Point of Sale Software

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The Rise of Cashless Point of Sale: Are You Ready?

POS SOFTWARE

I recently had a surprising experience at a large supermarket. I went to pay and was told to go to another cash register as this one could not handle cash! While I'd seen this once at a trade show, it was the first time it had been in a mainstream store. This got me thinking that we are genuinely nearing the end of cash, despite what banks and governments say. Soon I expect many shops will introduce a surcharge for cash.

The Australian Cash Exodus

The numbers don't lie. The Global Payments Report predicts a dramatic shift – by 2025, cash will likely account for just 2% of the value in all point-of-sale transactions. It's not going away entirely, but other methods will dwarf the amount we spend using physical cash.  Unsurprisingly, it notes that ATM withdrawals also decline as people ditch cash.

Convenience and Security

We are also seeing the successors to credit and debit cards coming with digital wallets on our smartphones. These are far more secure. Think about it: a thief can potentially use a stolen card, but with a smartphone app, they'd need your phone, access to it, and usually your fingerprint. It's a big leap in protection!

Smartphone payment with security

Brick-and-Mortar Retailers: Time to Adapt

This cashier-less trend isn't just curious; it's a real opportunity for small businesses. Here's why upgrading your point-of-sale system makes sense:

- Efficiency:  No more fumbling with notes and coins means faster checkout. Customers love speed!

- Improved Security:    Less cash on-site drastically reduces the risk of theft.

- Enhanced Customer Experience:   People demand payment choices; cashless often feels to them secure and streamlined.

Embracing the Cashless Evolution

The retail world changes quickly. To stay ahead of the game, adaptability is key. Cashless point-of-sale solutions aren't just a trend but likely the future standard.

A Personal Note

Change can be unsettling – I remember when cards themselves were the new, scary thing! The same will happen with the shift away from cash. I know we now have and are selling cashless registers.

Ready to Make the Shift?

Our POS software is designed with both cashless and traditional payments in mind. Get your free consultation today, and let's future-proof your business together!

 

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Prepare for Palm-Based Payment Solutions.

POS SOFTWARE

 

 

It appears the way people will pay is changing, and Australian retailers need to know. While not yet available in Australia, palm-based payment technology is gaining traction in the US. I see it appearing here soon.

What is Palm-Based Payment?

This technology links customers' unique vein patterns in palm prints to credit/debit cards. At checkout, a person whose palm is registered hovers their hand over a scanner. The scanner reads their vein structure and sends the details to the bank for payment authorisation. Such systems are already in use at select locations in the US. 

The Advantages for Retailers

  • Seamless Transactions: Say goodbye to customers fumbling for cards or struggling to remember PINs.
  • Time: Palm scanning offers faster transactions, saving shoppers and staff valuable time.
  • Heightened Security: Biometric data is incredibly difficult to replicate, adding a robust layer of security and fraud protection. We now have a big problem with customers making transactions, paying by card, and then claiming it was not them. I had one client whose credit card was stolen, and by the time she found out, which was less than an hour, her card had been used in thousands of dollars of transactions.

The Disadvantages for Retailers

I confess I do not see any.

Still some issues to chew on would be:

  • Cost: The readers may be expensive, and who pays for these palm scanners may be an issue.
  • Integration: I do not see any potential integration issues with our point-of-sale systems, but if you do not use our POS System, you may want to make some enquiries.
  • Privacy: I think we all feel a general uneasiness about our privacy. Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook once said the age of privacy is over, and he is probably right. Still, it's tough to accept this fact.
  • Training: We all need to be trained on how to use it until we all get used to it. I can see someone using the wrong hand and not knowing why it is not working.

What Aussie Retailers Should Do

  • Get Informed: Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in biometric payments.
  • Monitor Customer Sentiment: Gauge your customers' comfort level with biometric technologies. Their openness will factor into adoption.
  • Prepare for the Future: While immediate implementation is not necessary, consider how your payment infrastructure could adapt to support biometric options in the future.

The Takeaway

Palm-based payments and biometrics as a whole are set to transform the way we pay. While the timeline of widespread adoption in Australia is uncertain, being informed and prepared positions your retail business for success in this evolving landscape.

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Protest - Cash Out Day 2024

POS SOFTWARE

Cash Out Day

Last week, the "Cash Out Day" protest highlighted a growing tension in Australia's payment landscape: the rapid decline in cash usage and its implications for businesses and consumers. On April 2nd, Australians were asked to go to an ATM and withdraw some money in a symbolic gesture of support for cash. According to social media images, many did. I was one of them. While the exact total amount withdrawn is unclear, from social media, it appears that many did participate. However, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) stated there was no "material difference" in cash withdrawals across the industry on the day. What does that mean exactly? I would like to see figures.

What Sparked "Cash Out Day"?

This movement stems from several factors:

Shifting Payment Habits: Cash now accounts for about 13% of customer payments in Australia, which is a dramatic fall from 60% in 2010.

Bank Policies: Branch closures have created obstacles for cash-reliant individuals and businesses.

Cost of cash: Many people today prefer cash; in many cases, it's cheaper and more manageable, and there are fewer security issues, too.

Banks: Banks make money on non-cash transactions. By closing branches, they are effectively discouraging cash deposits/withdrawals.

Cashless Aspirations: I think the government would prefer to eliminate cash. The Queensland government stated that it envisions a cashless state by 2030. 

Queensland cashless future

Arguments in Favor of Cash

"Cash Out Day" advocates cite these benefits:

Inclusivity: Cash requires no bank accounts or technology, making it accessible to all.

