Selecting the right POS system is a big choice for a small business. Get it right, and you help streamline your workflows and enhance customer experience. Get it wrong, and you can run into operational difficulties, customer service nightmares, and damage your reputation. There are a lot of POS solutions out there, and understanding what matters, what doesn’t, and what questions to ask can be difficult. In this piece, we’ll provide you with all the information you need when choosing a POS system for your small business. We’ll also help you understand this whole EMV thing everyone’s been talking about & what it means to today’s small businesses.

What to Look for in a POS system

When figuring out how to choose a POS system for a small business, understanding all the components of a holistic POS solution is an important prerequisite. Here, we’ll review just what those components are and take a deeper dive into the specifics thereafter.

POS Hardware & Software

At the core of how to choose the right POS system for small businesses is the hardware and software that make the system a reality. The software has to be intuitive enough for staff to use in the midst of even the busiest times of day, and powerful enough to meet all of the reporting and compliance demands placed on any given business.  The hardware has to support the features needed to meet the demands of the business as well. Do you need a touch-screen? Wireless support? EMV chip support? Etc.

Quality of Customer Service

There is no “one size fits all” POS system. Every retail business is a little different and not every business needs every feature available today. Further, after the sale, things may go wrong. Partnering with a POS vendor that stands behind their product and supports their customers, regardless of size, is vital to ensuring your POS system deployment is a successful one. By doing so, you’ll get the support you need to identify the right solution for your business, and keep things running even when something goes wrong.

Price

Small businesses don’t have the deep pockets of the enterprise-level players in retail.  That means they must be value conscious and this holds true when it comes to POS systems as well. While you don’t always want to select the lowest price option (this could be costly in the long run), ensuring you’re not overpaying is a must.

Security

The last, but certainly not the least, point to consider when choosing a POS System is security. In the day of the internet, credit card fraud and account hacking can put even the most reputable business in bad standing with its clientele. After all, if you own a small business and your customer’s credit card information is jeopardized while visiting your local establishment, you’re likely to find yourself not only dealing with a dissatisfied customer, but also an uphill battle to restore customer’s trust to do business with you again. For this reason, here at North American Bancard, we place the utmost priority on data security with end-to-end payment processing and the most up to date encryption and tokenization.

Choosing the Right POS System

With the components of a holistic POS system solution identified, the next step to help you identify the best POS System for your business is understanding the right questions to ask. The most important questions to ask are about your customers and your business model. How many checkout points are needed in your store? What fits best with your floorplan and foot traffic flow? How do your customers like to shop? Are they traditional where a countertop unit makes sense or a bit more modern fluid shoppers looking for that quick checkout anywhere in the store? If the answer is the latter, then a wireless unit is the way to go.

Mobile credit card readers are available to work with apps on a smart phone or tablet to process payments on the go for those fluid customers. Many of us have used mobile payment processing apps at modern eateries with a sleek, relaxed style, and its customizable placement makes it faster to check out. There’s no standing around in a line to a designated pay area, it’s all one open space. This is a huge customer experience value-add.

If you’re not interested in a mobile app and tablet, you can still have a more traditional looking unit that is portable. The PayAnywhere Smart Terminal for instance, provided by us here at North American Bancard, is a handheld device housing a powerful processor giving merchants the definitive processing speed.

For the more traditional retail environments, the VX520 is a great fit for countertops while providing encryption, decryption, and timely processing. This powerful credit card terminal is EMV capable, and can be connected via dial-to-dial, Ethernet, or even wirelessly when using battery.

The Importance of POS System Terminals with EMV Chip Readers

One final thing to keep in mind when evaluating POS systems is the importance of EMV chip readers. This topic was excellently documented by Joshua Griffin in Still Requiring Signatures For Countertop and Wireless Credit Card Processing? Not only do EMV chip readers improve customer experience, they also enhance security.

In October of 2017, Mastercard announced that beginning in April of 2018, it would no longer require signatures at checkout for purchases in the US and Canada using EMV debit and credit cards. The other card brands followed suit. It turns out signatures in payment processing never provided much protection anyway. Most of the time signatures were not legible, and cashiers neglected to compare signatures anyway.

The introduction of EMV chip card technology just further made requiring signatures at checkout obsolete. For this reason, you will find when your small business has a new POS system that accepts EMV chip cards, your customer will no longer need to sign at checkout, and they will be more secure not doing so. With that in mind, when choosing a POS system, small businesses should strive to have terminals that are EMV-compliant so customers will not feel as if their payments are less secure if they still have to sign. Legacy systems may be off-putting to some customers, and as more and more consumers become familiar with why EMV is gaining popularity, retailers that don’t support this technology may begin to seem inferior to those that do.

The takeaway here? If you’re looking for a new POS system, consider EMV a must. If you’re running a legacy system that doesn’t support EMV, develop a plan to migrate to EMV asap!

The North American Bancard Advantage

If you’re in the market for a POS system optimized for small business, look no further than North American Bancard. We have been serving businesses of every size across multiple verticals since 1992. The core of our business lies in the entrepreneurial spirit we share with our customers and our desire to see their small businesses grow. With hundreds of  thousand satisfied merchants, we have the software, hardware, industry expertise, and experience to help you get the most out of your POS system investment.

So what makes North American Bancard different from other merchant services? In addition to our industry leading POS equipment, we cater to your specific business every step of the way, no matter how small. When looking for a great POS system, you want your merchant systems provider to be there through the entire process with holistic solutions to problems and a customer-centric attitude focused on seeing your business succeed. This is where the team here at North American Bancard truly outstrips the rest of the industry when it comes to providing POS systems for small business. We also provide around the clock tech support with a skilled customer service team that includes account representatives and managers eager to talk directly with you to resolve whatever issues should arise.

That being said, we understand that aside from great software, technology, and a customer-first mentality focused on heling your business succeed, a small business owner is always looking for the best value possible. Here at North American Bancard we pride ourselves in offering competitive prices on the best merchant services. A small business should always look to maximize profits, and what better way to start than getting the best ROI possible on POS systems with the most affordable rates from your credit card processor? We help you get industry-leading POS technology at rates even small businesses can afford. To learn more about how North American Bancard can help craft a POS solution that is right-sized for your business, contact us today.

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