Category Archives: Retail News

Benefits of Accepting Credit Cards Cards

Card processing
  1. Accepting credit cards legitimizes your business.
    By displaying the logos of the credit cards you accept at your point of sale, register or website, you grab cardholders’ attention and give them a sense of trust in your business. They trust these credit card brands enough to carry them in their wallets, and that trust transfers to the merchants who accept them.

  2. Accepting credit cards can boost sales.
    When you take your business from a cash-only operation to one that accepts credit and debit cards, your potential customer base broadens significantly. The more customers you attract, the more likely you are to make additional sales.

  3. Accepting credit cards helps level the playing field with your competition.
    Your competitors are already accepting credit cards. To stay profitable and competitive, you need to offer the same service.

  4. Credit cards encourage impulse buying.
    Shoppers like being able to complete transactions quickly and easily without having to write a check or run to the ATM, which limit their expenditures to their available funds. Studies have indicated that customers tend to spend more when they’re paying with credit cards, especially in regards to impulse purchases.

  5. Accepting credit cards can improve your cash flow.
    Credit card transactions are processed electronically and settled quickly, with proceeds typically deposited into your bank account quickly and efficiently. This means no more waiting for checks to clear, no more billing and waiting to collect from your customers, and less cash to handle.

  6. Accepting credit cards is crucial if you do business online.
    The majority of transactions on the internet are paid for with credit cards. If you are an e-commerce merchant, accepting credit cards is essential for your business.

  7. Accepting credit cards eliminates the risk of accepting a bad check.
    One bounced check can take a big chunk out of your profit for the day, not to mention valuable time wasted tracking down the customer to make good on the sale. Credit card transactions are screened as they are processed to reduce the risk of fraud. You can also rely on a reputable merchant services provider like ZIPZAP® to deliver secure credit card processing that helps protect you and your customers from data breach and identity theft.

  8. Credit cards are convenient for customers. Consumers want to choose the method of payment that’s most convenient and beneficial for them. Credit cards are not only easy to use in a variety of capacities, but many cards offer points, mileage, or rewards that further encourage the cardholder to use their credit cards whenever making a purchase.

  9. Accepting credit cards is a relatively inexpensive business expense.
    Credit card processing is a highly-competitive industry. Credit card processing rates are affordable, allowing businesses of all sizes to accept credit cards. Many merchants discover that the increase in sales generated by accepting credit cards often offset the costs involved, making a merchant account an excellent return on investment.

  10. Getting set up to accept credit cards is quick and easy.
    At RRBS, we can process your merchant account application immediately and have you ready to process credit card sales within 48 hours.

Restaurant POS Software and Food Cost

2019-04-12 08:00 Maria Bowes

Food cost Restaurant POS

Food costs are a huge factor in the success of your restaurant. Whether you’re a quick service or fine dining restaurant, food costs can determine the restaurant’s profitability. Without knowing your food costs, there is no way to know if your menu items are generating a profit. There are numerous reasons why food costs can spike. Some fluctuations are out of your control like seasonal changes, and vendor growth issues. However, most are internal decisions that can greatly affect your profitability if not taken care of correctly. Everything your restaurant does from payroll to restaurant maintenance is controlled by food costs. Read seven tips below on how to keep your food costs sustainable:

1. Menu Planning
It’s impossible to plan for every price change from when it’s grown to when it gets to the table. Every restaurant experiences price surges at one time or another. That’s why it’s important to balance expensive ingredients with inexpensive ingredients. Having a successfully balanced menu involves choosing foods that have stable prices so they can easily counter needed menu items that have fluctuating prices. When planning your menu it’s important to always important to stay at a 30-35% benchmark. That means your menu items should always be at least 30% more than what you paid for all of the ingredients within the dish. If this rule is not working for you, it’s never a good idea to raise menu prices further. Raising menu prices can make people uncomfortable, and it can be more beneficial to find lower costing ingredients.