Budgeting: Physical money offers a tangible sense of spending.

Privacy: Cash transactions leave less of a digital footprint.

Reliability: Cash functions independently of power grids or internet connectivity. It still happens that EFTPOS goes out, so what do shops do when they switch to cash?

 

No EFTPOS

The Small Business Perspective

In Australia, it is legal for businesses to refuse to accept cash, provided that they inform consumers of their stance before entering into any “contract” for the supply of goods or services. If you want to reject cash, you must have a sign in a clear position in your shop saying that. Usually, it is placed at the front entrance.

Smaller retailers, especially those involved in markets or events, rely heavily on cash. My observations within my local newsagency network showed that while most owners knew about "Cash Out Day," its impact on their daily trade was minimal.

The Uncertain Future of Cash

The potential bankruptcy of Armaguard, Australia's major cash transportation company, further underscores the precarious position of physical currency. This raises concerns about the logistical and economic challenges of maintaining a cash infrastructure as usage decreases. 

The Role of POS Systems

A robust POS (Point of Sale) system becomes crucial for businesses in this evolving landscape. The right software seamlessly manages cash and digital payments, providing flexibility and detailed reporting while ensuring smooth, secure operations. A great POS system helps you manage it all!

The Bottom Line

"Cash Out Day" serves as a potent reminder that amidst the move towards a cashless society, the value proposition of cash persists. This debate centres on choice, accessibility, and the practical needs of businesses and consumers in an increasingly digital Australia.

Comments

It was no impact because it was after the Easter public holidays and the banks had all the takings from the long weekend so it was pretty neutral.

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No-Cost EFTPOS: Is It the Smart Move for Your Business?

POS SOFTWARE

SWOT on No-Cost EFTPOS

Are you tired of transaction fees nibbling away at your bottom line? No-cost EFTPOS promises a solution, but is it the right one? Before signing on the dotted line, let's explore what this model really means for your business.

Now, many of our customers are switching to No-Cost EFTPOS, partly because we have negotiated some really good deals for our clients and partly because many are tired of watching transaction fees eat away at their hard-earned profits. But often washing your hands of the problem is not the best move.

No-cost EFTPOS might seem like the answer to your prayers. But before you sign up, let's look at this payment model so you can make the best decision for your bottom line.

 

What is No-Cost EFTPOS, Really?

Think of it as a cost shuffle. In theory, it's marketed as that instead of you shouldering the fees that come with accepting card payments; your customers pay the small surcharge on each transaction. I would say the customer quickly knows the fees and does not care who charges them; they put the amount on you, and despite the hype, the customers do not care as it's so small; they do care.

The Upside: Real Benefits

  • Say Goodbye to Hefty Fees:  No more upfront payments for your EFTPOS machine or those pesky monthly charges. This can be a massive relief for cash-strapped businesses.
  • Flexible and Easy: Setup and calculations are a breeze.
  • Pass on the burden and responsibility: The responsibility and some of the legal dangers for these fees are passed onto the EFTPOS provider!

Hold On, Not So Fast! Considerations to Keep in Mind

  • Customer Experience: Be prepared to explain the surcharge clearly, especially on smaller purchases. Nobody likes surprises at the checkout.
  • Limited Control: You might lose the ability to use fancy features like dynamic surcharging, where the fee changes based on card type. The odds are your EFTPOS fees will be higher.
  • The Fine Print: Many fees you can claim are not included, e.g., setup charges and chargebacks.
  • Lack of control: Currently, you control the fees; under No-Cost, you do not.

Is No-Cost EFTPOS Right for YOU?

Ask yourself these key questions:

  • Transaction Volume: Do you take TONS of card payments each month? Lower volumes make No-Cost EFTPOS more attractive. 
  • Price Control Cravings: Do you want to fine-tune how you charge customers? Traditional plans give you more options. A very successful marketing strategy is to offer all sales over $50 with no fees. Customers will often increase their basket size to get over this amount.
  • Tech Tolerance: Are you ready to handle extra customer questions about the surcharge?

The Final Word: It's All About the Fit

No-cost EFTPOS is great for some businesses, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Do your homework, talk to us, and compare your total costs with both models. That's the savvy way to find the system that lets you focus on what you do best—running your awesome small business!

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Beware that Holidays Delay Your Funds:

POS SOFTWARE

EFTPOS payment

The holiday season is nearly here, and for retail shops, that means busier than usual trading days. As you gear up for the summer sales rush, it's essential to be aware of potential delays in settlement dates over the public holidays. 

What are Settlement Dates?

Whenever a customer pays with a credit or debit card, the funds from those transactions don't land in your bank account immediately. Usually, we see a 1-3 day delay, the settlement period, which is the period it takes for the banks to finalise the transactions before releasing your funds.

The time it takes to hit your bank depends on how many steps the funds take to flow. Today, with the least call routing in place, it is likely that two almost identical payments going through at the same time will hit your bank at different times.

What is happening due to public holidays is that your funds are delayed because one step is delayed. This happened recently to people who accepted an American Credit card, and in this settlement period, the thanksgiving day appeared, and their funds were delayed on the USA side.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Settlement Around the Holidays

Due to various public holidays occurring in late December and early January, including Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year's Day, settlement of your daily takings can be delayed by up to 5 days. This is extreme, but it does happen.

For businesses already operating on tight margins, these longer-than-normal settlement times can cause havoc with managing cash flow. Plus, as these delays are often unknown, it makes it hard to accurately forecast cash flow, which is essential for keeping a business afloat.

