Imagine a credit card reader that you can slip into your pocket and process miles away from your brick-and-mortar business. Imagine paying only for the cards you process. Imagine a reader that uses any iOS or Android device as its hub. Imagine a point of sale that’s as mobile as your delivery team. SumUp has at last directed its attention towards U.S. soil after a successful launch in the UK. The mobile point of sale company has stretched to include some 15 countries, and its success can be pinned on one simple fact: This is a reader that focuses on what businesses need from their readers, and not what banks want. This way, your profits go where they belong: in your account.
The End of Credit Card Fraud in One Simple Step
Payment nightmares had become so all-encompassing in 2015 that the USA was responsible for 47% of the world’s credit card fraud. Chip and sign cards are a seamless and airtight solution that have already proven themselves in UK markets, yet the U.S. is dragging its feet on the transition to EMV technology. The sluggishness hasn’t gone unnoticed. Fraudsters have been working overtime to exploit magnetic strip technology before the U.S. draws a line underneath the chip and sign transition. Criminals pushed counterfeit card fraud up by 12.5% in a bid to benefit from the lack of security while they still can, but that’s not the absurd part. That label goes to the fact that those who don’t have an EMV credit card reader now have to cover the fraud loss themselves. All that’s required to bolster your business’ liability is the capacity to process chip and sign cards. Think of it as your insurance policy.
Making Sense of the Change
EMV technology operates through a chip that’s kept on the client’s card. It’s currently nearly impossible to counterfeit. When the UK introduced chip and pin cards to the market, it enjoyed a 70% reduction in counterfeiting over a decade. This is not necessarily the most powerful benefit of a mobile credit card reader. EMV readers are packed with software and hardware that enhance the way you do business. If you’re a small merchant, this technology is budget-friendly enough to bring your business into the new era. If you have a travelling company, your point of sale easily moves with you. SumUp also comes with a range of applications that lift weight off your bookkeeper’s and even marketer’s shoulders.
Your credit card reader can keep track of your stock, feed figures into Excel spreadsheets, and automate your cash ups until they’re ready to be processed by your accountant. Once your data is in Excel, you gain the benefit of Microsoft’s analytics sites. This way, you can not only find out which staff are pushing the most profits, but also what stock is performing best for your company. Power Query streams your data into the cloud so that it’s available to all branches of your company. Power Pivot crunches your data into usable models. You can even discover the geographical areas that are serving your business best. There is a reason the data revolution is still buzzing with energy: it drives revenue exceptionally well, and you needn’t be loyal to only one operating system. SumUp is a credit card reader for iPhone and Android. The Air card reader connects via Bluetooth to Samsung Android and iPad, too.
The Payment Race
Point of sale systems may seem like one of the most pointless parts of your business to strategize, but the reality is not so forgiving. Since the personal computer became a part of retail store point of sale systems in 1983, sales have been rising and expenses, decreasing. A well-deployed POS typically lifts sales by 20% and reduces expenses by 15% within six months. Profit margins rise by 25% and net profits increase by 30%. Your mobile credit card reader can even reduce your staff compliment. The causes of these effects are wide ranging.
- Cash register time is reduced, shortening queues at peak hours.
- Card purchases are processed faster.
- Software with easy-to-use prompts reduces margins of error.
- Stock control is easier to achieve. Low stock levels are instantly recognizable.
- Payroll information is automatically recorded to reduce the need for clerical staff.
- Delivery and mobile versions of your business can be deployed to stretch your reach and thus your profits.
- Budgeting and inventory needs are made available without complex data entry.
- Better inventory control translates directly into fewer lost sales.
These days, your point of sale can become whatever you want it to be. The era of monetized software is slowly coming to an end as freeware becomes widely available. This gives you all the functionality you could hope for from a portable credit card reader without any extra expense. If you want powerful automation and analytics, you can have it with only a minor change in your hardware. A reader with an app that sends data straight to Excel puts a huge collection of freeware at your fingertips. Profit chasing has never been simpler.
POS Through the Centuries
The first POS system was designed in the 1800s to give saloon owners a way to prevent staff theft. The first cash register was merely designed to store money away from greedy hands, but in the 1970s, the fast food industry began to revolutionize payment strategies. POS evolved into a way to make staff more productive, record orders, and accept cash. When personal computing emerged, restaurants developed touch screen POS systems. The retail industry followed with the development of the first POS hardware for general use, thereby introducing an array of brand new needs to point of sale software: inventory management, data analytics, and the management of cash by employees. Security threats evolved with the criminals spearheading the shift, and card readers began their own revolution. The United States is behind much of the world in terms of banking. Even some third world countries have speedier card processing capacities and more secure systems than the United States. As the nation migrates, so will its readers. The first stage of the transition to EMV has focused on authentication that doesn’t require a dial-out authorization. As merchants adopt chip readers, speeds will improve. Currently, the US’ version of EMV behaves differently to Europe’s, processing at a speed of 4.4 – 11 seconds. EMV cards will eventually be processed within a fraction of a second, just as they do offshore.
A Mobile Credit Card Reader with Many Talents
An Android or iPad credit card reader can be used to cut IT exponentially. Before a credit card reader could be used to control your point of sale, retailers frequently spent thousands of dollars on their systems that inevitably needed to be upgraded within a few years. Today’s wireless credit card reader can be programmed to perform all POS functions, even if you have multiple staff members operating their own credit card reader. Your employees’ personal mobile devices can be used as hubs because SumUp is as much a credit card reader for Android as it is a reader for iOS. Since almost 70% of U.S. consumers already have EMV chip cards, migration is no longer a matter of choice. In choosing a contactless reader, you’re choosing a partner who will develop with a rapidly growing industry. SumUp intends to expand its technology to cover all POS requirements, but for now, cash payments can be monitored through your terminal. Receipts can be provided regardless of the payment type used.
Protecting Your Buyers
Using a contactless reader that doesn’t protect customer data is risky. In an age of identity theft and in a country as litigious as the United States, only the highest data security standards will do. If your terminal doesn’t transfer data using PCI-DSS, your clients’ information is exposed. Similarly, secure sockets layer and transport layer security are needed to encrypt card data at the highest level. Global privacy standards should also be in play. A focus on identity theft has become critical with the adoption of EMV technology. Counterfeiting has been taken off the table, so criminals have been opening new cards under consumers’ contact details instead. SumUp is one of the few readers with 256-bit encryption that sets in as soon as the card is dipped, so that data can’t be monetized through fraud.
EMV transactions are put through several separate computations. The card is authenticated, fraud is detected, risk is assessed, and signature verification is performed. There is a fair amount of flexibility here, though, so not all readers are created equal. Cryptography is an optional extra, and one your clients will expect as part of your service to them. It’s only reasonable that merchants do all they can to secure their buyers’ information.
EMV is changing the payment ecosystem drastically. Starbucks experienced almost 5 million mobile payments a week in 2014, and it’s EMV technology that’s laying down the infrastructure needed to support this kind of payment. Preparing with a gold-standard reader is laying the foundation for change ahead of what will be a complex and expensive transition in the years to come. As with all forms of business strategy, choosing an option that scales to your growing company and the dynamic nature of the marketplace is the most intelligent and economical solution you can choose.