Looking for a 101 on POS and payments

by peachysk8. Posted on Sep 09, 2020    2    7

Hi everyone - I’m looking for resources where I can get smart on pos and payment processors. My husband and I are buying a convenience store/deli that currently uses NCR silver quantum. Looks fine based on what I’ve read. But I think I need a payment processor too...? I didn’t ask what’s in there now, but the owner spent 18k in processing fees last year (gross for biz in 2019 was 900k). I don’t know if that’s a lot or a little, how to shop around, etc. are there sites you trust for an intro on this, or an online course to take or something? Thanks


GeeBrain 1

Wow the responses are thorough, and covered a lot. Depending on your needs, if you JUST need a point of sales... feel free to check out piippay

Full disclaimer, my team and I built this platform for small businesses that just needs a way to accept credit cards. We charge 1% processing fees (that’s it no monthly fees or contracts). And there’s no hardware involved.

Basically you’d print out a QR code, stick it near your register. When you finish ringing someone up/know how much they have to pay, you’d go on your phone/tablet to our webapp, enter how much they owe, and have the customer scan the QR code (with their phone camera). They can then pay with Apple Pay, google pay, or a saved card from their phone.

To be honest this is not the ideal solution for you, but if you care about saving costs and not so much about the extra step of going to our webapp (website) to make the charge after ringing up the customer. Then you’d save around 9k a year since it’s 1% processing fees.

We charge the customers a small platform fee to help offset the processing fees you’d normally have to cover. I’ve worked with a couple of businesses, and what they end up doing is they would ring up the customers on whatever POS they currently use, but for the actual charge, they would use piippay.

On their POS they’d declare the sale as a cash sale so they can keep track of all the inventory and sales in one place and use Piip ONLY for processing the payment.

Because of covid, I know a lot of small businesses are struggling so let me know if you are interested in trying out Piip (the only cost is that 1% per transaction). Just dm me and I’ll waive the processing fees until things let up.

Piip really isn’t the perfect system, and we didn’t build it so it would cover inventory, payroll, and all that fancy stuff. It’s made to enable a payment. That’s it. No hardware, no additional costs, no contacts, nothing fancy but it gets the job done.

Bokumanbushi 1

Hi! It seems like you got a pretty good 101 intro from the responses here. I agree "interchange +" pricing is what you need for the cheapest rates. Normally, these credit card payment processors like to charge 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction; but with interchange + pricing every transaction is priced individually based on the type of card your customer is using. Some types of cards are cheaper to process than others and the interchange + pricing model allows you to take advantage of that.

To apply for interchange + pricing you need to meet a certain threshold of monthly or annual processing volume, which you should meet for most merchant account providers it sounds like.

As an Authorize.net partner I can help you apply for interchange + pricing for an Authorize.net "Merchant Account" and "Gateway". This is a somewhat lengthy process that can take 1-4 weeks depending on your accompanying documents and how fast Authorize.net is going at any given moment.

The required documents to apply:

  • Your registered location and copy of business license
  • 2-3 months of past processing statements
  • Show how many chargebacks and refunds you had during that time

    If you do get interchange + pricing you will have significantly lower per transaction charges, but you must maintain your high processing volume that qualifies you for the pricing tier. The final set of fees from Authorize.net will depend on your application and their approval team.
brandontrefonas 1

What are your transaction rates with those processors? One of my active projects now is with a payment facilitator, and your transaction volume is enough to warrant their services. What % of sales are POS? What accounting software do you use?

Sliver_God 1

I work on C Store POS equipment for a living, and I'm certified on NCR, Radiant, Gilbarco Passport and Verifone Commander as well as about a dozen other lesser known. I've been doing this for major service companies for over 20 years, and recently started my own. Everything has advantages and disadvantages, but I'll tell you the same thing I tell all of my clients: If I had my own store, 100% it would be Commander with Topaz, Mx915 pinpads with Motorola 2D scanners. In addition to that, Wayne dispensers, and for the ATG Incon Evo 550. Motors if I have a choice would be FE Petro, avoiding Red Jacket. No exceptions. As for brands, I would avoid Shell like the plague and try to get Valero/Unbranded Buypass/First Data, or at least Exxon. Oh and for the cherry on top Triton for the ATM. As for fees, that depends on your brand more than anything else. Be careful going to cheap, when you have problems that are a reality of the business, cheap solutions are always a terrible idea. Hope this helps!

lacadasical 2

Looks like the owner paid 2% last year in fees. I don’t think you’ll get much less than that but I agree with u/alb1986 about doing interchange + %.

alb1986 2

In my experience, credit card processing is one of the sketchiest businesses out there. It is easy for them to give quotes beating the competition but you never know what you’ll end up with. A lot of this has to do with the kind of cards being charged, as some are more expensive than others. For that volume I would definitely look for an “interchange plus %” instead of a flat rate. Basically interchange is the amount it costs the processor, and the “plus %” is their commission on it. With that volume I think you can easily get below 2.2% effective rate. Could be even better out there I’m sure. I would look in to Costco merchant services, usually isn’t too bad.

  peachysk8 1