Friday, March 10, 2017

The True Cost of Stand Alone Payment Terminals

Over the last couple of weeks I was asked to meet in person with retailers that are concerned about costs related to using stand alone payment terminals versus payment terminals that communicate directly with their point of sale software. To keep things simple, we only looked at the numbers and ignored other factors like reconciling two close out reports each day or whether the stand alone payment terminal was customer facing or not.

To "set the scene", each retailer is using the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software and has a single check out lane. The average transaction amount across all stores is $48.00. They are averaging two errors per month with the typical error being that the total is entered as $4.80 instead of $48.00 on the stand alone payment terminal. None of the merchants are contacting the cardholders to ask for the $43.20 difference due to the error being the employees fault and/or not having any way to track down the cardholder. They are not experiencing over-tendering costs as the cardholder does notice this and contacts the store for a refund.

So, here are the 5 year costs for a stand alone payment terminal:

  1. Average purchase transaction amount: $180.00
  2. Loss due to average error of $43.20/twice a month x 12 months x 5 years: $5,184.00
  3. Total 5 year cost for stand alone payment terminal: $5,464.00
Now compare that to an integrated solution like Card Defender for RMS:
  1. Single lane Card Defender typical complete upfront deployment cost: $1,350.00
  2. Card Defender $10/terminal monthly support charge x 12 months x 5 years: $600.00
  3. Total 5 year cost for Card Defender: $1,950.00
Wow - I've spent a lot of time checking and re-checking the numbers above but they are true and correct. While retailers may scoff at the up front costs of Card Defender, they fail to see the true long term costs of using a stand alone payment terminal.  

Of course each retailer is different but the above information combines data from multiple very different retail stores. Note that some of these retailers have had their stand along payment terminals in place for several months so the errors are not a training issue - just an ongoing human factor issue.

This demonstrates some of the hidden value in Card Defender that many retailers may not be aware of. If you would like more information, or for me to run through the numbers based on your store, please contact me at 208-340-5632 or

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