Tips to Manage Settlement Delays This Holiday Season

Here are some handy hints for retail shops to minimize business disruptions from settlement delays over the holidays:

  • Plan - Contact your provider to get a feel of what will happen. Do not count too much on them, knowing they are only one step in the chain. 

  • Budget carefully - to cover unexpected delays in accessing your daily takings. Do not count on monies on the way.

By understanding settlement dates and planning appropriately this holiday season, small retail businesses can avoid being caught short and keep their sales momentum strong.

Streamline Success This Holiday Season

Managing the intricacies of settlement dates, cash flow delays, and inventory needs during the hectic holiday rush is hard enough for small retailers. Don't let outdated point-of-sale limitations make it more challenging.

The right POS solution, tailored for small retail businesses, can seamlessly handle all your transactions, payments, supply orders, and accounting in one integrated system. This means more efficiency, less wasted time, and complete control - even when settlement schedules are disrupted.

At POS Solutions, we understand the modern retailer because we’ve been in your shoes. That’s why thousands of businesses trust our POS platform and EFTPOS and Credit integrations. Our retail experts will help you.

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EFTPOS and Credit card surcharging

POS SOFTWARE

ACC Surcharge Rules

Should You Add Surcharges to Customer Card Transactions? A Retailer’s Perspective

As you run a retail business, you’ve likely grappled with whether or not to add surcharges to customer credit card and EFTPOS transactions. With card processing fees eating into your margins, applying a surcharge seems easy to defray costs. But at what expense to your customer relationships and loyalty?

Here, we’ll examine the pros and cons of adding transaction surcharges, alternatives like cash discounts, and key compliance considerations in Australia if you move forward with surcharging. 

What is a Card Transaction Surcharge?

A surcharge is an additional fee added to the total customer payment amount to cover a retailer's card acceptance costs. When a customer pays with a card, the transaction incurs interchange fees charged by banks and card companies, plus merchant service fees charged by payment processors - together referred to as the cost of accepting credit cards.

Surcharging allows retailers to pass some or all of these credit card processing fees directly onto the customer instead of absorbing the costs themselves. A typical charge on a $100 credit card transaction today might be $1.50. That $1.50 will add up over time.

The Case Against Transaction Surcharges

I always suggest that before charging a surcharge, you carefully consider the potential drawbacks, plus consider creating an option for cash.

Customer Frustration

Do not believe customers do not care; research shows most customers dislike transaction surcharges. Many places do not charge it, so why do you? As such, the fees feel arbitrarily unfair and wreck the customer experience at checkout. Customers do know.

Revenue Loss Risk

Will the extra surcharge revenue compensate for potential revenue losses if some customers take their business elsewhere? Some clients have told me that surcharging brings in less than the business they lose. Crunching the numbers is essential.

Consider Cost Comparison

What about cash handling costs - transporting it safely, potential lost revenue due to theft/loss, managing change funds, bank deposit runs and fees? For many businesses, these costs add up to more than card processing costs. Make an apples-to-apples comparison before deciding cash is “cheaper” than cards.

Security and Theft

Handling more cash brings added security risks for both staff and stores. Safes, security systems, insurance and more may be needed to manage the risk properly. Theft, fraud, or losses due to mishandling cash can quickly erase surcharge profits.

Alternatives to Consider First

Before jumping to apply surcharges to card transactions, explore alternatives like:

Cash/Debit Discounts

It does not have to be much. A shop near me has a big sign at the point of sale, a free can of drink for any sale over $25 paid in cash. It seems to work well. 

Minimum Purchase Rules

Small transactions incur proportionally higher card processing fees. Applying a $10 minimum purchase for card payments reduces associated costs rather than alienating customers with small basket values.

Key Considerations if You Do Surcharge

If surcharging card transactions still make sense for your business after weighing it up, proceed.

Clear Disclosure is Critical

Prominently display surcharge rates at the point of sale so customers are informed before checkout. Clerks must also proactively disclose if transactions will incur a fee besides, lack of transparency only breeds customer frustration and accusations of “hidden fees.”

How to Add Surcharges on Card Transactions

If you decide the benefits outweigh the risks, adding credit card and EFTPOS surcharges takes just a few simple steps:

Through Your Payment Provider

Most payment processors offer dynamic surcharging. They calculate your average merchant service fees. You can then set it up to add surcharges to applicable card transactions while they provide the reporting.

Pros: 

- Easy to set up

- Built-in compliance checks

- Reporting includes surcharge totals.

Cons: 

- Limited control

- Some fees are excluded, so a common complaint is that the surcharge does not cover the costs.

- Manual invoicing for GST calculations on surcharges may be required

- Payment provider figures of what they calculate and what you are available to the ACCC. The problem is that many terminals do not give the information on surcharging to your POS System, so your Payment provider and your figures are different. This can make it very hard to justify.

- Because of surcharge undercharging, the store cannot accept many payment types.

Through POS System Settings

Our POS systems can be used to calculate and charge your custom card payment surcharges.

Pros:

- More control

- It is easy to set up.

- Actual figures of costs are charged.

- It is very transparent. The surcharge figures can be displayed on a prominent sign at the point of sale.

- You do get the surcharge total in your POS reconciliation reports

- Figures what the POS System has and what the customer receives are always balanced.

- You can accept many more cards and payment methods, e.g. PayPal.

- All reporting and calculations are handled in one system.

Cons:

- You need to calculate your costs. This is not hard, but worrying as you must ask yourself for every item if it is justified. Your payment provider can help you with this.

- You need to ask how it will be paid during every transaction. A problem can occur if the customer changes their mind. Some customers like to say debit, which has a lower fee, and then book it as a credit card.

