There’s one universal truth about business: you get out what you put in. This is true for capital investment, labour, and material resources. If you want to your business to perform well and give a great output, your input needs to be equally good by equipping your business with the best tools and resources, even if it’s something as fundamental as your POS system. It’s very easy to get lost in all the specifications and technical jargon when shopping around for a POS system, thereby affecting your ability to make an informed choice. So we’ve simplified it down to nine essential features any good POS system should have.
There’s nothing worse that having a POS device that hardly ever works. POS systems, fundamentally, are supposed to make transactions easier to carry out and not the opposite. So a card machine that has more downtime than uptime has failed in its job and clearly isn’t a good deal. Do some research on user reviews and pay attention to recommendations from other retail business owners before settling on a POS system
POS systems these days come with a plethora of bells and whistles, some of which can make them harder to use. Features shouldn’t get in the way of the usability of your POS system otherwise those same features will make transactions a nightmare. If your employees are going to be using the POS system the most, it’s wise to consult them for input on the kinds of features they need the most and the usability issues you should look out for.
Detailed transaction history
Having a detailed transaction history available at all times will not only make it easy for you to consolidate your accounting, but it will save you valuable time too. Some POS systems available today have an itemised list of all the transactions performed on the system available either online or on a cloud server. The best ones allow you to export this data for reporting and reconciling with your business records.
This ties in with the reliability of a POS system, but is a separate concern because different POS systems have different connectivity interfaces. Some require a hard line in the retail business while others use a secure internet connection. The faster the connectivity, the more transactions you’ll be able to conduct in a day, and the more money you eventually stand to make.
Assuring your customers that it’s safe to transact with you has its rewards; it boosts customer loyalty and business growth. Therefore, a key consideration to make when selecting a POS system is whether or not it complies to industry security standards. The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council has a regularly updated set of requirements that all payments systems should strive towards in order to ensure that their products are safe to transact with. Having a POS environment that’s completely PCI DSS-compliant is something that you will be able to leverage in your favour to attract more customers to your business.
When your business grows, it’s a hassle to have to replace all the systems you’ve outgrown. It’s more preferable to have equipment that is able to scale with your business as it grows. The smart move is to go with a point of sale suite that can handle a business of any size and can support any business operations easily. You’ll always need a traditional counter-top point of sale device, but why not complement that with mPOS devices that you can use around the business untethered and that your employees can take with them on out-calls, site visits, sales runs when your business goes mobile.
At the end of the day the point of sale system you get is an investment you make for your business, one whose fruits you’d like to begin to see at some point. If the total cost of ownership of your device is higher than the return you’re getting from its use, then the investment wasn’t worth it. Complete and holistic return on investment (including profit, sales generation, increased foot traffic and faster transaction times) can only be delivered by the smartest industry-leading systems that can deliver secure and sustained service while keeping your credit card rates low and irresistible.
Ongoing maintenance and support from the supplier
In the event that something should go wrong with your system, you need to be confident that you have the necessary support from your supplier. This could be in the form of customer care line that you can use to speak to a qualified and capable technician who will be able to assist you wherever you are in the country. With time, your firmware will also require some upgrading to stay working optimally. This is especially the case with mPOS, which involves regular firmware and app updates. Upgrades can cause downtime, which is why the most convenient and fast way to carry them out is wirelessly. Ask your supplier if you can expect regular upgrades and how much uptime they’ll cost you as this is bound to affect your transactional operations.
What will eventually set you apart from your competitors will be what your POS is capable of doing over and above carrying out transactions. For instance, some POS devices these days can process contactless payments through NFC technology, while others have extended battery lives so they can function portably without the need for a power supply. Better yet, some point of sale devices come with functionality that allows you to vend prepaid services like electricity, airtime and data. You could use any of these to market yourself to your customers and draw some traffic from competitors who might not have similar systems in place.
All our point of sale solutions are secure, fast and reliable. Available in a range of devices, our POS devices are capable of serving the needs of retail businesses of all sizes and functions. Paycorp has always prioritised security and all of our products are strictly PCI DSS-compliant, keeping all your transactions secure and worry free. If you would like help switching to a new POS system, have a look at this enlightening infographic and visit our products page.