Before you decide what credit card processing software to choose for your business, there are a number of factors which should be considered or you could run the risk of making a potentially expensive error.
Firstly, will your staff have access to the customer's credit card? If so, you will need an application which will allow card-swipe as opposed to the manual keying-in of the credit card number. This will ensure speedy transactions and allow for volume processing.
Secondly, issues of power and connectivity will need to be considered. Having no access to an internet connection will substantially limit the options available to you and if your business has no telephone line you will require a specialized terminal, imprinter or mobile device.
Will the transactions need to be stored in your existing constituent management system? This is of particular importance for those who will be processing items such as membership renewals or donations where integration with existing software will be vital.
Selecting payment enabled applications, POS (Point of Sale) or online processing software should ensure an effective transition.
Always consider your bottom line and ROI (Return on Investment); do you need your credit card processing software for short term low volume usage or a high volume long term solution? Either will require a specific set of tools with different software packages.
Security is an important issue to consider and if your business will need to store credit card details in any format you will need to meet specific security compliance under PCI (Payment Card Industry) regulations.
This requires a comprehensive understanding of the regulations to ensure that the system will meet the demands. If in any doubt, it is advisable to opt for payment enabled software and/or an online payment processor with the capability to handle recurring transactions.
Finally, beware of any software which will require your operatives to gather a customer's life story in order to complete a simple transaction. This will be frustrating for the client, time consuming for staff and do nothing to enhance your reputation as the store to visit for a cutting edge shopping experience!
Software Options for all Sectors
There is a solution to suit all sectors of the market from everyday stores, bars, restaurants and sandwich shops, hotels, salons and wholesalers.
Each have been designed to meet the specific demands of the particular business and will enable the merchant to optimize sales and customer experience while effectively managing the infrastructure of their enterprise.
A software package for the retail market will offer a raft of features that will provide the user with tools such as a customer-data store capability to allow for targeted CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and the ability to promote upcoming events and marketing opportunities. Further solutions should offer:
- The ability to add customized information and messages to client's receipts.
- Management tools to track minimum stock levels for reordering purposes, purchase orders, incoming stock and allocation from the stock room to the shop floor.
- User friendly operation with minimal training required for staff.
- The safe and secure processing of all major credit and debit cards.
The hospitality market will have its own set of criteria for an effective credit card processing software application. Packages are available to deliver solutions for every business from hotels and restaurants, bars and coffee shops, to sandwich shops and pizza delivery services.
Tools for the restaurant sector may be highly featured and include applications for the integration of floor plans which will enable the merchant to allocate tables depending on the time of the reservation and kitchen software to ensure that the chef can better cook meals to order.
Applications for the generation of reports allow for sales records and stock details in addition to employee details such as timekeeping, performance and overtime.
Bars and Clubs
Software for bars and nightclubs must be reliable, technically advanced and feature rich to enable the server to provide the customer with a speedy and efficient transaction.
Tools should include the ability to process an order on-the-move, user friendly operation and full management capabilities to track orders and tips.
Salons and Spas
Salons and Spas will require software that will enable time saving solutions such as an electronic diary for making appointments.
In a sector in which employees will often earn a percentage of their wages in commission and have different rates of pay, the appropriate software is essential to ensure the smooth running of the business.
Dry cleaners also have their own set of requirements from a credit card processing software product. The ability to log incoming garments, register when they have been cleaned and track when they have been delivered to, or collected by the customer is essential to running an efficient business.
A good software package will also provide the ability to store customer details, advise clients of promotional offers such as two-for-one deals and contact existing customers via email and SMS to enhance marketing potential.