To do it manually.

Go into the main menu.

Select Dissection Maintenance.

Now, in Dissection maintenance, where the yellow arrow is click the tab "Pay Types"

You can accept a much wider range of cards as your POS System will adjust for some expensive payment types like AMEX and PayPal.

In Summary:

- Approach surcharging carefully - assess risks

- Prioritize alternatives like cash discounts

- If moving ahead, follow strict rules and disclosure requirements

- Keep rates reasonable and aligned with actual costs

I hope this provides a balanced overview of the pros and cons when considering card-surcharging decisions for your small retail business. What’s worked in your business experience - surcharging, cash discounts or absorbing costs? I welcome feedback and discussion in the comments!

Slash Payment Processing Fees with Least Cost Routing

POS SOFTWARE

Least cost routing

Swipe, beep, tap. Thanks to modern payment technology, paying for something has never been easier. But while tap-and-go is crazy convenient for customers, the hidden fees in the payment system are anything but convenient for business owners.

Every time a customer pays with a dual-network debit or credit card, you may pay inflated processing fees that dig into your bottom line.

The Banks Have Been Slow to Act

But a simple fix could help you save - the least cost routing (Merchant-choice routing).

The Reserve Bank has revealed a woeful roll-out of least-cost routing technology by the major banks after repeated urgings to act.

.. the National Australia Bank has remarkably only turned the system on for 15 per cent of its merchants and the other major banks offer it to well under half their customers.

When I was told that, I freaked out.  How could so many people not have it? 

Small business payment processing

In the current payments system, a customer taps their debit or credit card to purchase in your shop, and that payment is without least cost routing, likely being sent through the bank's preferred path on the EFTPOS network, which is not often the cheapest.

But here's the thing - most of those cards also have access to the lower-cost EFTPOS network, but your EFTPOS/Credit systems are not set up to take advantage of this fact. If so, your shop is shouldering unfairly high fees on every card transaction. Why should you be penalised with an excessive fee?

Why Unfair Fees Matter

  • You either absorb the fees and take a hit on your tight margins or pass the costs to customers through higher prices.

  • This makes you dearer as your fees are higher than those with low-cost routing.

  • This stifles competition when businesses are saddled with higher fees

Least Cost Routing Can Instantly Save You Money

Yet least-cost routing could help small businesses across Australia save over $1 billion per year.

With the least cost routing, dual-network card payments are automatically routed through the lowest fee network. This ensures you pay the minimum fees whenever a customer taps their card or buys online from your EFTPOS/Credit provider. Saving just cents per transaction adds up pretty fast.

Reducing card fees for small businesses

Please don't wait for your bank or payment provider to act because they are clearly not acting. You have to take control and access the savings of least-cost routing now.

Step 1: Ask Your Provider

First, contact your payment terminal or POS software provider. Ask if they offer the least-cost routing and whether it is activated for your business. If not, put pressure on them to enable it. 

Step 2: Review Your Fees

Take a detailed look at your monthly statements. Identify high credit/debit card fees.

Step 3: Train Your Team

Ensure staff know how to process cards via the EFTPOS network, which can save you money.

Take Action Now for Your Business

Small changes in your business can quickly add up to big savings. But we need your help to pressure the banks and payments giants to enable fair fees for all.

Contact your EFTPOS provider today to enable the least-cost routing. Also, check your monthly statements for excessive card fees to identify possible savings.

With simple advocacy, you can tap into instant savings for your shop. Let's work together to build a fairer payment system for small retailers and consumers.

If you have not done it yet, do it NOW!

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Woolworths EFTPOS outages across Australia create frustration for shoppers

POS SOFTWARE

When the EFTPOS Goes Down: The Importance of Disaster Recovery Systems for Small Businesses

In your retail store, it's easy to take modern technology for granted. Tap-and-go payments, internet banking, EFTPOS; these staples of Australian commerce feel like they'll always be there, operating smoothly in the background. Please do not believe that they always work. But critical systems like EFTPOS fail unexpectedly, and the impact today can be huge for retailers.

Outages Happen More Often Than You'd Think

Events like the Woolworths trading debacle click here for details highlighting that even large retailers with sophisticated IT infrastructure and internet are still at risk today. No system is immune to technical failures. If I made a bet with you that one of my clients would have an EFTPOS problem this week, I am sure I would win.

A survey by the Australian Retailers Association in 2019 found that many retailers had experienced an internet or EFTPOS outage in that year. As Murphy Law would have it, most that reported problems said it occurred at the worst possible time.

A Hot Day Spells Trouble

A newsagent who makes a good trade with drinks and ice cream, on a hot day, EFTPOS stopped working. It took several hours to fix it. They felt that they lost half their trade over those few hours as they were unable to process any electronic payments whatsoever. 

Why Small Businesses Are Especially Vulnerable

Larger retailers often have better systems and can justify high costs to minimise outage disruptions. But for small businesses operating on tight budgets, often with the cheapest internet plans and no redundancy, it makes them much more vulnerable to unplanned network and hardware failures.

What can be done.

  • Make sure your EFTPOS systems have local mode. 

  • Make sure your EFTPOS can go both through the internet and mobile data.

  • Keep an option to accept cash in your shop.

Conclusion

Hardware failures and internet outages are inevitable risks for small retailers relying on electronic payments. Events like the recent Woolworths outage show that you can be affected even if you have the best equipment and systems.

