Many retailers continue to use old payment systems and outdated technology – legacy systems – because they are hesitant to take on the unknowns of a new payment platform. One of the major downsides to sticking with these traditional systems is the negative impact they can have on your business’s bottom line.
For instance, if the hardware or software needs regular maintenance, these costs can add up. There is also the issue of security. When a system enters the legacy territory, companies stop supporting and updating them. This puts retailers at a higher risk for costly and disastrous data breaches.
Despite these impacts, many retailers are still reluctant to transition over to a new payment system. However, investing in new payment technology can pay immediate dividends by helping you grow revenues, improve your decision-making and increase your competitive edge. If your current payment system does not include the four key components listed below, it’s time to upgrade your payment platform to help your business thrive.
Mobile card reader
An updated payment system with a mobile card reader is a must if your business is often on the go with pop-up stores, trade shows, conventions or festivals. With nothing more than your mobile phone and a card reader, you can provide your customers with a fast, seamless payment experience anywhere, anytime.
As you consider moving to a payment system with the ability to add a mobile card reader, look for the following features:
- Mobile apps for iOS and Android that allow you to accept, track and manage payments easily from your phone
- Ability to accept both EMV cards and NFC payment
- Multiple connection options – 3G and Wi-Fi – to guard against poor connectivity and technical issues
- Communication features such as the ability to email customers their receipt
Chip card acceptance in an EMV reader
If your current payment system cannot accept chip cards in an EMV reader, it’s time to update to a system with this capability to protect your business from fraud liability and your customers from credit card fraud.
To begin accepting chip cards, you will need to replace your current terminals and mobile readers for EMV terminals and EMV readers. These payment systems allow your customers to “dip” their credit card into your terminal (rather than swiping) so the chip in their card can pass along the encrypted information necessary for processing the transaction. The majority of EMV-compatible equipment also allows for contactless payments like Apple Pay for an extremely convenient, fast and straightforward checkout process.
Inventory Monitoring and Syncing
If you are spending more time managing inventory rather than focusing on your business, it’s time to update your payment system.
Managing inventory is a challenge for many retailers today but is of critical importance for business efficiency. Updating your payment platform to a system that allows you to monitor inventory digitally and sync inventory between your selling channels (i.e., brick and mortar store space, a pop-up shop and eCommerce channels) will help eliminate the risk of overstocking or understocking. Both are not only inefficient to your operations but also have significant implications on the overall profitability of your business.
To address these inventory monitoring and tracking issues, look for a payment solution with inventory management functionality that provides detailed customer inventory reports and links your sales activity to your inventory numbers, ensuring you always have enough supply for your demand.
Another clear indication that it is time to move to an updated payment system is if you are continuing to use a legacy system that doesn’t provide real-time data and analytics.
Staying on top of your records and payments is a cornerstone of managing your business. With an updated payment system, you can use an online dashboard to monitor the state of your business and track your transactions in real-time.
When evaluating the data management tools of payment systems, look for a system that can provide:
- Detailed data and analytics reports presented in one dashboard
- Summary data that allows you to see gross and net sales, along with your total refunds in one simple chart
- Heatmaps based on sales, so you can easily plan product promotions and staffing schedules
- Combined location data to help you focus your efforts
- Seamless integration with other business software, such as QuickBooks Online
If your business is using an outdated legacy payment system, it is time to consider updating to a payments platform that provides key functionality including inventory management, business analytics, mobile credit card processing and EMV capability.