2. Control Waste
Every day restaurants around the world throw away tons of food. Millions of dollars are being torched because many restaurants don’t have good waste management practices or they are just lazy. According to a 2014 study by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, 84.3% of unused food in United States restaurants ends up being disposed of. That’s a huge number that could be better served recycled or even donated. It’s important to get creative with all of your ingredients to prevent the least amount of waste within your restaurant especially if you work with a high amount of non-perishable items.

3. Reduce Theft
It might be surprising, but food theft is extremely common within restaurants. You will encounter a type of employee who thinks because I work in a restaurant, I deserve to get free food. You should ensure your employees have a clear understanding of this principle from their start of employment. Having a software system that accounts for inventory is a great tool to enforce and track food levels. Making sure your inventory levels reconcile with the kitchen tallies at the end of every day is a great way to start. StorePoint POS systems include this as an automotive feature that can make your day-to-day restaurant operations much easier to handle.

4. Portion Control
If your restaurant is not a buffet, you need to ensure you are using adequate portion controls. The reason why restaurant chains are so successful is that they use the same portions no matter the location. You can order a Big Mac in California, and receive the exact same size burger in China. These big restaurant chains have done their research and have a science down for keeping proportion in relation to costs. Even if you are a small restaurant establishment, portion control is crucial. Even if someone says they want to take some of their food home with them, the goal is to have as many people finish their meals as possible, while they are at the restaurant.

5. Staff Education
Always be educating your staff when it comes to food costs. Ensure that your chefs understand the value of every ingredient used in their dishes. For wait staff, you can teach your staff how to present menu items and prevent over ordering from guests. For example, if a guest says, “I’m not that hungry, but I can’t pass up the rack of baby back ribs.” Have your staff be prepared to say something like, “why don’t you try our half rack, and we can always heat up the second half if you are still hungry?” It’s important that your staff doesn’t take everything at face value and to always have things prepared to say so things don’t get wasted.

6. Food Vendors
Always do your research before seeing any food vendors. It’s important to not be afraid to shop around. It’s important to find the best cost, and if you don’t ask you won’t get it. Find suppliers that you trust and you can build relationships off of. Building these partnerships can create successful relations to build your business off. They can bring in new ideas and keep you up to date with trending ingredients. It can also be a good idea to have vendors that are specific for different seasons. A vendor in California might be the best to order carrots from, while Florida might be the best place to get oranges from.

7. Reporting
If your restaurant doesn’t have an in-depth reporting application, you are surely allowing things to slip through the cracks. Remember every cent counts. Food suppliers, cooks, and even restaurant owners are known to make mistakes. You could get double charged for inventory, your cook may not be balancing ingredients right, or you could accidentally order more inventory than you need for a particular week. Today’s POS systems offer in-depth inventory management functions that automatically analyze everything from your vendor orders to daily inventory used to recommendations on maintaining healthy food cost levels. Some POS systems will even adjust menu items automatically if you change any of your ingredients.


barcode scanner

DuraScan® D750 Barcode Scanner

2019-04-11 16:10 Maria Bowe

The DuraScan D750 is a pro-level barcode scanner. It scans both 1 and 2 dimensional bar codes while displaying exceptional scanning abilities: scanning several barcodes at once, providing data editing capabilities, scanning fine pitch barcodes and imperfect barcodes, while providing omni-directional scanning. Made with a highly durable, IP54-rated outer casing, including antimicrobial material, the D750 was built for industrial needs and conditions.

The LED-based aimer works clearly in both indoor and outdoor settings while the motion tolerance provides faster scans, as well as extendedscanning range. Befitting the needs of customer-facing applications, the D750’s abilities make it an excellent scanning companion in most any situation.

