Complete error-free sales and accounting reporting.
Faster recording of data from multiple payment sources.
Hassle-free account reconciliations.
These are the solutions that retailers crave every day. And here’s the good news: you can achieve all that with the help of integrated payments.
Okay, let’s define it – what exactly are integrated payments?
In brick-and-mortar stores, integrated payments is the system you implement to align your POS system with your Payment Processor or accounting software so that data seamlessly flows from the former to the latter.
When implemented correctly, connecting your POS with your payments solution can offer tremendous benefits. Let’s explore them below.
3 Benefits of Integrated Payments
The following advantages, provided through integrated payments, help retailers make customers happy, become more productive, and ultimately generate more sales:
- Increased Staff Productivity
- Happier Customers
- Better Business Insights
Having integrated payment speeds up the checkout process and reduces human error, which ultimately gives your staff more time to focus on higher-value tasks.
Since payment information is synced from your POS and payment terminals, it’s no longer necessary to manually key in each customer’s credit card info. Aside from streamlining the checkout process, it also reduces human error, which helps keep your records accurate.
Integrated payments also eliminate the need for manual end-of-day reconciliations, which can be a massive time-saver for you and your team.
A study by Forrester found that having a long line at the register is among the top three reasons that customers would choose to shop elsewhere, with 18% of respondents saying that they would shop elsewhere if they experienced a lengthy checkout process.
Customers clearly want retailers to ring up sales as efficiently as possible. And since the majority of people pay using a debit or credit card, you can shave off precious seconds — even minutes — at the checkout counter by integrating your POS and Payment Processor.
Integrated payments can also help with your reporting. Having a tightly-connected setup allows you to see your sales and payment data in one place, as opposed to manually running reports on separate platforms.
Payment integrations enable you to monitor metrics like cash flow and credit card payment ratios which, in turn, can help you stay on top of payroll, inventory, vendor payments, operations, and more.
How Retailers Can Implement Integrated Payments
Now that you know some major benefits that integrated payments provide, you need to know how to implement them.
Begin with your POS or payment provider.
The best place to start when considering integrated payments is with your current technologies or providers. If you’re already using a POS system, ask them about their payment partners and go from there.
Alternatively, if you’re already happy with the rates you have with an existing payment solution, then explore the POS solutions that they integrate with.
Work with an expert.
Another option is to work with experts who can set up your payments solution for you. This is where Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) and Merchant Service Providers (MSPs) come in. These entities have the knowledge and resources to help you select the right POS and payments platform for your business.
So, if you’re still shopping around for payment solutions or if you’re unsure of how to switch providers, consider getting in touch with a trusty ISO or MSP to assist you.
The Myths of Integrated Payments
There are a number of myths around integrated payments, particularly around how setting up isn’t a simple matter, especially if you already have an existing Payment Processor or if you and your staff are set in your ways.
However, the time and financial savings you’ll gain by integrating payments can make the extra effort worth it.
If you’re hesitant to go with integrated payments because you already have a processor or aren’t keen on making big changes in your business, here are some points that’ll put your mind at ease.
Myth No. 1: Switching payment processors is difficult and will disrupt operations. Contrary to popular belief, switching payment providers doesn’t have to be hard. Many vendors are happy to assist and support merchants throughout the entire process. They’ll do much of the heavy lifting for you and ensure you’re up and running with minimal disruption to your operations.
Myth No. 2: You can't make a change since you're in a long-term contract with your current provider. Most payment processors can provide savings reports and contract reviews to weed out unfair terms and billing — which can lead to more savings.
Myth No. 3: You’ll have to switch banks. This likely won’t be necessary, as payment processors are able to deposit money into whichever bank you choose.
Ready to explore the world of POS-integrated payments?
Whether you’re shopping around for a new provider or you already have one, but aren’t satisfied, it’s worth having a conversation about integrated payments. Many providers offer commitment-free evaluations and are willing to match your existing rates.
Do you use integrated payments in your business? Tell us about your experience in the comments.
About the Author
Francesca Nicasio is the Content Marketing Manager for Vend Point of Sale. She writes about trends, tips, and best practices that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and run amazing stores.