Integrated payments are becoming popular among retailers and POS owners who are looking to streamline certification processes, reduce the amount of time spent on compliance, and save money. An integrated merchant services platform can work with your Point of Sale or Electronic Cash Register (ECR) software and hardware to provide an economy of scale that wasn’t previously possible. The power of the integrated approach to credit card processing services can be seen in the way many financial services companies are acquiring companies in the marketplace.
Some of the early adopters of the integrated processing solution include restaurants and retailers. At restaurants, newer integrated services make it easier to accept EMV cards, and implement pay-at-the-table solutions. For retailers, the checkout line moves faster thanks to quicker authorizations, and the new focus on secure processing means that chip card compatibility is a front-burner issue for customers. Chain stores may be concerned that the store without EMV compatibility is going to be the first-choice of credit card counterfeiters who can’t crack the new chip-card interface.
Integrated processing also offers advantages for supermarkets and c-stores, and some solutions provide “push” updates to POS systems during downtime. This means that grocery stores don’t have to worry about slow registers during busy buying times, and security holed get fixed automatically. Often, the integration device for checkout stands consists of a PIN device which functions as a card reader, so the customer experiences familiar technology, even though there may be chip-readers and contactless NFC sensors inside the hardware.
Many value added resellers and independent software vendors look to integrated processing solutions as a way to consolidate and bundle features for POS and ECR systems. When a merchant has an issue with functionality, he or she may call the VAR or ISV first and then get directed to a processor if the root problem is related to payments. VARs and ISVs are often asked to recommend processors who are compatible with their specific POS systems.
For the developer and reseller, the advantages of providing a turnkey POS solution are numerous. Integrated payments generally reduce the scope of PCI and EMV requirements, often shifting responsibility for compliance to the processor. This means that VARs and ISVs don’t need to be re-certified, or do not have to spend multiple hours every year on additional Self-Assessment Questionnaires or paying for third-party services to audit their systems.
For all parties involved, integrated payments are designed to reduce the amount of time spent on compliance, while making the payment and checkout process easier. Furthermore, integrated tools may work with multiple processors and POS systems, and can replace other middleware. The open-ended architecture also creates a future-proof scenario where new payment methods and products can be developed for specific needs. By creating seamless payment environments, eliminating manual data entry, and reducing the need for re-certification, an integrated credit card acceptance solution can expand your profit margin while it gives you more time to concentrate on your core business.