The cost of POS equipment has always been an important factor directly affecting ISO and merchant level salesperson (MLS) profits.
With today's lure of free terminal placement, equipment cost is even more crucial to signing profitable, new merchant accounts.
Think of this: If you, as ISOs and MLSs, were able to save even $25 per piece of equipment, and you closed just four new deals per month involving one terminal each, you'd save $1,200 yearly.
And that $1,200 would go straight into your pocket.
The trick is to offer inexpensive or refurbished equipment that satisfies merchants' needs. This contributes to account retention without skimping on reliability or service.
And it saves ISOs and MLSs time and headaches when it comes to customer service.
That's where Brick M. Mason, founder and President of Central Point Resources Inc., comes in.
He saw a need for a company that allowed merchant services professionals to purchase affordable, new or used POS equipment without compromising the level of service they receive or provide.
"Refurbished equipment gives …merchants a way to replace their current terminals or start new processing at a very low cost," Mason said.
The fact that CPR handles multiple manufacturers and POS equipment lines is a bonus for CPR's customers.
Because it is not affiliated exclusively with one manufacturer, CPR can provide an independent voice in suggesting which hardware makes most sense for any given merchant.
"Our company vision is to be the eyes and ears for our customers as the hardware industry changes and to be an independent voice as to which hardware makes more sense in long-term ownership cost," Mason said.
"We listen to what the customer needs are and build systems and programs to meet those needs."
CPR sells equipment to banks, processors, ISOs and MLSs only. "We do not sell equipment directly to merchants, and we do not set up merchant accounts," Mason said. "If a merchant needs processing services, we refer them to one of our customers."
CPR provides just-in-time inventory, so ISOs don't need to handle – or tie up their cash in – inventory.
"They buy equipment and supplies from me and mark it up or give it away as they see fit," he said.
But well-chosen, reliable equipment at a good price is not enough. Speed counts, too. Neither ISOs nor merchants want to have a long wait between deal closing and full POS implementation.
"There was a need to have a supplier for the ISOs that would keep equipment and supplies in stock for their just-in-time delivery needs," Mason said. That's why CPR offers same-day shipping on all orders made before 5 p.m. Eastern time.
For the vast majority of merchants, refurbished equipment ¬– if it is well-maintained and well-chosen – fits the bill admirably. "At CPR we breathe life back into POS equipment," Mason said, pun intended.
However, sometimes merchants may not be able to find refurbished equipment that suits their needs. "Some software applications need a lot of memory or need to be able to handle multi-applications," Mason noted.
"Terminals with larger memory and/or multi-applications are still in short supply in the refurbish market."
For those situations, CPR sells new equipment, which now makes up about 20% of the company's business. Another 20% of the business is in service and supplies (which can also ship to anxious merchants the same day).
This combination appears to be successful. In June 2007, CPR plans to double the size of its facility.
Before founding CPR, Mason was Vice President of Sales for CDE Services in Marietta, Ga., for nine years. CDE is a remanufacturer of POS equipment.
So, Mason has seen many changes in both the payments industry and in POS equipment.
"The electronic payment industry is still the Wild West," he said. "Who knows where the next five years will take us?" The future could be PC-based, he noted, or wireless or some other device we have yet to imagine.
Mason foresees in the near future more equipment being deployed directly to merchants – plug 'n' play downloaded and ready to go.
"This is a great industry with great people," Mason said. "This market is tight-knit. If you conduct business with integrity, the market will reward you.
If you do business any other way, the market may work with you a while, but in the long-run, you will lose them."
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Brick M. Mason,
117 Park 42 Drive
Locust Grove, GA 30248
Web site: www.centralpointresources.com