 

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Brace for Impact of Rising Credit Card Fees

POS SOFTWARE

Unfortunately, the article is protected by a paywall, but you can read the story here and here. In the US, Visa and Mastercard will almost certainly increase their network fees paid by merchants. While the exact details are still uncertain, it's reasonable to expect similar hikes to hit Australian retailers soon. Let's break down what this could mean for retailers.

The Potential Impact

  • My back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest this would amount to a 0.5% increase in credit card fees.

  • As economic conditions worsen, consumers rely more heavily on credit cards than debit cards or cash.

  • With Australian interchange fees already low, these increases will likely roll out here too.

 

Consumer credit card interchange rates

  • Some merchants may see immediate impacts if they lack long-term contracts, locking in rates.

Coming at a Challenging Time

These fee hikes couldn't come at a worse time for small retailers already dealing with:

  • High inflation driving up supply and operating expenses
  • Households are now tightening their budgets
  • Rising interest rates increase

This represents yet another margin squeeze small businesses did not need.

Strategies to Mitigate the Impact

While the situation seems bleak, retailers do have some options to minimise the damage:

  • Review Pricing - I know it is challenging due to market and competitive factors, but you need to review your prices

  • Renegotiate Rates - Use long-term contracts to lock in competitive credit card fees before the hikes hit. Investigate modern Credit Card solutions. The ones we suggest are UrPay and mx51. Let us know here and we will put you in contact with the correct people

  • Incentivise Debit card/Cash - Promote alternative payment methods like cash. Simply advertising that a small fee will be charged without money works well.

The bottom line is retailers should start reviewing the situation. 

 

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How to do an EFTPOS and Credit Card Reconciliation

POS SOFTWARE

With so much money coming through with EFTPOS and Credit cards into a shop, a reconciliation is crucial for managing a small business's finances. Once you do it, you can only then assess how often to do it.

How to do an EFTPOS and credit card transactions with your POS System.

Download Transaction Reports

Get detailed transaction reports from your EFTPOS and credit card provider. This will show all transactions that have gone through their systems for a certain period.

Go to your POS Reports 

You need to export a report from your point of sale (POS) system showing all EFTPOS and credit card transactions recorded there.

Cash register reports > Sales Register > EFTPOS and Credit Card Settlement (Excel)

 

If you do not have Excel. Get OpenOffice. It's free and good.

This will give you the transactions recorded in your POS by dates.

Reconciling transactions

Now comes the reconciliation part. Compare the amounts, dates and transaction numbers on the provider reports to the transactions in your POS report. Look closely for any discrepancies between the two.

One thing to remember is that transactions may show on different days between the reports. There will be a reason. What you tend to see is too few transactions on a day and then they appear shortly after. There is not much we can do about it, but you may want to take it up with your EFTPOS and credit card provider so you know why it is happening.

Use our Excel sheet as a Reconciliation Spreadsheet

Record your findings in a reconciliation spreadsheet. Document any discrepancies or issues you find. This creates an audit trail you can refer back to.

Resolve Discrepancies with Providers

If you find any concerning discrepancies, contact your EFTPOS or credit card provider to clarify and resolve them. Get them to confirm or correct any potential errors. Generally, they are helpful. Often you may have to wait a few days to get an answer. If a discrepancy can't be resolved, contact your accountant. Don't just leave an unexplained difference.

Transaction reconciliation

Based on feedback from your provider, make any adjustments needed in your POS and accounting records. Then complete reconciling your EFTPOS and credit card accounts.

Keep Records for ATO

You may sometimes need to keep reconciliation records for the ATO. 

Reconcile Frequency

Decide how often you must reconcile. Frequent reconciliation makes it easier to pick up and query issues while details are still fresh, but it does add to the work. I would strongly suggest that monthly or quarterly is better than none. We do it monthly. 

Reconciliation Provides Essential Financial Clarity 

While reconciliation requires diligence but can be tremendously valuable for small business finances. 

 

Let me know if you need other tips for streamlining your small business's EFTPOS and credit card reconciliation! I think you will find doing a reconciliation is well worth the effort if only for your peace of mind.

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EFTPOS Settlement Time Truth vs Your Reality

POS SOFTWARE

Recently, we negotiated excellent rates for Visa and EFTPOS transactions for our customers. Details are here.

 

Unfortunately, one of our competitors made some misleading comments in response to me on the time it takes for funds to be cleared into a merchant's account after a customer transaction. As this is an important issue, I will explain the process so you understand the problems, the big problem, and where people are being misled. I will use EFTPOS, but the situation is similar to MasterCard and VISA, although rarely as much of a problem.

As a rule, the people you deal with are often the agents for large financial companies who do the actual EFTPOS.  These can be eftpos Payments Australia or huge multinational companies. For example, Fiserv, which I will discuss below, had approximately 44,000 employees worldwide on December 31, 2021, and works in 100 countries.

Now this image below will explain how it works generally. 

 

In a typical EFTPOS transaction in Australia, the money flows through three main organisations:

- The customer's issuing bank
- The EFTPOS network's custodial settlement account 
- The merchant's acquiring bank

There may also be other intermediaries involved.

The process happens in several steps:

1. The customer taps their card at the merchant's terminal, which is virtually instant.

2. The terminal requests authorisation from the acquiring bank, taking just seconds.

3. The acquiring bank authorises the transaction in seconds by checking with the issuing bank. 

4. Authorisation is returned to the merchant terminal within seconds.

5. The transaction completes instantly from the merchant's perspective.

6. Funds are transferred into the EFTPOS network's custodial account, either same-day or next-day depending on cutoff times. 

7. The EFTPOS network reconciles and okays the funds the next business day.

8. Finally, the funds are transferred from the custodial account to the merchant's bank account. This often takes 1-3 business days.

