The Pros and Cons of Modern Point-of-Sale Systems

By Tuesday, November 25, 2014 0 , Permalink

Over the last few years, we have seen many competitors come to the point-of-sale (PoS) marketplace:

·  PayPal Here

·  Square

·  Apple Pay

…and many, many more.

The modern PoS systems have allowed many entrepreneurs and small businesses to begin accepting credit and debit cards when they were once unavailable due to the costs and implementation of traditional systems provided by major credit card processors.

However, the modern PoS systems do come with their setbacks. As flexible as they may be, the complexity of these systems can be intimidating for newcomers.

Let’s take a moment to look at the PoS marketplace, assessing it through its pros and cons.

The Pros

The pros associated with modern PoS systems like Square Register are tantalizing for small businesses for a number of reasons:

·  The fees are often as low as 2.75% versus some systems which may charge up to 5% and also an additional 20 – 30 cents per transaction.

·  The system can be set up using products your business owns (tablets, PCs, or smart phones) versus renting merchant hardware that can quickly add up in costs depending on the number of locations.

·  The programs are in rapid development and implement great services such as loyalty programs, coupon codes, and tipping that would often be separate items one may subscribe to through traditional merchant services.

·  Built-in reports, analytics, and invoicing makes it a one-stop shop for the business owner to take care of finances.

Of course the biggest item worth noting is the ease-of-use which is as simple as plugging in a reader, installing an app/software, and subscribing to the service. Even the most tech-illiterate could have a PoS system in place by the end of the day.

The Cons

All the pros doesn’t mean that the modern PoS systems don’t have their cons:

·  Traditional merchant services are very commonplace so the marketplace has already developed trust in these systems; same or similar systems are at all major franchises so there isn’t a jarring effect when an individual runs your card.

·  Customer service isn’t up to par as compared to working with the major merchant processing services because they are still relatively new companies; this can become a problem if there are disputes, service interruptions, or issues with fraudulent charges.

·  The fragmentation of the modern PoS systems have a wide range of differences which all have their set pros and cons, thus making it difficult to choose versus a tried-and-true traditional system that has been in place for decades; there are less “wild swings” with traditional PoS systems as opposed to many startups that may go under without much notice.

A look at the key players and their options will give you the best perspective on the matter. It would be wise to do a cross selection of the systems, compare their setbacks, and find a medium level of compromise to see whether they hold up to the traditional services.

The Verdict

PoS apps can offer an amazing service for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The simple fact that the service allows for payment processing using a smart phone/tablet and card reader trumps having to set up big, bulky systems that lock your business into their payment processing. If you are seeking a flexible option for your business, definitely consider the investment into a modern point-of-sale system.


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