When it comes to using a merchant account with your business, there are a few equipment options that you can choose from. Two of the most popular choices are a POS system and a payment terminal.
What is a POS System?
A POS system can be composed of many parts. However, at its most basic, it is a screen like you see at the grocery store checkout with a scanner and a receipt printer attached. Normally, POS systems also have a cash drawer that is controlled by the software itself as well as a credit card swipe tool.
What is a Payment Terminal?
Payment Terminals are credit card readers that can process a sale. Typically speaking, when you process a sale using a payment terminal, you will be using a card swipe machine that is connected to the Internet or to a dedicated phone line so that it can send the data along.
Benefits of POS Systems:
Most POS systems have the capability of allowing you to accept gift cards and alternate forms of payment in addition to cash and credit/debit cards. Because you have these options, you can tailor the POS settings to match the requirements of your particular store.
Another feature of POS systems is that their software is often extended by their manufacturer until they are completely customized for certain industries. If you want an art gallery POS, for example, you can often find a customized POS for your business. The benefit of using a customized POS is that they make it easier to do your business because it matches what you already do.
Benefits of Payment Terminals:
Payment terminals are often looked upon as solid pieces of business equipment that won’t let you down. Their simplicity makes them an easy tool to use. It also means that you can avoid a number of traps that can create a situation where employees or contractors or thieves might be able to figure out a sophisticated way to skim money from your sales.
When using payment terminals, you can change your overall program settings from a secure website at a different location and then have all users just use the features that you have selected.
Which system is right for you?
If you are a company that has several transactions a day that are dissimilar in nature, you will likely want to go with a POS because it can contain a massive list of inventory that can be called up instantly and turned into a sale.
Think about going to an auto parts store. When you go, there are a lot of different parts. When you buy something, however, they normally ring it up instantly with their POS, processing your sale. You probably wouldn’t want a payment terminal only for an auto parts store unless you were only doing several sales a day.
If you have a business that is retail clothing or a restaurant, you might look at using a payment terminal because your goods will be somewhat similar, making it easy to eliminate price types and just focus on swiping a card when someone comes in. At restaurants, you can often swipe the card and get a pre-approval so that the customer can just add the tip to the sale when they are finished. Sales offices for services like health care, insurance and accounting might also do better with a payment terminal because they can offer to take credit cards as payment.
Both POS and payment terminals are integral parts of businesses of any size. If you plan on getting a merchant account in the near future, one thing you might consider is to look at what would be more efficient for you. If a seamless check-out stand experience is better, look at POS systems- otherwise, consider payment terminals.
Find the right system for you
At Authorized Credit Card Systems, we are here to help you find the system to best fit your needs. We do not push certain brands or services, our only push is to find what works the best for your business. Contact us today to learn more about our systems and prepare your business for success.