Specification

Wireless Communications: 

Bluetooth Radio:

  • Class 1 Bluetooth, version 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rates) with 56-bit data encryption

Bluetooth Range:

  • Up to 100 m (330 ft.) depending on environment, range limit is usually due to the Host Device (phone, tablet or notebook)

Bluetooth Profiles: 

  • Basic Mode – Human Interface Device (HID)* 
    *By default, the scanner is set to Basic Mode (HID).
  • Application Mode – Serial Port Profile (SPP) and Application Mode – MFi-SPP. Some Operating Systems or smartphone/tablet models may support only one profile.
 DuraScan D750 barcode scanner

Supported Barcode Symbologies: 

1D Symbologies: EAN/UPC, GS1 Databar (limited expanded & omni-directional), Code 39, Code 128, UCC/EAN 128, ISBN,ISBT, Interleaved/Matrix/Industrial and Standard 2 of 5, Codabar, Code 93/93i, Code 11, MSI, Plessey,Telepen, postal codes (Australian Post, BPO, Canada Post, Dutch Post, Japan Post, PostNet, Sweden Post)

2D Symbologies: Data Matrix, PDF417, Micro PDF 417, Codablock, Maxicode, QR, Aztec, HAN XIN


5 Benefits of Tablet POS

April 10, 2019 18:22 pm by Maria Bowes

Tablet POS for food truck and takeaway
Tablet POS for food truck and takeaway

Reduced upfront and long-term costs

Compared to a traditionally integrated point-of-sale, which can cost tens of thousands in upfront fees for equipment and setup, a tablet POS system relies on standard computing equipment, such as an iPad or Android tablet or Windows tablet. In addition to the cost of the equipment, traditional POS systems typically charge a software license per register and then a yearly maintenance fee on top of that. In some cases, you have to pay for upgrades on top of it. That doesn’t include support or training, which can be as much as R 3000 per day. The problem with this model is that if you’re unhappy with your purchase after a few months, you’re out the full cost upfront. The new tablet systems operate on a SaaS (software-as-a-service) model, which means that you often pay nothing up front and then pay a small fee each month for the use of the software. It is common to pay as little as R 800 per month to get started. Also, if you don’t like what you signed up for, you can usually cancel at any time. So it put pressure on the POS software vendor to up their service.

Ability to manage your business on the go

If you don’t want to sit in your office every evening scrubbing the daily sales records, you won’t have to. With many tablet POS solutions, you can see sales, inventory, and customer analytics in real time from any mobile device. Such tools provide greater flexibility and transparency, helping you to streamline your business so that you can feel confident that everything is under control when you step away from your store. Imagine knowing who your best customers are even when you are not present. In addition you can do stock takes with a tablet and input the data life. No need for expensive scanners to input data. With managements apps one could know what is happening in the store without being there.

Free Instant upgrades, back up and support

Since the software of tablet POS providers is based in the cloud, new features, as well as security upgrades, are pushed through to your system instantly. There is no need to hire a consultant or have anyone come to your store since these upgrades are done remotely without any downtime to your business. This can be a huge productivity and cost advantage over traditional systems, which often require onsite expertise and significant business downtime. Support is also given on the spot as there is no need to dial in with remote control software. All support and changes to the point of sale happen in the cloud.

Load shedding

With the current electricity grid in South Africa constantly under pressure Tablet POS handles load shedding with a breeze. Not only do you stay open for sales, but your StorePoint Tablet POS offers offline redundancy should you have no power and your router is off. So your downtime is limited to the minimum. In addition to this, you save cost as a tablet does not need an uninterrupted power supply (UPS). So it means another saving. Normally when electricity is restored after load shedding there is a chance that a power spike might damage your equipment. One thing we have definitely experienced lately at our support desk. With Tablet POS no damage and always open for business, while your competition is closed or must invest in expensive low noise generators or inverters.

Seamless Integration with Helpful Tools

While legacy systems don’t tend to play well with others, tablet platforms easily integrate with many third-party tools. Many of the new tablet POS systems offer seamless integration with marketing tools such as loyalty programs, email campaigns, and rewards, as well as critical business tools like accounting software like SageOne, Xero Accounting, QuickBooks and payment processing like ZipZap. This allows you to manage your entire business all from your POS. New tools are being created for tablet POS systems every day, which means that your job will get easier and easier over time. All of these advantages add up to an attractive business proposition. Lower costs, higher productivity, and reduced risk are all significant contributors to your business’s bottom line. As always, we are available at Retail and Restaurant Business Systems to answer any questions you may have about upgrading to a new tablet POS system. Gives us a call or Whatsapp us on +27764293989


The truth of Point of sale pricing

Point of sale terminal

April 10, 2019 4:22 pm by Maria Bowes

So, you decided you want to open a new shop or restaurant and one of the things you would need is a point of sale system. You search on the internet and find a company that has an advertisement for a point of sale system. Depending if you look at retail or restaurant pos this becomes more confusing. You read an advertisement that says “Full POS SOLUTIONS FOR RETAIL STORES R 7,999. You look at the other quotes and immediately feel why are these other quotes so much more?

