Merchant Services
Published November 06th, 2016 by

POS 101: The Beginners’ Guide to Point of Sale Systems

POS 101: The Beginners' Guide to Point of Sale Systems

Processing payments online is a vital part of an online business. Because of this, utilizing a merchant service (MS) is beneficial to companies nowadays. However, there are many payment processing options a MS can provide to businesses such as debit card payments, credit card payments or POS. Which one do you use? This article focuses on Point of Sale (POS) systems and for businesses that wants to get one.

Merchant Services: What Is It?

Let’s start with the basics first. What are merchant services? It is a term also known as credit card processing. MS handles transactions for electronic payments. It also involves collecting funds, obtaining sales data such as card information, receiving payment authorization and a lot more.

How Much Do You Need to Pay for MS?

The rates of MS vary. The merchant services cost would depend on what features or types of payment method it has. If you are considering getting a POS system, save money because they are expensive. Most models will cost you thousands of dollars. But that was before. Nowadays, they are affordable to get. It is also possible that you won’t have to pay for upfront costs.

It is better to purchase MS as a package. This package includes the software and the hardware. This will guarantee better, consistent and smooth sales service. It’s all right to shell out a sizable amount of money to use it for POS because you know that your sales can be more efficient and revenue can increase.

What Are the Common Fees in MS?

Each MS has its own fees that may or may not be present in their competitors. Other fees that you may encounter are processing fees, penalties, set up fees and capture fees. Examples of merchant services fees include:

  1. Statement fees
  2. Gateway fees
  3. Chargeback fees
  4. Cancellation fees
  5. Transaction fees
  6. Flat fees
  7. Network fees
  8. Terminal fees
  9. PCI fees
  10. Annual/monthly fees

POS System: What Is It?

A POS system is a great alternative for the traditional cash registers you find in stores. It combines software and hardware payment solutions that handle inventory management, transactions and even customer loyalty promos. Once a payment is complete, it uses a system that notifies and computes the sold product or service automatically in the store inventory. It also checks if the consumer is eligible in certain promotions and lets them know if they are.

All the payment information done online can be compiled and analyzed to generate business reports. This is very helpful to managers or the sales team to find out if they need to restock their items, track employee employees or find out if their marketing methods are working. Your employees can provide faster, accurate and more organized customer service. To know which POS system is right for your business, read on’s reviews of merchant services.

What Can a POS System Do in MS?

A POS system can boost businesses, no matter how big or small it is or what their sales goals are. It can bring new customers to your business and fulfill your company’s financial needs. The best merchant services should have the following features to perform the most common tasks:

  1. Be able to sell products or services. This is the main function of MS. Every business needs to sell their products and services. By using MS, this can be done efficiently and effectively.
  2. E-commerce. It can help improve your business by setting up your online payments easily. It also promotes online content, giving you a chance to get more customers.
  3. Inventory management. You’ll be able to monitor your stocks. You won’t have a hard time finding out when an item is short in supply, if it is popular or how many times it has been purchased. This will help you decide if you still need to restock or to still purchase the same product in future sales. This will lessen your chances of items being overstocked or understocked. Additionally, MS will provide notifications if there is a need to stock items or if there is new items available.
  4. Sales management. The sales data is organized, providing faster and more accurate sales forecasts. Sales reports can be generated very fast. For the customer, they would have the ease to checkout items any time without having to fall in line.
  5. Having a secure payment system will provide you and your customer peace of mind. You’re confident that your customer’s payment information is protected.
  6. Ability to track orders from customers and retain customer information. The POS system can track sales orders made by the customer. Using this information, they can create loyalty reward programs for the customers who meet certain requirements. They can also monitor what the customer needs or wants are, and provide recommendations with items that the customer may like.
  7. Ability to create reports. As we’ve mentioned earlier, POS systems can generate sales reports that can summarize the sales or inventory data and other information that gives your details to improve your sales and marketing strategies.
  8. Improve customer service. You’ll lessen the time spent by employees that use the traditional cash register if they use MS instead. This time can be spent on other things such as pay attention to customers or sales improvements.
  9. Only you can make changes on your business sales. Using MS can help you run your business the way you want it, giving you recommendations along the way.
  10. Inventory management. It can integrate all the sales data into just one tool. This includes your customer information, credit card information, rewards programs, sales records, inventory and a lot more.
  11. Boosts company growth. Merchant service can provide you all the information you need to make sound business decisions and improve sales growth.

What Industries Are Recommended to Have POS?

If you are in a business with the following industries, it is greatly recommended you get merchant services using POS systems.

  1. Food and Dining industry
    1. Fast-food
    2. Cafeteria
    3. Restaurant
    4. Fine Dining
    5. Bars
    6. Nightclubs
    7. Coffee shops
    8. Pizzeria
    9. Drive Through
  2. Retail industry
    1. Apparel/Clothing
    2. Liquor stores
    3. Car washes
    4. Tobacco stores
    5. Flower shops
    6. Cellular and Electronics shop
    7. Gift shops and book stores
    8. Convenience stores
    9. Grocery
    10. Supermarket
    11. Dollar/Discount stores
    12. Video game stores
    13. Video and equipment rental
    14. Music stores

What to Look for When Purchasing MS With the Right POS System?

It’s a bit confusing if you want to purchase merchant services pos terminals. The price varies and you need to focus on certain features for your company. Below are some guidelines that can help you decide which one is right for your company:

  1. Make sure the POS system you choose can track inventory and monitor your sales transactions. You should know what items are running low, easily order or re-order items, check for back orders or generate order purchases.
  2. Balance accessibility and functionality. Most of the time, the more complicated your sales orders are, the higher the chance of features you require. You also have to consider how many employees you have and the money you’ll invest in training them.
  3. You should look for an MS that lets you grow with you. Start small and build your way up. Always choose an MS that meets your needs and is possible that someone can explain and set up the tools you need to start.

Other criteria to look for when looking for a POS system includes:

  1. Cost
  2. Hardware (touch screen, smartphone, desktop)
  3. Fast and easy set up
  4. Ease of use
  5. Customization options
  6. Customer service
  7. Service limitations
  8. Third-party integrations
  9. Contracts/service terms
  10. Backend features (inventory management)
  11. Built-in solutions (CRM- customer relationship management)
  12. e-Commerce integration
  13. Analytics and reporting

The best merchant services do not necessarily mean that it only has POS system. Choosing MS will still depend on the features it has and its advantages to you. Make sure that the MS is tailored to your business needs or else your productivity decreases.

Do I Need POS systems?

If you have an MS, getting POS systems is optional. If you are a small or medium sized business, you’ll have a faster and efficient payment process. Large businesses greatly rely on POS systems to do their tasks and to check on their inventory from time to time.

Before buying and using it, read, compare and try out your MS to see if it can run your business. It is also recommended to get a package deal to make it less expensive.

In the last couple of years, many companies started using merchant services that has POS systems. Merchant services are a great way to boost your company sales and garner more customers. If you want to get started with merchant services today, or if you want to know more about the POS system, why not start reading’s reviews of merchant services to be up to date with the latest news about them.

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