The article content is provided with our sponsor, Bank of America Merchant Services.
While you, as a burgeoning entrepreneur, might not consider your choice of a point-of-sale system to be a pivotal one, that decision may have far-reaching effects on your business’s profitability and security. Here’s a look at the must-have features a small business owner should look for when choosing a POS system.
The System Should Be Easy To Use
When selecting a POS system, consider which one would work best for your business and industry. A gourmet food truck operator who may largely deal with cash transactions may naturally need a different POS system than the owner of a coffee shop. However, both of those businesses would benefit from a system that’s easy to use. Ease of use is important for two reasons: learning how to operate a complex system will make employee training a hassle, and a more elaborate, modular system will be more difficult to troubleshoot than one that utilizes an all-in-one setup. One recent retailer poll found that 48 percent1 of consumers will abandon a transaction if they have to wait more than 15 minutes in line, so maintaining a swift speed of service is very important.
The System Should Be Versatile
Business owners should also select a POS system that accepts a variety of different payment types, which is important for a few different reasons. Primarily, you don’t want to place any obstacles on the path between intent to purchase and completion of a transaction. Additionally, the rapid growth in the volume of non-cash transactions worldwide –a record 389.7 billion2 cashless transactions were conducted in 2014 – indicates that conscientious small business owners should invest in a POS system that helps them stay competitive in today’s increasingly technology-driven marketplace. A consumer who is unable to use their preferred payment method, such as a digital wallet system, might choose to shop with a competitor in the future for the sake of convenience.
The System Should Be Secure
Bank of America Merchant Services Senior Vice President of Industry Solutions and Platforms Derrick Carpenter also notes that a POS system that features cloud integration would offer enhanced security and business management. “Merchants who are looking for POS systems that provide both convenience and security should be looking for a cloud-based POS. Picking a device that ensures consumer data is stored and managed securely3 is very important, so make sure the POS you look to purchase has tokenization and encryption as a part of the solution. A good example of these types of solutions is the complete line of Clover® devices, which includes POS solutions for the just-starting-out micro merchant, the merchant on the go (mobile), and the more complex business that needs additional services.”
The System Should Be EMV®5 Compliant
Effective in October 2015, the major card brands implemented a rule change in which a liability shift occurred which is intended to prompt all merchants and financial institutions to adopt the EMV standard6 that has been in use in most of the world for years now. The EMV standard requires for the use of payment cards that are embedded with a computer chip that generates an encrypted code for every transaction that a cardholder makes, making the cards virtually impossible to counterfeit. Now, when an instance of payment card counterfeit fraud occurs, the financial institution that failed to issue an EMV chip card or the merchants who did not have a chip card reader enabled will be held liable for the fraudulent transaction. In order to help protect your business against liability for counterfeit card transactions, which totaled $16 billion7 in the US in 2014, you should consider investing in a POS system that is EMV compliant.
1 “How Long Will Customers Wait For Service?,” Business 2 Community. [http://www.business2community.com/customer-experience/how-long-will-customers-wait-for-service-0413443#j77xu7YvFcBXfRsf.97]
2 “Card Payments Cut Into Cash- What Who’s Leading?,” PYMNTS. [http://www.pymnts.com/news/2015/card-payments-cut-into-cash-but-whos-leading/]
3 “As Online Data Theft Escalates, Banks Look to Retailers To Bear The Losses,” The New York Times. [http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/29/business/as-online-data-theft-escalates-banks-look-to-retailers-to-bear-the-losses.html?_r=2]
4 “Clover® Station,” Bank of America Merchant Services. [https://merch.bankofamerica.com/cloverdetailspage]
5 EMV is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries, and an unregistered trademark elsewhere. EMV® is a registered trademark owned by EMVCo LLC.
6 “Tech Talk: How Does EMV® Work,” CBS Pulse. [http://cbspulse.com/2016/01/25/tech-talk-how-emv-works/]
7 “Credit Card Fraud And ID Theft Statistics,” Credit Cards.com. [http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-security-id-theft-fraud-statistics-1276.php]
This article was written by Mario McKellop for Small Business Pulse