The delay in step 8 is a big problem, so I highlighted it and marked it with a red arrow above. It may take three days if the custodial and merchant accounts are with different banks. 

Some people, as here, emphasise the fastest scenario as usual, e.g., quoting as if your bank account is the same as their custodial account, but I think this is often misleading. 

Conclusion

You need to research and understand this settlement timeline when evaluating EFTPOS providers. Ask a detailed question to get the total elapsed time from the point of transaction to the money in your account to manage your cash flow appropriately. This can save you considerable frustration down the road.

"The customer taps and dashes, but your money may move at a snail's pace through the system."

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EFTPOS/Credit Card Outage: A Nightmare for Retailers:

POS SOFTWARE

Experiencing an EFTPOS/credit card processing outage means your business cannot accept card payments resulting from a system malfunction. Such occurrences can be aggravating and financially disastrous. 

Payment cards are the most commonly used retail payment method in Australia, and debit cards are increasingly preferred to credit cards for many transactions.

Based on my experience, such an outage can cause a typical retailer to lose about 50% of their business. Many people today do not have cash on them. They cannot buy if they cannot use the electronic funds available.

You should be prepared for that, as although such outages are rare, they are actually more common than many realise. Here are the ANZ outages recorded yesterday. Many of these will be EFTPOS and Credit Card problems. If I made a bet with you that next week, someone would report a problem with EFTPOS, and I would probably win.

ANZ Bank outages yesterday

 

They can occur due for many reasons; in our experience, the most common reasons are: 

>Power outages 

>Telephone and Internet service disruptions, do not believe the Telecom quoted figures; they go down much more than they say.

>Hardware or software failures, ultimately, the EFTPOS works through mechanical devices, and it is only a matter of time before they fail.

>Human error, a dropped EFTPOS unit broke a few days ago.

Whatever the reason, having such an Outage can affect your sales, customer service, and reputation. 

The leading three EFTPOS providers we work with are, so these are the most important to our clients so that I will quote these as examples.

> Tyro

> WestPac through MX51, although now the MX51 interface is so popular it is moving into other banks.

> UrPay

How to Prepare for Such Outages 

Here are some points you can prepare:

Make sure you have alternative methods of accepting payments, such as cash or checks. 

Local mode 

This means the unit can work when the internet or mobile data goes down. We had a client in an area where the internet and telephones went down, but the EFTPOS kept working as it could use mobile internet for electronic payments.

So check with your EFTPOS provider if they have given you local mode. Note that not all local modes are the same WestPac; for example, has automatic switching so often in an outage you will not even know it's happening. Tyro has a local mode, but it's manual, and you will almost certainly need their support to activate it. The other advantage I like is that WestPac is everywhere with local support. Not having to send units to the head office in Sydney for replacement by post is a big plus if you are not in the CBD in Sydney.

UPS

If power is a problem, consider investing in a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) to keep your system running during power outages. These as well protect your electronic devices from power issues. Today, UPS units are more affordable than ever, providing excellent value for money. Please consider this to keep your system running smoothly during power outages.

MOJO Payments

In addition to cash and checks, consider having an option like MOJO payments. Although this comes with additional costs, it can be helpful in emergencies.

Spare EFTPOS units.

Often the problem is on one terminal. The others may function correctly. It may be worthwhile to have more than one terminal. Urpay, for example, offers EFTPOS terminals with no fees on many of its plans. having an extra terminal can be a plus, in everyday operations.

Here are some steps you can take to handle credit card processing outages:

When an outage occurs, you must act quickly and calmly to minimise the impact on your business. Try to establish where the actual problem is:

> If it is the computers, contact us.

> If your computers are working, they are probably the internet/mobile or the EFTPOS provider. 

>Communicate with your EFTPOS processor. 

They can tell you if the problem is them and whether it is local or widespread, and how long it might take to fix it if it is them. They can also advise you on offline terminal options.

>If it is the internet/mobile well, contact these people and ask for an ETA 

>Communicate with your customers. Let your customers know about the outage. Explain the situation and offer them other ways to pay, such as cash or check. 

> Keep detailed records of the incident, including when it occurred, its duration, and whom you spoke with. Insist on being quoted the incident number for your reference. Large companies are notorious for losing track of your problem.

Conclusion

Handling credit card processing outages requires proactive planning and quick response. 

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Save on the new EFTPOS/Credit rates

POS SOFTWARE

 

The best time to get EFTPOS/Credit deals is usually now around EOFY. This is because now is when companies face reality. They have many costs to pay for the next financial year and must show their stakeholders how well they did in the current financial year. So they have to close sales and increase their revenue. So we are talking some pretty good deals as it comes from the top. That’s why they are offering our clients some fantastic offers. These offers could help you save a lot of money on EFTPOS. But these deals rarely last long, so you must act fast if interested.

If you are our client, call me. If you want more information, please get in touch with us. See it we can help you save money on EFTPOS.

I have noticed that an integrated FREE EFTPOS deal is the most popular now with our clients. 

Comments

Hi
What are the rates that Tyro are currently offering?

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The Cashless Debate: Why Some Are Ditching Cash and Others Are Not

POS SOFTWARE

EFTPOS/Credit card being processed

I read this article yesterday about consumer backlash over businesses going cashless as many businesses are switching to cashless payments mainly because it is fast, easy, healthy, and convenient. We are looking at a start of a political debate. Several states have made laws restricting businesses from going cashless in the US. I am sure it is coming here too.

Several of my clients have told me they are considering going cashless. Many of these now are only reluctantly taking cash.

