Over the years, payment terminals have evolved from just being used for accepting payments to providing merchants with ways to boost their business, learn more about their customers and enhance in-store experiences. Today’s smart terminals are equipped with powerful operating systems that are capable of running third-party apps, which help merchants achieve these goals. Whether you’re a merchant or a solution provider, you should be aware of ways smart terminals can be used beyond just accepting payment. In this blog post, I list four ways you can get more out of your payment terminals:
1. Learn from Your Customers: Evolve with them.
Businesses need to evolve with their customers, whether it’s growing their product lines or improving the in-store experience. Gathering information about a customer’s in-store experience efficiently can be a tough task, but this is where payment terminals can help merchants.
Many customer insight software solutions enable merchants to ask their customers short, multiple-choice questions while they pay on a smart terminal. For example, merchants can ask their customers about their in-store experience or level of satisfaction, to understand what the shoppers expect from the brand.
These surveys can be conducted seamlessly right on the terminal during the checkout which can help make the process seem quicker, as shoppers are engaged in sharing their feedback and not just waiting to pay. As data is collected, business owners can better understand their customers and refine their in-store strategy to better serve them.
2. Create Loyalty: Build stronger connections with the customer.
Building customer loyalty is of prime importance to business owners, and having your own loyalty program can be a very effective way to engage with customers. However, developing and managing a loyalty program can be a cumbersome task, especially for a small business. By deploying payment terminals that seamlessly integrate with loyalty software solutions, merchants can more easily manage loyalty programs in their store. These solutions allow customers to earn points with their purchases and also redeem them in-store.
In a typical example, a regular customer can check their loyalty points on the terminal by entering their phone number associated with the account. They can then choose whether to redeem those points with the current purchase or save them for another time. This makes it easier for merchants to electronically track repeat purchases and maintain loyalty programs without any additional overhead cost.
3. Accept Alternative Payments: Let customers pay using the method they want.
Apart from accepting mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, merchants have the capability of taking other forms of payment as well. Digital currency companies, such as Canada-based MintChip, and cryptocurrency companies, such as Bitcoin, have also worked with merchants to allow customers to use these payment methods. Consumers are already getting used to mobile wallets in the market, so it is only a matter of time they start to expect to be able to pay via these methods. To prepare for a move to a cashless society, merchants need to be ready with payment solutions that can seamlessly integrate with software applications that enable them to accept alternative payments. There could also be instances in which a QR code is used to verify the payment method, and with the right applications the smart terminal would be able to accept it. This way, merchants give their customers the choice to pay using their preferred method.
4. Run Your Business Effectively: Use apps to boost efficiency.
Running and maintaining a small business can be challenging. Every business needs tools that can assist with tasks such as employee timesheets, digital receipts, marketing automation, etc. Many software solutions for smart payment terminals help merchants do exactly that.
Here’s a video demonstrating how it works:
For example, as employees walk in, they can clock in on a payment terminal and the business owner will know exactly how much time they’ve worked for the week while streamlining their business processes. Other apps can assist owners in capturing additional information from customers, such as phone numbers or email addresses that can be used to opt-in to newsletters and promotions or to send digital receipts.
Developers Will Build the Future of Payments
These are just a few examples, but, as we saw during our Money 20/20 Hackathon this past fall (video above), the possibilities for merchants are endless. As more developers get familiar with these systems, there will soon be a myriad of applications that merchants can leverage to boost their business in many ways. Whether these applications involve loyalty, business tools, alternative payment methods or anything else, merchants will truly gain more out of their payment terminals.
If you’re looking to learn more about the next generation of payment terminals that allow your customers to go beyond payments, contact us and get started.
Ben Wagner is the Director of Solutions at Ingenico Group, North America