When you’re a customer, you don’t think much about Point of sale (POS). It’s just something you use to swipe your card and get a receipt. But when you’re stocking your business, the right POS can make all the difference. You have to consider its initial cost, its maintenance expenses, its security requirements, its speed, and its efficiency for its purpose.
You also have to think about the software that comes with it. Some people buy the POS first and then link it to their payment system. It’s often a smarter plan to hire a payment processor with pre-programmed hardware that is compatible with all your needs. It’s smoother, more convenient, and often cheaper, because these kinds of merchant processors frequently offer POS tools as a free bonus when you open your account with them.
Stationary vs portable
Depending on the nature of your business, you can have self-service counters, dedicated service staff, or a mixture of both. Grocery stores or retail shops sometimes have a self-checkout line where customers can swipe their cards or wave their mobile payment systems before packing their own purchases. A stationary till with an attached electronic keypad, card slot, or no-contact card reader works well in such cases.
At the other end of the spectrum, if your business requires direct customer engagement such as a clothing shop, book store, or eatery, then customers may prefer the personal touch, so issue your shop floor attendants or service staff with portable card readers that they can bring to the customer. Similarly, pizza delivery guys or cargo trucks should use portables.
Digital vs analog
Delivery personnel and on-site businesses like plumbers, electricians, or landscapers often have their hands full. They’re ferrying cargo and tools, which can get quite bulky. On top of that, they need to carry a portable card reader that is sometimes cumbersome but essential. So, a better point of sale machine for them may be a mobile app installed onto their phones.
Mobile apps are often offered at no extra charge if your merchant processor has them, and you don’t need to buy extra phones for your staff. Just use theirs.
Virtual vs visual
For businesses that serve customers in person, credit card POS terminal choices include virtual terminals, card readers, and mobile apps. If you operate an online store, you need an online checkout system where customers can input their card details directly onto your website, or, if you prefer, your customers can be redirected to your payment processor’s website. Either way, ensure that verification is instant, that your online store is securely encrypted, and that your virtual shopping cart is compatible with the rest of your website.
For more information on the best POS for your business, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.