How to Find the Right Payment System In a mobile economy, being able to simply process credit cards is no longer enough. Here's what to look for as you search for a payment-system provider.
1. Prioritize Anytime, Anywhere Payments
From Joey Rault, head of enterprise sales, Square
If you're a quick-service or retail franchise, a traditional sale means a customer is entering a physical store and purchasing an item. But customers' expectations of convenience keep getting higher, so we're seeing many of the franchises on Square leverage self-service kiosks, e-commerce, and mobile apps to facilitate payments anywhere. For example, we work with Ben & Jerry's, and if you're a franchisee, a great place to sell is outside the store in the summer, or at the local high school football game. When you're looking for a merchant service provider, be sure to choose one that can, in any circumstance, allow you to accept all forms of payment: mag stripe, chip cards, mobile payments, and gift cards.
You'll also want to consider how the provider presents data, which is critical to understanding your customers. Whether your annual revenue is $500,000 or $500 million, connecting the dots on customer data from different channels -- in-store, events, e-commerce, mobile -- may be difficult, especially if you have a different service provider for each. When a customer swipes a card, Square logs a record of that transaction associated with that customer's name. Every future transaction will automatically show up there, and the franchisee can get to know not only that customer but also her purchase habits, like whether she typically buys in-store or online. This kind of information can guide future decisions that will be critical to a franchisee's top-line revenue and scalable growth.
Related: How to Streamline Your Company's Purchasing
2. Look for a Holistic Approach
From Steven Johnson, franchisee, Mr. Appliance
Mr. Appliance, a Texas-based operation with more than 275 locations, offers in-home and in-office appliance repairs. Almost a decade ago, longtime franchisee Steven Johnson partnered with payment processor CardConnect because of its…
Easy-to-access transaction records are vital to Mr. Appliance's business. Johnson uses CardConnect's portal to pull up invoice numbers, purchase amounts, and transaction entry numbers, which makes it easier to reconcile invoices with proof of payment.
Johnson values CardConnect's quick response rate. If there's ever a platform issue or the company can't determine how a payment was processed, he says, his CardConnect representative replies right away.
c. Personalized service.
Johnson's business recently enjoyed a growth spurt, and CardConnect notified him that the increase in processed payments qualified Johnson for additional savings on American Express transactions. "Three-fourths of a percent might not sound like a lot," he says, "but we do more than $15,000 a day in credit card sales."
Related: A Good Accountant Is Key to a Good Franchise Operation. Here's How to Find One.
3. Unexpected Success
From James Meeks, CEO, MOVE Systems
What he expected: After the 2014 launch of his sustainable mobile food-cart company, Meeks signed on with Clover, a payment processing system that prides itself on personalization and could help him secure payment hardware that would withstand the bumps and thumps of a jostling food cart.
What he got: In addition to hardy hardware, Meeks was able to customize the checkout experience through Clover's integrative app store, which can help manage loyalty programs or encourage end customers to round up their purchase total for charity.