I am no lawyer, but I know the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) states that Australian banknotes are legal tender and must be accepted for payment unless agreed upon by both parties. However, businesses can make their payment policy, like refusing cash payments. 

As such, if someone wants to pay with cash, there may be little recourse available to the merchant if there is no clear sign indicating this cashless policy before the start of the transaction. 

If a customer sits in your restaurant without such a sign, buys a meal, eats it, and then goes to pay with cash. If you are cashless, I wonder if you have much of a case for rejecting the cash as to why the customer would believe it would be a problem before ordering. 

If you are cashless, you have to put signs saying that that can be plainly seen before the sale commences. 

The Good Things About Going Cashless

There are many good things about going cashless for your business and your customers. Here are some of them:

  • You can manage your money better: When you go cashless, all your money goes in and out of your bank account. This makes it easier to track your income and expenses, avoid mistakes, and save time. There are no trips to the bank.
  • You can save money: Handling, storing, and depositing cash can cost you money and time. You need to check the tills regularly. You don't need to count cash, give change, or deal with cash shortages or surpluses. It requires extra equipment, for example, safes. You risk losing money due to robbery, theft, or misplacement. When you go cashless, you don't need any of these things. 
  • You can work faster: Today cashless payments are faster than cash. This lets you speed up your checkout process and reduce customer waiting times. 

Speed times of our EFTPOS units by day

The Not-So-Good Things About Going Cashless

Going cashless is not all good. Here are some of them:

  • You have to pay fees: Going cashless is not free. You must pay fees to banks and card networks for every transaction you process. These fees can add up over time and eat into your profit margin.
  • You depend on technology: Cashless payments rely on technology to work. This means that you must invest in hardware, software, internet connection, security systems, and backup plans to ensure everything runs smoothly and without interruption. Cashless payments also expose you to the risk of technical glitches. We had a nasty one a short time ago when many of our clients were cut off from all card payments for days. These incidents did disrupt our clients' business activities, damaged their reputation, and did cause financial losses.
  • You will lose customers: Many do not have cards, some do not want to go cashless if possible, and others prefer cash. Much of this is because cash has no surcharge, which is often cheaper. Some are worried as they see it as a further growth of big government. 

Conclusion

Cashless payments are the future of business transactions. They offer many benefits to both businesses and customers. But they also come with some challenges and risks that retailers must consider.

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Introducing UrPay: A New Payment EFTPOS for POS Solutions Customers

POS SOFTWARE

We are thrilled to announce that we have partnered with UrPay, an omnichannel payment solution that offers a range of benefits for our customers. UrPay is integrated with our POS software and hardware so that you can enjoy a seamless and secure  payment experience.

Why choose UrPay?

UrPay is an innovative payment solution born from industry demand and created with a purpose. Through a deep understanding of hospitality, retail, and high-volume industries, UrPay offers low rates, reliability and trustworthy experiences. Here are some of the advantages of using UrPay with POS Solutions:

Low and transparent rates:

UrPay charges the lowest fees I have seen in our marketspace regardless of the card type or brand. Unlike some as readers here will know I have not seen some hidden fees or monthly charges. You also get access to all the features and tools of our  POS software, such as inventory management, customer loyalty, online store and more.

Same-day settlement:

UrPay settles your funds same day and then to your bank account overnight (T+1), so you can manage your cash flow better. You can also choose your own settlement schedule, whether automated daily or complete manually.

24/7 local support:

UrPay provides round-the-clock customer support via phone or email. You can also get help from our dedicated support team, who are available 24/7 to answer your questions and resolve any issues.

No lock-in contracts:

UrPay allows you to choose how you want to accept payments without locking you into long-term contracts or commitments. You can switch between different payment methods or providers on 30 days' notice without penalties or cancellation fees.

Dynamic surcharging on all card types:

UrPay allows you to pass on the cost of accepting card payments to your customers by adding a surcharge to their transactions. You can set up dynamic surcharging on all card types, including EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard and American Express. You can also customise the surcharge amount and frequency according to your business needs. 

Contactless payments:

UrPay enables you to accept contactless payments from your customers using their mobile phones or smart devices. You can accept EFTPOS mobile payments, as well as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Contactless payments are fast,  convenient and secure, using encryption and tokenisation to protect your customers’ card details.

Alternative payment methods:

UrPay also supports alternative payment methods such as Alipay and WeChat Pay, which are popular among Chinese tourists and residents in Australia. Accepting these payment methods can attract more customers and increase your sales opportunities. The functionality is already there on the terminal.

State-of-the-art terminals:

UrPay offers a range of modern and sleek terminals that are compatible with our POS hardware. You can choose from standalone or integrated options, depending on your business needs. All terminals are 4G and WiFi enabled so that you can take payments anywhere. They also support chip and PIN, swipe and signature, and NFC (tap and go) transactions.

Free fee EFTPOS:

UrPay also offers a free fee eftpos option for eligible businesses. This means that you can accept eftpos payments from your customers without paying any fees to UrPay or POS Solutions. This option is ideal for businesses that have low average transaction values or high volumes of eftpos transactions.

Find out more

If you are interested in learning more about UrPay and how it works with POS Solutions, click here or contact us directly.

Thank you for choosing POS Solutions!

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Apple Tap to Pay on iPhone Available in Australia

POS SOFTWARE

Apple's Tap to Pay on iPhone contactless payment technology has become available in Australia. Instead of relying solely on traditional EFTPOS plastic cards, people can now use their iPhones to complete transactions wirelessly. With over half of Australians owning an iPhone, so this feature has significant potential for widespread adoption. Setting up Tap to Pay is simple, but it would be prudent to consult your EFTPOS provider beforehand to ensure compatibility and check the fees.

