When starting a business, getting paid is often the priority. But you may get stuck on exactly how you’ll receive customer payments. At first, the most obvious options might be cash or check. This means you might benefit from some kind of cash register, and a system for verifying ID when customers pay by check.
Your system needs to be subtle, to avoid offending said customers. At the same time, it needs to be efficient, or you’ll spend three days a week chasing claims that ‘the check’s in the mail’.
Fortunately, credit cards can solve all of these issues. Credit cards are quick, convenient, low-fuss, low-cost, and the majority of customers prefer them. When a customer swipes their card, the sale is verified instantly, as the bank confirms whether they have sufficient funds to pay for their purchase. If not, the payment will be rejected on the spot, so you can find an alternative payment method for your customer.
Getting down to POS
When paying in person, customers generally pay using a credit card via a POS (Point of Sale) terminal. Options can include cash registers with a credit card swiper, portable electronic keypads, digital shopping carts on your website, and smartphone apps. These are all available at no additional cost if you sign up with the right merchant processor, so how do you decide which choice is best for you?
If you have a physical store, clients probably line up at the counter to pay for their purchases. In this case, a cash register works best. It keeps cash secure, and has a handy credit card device that’s conveniently positioned. They work both for cashier-check-out and self-check-out scenarios. They can also theoretically work at pop-up stores, though they are heavy and cumbersome to transport.
Physical vs virtual
Pop up stores and other merchants on the go may want something lighter, that’s easy to set up and take down every day. For outdoor festivals, periodic fairs, or open air stores, a mobile electronic keypad may work better. It’s still somewhat bulky, but it’s lighter than a cash register. It’s a small device where customers can slip in their credit cards.
This works in situations where you have to go to your customers, whether it’s a delivery at their door, or a waiter walking to their table. The final POS option can be the most convenient – a smartphone app. This often comes with a removable dongle you can attach via USB.
You plug it into your phone and launch the app, and customers can slip in their cards to make a payment. And all these POS options are available at no additional charge if you sign up with the right merchant account provider.
For more information on choosing the right POS for your business, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.