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Archive for the month “April, 2015”

When people discuss point-of-sales system, what actually does it mean?

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Answer by Tom DeSimone:

Here’s a short answer:

A POS system includes some or all of the following:
 

  • Cash drawer
  • Computer or tablet
  • Merchant software
  • Barcode scanner
  • QR/NFC scanners
  • Credit card terminal
  • Receipt printer
  • Check scanner

Merchant software includes inventory management, payments, loyalty, various integrations and other industry-specific programs. This software, especially the payments software, is often marketed as POS software.
 
A credit card terminal (the device in the second picture, used for debit cards as well) is usually part of a POS system, but generally you’ll need other hardware from the list above to manage your sales and business. But it depends on your needs.

Oh, and of course you'll need a payment processing service to put any of this to use.

When people discuss point-of-sales system, what actually does it mean?

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When people discuss point-of-sales system, what actually does it mean?

Answer by Tom DeSimone:

Here’s a short answer:

A POS system includes some or all of the following:
 

  • Cash drawer
  • Computer or tablet
  • Merchant software
  • Barcode scanner
  • QR/NFC scanners
  • Credit card terminal
  • Receipt printer
  • Check scanner

Merchant software includes inventory management, payments, loyalty, various integrations and other industry-specific programs. This software, especially the payments software, is often marketed as POS software.
 
A credit card terminal (the device in the second picture, used for debit cards as well) is usually part of a POS system, but generally you’ll need other hardware from the list above to manage your sales and business. But it depends on your needs.

Oh, and of course you'll need a payment processing service to put any of this to use.

When people discuss point-of-sales system, what actually does it mean?

When people discuss point-of-sales system, what actually does it mean?

#appstar

Answer by Chris Souther:

A great question! Full disclosure, I work for VeriFone. In fact, I wrote a blog post recently that attempted to bring some clarity to the market around the term "Mobile Point of Sale" but you can use the same logic here.

Even within VeriFone, we often intermix POS when talking about the big traditional POS you see at the top (and which we sell in the Petro market) and the smaller terminal POS you see here at the bottom. Interestingly, most big POS systems either have a card reader integrated into them, or they allow you plug a terminal like the one pictured on the bottom (Vx 510) into them. Conversely, you don't necessarily need a big POS in order to process payments when you have something like the Vx 510.

But this confusion is often seen when media discusses POS and usually, they provide little clarification as to which of the above they are referencing. The capability differences are huge and it's important to know what is what when you hear the term POS. But now, if you hear "terminal" you will know they are talking about the little device on the bottom.

When people discuss point-of-sales system, what actually does it mean?

How fast do the machines that OCR checks operate?

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Answer by Faisal Khan:

This can vary on the hardware, anywhere from 60 check images per minute, to the high-end ones that now do 180-200 checks per minute.

I have personally interacted with Canon Scanners only. I am sure there are other hardware vendors out there.

How fast do the machines that OCR checks operate?

What is your experience with Merchant Services?

Answer by Tyler Weis:

To add to a very thorough answer by Tom above, the Payment Industry is a vast landscape with many facets and services that isn't typically encompassed by a single entity.

Your experience and relationship will be dictated in many instances by the Account Representative, as opposed to the company itself.

No one company has the right service for everyone, but careful review with accurate transparent information will find you the right fit for your type of business.

Ensure that not only do you verify all the final details as to Length of agreement But also your conditions upon cancellation.

Again, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of generous research before hand as encourage in the above comment.

What is your experience with Merchant Services?

What is your experience with Merchant Services?

Answer by Tom DeSimone:

I’m sorry, but I just can’t leave this one asinine answer as the best fit for this question.
 