We all know the cost of a new point of sale hardware and software. Years go into the development of a proper retail pos system and even more for a proper restaurant point of sale. Hardware is imported and with the current rand-dollar exchange rate does not help the pricing as everything is imported. The average store or restaurant owner or decision maker when it comes to deciding on a new point of sale system does not have the experience to make a selection of point of sale. There is a lot to consider:

  • What is the spec of the hardware? Windows 10 does not perform well on a Core2Duo computer.
  • Which operating system does the hardware use? How long would Microsoft still support my operating system? Windows 7 has 8 months to go. So no more security updates from Microsoft and in time software like anti-virus software might not be able to run on your pos hardware.
  • Would my data be safe and my point of sale system run smoothly on the operating system?
  • Would the operating system prevent me from using updates on my point of sale system?
  • Then even a bigger question. What type of point of sale software can be included in a price of R 8000-00 including the POS software? Does it really so the job in terms of stability and reporting. Not to mention the functionality?
  • During our years in the point of sale industry, we can remember how things used to work. So in some legacy point of sale pos system, the current and history databases still exist today. You need to do an end of day to get the full report. Should you forget to do an end of day, the pos system keeps the data under current history.
  • Which type of database do you get with a new point of sale at R 8000-00? Most likely a pos system that still uses Microsoft Access or the Firebird Database. In some instances, your point of sale could also be of an age where it does not query your SQL database that quickly anymore.
  • Older databases tend to offer less protection to data loss and the recovery of data.
  • As databases get older, it gets more difficult to add functionality to the point of sale, and limitations to speed, access, and offline redundancy become an issue. Older point of sale systems tends to have a lot of data corruption when attempting to create offline redundancy.
  • Every business needs to manage its inventory and most POS systems will help by tracking stock levels with each sale. Always have up-to-the-minute, accurate inventory data to keep up with your customer’s demands. In South Africa, it happens so often that a retail system is offered in a hospitality environment. Just because it has an interface that resembles a true hospitality system, does not mean it does the function of a restaurant pos system. Does it look at your food cost? Here I don’t mean your end product’s total costing, Food cost is simply the total cost of your food net of existing inventory. Usually, beverage costs are counted separately but occasionally these are combined. When expressed in a percentage, the food cost is simply one’s net food purchases divided by the restaurant’s net sales. Retail systems do not have this.
  • Does your POS system offer mobility and offline redundancy? Tablets need to be able to run offline and must use the latest technology. Remote desktop to connect the two does not work. You will end up with a slow pos system or data loss. Resulting in downtime and less opportunity to sell.
  • Does your so-called point of sale for your restaurant have a reservation system in place? You will find your retail system does not have this.
  • Is your POS system PCI compliant?
  • The fact is that most transactions are paid with debit or credit cards today. In order to accommodate your customers and keep them safe, your POS system should support the PCI DSS standards.
  • Returns and exchanges are something every business has to deal with. Your POS software can help make this a painless process for you and your customers.
  • Track employee attendance and sales easily by them simply logging-on to a terminal. All this information can be reported on or exported to accounting software for payroll processing.
  • Retail POS systems are mostly centered on the actual sales transaction and all the tracking of this information. Many of the common software features like inventory tracking, sales reporting, returns processing, and customer loyalty/couponing functions are essential in a retail environment. While all businesses will need reporting features, retail applications will especially want to have a very granular level of control to see sales data at the individual product and category levels. Retail POS requirements are the most wide-ranging but most software.

