Many retailers continue to use legacy payment systems and outdated technology because they are hesitant to take on the unknowns of a new payment platform. However, outdated payment systems actually negatively impact your business’s bottom line.
Using legacy systems can be costly to your business. If the hardware or software needs regular maintenance, the costs add up. Most IT experts will tell you that providing adequate support for a legacy system is expensive and, in some cases, impossible.
There is also the issue of security. When a system enters into legacy territory, companies stop supporting and updating them. This puts retailers at higher risk for costly and disastrous data breaches.
Despite these impacts, many retailers still view updating their payment systems as a hassle. However, when you consider that investing in new payment technology can help you grow revenue, improve your decision-making, and increase your competitive edge, upgrading to newer technology makes sense. If your current payment system does not include the four key capabilities listed below, it is time to upgrade your payment platform to help your business thrive.
Monitor and Manage Inventory
Managing inventory is a challenge for many retailers today, but is of critical importance for business efficiency. If you are using an outdated payment system, you may still be managing inventory by manually sorting through receipts and using spreadsheets – a time-consuming and error-prone method of inventory management.
Your payment system should allow you to digitally monitor inventory and sync inventory between your selling channels (i.e. brick and mortar store space, pop-up shop and eCommerce channels). Otherwise, you run the risk of overstocking or understocking which is not only inefficient to your operations but also has major implications on the overall profitability of your business.
To address these inventory monitoring and tracking issues, look for a payment solution with inventory management functionality. It should provide detailed customer inventory reports and link your sales activity to your inventory numbers, ensuring you always have enough supply for your demand.
Access business analytics
If you are using a legacy payment system that does not provide real-time data and analytics to help manage your business, you are probably in the position of reacting instead of anticipating. This means it is time to move to a new system that can improve your decision-making and planning.
Staying on top of your records and payments is a cornerstone of managing your business. With an updated payment system, you can use an online dashboard to monitor the state of your business and track your transactions in real-time.
When evaluating the data management tools of payment systems, look for a system that can provide:
- Reports synced into one dashboard instead of having to access different accounts and software
- Ability to see gross and net sales, along with your total refunds in one place
- Heatmaps based on sales, so you can easily plan product promotions and staffing schedules
- Combined location data to help you focus your efforts
- Seamless integration with other business software, such as QuickBooks Online
Add a mobile card reader
If your business is often on the go with pop-up stores, trade shows, conventions, or festivals, you need a payment system with the ability to add a mobile card reader.
Going mobile with your payment system will allow you to sell your product anywhere, anytime. As you consider moving to a payment system with the ability to add a mobile card reader, look for the following features:
- Mobile apps for iOS and Android that allow you to accept, track and manage payments easily from your phone
- Ability to accept both EMV cards and NFC payment
- Multiple connection options – like 3G and Wi-Fi – to guard against poor connectivity and technical issues
- Communication features such as the ability to email customers their receipt
Accept chip cards
If your current payment system does not have the ability to accept chip cards, it’s time to update to a system with EMV capability. This protects your business from fraud liability by helping protect your customers from credit card fraud.
To begin accepting chip cards, you will need to update your payment system, replacing your current terminals and mobile readers for EMV terminals and EMV readers. These payment systems allow your customers to “dip” their credit card into your terminal (rather than swiping) so the chip in their card can pass along the encrypted information necessary for processing the transaction.
If your business experiences a credit card breach and you do not use EMV technology, the credit card companies can hold you liable for the loss. It’s vital to upgrade your terminals to stay secure.
If your business is using an outdated legacy payment system, it is time to consider updating to a payments platform that provides key functionality including inventory management, business analytics, mobile credit card processing, and EMV capability. Leaving your legacy system behind to move to a new payment platform will not only help your business grow, but will help you provide a more secure, connected customer payment experience.
Lyndsey Lang is the Vice President of Business Development at Fattmerchant,