Business tips

Smart terminals: The future of payments for small to mid-sized businesses.

By Ryan Gibbons on
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Once upon a time, many business owners decided that it was a necessity to accept more than just cash from their customers. As a result, the basic credit card terminal became standard issue for retailers and restaurateurs of all types and sizes. Recently, these traditional terminals have made way for more intelligent, multi-functional equipment. Understanding the smart terminal revolution and how to harness its power could transform your business.

What is a smart terminal?

In the past, terminals performed one function: Accepting customers’ payments. To accomplish this, they used readers that customers could swipe their plastic cards through. The information on the cards was read and sent on to the payment processor. As long as the buyer’s identity was confirmed and they had sufficient funds in their bank account, the sale was completed.

Today’s smart payment devices continue to perform this function. However, that is only the beginning of what a fully equipped smart terminal can bring to a business. Beyond simply allowing you to accept payments, they can work in conjunction with payments software and online merchant portals to help you simplify a variety of back-office functions. 

The added advantages of smart terminals.

After you discover everything that these modern point of sale solutions can add to your operations, you’ll understand why they have become so popular. Below are just a few of the benefits these smart payment devices can offer you. 

  • Employee management. Your smart terminal should simplify how you hire, schedule, and pay your staff. It should allow you to more easily track time and manage payroll. All while building a team with unique roles and permissions, tracking sales by employee, and more. 
  • Customer relationship management (CRM). Your buyers are one of your most important assets. Luckily, your smart terminal comes loaded with tools you can use to cultivate databases, send emails and promotions, and entice your customers to come back for more. 
  • Inventory management capabilities. All you need is a barcode scanner and your smart terminal’s software to build a complete catalog of your product offerings. Then, whenever an item is purchased, the system reflects the transaction. That way, you’ll always know exactly how much of each product you have, transforming reordering from an educated guessing game into a math-based event with your sales and customers in mind. 
  • Reporting capabilities. Speaking of guessing, you may feel like forecasting future sales is like fortune-telling. However, that isn’t the case with the tools your smart terminal contains. With just a few clicks, you can generate reports that track what is selling, who is selling it, and who is buying it. When you are armed with that information, you can order more intelligently, reward high performers, train employees who need a little help, and market to customers based on past purchases. 

Now that you know about just a few of the back-office solutions that a smart terminal can bring to your business, you’re probably asking yourself why you didn’t switch to one a long time ago. The good news is that your payment processing company should have many affordable options you can choose from, including terminals that accept contactless payments and those that allow for creative invoicing strategies such as Recurring Billing Programs. Don’t wait another day to get a smart terminal so that it can begin to work alongside you to grow your business.