From a hardware perspective, retail applications will definitely need a barcode scanner to easily input product data for quick check-outs. Since most input is based around the scanner, things like touchscreens and all-in-one terminals are definitely useable in a retail environment but are not as essential. Since you will probably be doing a fair number of transactions per day, having a reliable thermal receipt printer like the Epson TM-T88V will also be a big concern. A robust scanner and printer will ensure your lines move quickly and make the customer experience a positive one.

  • Restaurant/Hospitality
    The biggest difference between a standard retail POS and those used in restaurant or hospitality environments is how the sales transaction is handled. In retail, everything is inputted for the sale and paid for immediately. In restaurant/hospitality, an order is placed for food or service which is only paid for after it is completed. A suitable POS system will have to be able to suspend these orders until payment is received. Likewise, options to customize orders, schedule reservations, and manage seating/rooms are all musts. The interface of the POS software is also going to be quite different. In retail, your main input type with being with a barcode scanner while in restaurant/hospitality you’ll most likely be using a touchscreen. Having a software interface that is touchscreen friendly, like StorePoint POS, will be very important for many businesses to allow easy order entry.

On the hardware side of things, the biggest difference to retail POS is the importance of the barcode scanner. While it may be needed occasionally, most input in a restaurant/hospitality environment is manually done through the POS software. This is where a touchscreen can really help make this process easier. Since space is also often limited in these applications, all-in-one terminals are very commonly used since they limit the mess of cables and have integrated touchscreens. Receipt printers are important in every POS but when you are dealing with sending orders to a kitchen or other high heat environments, an impact printer like the Epson TM-U220D kitchen printer, will be preferred over a thermal printer which is fine for customer receipts. Additional is the printer redirection, which a retail system does not do.

Conclusion:

Having a POS system that meets all the specific needs of your business will make it an essential management tool and allow you to stay focused on meeting the needs of your customers and your management. Whether you’re a retailer or a new restaurant, determining how you’ll use the POS system will guide in your software and hardware selections. If you are still having difficulty or have additional questions, give our POS experts a call. We’re happy to help you out, even if you don’t buy from us. We are there to support the retail, restaurant and hospitality industry.


What small business merchants need to know about card processing

Category : Retail News

July 16, 2015 4:22 pm by Bronwyn Watt

So you’ve started a business, say one that sells gourmet homemade ice cream at community fairs. Customers love the product, queues snake far into the distance and the crumpled notes and grubby coins are filling up your cash register. It would certainly make life a lot easier to be able to accept a variety of payment options, yet many small business owners are still unnecessarily wary of credit and debit card processing machines.

Card Processing for POS payments

Here’s what you need to know about one of the fastest-growing cashless payment solutions and why it makes business sense:

  1. Card processing jargon is, with a bit of help, easy to understand

Accepting cash seems easy enough: all you need is knowledge of the currency you’re dealing with and a calculator. But card processing lingo can be a little daunting for a business owner to wrap their head around. Business News Daily offers a summary of some of the jargon such as:

  • Merchant bank: The financial institution that provides merchant account services to facilitate transactions to bank accounts.
  • Card processor: The third-party middleman that takes on merchant bank responsibilities, facilitates credit card transactions and routes credit card information to the right merchant bank.
  • Issuing bank: The financial institution that issues credit cards to consumers.
  • Card payment brand: Credit card brands like Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
  1. There are a variety of card processing methods, such as mobile point-of-sale, that are suitable for small businesses

Small business owners have a variety of choices when it comes to card processors. Apart from the traditional point-of-sale machines, businesses on the move and those that want the flexibility of accepting card payments anywhere, have the option of using their smartphone as a point-of-sale device. Even though traditional card machines are very useful and can be used anywhere within the place of business, they lack the mobility that can now be provided by a fully mobile card machine such as ZipZap.

ZipZap has the advantage of being the only mobile app to work across all smartphone platforms.

