Monday, December 10, 2012

Point of Sale and Credit Card Processing

As point of sale software companies look to increase revenue, one of the common trends over the years has been to 'force' customers to use a certain company for credit card processing services (also known as merchant services).  One of the first companies to do this was Intuit when it came to QuickBooks Point of Sale software. You can always use a separate card terminal but processing credit and debit cards within the point of sale system is much more efficient (only one receipt and quicker end of day procedures).

I've had the opportunity to review merchant services statements from businesses using QuickBooks Point of Sale and Intuit Merchant Services and found that the merchant was generally paying 1/2 to 1% higher than normal fees.  For a typical retail business, this could easily add up to $2000+ annually in additional merchant services fees.

Point being - I highly recommend that you consider two things when searching for a point of sale system:
  1. Ask if the point of sale software works with multiple merchant services providers - that allows you to shop around for the lowest rates.
  2. Ask about hidden fees related to the point of sale software and merchant services. For example NCR's CounterPoint point of sale software allows you to pick and choose a merchant services company but, if you do not use NCR Payment Services, then you will be charged an additional annual fee (generally less than $200 annually but something to keep in mind).
All in all, pay attention and ask questions when it comes to point of sale software and merchant services - failure to do this could have a negative effect on your bottom line.

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