Article | March 24, 2022
Not all credit card processing companies are created equal. Direct Processing Network gives your business access to an innovative global gateway processing solution for virtually any kind of card not present business, such as hotels, hospitality, cruising companies, ecommerce travel websites, and tourism agencies.
What does this mean for your business? Our gateway processing solution will help you grow your geographic reach by allowing your business to cross borders with ease.
You may be wondering, what exactly is a payment gateway? Simply put, a payment gateway is an e-commerce application service provided by credit card processing companies that enables card not present businesses to accept payments online. We make it easy for your customers to pay for their excursions, make reservations, or place an order on your ecommerce site.
While most credit card processing companies only have the ability to provide gateway processing in the United States or Canada, Direct Processing Network’s global payment processing solution allows your business expand its global footprint by connecting with consumers worldwide. With the ability to accept 150+ currencies, and over 530 local and alternative payment methods, anyone anywhere could be a potential customer! You’ll be able to convert more sales by offering them the convenience of an easy and customized checkout experience in their local language, where they can pay in their local currency.
Accept credit and debit cards, mobile payments, eWallets, bank transfer, prepaid and cash vouchers. Our innovative payment platform supports global pay-ins and pay-outs in all major currencies, enabling you to split, transfer, hold, and settle funds according to your unique business model.
The best part is that you can manage all global payment options through one simple integration. Streamline payment reconciliation and deep-dive into analytics to obtain higher approvals and revenues. By uniting payment consulting and payment technology, we help you optimize operating costs, increase acceptance rates and extract more revenue out of each transaction.
Article | March 23, 2022
How much does it cost to install a point of sale (POS) system?
It’s a question that we get all the time and the answer might surprise you.
If you’re trying to grow a retail small business, you probably don’t have all the money and resources in the world to commit to an expensive retail POS system.
Moreover, finding the best retail POS system for your growing small business is easier said than done, especially if you don’t know what features to prioritize in your search.
So, what’s the good news? Finding the right POS system for your business is as easy as 1-2-3 and installing a POS system is actually quite affordable!
How Much Does it Cost to Install a POS System?
The short answer: it depends and varies by POS type and by vendor. We've seen POS installation costs range from $0-$700. Installation costs come on top of the upfront hardware costs (up to $1,600), monthly software fees (anywhere from $9-299 per month) and payment processing fees.
When it's all said and done, your total cost of ownership for year one can range from $1,200-$6,500. Controlling POS installation costs is key in minimizing first-year total ownership cost.
There are two types of costs to consider related to installing a POS system: time costs and financial costs. The most significant delays come when the POS system isn’t pre-configured for your unique business. In this scenario, you may spend a considerable amount of time aligning the system with your sales processes.
Additionally, if your inventory management, employee payroll, and other tools are built inside separate programs, you may need to spend time integrating and combing these systems, thus increasing POS installation costs.
Finally, if the provider doesn’t offer online software guides or tutorials, you may spend your time figuring out features and functionality on your own. Without these helpful resources, you’ll spend a considerable amount of time fumbling through the system. No one has time for that!
These time costs tie directly into financial costs. Instead of spending time installing a POS system yourself, you could be spending that time ringing in sales!
Here are some of the other things that influence POS system installation costs.
Number of Stations
If your POS system isn’t pre-configured so that you can “plug and play,” you’re most likely going to require an on-site technician to install your POS. Often, the total number of stations influences total installation cost. The more stations you have, the more time the technician has to spend installing them, and the higher your installation costs will be.
Type of Software/Hardware
This is another downfall of not purchasing an all-in-one retail POS system that comes pre-configured. Some software and hardware come with additional installation costs because they require more time for your on-site technician to complete.
These costs can also be looked at from the type of POS system you purchase: on-site, cloud-based, or hybrid.
On-site POS systems typically take the most effort to install, meaning a higher financial cost. Cloud-based and hybrid POS systems are easier to install, but installation time is dictated by whether the software and hardware is pre-configured or not.
