Author: Cory Mann, Managing Director, Enterprise Banking
As technology evolves and payment processing becomes simpler, faster and more efficient, how your business facilitates payments may become a critical factor in your success.
Today, card payments are far more likely than cash transactions, with 80% of consumers preferring to use debit or credit cards at the point of sale. There are many reasons for the changing preferences. Some consumers prefer the security of card payments over carrying cash. Others feel it saves time to tap or swipe a card when making a purchase.
Even B2B businesses are moving into card territory, swapping out checks with credit card payments. A survey conducted by AFP revealed that 60% of businesses are switching from checks to electronic payment methods, including cards.
Fortunately, business point-of-sale (POS) systems have evolved significantly to accommodate the multiple preferences associated with both B2B and B2C transactions. Many have transformed from simple card payment capture devices into complete business management hubs.
Today’s POS system may easily integrate with existing software and offer additional capabilities, such as inventory management or tools for managing cash flow, to name a few. Here are some tips for selecting the best system for your business.
Whether you are looking to accept payments from consumers or you need a solution to process payments from vendors or suppliers, there are a few things to consider before selecting a POS solution. The first is how your business operates.
For example, if you offer products through online channels, such as a website or marketplace, your POS solution will need to integrate with your digital sales avenues to accurately track and manage sales. If your business is primarily dependent on in-store purchases, you’ll also want to think about the check-out process.
Can your staff easily look up items and determine pricing? Likewise, are customers able to easily submit signatures for credit card transactions? Also consider whether the system can accommodate multiple payment and card types, such as chip enabled or tap-to-pay.
Of equal importance is staff productivity. A restaurant, for example, may benefit from a mobile handheld unit with built-in receipt printer to accept card payments on the go. A retail store with limited space will also be looking for a smaller unit.
When considering a POS solution, it’s important to look beyond the moment of payment as well. Think about how you market to your customers. Today’s advanced systems may be able to capture details, such as email addresses, that could be used to further your marketing and customer acquisition efforts.
Also, don’t forget about how you use your sales data to inform business decisions, such as which products to carry or where to purchase. A robust POS system can provide detailed reports on sales, costs and other metrics to simplify inventory management.
Last, think about the safety and long-term use of your system. Protecting customer data and payment details from theft or fraud should be one of your top priorities, so look for a PCI-certified system that offers multi-layered security. Available 24-hour customer support is another essential.
Incorporating a POS solution into your business is a simple process and one that can quickly offer a return on your investment. In addition to simplifying payments, today’s systems can help businesses improve internal efficiencies and shave costs.
B2B businesses can benefit from capabilities such as customer invoicing, robust reporting, and integrations with accounting systems. Making credit cards a preferred payment method also helps B2B businesses get paid faster than they would through check payments.
Businesses relying on consumer sales will also appreciate the enhanced capabilities of the right POS solution, including the ability to take payments and track sales as well as tools and insights to help you capture added efficiency from your business.
In today’s business environment, the right point of sale solution is a critical tool in handling payments and one that can help manage profitability for stronger outcomes.
Learn more about FNBO’s merchant services solutions that offer flexible POS and ecommerce solutions that scale to your business needs.
About the Author
Cory Mann is Managing Director of Enterprise Banking at FNBO, responsible for the strategy, operations, service and technology of the bank’s merchant services division. He understands that the merchant services business is complex and constantly evolving, so he focuses on delivering expert guidance aimed at helping businesses engagement their customers and grow.