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The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 14, 2008 • Issue 08:01:01

POS system power

By Maxwell Sinovoi
United Bank Card Inc.

If I told you there is a surefire way to have far better customer retention, sell on value and not rates, have higher customer satisfaction, earn more money for yourself and your merchants, and obtain clients who in most cases do not have this product, would you be interested? If so, I will alleviate your suspense. The answer is POS systems.

On a macro level, POS systems facilitate the way merchants manage their businesses, not just their credit card transactions. POS terminals were originally introduced to the marketplace as a computerized replacement for cash registers. Today, POS systems are rich with new features.

Some of the additions allow merchants to manage inventory, record and track customer orders, enhance employee efficiency and training, provide employees a time keeping system, and customize screens that meet specific merchant requirements.

Valuable player

Most of us know more money is made when you sell on value. POS systems can bring great profit to merchants. They also can bring back significant lease revenue to all ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) who choose to lease the systems.

With the advent of free terminals, some of the lease market was lost. POS systems have brought back the added value to merchants. Those who wouldn't blink an eye to lease a standard, run-of-the-mill credit card terminal not that long ago now prefer to lease brand new, state-of-the-art POS systems. And it doesn't break the bank.

POS systems are also great because an ISO or MLS can generally sell them for thousands of dollars. With that kind of price tag, cash advances can be sold in conjunction with a terminal sale, giving ISOs and MLSs a revenue stream on the advance as well.

Currently the penetration rate of POS systems in the retail and hospitality sectors is very small. Only a minority of the small and mid-sized retail and hospitality market actually have terminals. This leaves a huge amount of businesses that can be converted.

Win-win situation

Even the few merchants who do have POS systems are potential prospects since all current systems must be upgraded within a few years to be Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard compliant. Many large acquirers have announced they will charge stiff fees to make current systems PCI compliant.

This provides ISOs and MLSs an entrée: They can market the idea of buying a brand new system for the same cost of making merchants' current, far older, less feature-rich systems compliant.

The selling and leasing of POS systems is a sales tool that is not available to every ISO and MLS. Everyone sells terminals, but how many of your ISO and MLS friends currently sell POS systems? I'm going to guess: not many.

Track star

Put yourself in the merchant's shoes for a moment. Would you prefer to know how much money you made for the day in credit card transactions, or would it be a far better benefit to know how much money you made per hour and per sale item?

POS systems give merchants significantly more information than even the best credit card terminals.

Merchants can use this information to set their workers' shifts once they know the specific data for the busiest hours and what products sell most at various times during the day.

This data, of course, is also instrumental to managing inventory. Never before has tracking inventory been so easy for a merchant. With the touch of a button, merchants can track every item in stock and each sale.

This allows them to access crucial information to set specific promotions and fully reach out to all of their customers who have various buying habits.

Action hero

Right now I can read your mind. Don't believe me? I can prove it. You are thinking this all sounds wonderful, but supporting and training merchants on a POS system is a nightmare.

Was I right? If so, here is the best news of all: Companies exist that install, train and support merchants with new POS systems.

As if everything I just mentioned in this article wasn't enough to get the wheels turning, can you also imagine significantly reducing your customer service calls? It could give you more quality time to spend selling rather than troubleshooting.

POS systems are coming, and I think the only choice left is whether you get in on this profitable opportunity before or after everyone else. I suggest the former of the two. end of article

Maxwell Sinovoi is the National Sales Manager of the Western United States with United Bank Card Inc. He can be reached at msinovoi@unitedbankcard.com.

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

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