It’s important to offer a variety of payment options to your customers. But if you’re considering bypassing getting a credit machine, you’re missing out on a number of helpful benefits for your business that go beyond mere ease of payment. Here are four reasons you shouldn’t overlook this important piece of hardware.
From restaurants and retail stores to supermarkets and gas stations, consumer preferences lean strongly towards paying with plastic. According to the U.S. Consumer Payment Study, in 2018, 80% of American consumers cited credit cards or debit cards as their preferred payment method, while just 14% said they prefer to pay for purchases with cash. The number of consumers who exclusively use credit cards has also increased, according to data compiled on CreditCards.com, with more than half of cardholders saying they use their credit cards for everyday spending. While there may be manual workarounds, not having a credit card machine means you have no efficient way to process card transactions that also minimizes your fraud risk (more on how the right credit card machine can reduce your risks on that front later). This can mean turning down customers who are otherwise eager to buy from you. A recent survey from Finder.com revealed that 73% of shoppers would leave a store without making a purchase if the retailer did not have a card reader and the consumer had no cash on hand. Half of those respondents said they would find what they needed elsewhere, meaning that if you don’t have a credit card machine not only are you losing business – you may be driving your customers right to your competitors’ doors.
Once upon a time a credit card reader was simply an imprinter that captured a copy of the numbers on the front of a card. Those were replaced by credit card swipers, which are capable of a little more: they simply run a transaction using information contained in the card’s magnetic stripe and then print out a receipt. But newer credit card readers, such as PayJunction’s Smart Terminal, can unlock a number of other payment options, so that your customers can make their purchase using the method they most prefer. For example, Smart Terminals are capable of processing contactless payments, also known as tap payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Such payment forms are catching on quickly with consumers, growing 64% year-over-year, according to one recent case study.
While you may think a credit card reader is simply a machine that allows you to process payments, the latest versions provide a range of next-level features that can streamline bookkeeping and other backend business functions. One helpful feature is that Smart Terminals securely store transaction records electronically, making them easier to find and retrieve if needed in the case of a return or dispute (bonus: you’ll also save money on printing and storage). But the fact that these terminals capture and store all transaction information means you can also use them to produce real-time batch reports as well as custom reports that reflect key business metrics such as cumulative charges or refunds and year-over-year analyse.
Representing the largest percentage of credit card fraud, card-not-present fraud (CNP) is projected to cost retailers an anticipated $130-billion in revenue between now and 2023. And yes, retailers – not credit card companies – are the ones on the hook for these losses. This is due to the EMV liability shift, a move that, several years ago, shifted the responsibility for fraud-related losses from credit card companies to businesses in cases where the loss occurred on a chip card transaction that was not run appropriately.
The latest generation of credit card machines gives you a range of tools for reducing fraud-related losses, starting with EMV-chip processing capabilities, which older machines do not have. EMV chips store sensitive credit card data more securely than magnetic stripes, but they must be inserted rather than swiped.
Smart Terminals can also help to reduce the risk of fraud in other ways. For starters, they are capable of capturing and storing electronic signatures, which are considered to be one of the best possible defenses in the event of a chargeback. Due to differences between the various credit card brands, a Smart Terminal can help keep you and your employees compliant because it is capable of recognizing which type of card is being used and applying the right rules.
You already knew credit card machines could process transactions, but were you aware of the other benefits? Which of the above reasons did you think is most useful for your business? Let us know!