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Why incorporate EFTPOS and credit card integration into your POS system?

POS SOFTWARE

EFTPOS/Credit card being processed

It is preferable to have a POS system that is as efficient and streamlined as possible. Doing this will benefit your business in many ways.

Here we will examine why you should consider integrating your POS system.

Speed

Integrating your POS system with EFTPOS allows you to process transactions more quickly and efficiently. This reduces customer wait times. Here is a chart of the speed times of our EFTPOS/Credit card by day. Transaction acceptance is now typically done in a second.

Speed times of our EFTPOS units by day

Accuracy

You reduce errors and improve the accuracy of your transactions due to the absence of double handling of figures. This is said to be worth about 1% of turnover.

Expanded Efficiency

Automating is much simpler than manually entering figures.

Security

Your staff and system are not given any customer account information. This will minimize fraud-related legal issues as much of the risk now is the bank.

Better Reporting

You will have access to extensive analytics and reporting, allowing you to compare your POS system to the bank's system and make well-informed business decisions.

How It Works

In most cases, this is very simple. An EFTPOS terminal is connected to your POS system. Connecting takes a few minutes.

Conclusion

There are many advantages to integrating your POS system with EFTPOS and credit card payments for your business. You speed up processing, reduce errors, and increase your productivity. You will also enjoy shorter wait times, increased transaction security and lower risk for fraud. Your POS system's extensive analytics and reporting can help you make informed business decisions. It only takes a few minutes to complete the easy integration process. Integrating your POS system with EFTPOS and credit card payments is a smart move that can boost your company's productivity and profitability.

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Why do banks take so long to settle? How do you speed it up

POS SOFTWARE

The settlement problem.

An exasperating situation that impacts any business is waiting for the settlement of EFTPOS/Credit transactions to clear. It is frustrating to have the funds and yet be unable to use them.

What is happening is that the money passes through several banks and accounts. The banks will only release the funds after they do checks on each stage of the transfer. Along each step of the transaction, the accounts must balance. They can take days, even with our computerised systems today. Generally, the banks work on three-day model business days, which tends to mean two to four business days.

Plus, transactions made on a weekend, a public/bank holiday, or after the currency cut-off time generally are processed the following business day. 

How to speed it up?

-Cashout is the best way. Some banks like tyro have no fees on cashout, so you get the funds instantly with no fees. If you are with tyro, I suggest you experiment with this option. As it has no fees, you can use it for low-margin items as a bonus. 

-Try to avoid banks that do not have their clearing houses. What you are doing here is adding a delay.

-Check your EFTPOS/Credit provider; almost all have a way to set up an account to speed up the transfer speed.

-Check your bank's policies; some have a policy written up as day, no business day. If so, take note there is a big difference.

-Avoid international cards if possible. This can be a problem as the funds must travel through the SWIFT network. So the funds go from an Australian Bank (you) to the SWIFT network. Then to your customer's bank (often overseas) with their business policy. Now back to SWIFT before hitting the Australian banks with their business policy.

 

 

 

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You need to do an EFTPOS reconciliation regularly.

POS SOFTWARE

You need to do an EFTPOS reconciliation regularly.

​There are many reasons why you have the goods paid for in your POS system, but the money is not in your bank account. Sometimes if you do not reconcile your EFTPOS machines, you will never know the money is missing as you never handled the money.

You need to check your EFTPOS provider figure and check your figure in your total reports for the same period.

Initially, I look at the last 12 months to see if there is a problem. Now, if they are different, you will be looking to reconcile line by line, and you cannot check a year of history; it's too much. So try to find a short period where there is a difference. It can be a hunt; generally, I go down to six months, quarters, months, weeks and finally, a day that has a difference. Any significant difference is enough. It is best to pick a day as close as today as possible.

Now you need a detailed report from your EFTPOS supplier for that day.

In your POS system, here is the report required (You will find it here marked in red below)

Once there, you can get a report like this that you can reconcile.

Now try to find out what is going on by checking each transaction.

Now, what about a potential solution?

Once you have the problem, you must know what has gone wrong.

We have had a client who discovered about $8,000 in his small supermarket in about five months was taken from EFTPOS by employee fraud. It was only found by this method.

This is a particularly nasty problem if you do not have an integrated EFTPOS solution.

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Zero cost EFTPOS/Credit card

POS SOFTWARE

Zero-cost EFTPOS is used when people want an EFTPOS/Credit card service that their customers pay directly. This is instead of the merchant collecting it from their fees and then paying it through their bank fees. What they are doing is cutting themselves out of the equation.

There is some confusion here as different banks and institutions have other names to describe this.

Some banks call it Zero cost EFTPOS, free EFTPOS and "pass on the full cost of card acceptance" all seem the same to me.

Then when you look at the fine print, there are significant differences in banks' offerings even if they are quoting what they claim is zero costs. I have heard of people with zero costs being charged fees. Some services and some premium cards are not included; e.g. if there are disputes on charges or international cards, costs show up. Some of these costs are not small either. Even if it was not the merchant's fault, errors in calculations appear to be assigned to them.

What you need to ensure you include dynamic surcharging with the flexibility to change it to your costs. 

The other issue is the rates significantly vary. Even though the merchant is not paying for it, their customers will be paying for it. If the charges look too high, the merchant's customers will react. It is a cost increase for their customers. So it would be advisable to review the rates first.

Let us know if you are interested in this service, as we can certainly help you.

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