Gone are the days when individuals always carried cash in their wallets. The dynamic transformation from a cash-based neighborhood store to a digitized shop has taken the center stage for digital payments. When consumers prefer digital payments, merchants need to find ways to accept such modes of payment. From providing flexible payment options to customers to helping one upsell via EMI, POS is a handy end-to-end tool for payment acceptance.
Interestingly, there are several benefits of POS machines that every retailer needs to know – flexible payment options resulting in higher sales, streamlined payment processes, a perfect customer experience, reduced pressure on the cashier, lesser cash handling, and opportunities to upsell via EMI. It is also important to note that not all POS machines are equipped with end-to-end services. That makes it imperative to talk about the importance of buying the right POS machine.
For instance, if you buy a device, which does not accept American Express cards and your customer only has an American Express card, you lose out on a potential sale
So, how do you identify the right POS machine?
Here are some important things to keep in mind while purchasing a POS device:
A Device That Meets Business Needs - Today, POS machines have evolved from traditional, bulky, wired GPRS machines to sleek, light, and faster models like mobile POS, and Android POS. The new devices work via Bluetooth and /or Wi-Fi connectivity. There are various types of devices available that you can choose based on your specific payment needs.
To accept payments anywhere, for eg, at a customer’s doorstep, the device must be lightweight enough for the delivery boy to carry in his pocket and must also have a SIM slot with which he can easily connect to the internet to complete the payment transaction.
Types of Payments Accepted - A good POS machine should accept all forms of payments be it via magnetic stripe cards, chip cards (contactless/ NFC payments), QR codes, and even SMS. Hence, when a retailer is in search of the right POS machine, one must ensure it is upgraded with the latest technology to accept all forms of payments including contactless and QR code payments. It should also be equipped to accept payment modes that may come in the future. The flexibility of payment options will be of great help, especially in the wake of the current pandemic.
Technology - The benefits of having state-of-the-art technology need no emphasis. Businesses today have been embracing the power of the Android platform on mPOS devices. This enables merchants to empower their business, with features such as:
a) Reporting to track business transactions
b) Rewards to help boost sales
c) Khaata to maintain credit sales of customers digitally
d) Procurement to handle demand-supply efficiently
e) Inventory to have control over SKUs management
f) Invoicing and billing to provide digital invoices
g) Vernacular support to make the app and system available to various types of users
A partner who can do all this is imperative while choosing the right payment solution.
Security - While purchasing a card swiping machine, you must focus on security because you cannot compromise with your customers’ data. Make sure that the swiping machine encrypts transaction details, and choose a device that is either PCI and/or EMV compliant.
Connectivity - Connectivity is another important factor you must consider if you want to deliver a superior customer experience. A device with multiple connectivity options via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or 2G/3G/4G makes transactions easy and quick. The device should be such that it works seamlessly in your specific environment, be it at the shop or branch or at the customer's doorstep.
Mobility - Some devices are so bulky that it is nearly impractical to carry them around. A GPRS terminal limits your mobility due to the need for a wired connection and its bulkiness. Smart Android machines are perfect for in-store queue busting experiences, as you can accept payments anywhere. Similarly, mPOS machines are lightweight and offer flexible payment options. Thus, you can carry them around giving your customers the convenience of paying via card at the doorstep.
Ability to Print and/ or Send Digital/ E-receipts - Once a transaction is complete, your customer must be offered a copy of the receipt. Traditionally, only the print option was available, and saving paper receipts became a challenge. So to be more environment-friendly, you could now choose devices that offer digital charge slips. Paper receipts require a record of every transaction which is meant for future reference. Whereas a digital record is secure, unerasable, and saves the headache of keeping paper slips, and also helps you receive instant feedback from customers.
Should Accept All Bank/ Network Cards - Before you invest in a swiping machine, you must ensure it accepts a wide range of cards. It is pointless to buy a POS machine that restricts your payment acceptance from only one or two banks/networks. It is imperative that you provide your customers with the best payment experience. It is thus ideal that your swiping machine processes payments with Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and RuPay cards.
Option of EMI at POS - If you are in the business of selling high-priced products like luxury fashion, automobiles, etc, having a simplified affordability solution is paramount. Today, POS devices come equipped with EMI solutions, which allow you to convert any transaction into instant EMI via banks, brand offers, and NBFCs. To add to that, being able to offer instant EMI at the customer’s doorstep is like a cherry on the cake.
Integrated POS Devices - Earlier, wired solutions ruled the market, but that led to long queues at the billing counter. Thus, new queue busting solutions have been devised, which are lightweight, sleek, and Bluetooth-enabled. They are easy to carry across the store or for delivery. To keep a record of every transaction, the POS now comes integrated with multiple features. If you have a business with high queue-build-up affecting the efficiency at billing counters, you must look for an integrated POS solution.
There are several POS device options available in the market. However, which swipe machine fits your needs depends on the nature of your business and the features of the machine. The aforementioned points are some critical variables you can consider while buying a POS machine.