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The 6 Most Important Features of a Retail POS System


If you’ve been in business for awhile, you may have a credit terminal that’s outdated and no longer under warranty. And if your business is just getting off the ground, you want to be sure that the terminal or reader you choose is going to provide all the features you need. Since the credit card industry has gone through some major changes over the last couple of years, we want to cover the six most important features of a retail POS system:

  1. Stationary vs. Mobile

Before taking any other features into consideration, it’s important to decide whether a stationary or mobile terminal is the best fit for your business. If your business is based around a single retail location, you’ll be happiest with a stationary terminal. But if you also do business at markets or any venues other than your own, you may need a mobile card reader. Keep in mind that even though it may cost a little more upfront, plenty of businesses decide to opt for both a stationary terminal and mobile card reader.

  1. EMV-Ready

Now that new liability rules have gone into effect, merchants that don’t use an EMV-ready terminal are responsible for any fraudulent losses that result from customers who use credit cards that are chip-enabled. Since EMV is a mandatory standard, it’s an absolute must for any new POS system.

  1. Key Entry

There may be times when you need to process a card-not-present transaction. With credit card processing hardware that features key entry, doing this is a breeze. It’s a simple but very useful feature that will prevent you from missing out on these types of sales.

  1. PIN Authorization

More consumers than ever want to use debit cards. In order to accept payment from those customers, you need a processor who supports debit transactions. You also need a terminal that supports customers typing in their PIN.

  1. Chargebacks and Refunds

Even though it’s never something business owners enjoy doing, chargebacks and refunds are simply part of being in retail. While some of these transactions may be handled through an online gateway, any retail business is going to want to have the ability to process them in person. That’s why it’s important to ensure that any POS system you’re looking at offers this functionality. Doing so will make it possible for you to deliver the best possible service to customers.

  1. Surcharges and Tipping

Tipping is generally something that’s only needed in service business and restaurant settings. But even if you’re in retail, there may be times when you need to add (or subtract) a surcharge directly from a transaction prior to processing it. Looking for a terminal with this feature will give you the flexibility needed to handle things like spontaneous sales or discounts for slightly damaged merchandise.

By referring to the list above when you’re evaluating potential credit card processing hardware for your business, you’ll be able to choose a system that will provide your business with everything it needs to make payments a breeze.