Many advanced POS system features may require additional time and additional cost for a technician to install.
iPads or other mobile devices for staff to use when serving customers
Handheld scanners for inventory
Payment hardware and their corresponding security systems or software
Data or product migrations from your previous POS system
Number of Users
Certain POS providers price their system based on the number of users. This can also affect install costs. If you require an on-site technician and/or you don’t have access to a tutorial for adding users to the system, the technician will most likely have to do that for you. Again, this means more time spent installing your POS system, increasing the total installation cost.
Some POS providers will wrap POS system training into installation costs. This will require an investment of time from key stakeholders, including management and employees.
Some POS providers will also charge you for additional training outside of the initial training session. If they don’t have online training resources, this means every new employee will either need to be trained by the provider (costing you money) or trained by you or another staff member (costing you time).
POS Nation Reduces the Cost of Installing a POS System
With a POS Nationall-in-one retail POS system, setting up your hardware is easier than you’d think. The benefit of purchasing a full point of sale system from us is that it’s a plug-and-play solution. Take it out of the box, plug everything in, and it’s ready to go! Our team of technicians pre-configures your hardware so you don't have to worry about any installations when it arrives. Most of our advanced features are baked right into the software. There are some that cost extra, but most are pre-installed, making us a more powerful and affordable solution.
Additionally, you are assigned a customer success manager. Their goal is to help you get up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible. They will schedule a hardware setup appointment with you. During this call, they will assist you with:
Remote hardware setup
A test transaction on the pinpad
Any basic training they can cover during the appointment time
They will book as many training sessions as you need to solidify your understanding of the software and its many functionalities.
Article | March 22, 2022
For any type or size of merchant, the point of sale (POS) is by definition a mission-critical system. In addition to being a basic tool for retail and companies to conduct business, today’s point of sale systems can also be profitably tied in with key operational solutions, such as inventory management, labor scheduling, and customer marketing.
Here’s How to Choose a POS System for Your Unique Business
Before we dive into how to choose a POS system, let’s look at why you need one in the first place.
A POS system does more than transactions. It's the beating heart of your store's operations, from inventory management and loss prevention to employee management, AR/AP tracking and more.
Small businesses of all types and across industries use POS systems:
Retail and consumer good stores
Liquor stores (within grocery stores and standalone wine & spirits stores
Tobacco stores and smoke shops
Grocery stores and markets
Lawn & garden centers
But different types of businesses have different POS system needs. POS systems’ importance makes selecting the one that’s right for your business a challenge.
Here are seven tips to help formulate the right questions to ask POS vendors as you narrow down your options.
Answer these 5 questions before you research POS systems
What features does your current POS system lack or do poorly?
This will help you prioritize your POS needs and ensure current pain points are addressed with your new POS system.
What type of POS hardware will you need?
From touchscreen monitors and cash drawers to receipt printers and pinpads, determining your POS hardware needs helps you know what to look for and get cost estimates from POS vendors.
What POS software, apps, and integrations will you need?
Your POS software is the brains of the operation. Be sure to identify specific functionality and app integrations needed.
What does your business growth plan look like?
This is an important one. You want a POS system that can scale with you as you grow. The last thing you need is to replace your POS system again because you've outgrown it.
What is your budget?
Every POS vendor you talk to will ask this question, so it's best to prepare for it. If you don't have a number in mind, you can use our Build & Price Tool to create your ideal POS system and see what it would cost.
Choose a POS system that makes checkout a breeze
Is your checkout process simple and easy for customers, or do you find that long lines and slow checkout speeds are holding you back?
You need to maximize the checkout space for an optimal customer experience. POS systems with a minimal footprint keep things simple for your employees, and can even allow you to have multiple registers to service customers.
The pace of transactions is a key factor as well. Employees must be able to quickly scan products or use smart, intuitive product lookup or keyed entries to minimize wait time. You can even use mobile devices connected to your POS system to augment your checkout capabilities.
Consider your inventory management needs
One of the biggest benefits of POS systems is their ability to automatically deduct sold items from inventory, making key measurements such as inventory on hand and item-by-item sales data far more accurate. However, if your business operates with a limited, relatively uncomplicated inventory – e.g. just a few hundred SKUs with little variation in size, style, or color – choosing a POS system with advanced inventory management capabilities will be a wasted investment.