In addition ZipZap mobile POS now provides a card reader that enables businesses and retailers to connect to a Windows computer via a USB port as well as the standard Bluetooth capabilities. Portable, light and durable, ZipZap has an excellent battery life. Built on state-of-the-art point-to-point encryption and fully Visa and MasterCard certified and compliant, it meets all global payment security standards.

  1. Transaction fees are easily broken down

As with any payments processor, there are fees to consider. While these may differ between card processors or merchant banks, these are usually the fees you can expect:

  • Initial once-off set-up/installation fee
  • Once-off manual imprinter set-up fee
  • Monthly terminal rental
  • Monthly communication fee
  • Monthly transaction or merchant services fees
  • Monthly minimum merchant service fee charged
  1. Card processing technology is advanced enough to minimise data and security breaches

When it comes to selecting payment solutions for your business, the safety of your customers’ data is paramount. Fortunately, the latest chip and PIN credit and debit cards are a lot safer than their magstriped predecessors. A business can also assure its customers that their information is safe by only using a safe point-of-sale machine. Businesses should familiarise themselves with the card processor’s mobile point-of-sale devices and other products in terms of quality, security and support.

Crucially, a small business should ensure that its card machine vendor adheres to the PCI DSS compliance code. Compliance with PCI DSS, version 3 means that explicit requirements and procedures to protect the cardholder have been met. It ensures that service providers are operating in accordance with best practice guidelines for security and that all instances of cardholder data are properly identified and documented.

EFTPOS, for instance, has followed PCI DSS compliance since 2011.


OnPoint Retail welcomes Zapper

Onpoint has teamed up with Zapper to bring you even more convenience.
Zapper is a mobile payment, customer loyalty and rewards platform. Get to know your customers better each time they pay.

https://mailchi.mp/ac1b42bcf5eb/onpoint-retail-zapper?e=2ac141e700
Zapper integration

5 Benefits of support agreements

When you are looking for business IT support, you can find various types of contracts and agreements. You could just decide to Pay As You Go (break/fix) basis, pay in advance for blocks of hours, or choose a fixed price IT support contract which includes the majority, if not all, the things your business will need on a monthly basis.

The biggest benefit of a fixed price model, is that you know exactly how much your IT support costs will be each month. This is great for cash flow and essentially your IT costs just become another commodity – just like paying your rent, electricity and insurance. But there are some other major benefits that you may not have realised.

1. A fixed price IT support contract can cost you less

Paying for IT support on a break/fix model is a total unknown cost to your business. You cannot plan for the costs, because you don’t know what your usage will be in the future. Ad-hoc support often results in unexpected invoices that are way above the all-inclusive options. Ensuring you have the right contract in place can save you a lot of money. Who likes to receive unexpected bills?

2. Your IT company has to work harder

When an IT support company charges a fixed fee, it is in their interest to ensure your systems are running at their very best. There is nothing to be gained from a customer having IT issues – in fact the opposite is true; they can lose money if a customer has lots of IT problems. Because of this, most IT companies will perform pro-active monitoring and maintenance to keep your systems healthy.

3. You should have less downtime

As mentioned above, monitoring and maintenance is a feature of most fixed price IT support contracts. Things like hard drive space, server errors, and performance issues are typically monitored. This allows the IT company to react to small issues before they become a big problem – saving you time and money because your systems stay online.

4. You only have a single invoice to deal with

OK, it’s a minor benefit. But rather than multiple invoices for everything they do, a fixed price agreement only sends a single monthly invoice. That means less things for your accounts department to deal with. Many providers will also collect fees via Direct Debit, so you don’t even need to worry about paying the bill.

5. 95% of issues are dealt with remotely

Rather than having to make an appointment to visit your premises, IT technicians can remotely access your systems. This can include carrying out maintenance tasks or working on faults. How does this benefit you? You don’t need to schedule an appointment, which takes time out of your day. You also don’t need to find something else to do while there is an IT technician sitting in your office stopping you from working. A good IT support company utilizes support tools that can perform many tasks in the background – even while you are still using your computer. It’s like stealth IT!

Source
https://m3networks.co.uk/general/5-benefits-of-fixed-it-costs/


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