The Benefits of Integrated Payments
Integrated payments offers merchants a range of benefits, including in these seven areas:
- Streamlined processes
Without integrated payments, merchants use a standalone terminal to accept payment cards. After totaling a sale, cashiers run payment cards through the terminal, then save receipts to reconcile with point of sale (POS) data later.
An integrated payment solution automatically shares data with POS and accounting systems. Customers will be delighted with faster and easier checkout processes — which, as the last touchpoint, can give them a more positive impression of their overall shopping experiences.
For the back office post-coronavirus, streamlining internal processes may be crucial to a merchant trying to reopen and salvage as much of their revenues and profits as possible.
- Labor costs
Integrated payments can equate to hours of saved time each week since a manager doesn’t have to stay after a shift to manually enter credit card charges into their systems and accounting takes less time.
- Minimizing errors
Anytime a process depends on manual data entry vs. automation, there is a greater chance of error. As restaurants, stores, and service provider reopen, minimizing errors that take time to correct and that slow cash flow, will be an important key performance indicator to monitor. Integrated payments eliminate errors that can occur when data is manually entered into the POS or accounting systems.
- Improve cash flow
More efficient internal processes are not only less labor-intensive, but they’re also faster. With integrated payments, there’s no need to wait for manual accounting processes to have funds from payment cards transferred to the merchants’ accounts. Merchants can receive their payments sooner, which is vital for businesses as they reopen.
- Preventing employee fraud
Preventing shrinkage will also be vital for recovering merchants. Integrated payments eliminate the chance for employees to commit fraud, for example, by charging different amounts to credit cards and pocketing cash.
It also protects your customers from unscrupulous employees who would use a card skimmer or record card numbers to compromise customers’ accounts. With integrated payments, cashiers never have to see payment cards — customers can dip, enter their PINs, and complete payment transactions on their own.
- Improves security
PCI-compliant integrated payment solutions are also more secure than standalone payment systems. Integrated payments often include advanced security features, such as tokenization and encryption, which keeps data safe from the moment the customer uses the card, through the approval process, and when data is shared with the POS and accounting systems.
Integrated payment solutions could decrease the chances that recovering merchants will have to deal with data breaches, which, in light of the current crisis, could be devastating to their businesses.
- Comprehensive reports for smarter decision making
Instead of reviewing individual reports from siloed payment, POS, and loyalty program data, integrated payments allows a merchant to analyze data together. The deeper insights that result can provide a better understanding of customers, visibility into reasons behind shrink or low productivity, and the basis for smart decision making.
Restart the integrated payments conversation
If you have clients who have been reluctant to upgrade from their standalone payment terminal, it’s time for another frank discussion of what that may mean for their businesses. ISVs and VARs need to communicate the importance of upgrading technology to support an efficient, profitable business that provides the highest degree of customer experiences.
Integrating payments is also the first step toward building customer engagement platforms for e-commerce, online ordering, and loyalty rewards programs, which can give your clients the ability to continue to operate as the crisis continues.
As a trusted advisor, it’s your responsibility to provide your clients with the best advice. If they haven’t upgraded to integrated payments, stress why it’s time for a change.