Every customer has been there in a long line behind other customers being held up by one customer whose credit or debit card just won’t seem to work. The clerk is fiddling with the card, sliding it in and out of the chip reader, yet it just doesn’t seem to want to go through. The idea of accepting credit and debit cards is to make paying for items faster, simpler and more secure. A scene like the one described above is counter to that whole premise.
Long wait times at the checkout line can discourage customers and simply limit the success of your business. By the time they reach checkout customers have already committed to parting with their hard-earned money and the last thing you, as a retailer, want to see is an issue with payment.
Below we have outlined steps to greatly increase your credit and debit card processing so as not to recreate the havoc that checkout bottlenecks can create.
· Mobile Devices and Wireless Terminals – Depending on the design of your store and what types of products you carry, mobile devices and wireless terminals are a great way to rid your store of customer pileups in the checkout line – not to mention they present a modern innovative appearance to your customers. Wireless terminals run off WIFI or a GPRS signal meaning there are no clunky cords or cables to get in the way. In environments like clothing stores or electronics stores where sales associates work closely with customers prior to the sale, wireless terminals are a great way to provide customers with convenience.
· Access to Multiple Point of Sale Terminals – If the environment of your location or the makeup of your staff does not lend itself to mobile devices and wireless terminals another route to consider is the implementation of a broad range of point of sale terminals. The more terminals you add, the more options your customers will have and the shorter the lines will be. Simple case of supply to meet demand.
· The Speed of Your Internet Connection – The problem of those checkout bottlenecks can actually be as simple as a poor Internet connection causing your terminal to lag uncontrollably. To mitigate this problem it is always best to invest in the latest and greatest hardware and ensure you are working with an Internet provider that has the capability to handle the volume of activity that you need. It is also important to check that your network infrastructure has been set up correctly and is working at maximum speed. This is a problem that is easily fixable.
· Automatic Recurring Billing – Payment problems can occur in a virtual setting as well as at brick-and-mortar locations. If there is an issue with the payment gateway or the shopping cart on a website it can halt your business all-together. If the product or service you sell allows for it, setting up your customers on a recurring automatic payment plan is a great way to ensure that you are paid regularly. This setup works very well for software companies, gyms and other subscription based entities.
· Card Readers That Require No Contact – Implementing a contactless reader on top of your payment terminal is a great way to speed up the payment process. Many consumers are leaning toward using the tap-and-go feature on their credit cards more regularly and this is something that is only going to increase in regularity. Tap-and-go is much faster than inserting a chip or relying on a terminal that may have difficulty reading a magnetic strip. It also provides your customer base with yet another option so that they can pay you quickly and move onto to their next mission.
The key to a successful retail environment is to make life as enjoyable and convenient as possible for your customers so that they can pay you quickly and efficiently, which will make them want to return again and again. Part of this is ensuring you’ve exhausted all the possible measures to speed up the checkout process. After all, the faster your customers pay the faster the money is in your account.