As a reviewer of merchant services providers, I spend a lot of time talking to sales agents and merchant account holders, as well as reviewing sales material and detailed complaints. While the merchant services/payment processing industry has changed A LOT in the past 5-10 years in ways that hugely benefit small business and sole proprietors, the industry still has a lot of providers and salespeople who play dirty. So let me just rattle off some things my experience with merchant services has taught me, both in terms of great recent advancements and still prevalent pitfalls:
 
Some great changes:

  • More and more providers are finding ways to remove early termination fees or at least make them more fair
  • Flat rate pricing has added to the predictability of processing charges, and interchange-plus pricing is now offered to even mid-low volume merchants in many cases, which overall increases cost transparency
  • Aggregator/mobile payment  services allow even the tiniest merchants access to cost-effective payment processing.
  • Tablet-based POS systems have revolutionized point of sale systems in great ways, both in terms of affordability and effectiveness
  • Developer-intensive platforms (Balanced,Braintree,Stripe, etc.) are making formally cost-prohibitive payment solutions affordable

Some not-so-great aspects to be aware of:

  • Ludicrously expensive and poorly explained non-cancellable credit card terminal leases continue to cost unsuspecting merchants thousands of dollars
  • You’ll still see liquidated-damages-styleearly termination fees in the $1,000+ range
  • Annual “PCI compliance” fees are separated out of standard monthly/annual fees, and are rarely prorated
  • Independent sales agents are still tricking merchants into signing horrible contracts, then hiding behind that same contract when trouble arise
  • Many expensive “value-added services” add expense without really adding value
  • Poorly disclosed tiered pricing models are still the industry mainstay in terms of pricing models

These lists are not at all exhaustive, but represent a few important considerations that I’ve seen in my time researching merchant services. If you’re interested in learning more about the merchant services industry, check out Merchant Maverick. We’ll get you up to speed.

What is your experience with Merchant Services?

What is your experience with Merchant Services?

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Answer by Sainath Gad:

Merchants service now a days have become very trustworthy and you can totally depend on them. They guide you properly through all the procedures and make you life simple. I know a lot of company in USA who provide you complete merchant service.
Total Merchant Services: Credit Card Processing For Small Businesses

What is your experience with Merchant Services?

What is the single biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when starting up?

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Answer by Jason M. Lemkin:

The single biggest mistake I made was not having a full founder team (all of us) that was 100% committed to giving it 24 months to get to Initial Traction, no matter what or how or why.

You have to give it at least 24 months: SaaStr | If You’re Going to Do a SaaS Start-Up … You Have to Give it 24 Months

It turned out, by 15 months from Decent Idea, and 8 months from public launch … we had something good.  But the team wasn't patient enough.

It's hard.  Both mentally and financially, I know.  But if you don't give yourself a full 24 months to get something off the ground, in B2B / SaaS at least … you'll almost certainly fail.  It just takes too long to get from pre-launch to $1m worth of paying customers.

What is the single biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when starting up?

What are the solutions available for SMB merchants to offer branded gift cards?

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Answer by Stan Hanks:

I just answered this on another thread but can't figure out how to cross-link to that…

The worldwide leader in branded payment cards (stored value cards) is Vesta,Innovative Electronic Payment Solutions

Doug Fieldhouse, the CEO there, is very active in the Portland, OR, entrepreurial scene, and is a really great guy. If you're looking for something custom and specific to your company, contact them.

If you're looking to send out bulk cards denominated in someone else's stored value (like sending out iTunes cards or LoL card, etc), then that's a whole different deal. This is JUST if you want your own stored value card setup.

What are the solutions available for SMB merchants to offer branded gift cards?

Is there a payment processing service available that accepts all popular payment methods?

Answer by Roger Gu:

At this point you will likely need two. PayPal can handle PayPal and all major credit/debit cards. For Bitcoin, will need a separate gateway service such as BitPay, CoinBase, and eventually, Circle. David Marcus, president of PayPal has indicated while he likes the concept of Bitcoins, it is too immature right now to be considered for inclusion in the PayPal gateway..

Is there a payment processing service available that accepts all popular payment methods?

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