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How to Pick a POS System

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Topics: Payments

November 2, 2018

Whether you’re starting a new business or thinking of upgrading your existing business, picking a new POS system is one of the most important business decisions you can make. Choose the correct POS system and your business will run smoothly and your operating costs will stay low. Choose the wrong system, though, and it will suck up all your time and saddle you with crippling costs and fees. No one wants that happen, so pay heed to these 6 factors before taking the plunge on that new POS system.

1. Pricing and Features

The SpotOn RegisterIt’s okay to bargain shop and make sure you get a good deal, but don’t sacrifice the features you need to save a couple of bucks. If you and your staff have to spend extra time doing something manually when the right POS could do it automatically, you’ll end up costing yourself more in the long run. Likewise, if the POS system isn’t intuitive, you’ll waste valuable time training all your employees.

2. Customer Payment Options

It’s the twenty-first century. More and more, customers want to pay with mobile pay technology, and credit card companies are all-in on chip technology. If your POS doesn’t accept contactless payment options and EMV technology, it’s at risk of becoming obsolete before you pay it off.

3. Software

Did we mention it’s the twenty-first century already? If you get a POS system where you’re buying or leasing an on-premise software platform, you’re both hamstringing your marketing abilities and ensuring your system will be out of date before whatever clothing the kids are wearing these days go out of style.

Cloud-based software is the way to go. Not only does it make sure your software stays up to date, it will save you time and money by allowing you to connect your sales data to analytics so you can improve everything from employee performance to customer habits.

4. Customer Support

SpotOn RestaurantThe newest generation of POS systems are amazing, but at some point you will need help, either with the software or hardware. Make sure you’re getting your POS from a vendor that provides hands-on support. You don’t want to lose business because you’re on hold for hours or are required to process a ticket online and wait days for someone to call you back.

5. Hidden Costs

If a company is offering a POS system for a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. You’re going to pay for your system one way or another. It’s just a matter of whether the company is transparent about where the costs are. Here are the questions you need to ask.

Are you buying the system, leasing it, or getting it as part of a subscription with your payment processing?

Is there a long term contract? If so, what are the penalties for breaking the contract if “things don’t work out”?

If the POS is part of a package with a payment processing company, are there hidden fees or high processing rates?

6. Can You Get a Demo?

Advertisements and websites for POS systems are great at framing the upside of a product, but it’s hard to know what you’re getting until you actually see it in action. Make sure that you work with a vendor that is focused on finding the perfect POS for your type of business and that they’re willing to show you how the product works, including the hardware, the software, and a breakdown of their payment pricing.

Any company that believes in their product, pricing, and support system should be upfront and forthright in showing you the product before you sign on the dotted line.

Looking for a new POS? Check out SpotOn’s selection of payment processing terminals or get a free demo.

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