Key questions to ask include:
How many items do you carry in each store?
Do you look at each item as a unique item or as a style?
How do you order inventory from suppliers if the item has varying colors/sizes? Do you need to see item attributes as a matrix?
Do other buyers/store personnel need to be able to fill in or look up on-hand information without visiting the store floor or calling other stores?
What merchandise information do you want to be able to view at your desktop?
Decide what additional functions you want your POS to provide
Even if your needs are currently fairly basic, that doesn’t mean they won’t expand as you grow. Consider additional capabilities you may want your system to provide in the future, such as:
Time and attendance/time clock
Sales reporting, broken down by associate, store, department, time of day, etc.
Customer marketing, allowing you to capture the customer’s purchase history and other data for future marketing, and customer loyalty programs.
Transfer systems, allowing associates to transfer merchandise between stores, and on-hand lookup, allowing each store to see at a glance what inventory other stores have on hand.
Gift cards, tracking gift cards sold and their redemption.
Identify the types of POS peripherals you will need
POS system hardware isn’t limited to the cashier’s touchscreen. Think about whether dual display screens, showing customers what they ordered to improve accuracy, or displaying ads to promote key items, are worth the investment. Compare thermal printers to ribbon printers: thermal printers use heat to print receipts so even though they cost more initially, retailers can save long-term on the ink cartridges required by ribbon printers.
Determine which POS security features your store needs
Security must be a key element of any POS system, from the basics (lockable cash drawers, cash drops, and password-protected access) to erecting firewalls around the POS system’s network to guard against malware attacks.
Retailers accepting payment cards must ensure their POS systems comply with the latest Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). Retailers doing a high volume of payment card business may want to consider using encryption, which protects customer data during transactions by creating a cryptographic key that denies access to anyone without the appropriate decrypting key.
Don't forget about POS reporting to help guide your business
We get it: reporting is not a "sexy" feature. But it is critically important. Sales reports, inventory and catalog reports, and customer history tracking are just a few of the key data points available in most POS systems to help you make smart business decisions.
When it comes to choosing a POS system, reporting cannot be overlooked.
Ready to Choose a POS System for Your Business?
Finding a POS system that meets your business’ current needs while also providing the tools for future growth can be challenging. Keep both short-term and long-term requirements in mind when evaluating different solutions.
You can find more must-ask questions and considerations to choose the right POS system in our Retail POS System Buyers' Guide. For example:
Local database vs. cloud: what type of software is right for your business?
What information do you need to choose a credit card processor?
The questions you need to ask to get past a POS system sales pitch
Article | March 16, 2022
No physical Clover POS device? No problem! Never miss a sale again with the Clover Virtual Terminal.
The Clover Virtual terminal allows you to process payments at your convenience from wherever you are, no terminal necessary. All you need is a phone, tablet, or computer and you will have access to your business anytime, anywhere.
Through the Clover Virtual Terminal you can accept both credit and debit card payments safely and securely with Clover’s PCI compliant environment and end-to-end encryption. Unlike other virtual payment platforms, there are no additional monthly fees or crazy high processing rates with the Clover Virtual Terminal, transactions are charged at the keyed-in rate.
Some of the other useful features and benefits of using the Clover Virtual Terminal are:
Request customer payments by email and allow customers to pay you by credit or debit card online.
Take care of all incoming payments: in-store orders, mail or telephone orders, or invoices.
Send digital receipts via email.
Store your regular customers’ card information securely for faster transactions.
Protect against fraud with address verification service (AVS) and card verification value (CVV).
Another way to streamline your payments and get help you get your money faster using your Clover Virtual Terminal is the easy and convenient Clover Invoicing.
As a business owner, you already have a lot on your plate. Chasing customers for payment shouldn’t be one of them. Using Clover Invoicing makes the payment process smooth and painless! Your customers will receive their invoice by email, which provides them with a link to a hosted checkout page for a convenient way to pay by card – from the comfort of home.
In addition, Clover invoicing will enhance your record keeping by allowing you to keep track of all of your sent invoices and payments received in the Clover Dashboard and eliminating unnecessary paper clutter.