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A Thing

The New Opportunity Equation
By Michelle Graff

Chances are you can walk into any retail shop or restaurant and within minutes hear the familiar "rat-a-tat-tat" of a VeriFone P250 printer. You can pretty much bet that the merchant has an old POS payment terminal that has been designed to do nothing but perform credit card authorizations.

While some merchant sales reps may smell only the coffee, savvy salespeople will smell an opportunity. An opportunity for what, you ask? To make new commissions and to generate ongoing revenue streams. Opportunities abound and there's plenty of money to be made.

  • Step 1: Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade

    Let's face it. Terminals built 10 years ago, though often still very reliable, were not designed for the new era in payment acceptance. Security standards, new communication alternatives and the advent of value-added applications are driving an opportunity to replace aging POS equipment with powerful, fast, all-in-one solutions that can create a value proposition for you and the merchants you serve.

    So instead of simply reprogramming the old terminal, replace it with a new one designed for today and the future. Educate the merchant on how a new solution can improve productivity, lower transaction costs, help implement loyalty-building customer programs, and even share in some revenue-generating applications. It also can put hard commission dollars in your pocket from the new terminal sale.

  • Step 2: Peripherals Generate Even More Commission

    Now that you've upgraded a merchant to the latest in technology, look no further than applications such as debit or electronic check acceptance to create an opportunity to sell a PIN pad and/or a check imaging device.

    Both solutions deliver a fast ROI by lowering a merchant's transaction fees and operating costs. And that translates to more revenue per merchant for you on the initial sale or upgrade.

  • Step 3: The Dollar Value of Value-add

    A powerful terminal that has plenty of memory and supports true application separation becomes a revenue-generating instrument for the point-of-sale. Solutions such as gift cards and prepaid telco services can become lucrative profit centers for merchants and for merchant sales reps.

    Most value-added application delivery companies are eager to share in the revenue generated by these services. And providers of age verification, loyalty and time-and-attendance solutions often will reward merchant sales reps with signing bonuses for each application deployed. Not only do you improve the operations within a merchant's location, you line your pockets with new dough from the deal.

    Value-added applications also can be used to open new market opportunities beyond payment. Use age verification services to get your foot in the door at liquor stores, convenience stores and age-restricted venues such as bars, nightclubs and casinos. Use electronic check applications to sell to check-accepting service providers, including doctors' offices and hair salons.

    Once you have established a relationship with the merchant, you have an ongoing opportunity to "upsell" more services in the future. And the more services you offer, the better your retention rates and the better your residuals.

  • Step 4: New Communications Speed New Market Entry

    Advanced Internet Protocol (IP) terminals can become true moneymakers for merchant sales reps who stay ahead of the technology curve. The ability to offer a solution that delivers a secure SSL transaction in 2-4 seconds creates an unbelievable value proposition for you and your merchant customers. Not only does the merchant eliminate the cost of the phone line by connecting all Internet-enabled devices through a single DSL or cable router - televisions, computers, phone, payment terminal - but transaction performance is optimized, increasing customer satisfaction.

    Use IP-enabled countertop terminals to enter new markets where speed rules, including quick service restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, parking lots, movie theaters and concert venues. Use wireless terminals to open doors for mobile merchants, including delivery services, traveling vendors, theme parks and hotel/motel operators.

  • Step 5: Keep Moving Forward. Keep Making Money

    What's next? No one can accurately predict the next wave of innovation at the point-of-sale. But one thing you can count on: Savvy merchant sales reps will be armed with solutions that aren't limited to today's standards.

    Terminals that offer advanced modular design provide you with a better opportunity to add features, services and applications as they come to market. This allows you to stay one step ahead of the competition and to future-proof your solutions as well as your income.

Don't limit yourself - listen for the rat-a-tat-tat of a moneymaking proposition and apply the new opportunity equation!

Michelle Graff is Director of Global Marketing for VeriFone.

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