take advantage of these better rates.

 

Additionally, if you plan to sell only one type of product, you could potentially save money if you purchase payment processing services that deal solely with that type of product rather than purchasing a system that is able to handle many different types of product purchases. For example, if you plan to sell mainly tickets to events on your website, it will probably be more cost-effective to purchase a payment processing system that is solely designed for ticket sales.

 

If you offer just one or two products, then your payment processing system will be different than if you offer dozens of products.

 

What is your large-scale marketing plan?

 

While it can be difficult to figure out your large-scale marketing plan when you are just starting a brand new business, it is important to plan for the future when you are choosing payment processing services. If you plan to be the only person to sell products on your website, then your system can be fairly simple. However, if you plan to have affiliates sell your products and services as well, then you will need a more sophisticated shopping cart system that will track all of the sales from affiliates. If you aren’t sure which payment processing setup will best meet your needs, talk to your payment processing providers and ask them for their advice on the ideal payment setup for your complicated business needs.

 

Action steps for setting up the best payment processing system

 

If you want to make sure that you purchase the best payment processing services, follow these action steps:

 

•             Make a detailed list of the services and/or products that you plan to sell on your website, and how you will distribute each of them.

•             Ask your fulfillment center (if you have one) which payment processing setup will best facilitate their fulfillment process.

•             Estimate the total amount of sales that you will receive each month via your website, and try to find a payment processing system that will support your estimated sales numbers.

 

Accepting payments online can be a very easy, convenient, and quick way to sell goods or services as long as you purchase the right payment processing system.

credit card processing

Figure out how to choose the right online payment solutions.