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January 9th, 2018

6min Read

How to Position Your Retail Business for Success in 2018

Merchants have been asking our teams at CardConnect how to capitalize on new technology in payments, but do so cost-effectively. They want to ensure they’re creating an environment that entices younger consumers but also continues to serve generations that may be less tied to the latest tech trends.

You may have seen our previous post on the Evolution of the Retail Shopper where we touched on the need for businesses to adopt the right security solutions and omnichannel retailing. Recently, we’ve been getting lots of questions about how retailers can get ahead in payments, so we thought we would share more tips – complete with thoughts incorporated from two CardConnect experts.

1. Fraud Protection

We have all seen it. There are still retail establishments not equipped to take a credit card with an EMV chip—or they have a chip reader but it’s not working. Not using a chip-enabled system can spell financial disaster for a merchant. Merchants are responsible for chargebacks regardless if the purchase happened or not. More importantly there is no recourse for a merchant to validate the transaction through the chargeback process with a signed customer receipt.

"If the cardholder claims they didn’t make the transaction – and in fact they did – the merchant is 100% financially liable for the chargeback because the merchant simply did not utilize the technology to protect themselves,” said Michael Mertz, Chief Sales Officer at CardConnect.

There’s an urgency for merchants to utilize EMV technology that allows for the acceptance of chip cards, and cost shouldn’t be a reason to put this off. For example, the CardPointe Terminal, our stand-alone countertop terminal great for retail and restaurants, is an affordable solution for chip, with prices starting under $200.

2. Trust

PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) solutions have emerged as a necessity for any size business as breaches continue to occur. Security in payments should be at the top of every merchant and ISV’s list, as the need to gain consumer trust becomes even more difficult to do. CardConnect protects every transaction with a powerful combination of PCI-validated P2PE and patented tokenization to secure sensitive data and most importantly, the trust of a customer.

“After a multitude of breaches from household name companies, consumers are left wondering who they can trust with their data,” said Mertz. “No merchant wants to be the next one with a data breach or to operate an environment that isn’t secure.”

The most important thing a merchant can do is complete their PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). Depending on their environment, CardConnect provides solutions that can minimize PCI scope and reduce the length of the SAQ from 100 to approximately 30 questions. Once a merchant completes the SAQ, they are provided with a seal they can use to showcase their PCI compliance, aiding in giving customers peace of mind.

With CardConnect’s Bolt solution, integration of P2PE devices is made easy - a simple API brings the power of P2PE to a POS, mobile or SaaS application.

3. Speed

Integrated payments are the way of the world right now. While it was more common (and for some, still is) for merchants to have an inventory system separate from their POS system and credit card terminal, merchants can now integrate everything, including payment acceptance, into one system which provides for a more seamless, faster checkout experience for the customer.

“In the past 12 months, we have noticed a significant shift in the industry towards integrated payments as demand from both merchants and software vendors for an all-in-one solution has materially increased,” said Rich Wheeler, Director of Integrated Sales at CardConnect. “Leveraging multiple gateways or service providers as a merchant or software vendor to facilitate multiple payment types or methods is becoming a thing of the past.”

Not only does integrating payments help with upfront checkout, it helps the business operationally on the backend by providing reconciliation and real-time reporting so a business always knows where they stand with inventory and sales. CardConnect takes pride in being able to successfully power the payments component for integrated solutions that provide so much value to the businesses using them.

4. One Step Ahead in Mobile

It’s important to rethink customer touch points for secure, hassle-free transactions for mobile. According to UPS, more than 50 percent of shoppers are concerned about security and privacy when it comes to making purchases on their mobile device.

Capitalize on a secure method of payment acceptance in mobile so you can capture mobile-first and mobile-only consumers. Many consumers are already using mobile now, and once security concerns are minimized, mobile will be the next wave of the future for payments.

“The biggest constraint for the merchant is the simple cost to acquire all the technology to accept mobile wallet but you will see a tipping point in the next couple of years,” said Mertz. “The consumer is going to demand the acceptance of mobile wallet for simplicity and ease of payment.”

Mobile payments are not only important to customers, but in some cases they allow for the merchant to manage transactions on their own smart device. CardPointe’s native mobile app ensures merchants can check in to keep a pulse on their business wherever they are – ensuring they stay ahead in this mobile world.

5. Contactless Payment Applications

Organizing your payments to work with Apple Pay and Android Pay will be important now as adoption becomes even more prevalent in the next few years. Contactless payment applications like these can be used at a device level thorough near field communication (NFC). This is a big area of development.

“Today we would be hard-pressed to find devices being manufactured that don’t have Apple Pay and Android Pay acceptance available,” said Wheeler. “Contactless payments will become more prevalent in the future and it’s smart to employ a payment solution that allows for growth.”

By equipping your payment solutions now with the capability to enable your device as a payment vehicle, merchants can position themselves ahead of the competition when mass adoption takes place.

“In the future, we will still have credit cards but the actual piece of inserting or swiping will slowly go away,” said Wheeler. “The payment process will evolve to accepting payments via Bluetooth, wifi and NFC.”

This is an exciting time in the world of payments! If you more have questions, feel free to get in touch with us.

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