by Ty Hardison

How will merchants balance acceptance and costs in 2015?

Processing mobile payments may be more important than keeping fees to a minimum.

As merchants look ahead to a new year, now is the time to project how their role will evolve in 2015 and beyond. Technology will continue to advance well into the new year, which will provide merchants with opportunities to process payments in new and innovative ways. Of course, not every merchant is on board with new payment methods that utilize different tools like mobile phones and tablets, but increased adoption is going to be a major story in 2015. In fact, one publication has gone as far as saying this will be the most pressing issue in the merchant community next year, and it may result in other needs taking a back seat.

There is nothing more frustrating as a consumer than getting to the front of the checkout line only to realize they do not accept your preferred method of … more

Tablet POS solutions to play a big role in payments industry in 2015

The cloud is changing tablet POS technology.

As the year winds down, payment systems professionals have begun looking at what 2015 will bring for the industry. The consensus is that technological advancements will push what were innovative niche systems to the mainstream. Tablet POS systems are one of these technologies, and given the advancements in hardware and software required to make these tools work, more companies will find it easier to adopt them into their payments infrastructure in the new year. spoke about the ways payments technologies will emerge in the coming year with a number of industry professionals who believe tablet POS systems will not only become mainstream, but that organizations will increasingly use modern technologies like the cloud to facilitate tablet POS … more

Top five factors impacting a merchant's effective real rate to accept card payments

A number of factors can influence your effective real rate.

Understanding your effective real rate is the key to identifying the most cost-effective payment services provider. Your effective real rate measures the total cost of all processing fees and can be calculated by dividing the total merchant charges and fees over a given amount of time by the total bank card sales volume over that same amount of time. The only way to ensure you have the best effective real rate is to understand what factors into determining this rate.

Here are the top five factors impacting real rate:

Your industry: Merchants have different real rates depending on their industry. For example, retail, hospitality, education, the restaurant industry and B2B sales all have different real rates. 

Card types accepted: There are a growing number of card types in the … more

When implementing a payment processing system, training is of the utmost importance

Make sure your employees are trained on all new payment processing systems.

The payment technology industry is evolving rapidly, so it's understandable that some consumers are unsure as to what solutions are out there in the market and how they work. Those that accept these payments, whether they are restaurants or retailers, should have no such excuse. Unfortunately, some organizations have not followed necessary steps during the adoption process, which has resulted in confused employees and frustrated customers.

Apple Pay has been live for almost two months, but not all reported participants have done their part to make the transition from traditional methods to Apple Pay seamless. When Tim Cook first unveiled Apple Pay at an iPhone event in September, McDonalds was listed as an early adopter of the technology, but the popular fast food restaurant never told … more

Tablet POS systems can be an important tool on Small Business Saturday

The holiday shopping season officially kicks off this weekend with Black Friday. Consumers around the country will be lined up at their favorite big-box retailers to get the best door buster deals. On the following Monday — in many cases, at the stroke of midnight — shoppers will go to their computers to find the best online deals for Cyber Monday. Sandwiched in between arguably the two biggest shopping days of the year is Small Business Saturday, which encourages holiday shoppers to buy from small, local merchants.

This blog recently touched upon the importance of the day. Not only are small businesses vital to the communities which they serve, those who buy from small businesses are often doing so from friends, family and neighbors, rather than large corporations, … more

Can merchants do enough to protect customers this holiday season?

We're a year removed from the Target breach that rocked the retail industry over the 2013 holiday shopping season, and as this year's busiest time approaches, it's important for merchants to ensure they don't allow a repeat of that PR disaster. However, some industry experts suggest they aren't doing enough to mitigate the risk of a breach.

An article in USA Today suggests merchants are just as vulnerable this year as they were last year, even though a number of measures have been taken to improve overall payment security. The implementation of EMV technology was a major initiative this year, and earlier this fall Bank of America rolled out its security chip program. However, many stores have not implemented the technology needed to process these payments, according to the news source.

" … more

Are you prepared for Small Business Saturday?

Small business Saturday is coming.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday get all of the attention, but they aren't the only two shopping events that take place in the first few days after Thanksgiving. While major retailers like Walmart and eCommerce providers like Amazon do great business on their respective shopping holidays, what about small local businesses? They get their day too. On the day after Black Friday, consumers are encouraged to visit their local businesses in an event called Small Business Saturday.

This is an opportunity for smaller companies who can't compete with those offering major door-buster deals as early as Thanksgiving morning to take advantage of the busy shopping weekend. It's a chance for those who want to support their local economy to do just that. Erikka Storch, the Wheeling Area Chamber of … more

Report: 58 percent of holiday shoppers will pay with their mobile device

This may be the first true mobile holiday shopping season.

This may be the first true mobile holiday shopping season. While we've already examined some of the trends leading into the biggest season of the year for retailers, as the holiday season quickly approaches many have begun to examine just how big of an influence the mobile device will have on retail purchases. According to most projections, it's going to make a major difference. 

A Deloitte study revealed that at least 58 percent of shoppers will use their mobile device to help them make purchases this holiday season. Uses vary, ranging from using a phone to find a particular store location or item to scanning and comparing prices, making purchases from mobile eCommerce sites and using the phone to pay at a POS system with NFC technology. The results ultimately … more

How will Apple Pay and CurrentC work together?

The important thing to know is that mobile devices are the future of payments, so merchants must be prepared regardless.

Apple Pay has been available for about three weeks now, and adoption is rising among both retailers and consumers. While the list of retailers currently accepting Apple Pay is well known by most in the tech world, so are those who will not accept it. A significant number or prominent retailers, many of which will play a major role in the upcoming holiday shopping season, are not going to accept Apple Pay and implement the necessary technology because they are waiting for their own system, one that won't be out until next year.

You may have heard of the Merchant Consumer Exchange (MCX), but if not, it's an organization started by Walmart that contains a few popular retailers including Sears, CVS and Best Buy. The group got together years ago with the mission of making payments … more

Why a tablet POS system might help you survive the holiday season

A tablet POS might be a better option than a traditional checkout counter this holiday season.

You've probably begun to think about the logistics of managing the holiday rush at your retail store. Not only do you have to worry about having enough inventory to fulfill your customers' requests and having the ability to order new shipments in a timely manner, you must also consider the layout of your store during the next two months. Starting officially after Thanksgiving (but more realistically, around now) malls and plazas will start seeing more foot traffic, which means you will see more people in your store. While this is good for your revenue, you have to make sure you can get them in and out of your store in a timely manner. One way to do this may be by providing your retail clerks the flexibility to check out customers from anywhere on the floor.

The age of the traditional … more