Don’t settle for “Cookie Cutter” Point-of-Sale systems
Nowadays you can get a “cookie-cutter” Point of Sale system for free when you sign up with a Credit Card Processor. On the surface, it may look like you’re getting a great deal, but there are some significant drawbacks. Since any Point of Sale system, you get you will use and interact with every day. It’s important to know what you’re getting. Here are some reasons why you should shop around:
You Get To Sample What You’re Getting
When you shop around for other Point of Sale systems, you can get a demonstration of what you’re going to be getting. This way, you know if:
- Point of Sale system is easy to use
- Displays the reports you want it to
- Contains critical features you use
- Meets the needs of your business
Some Point of Sale systems even has extra features built-in, such as online ordering and employee timekeeping, saving you time and money since you wouldn’t have to get extra software in order to get these features. By trying things out in person, this can also help you pick out the equipment you need, and see if the hardware can meet the needs of the software.
Not stuck with a single processor
When you are given a “cookie-cutter” Point of Sale system from a Credit Card Processor, you are stuck with that credit card company. You might be locked into a multi-year contract or have proprietary hardware or both. The Credit Card Processor usually takes the cost of the POS system out of your credit cards fees. That just means higher fees that you may or may not be aware of.
Having proprietary hardware means if something breaks, there’s only one option for replacing it the company you brought it from. It also means that if you want to switch to a different system, your existing hardware will not be compatible with it. This restricts you to what software you can run and it can restrict you to solely one Point of Sale system.
It is just as important to shop around for processors as it is for Point of Sale systems because different processors have different rates. If your rates go up with a “cookie-cutter” system, your only option may be to completely switch out your hardware. Lastly, Credit Card Processors may also not be local, and your only giving a phone number for support.
When you get a Point of Sale system from a Point of Sale Dealer instead of a Credit Card Processor, you are getting superior support like on-site, in-person support, including weekends. Processors are people who handle your credit cards and may not be well trained in using the Point of Sale software. People from a Point of Sale Dealer tend to be experienced in both hardware and software. They also work with and sell non-proprietary hardware, which makes it easy to replace broken hardware or add new hardware to your POS system. Lastly, they tend to have certifications like the Qualified Integrator and Reseller (QIR) certification which would help you be certified by the Payment Card Industry (PCI).
When you hand pick your system and software, you will pick a combination that you know for sure works for you, since you are trying it out yourself. Only you know what you need for your business, so it’s important to know what you’re getting. That way, you can get a system with no compromises. Sometimes when you get a Point of Sale system from a Credit Card Processor, the bank, or online vendors, the equipment can be old or outdated. Remember “you get what you pay for” and if the Point of Sale system is “free”, then you could be in for a rude surprise somewhere down the road.
Your Point of Sale system is something that you interact with every day. You need it in order to track sales, take credit cards, and much more. It’s important to take your time picking the hardware and software options that fits your business’s needs.
As always, we are here to help. Let us know if you have any questions.
Total Merchant Supply is a POS Dealer based in NC & SC.