Integrating support for payments into your POS environment isn't always a simple process. Here are four payments features that should be considered cornerstones for any POS provider evaluating a payments solution provider.
1. Hardware agnosticism
Hardware agnosticism enables you to quickly role out the newest payments devices without completely upgrading your entire tech stack. According to payment processing company First Data, the U.S. will replace 1.2 billion magnetic stripe cards with EMV equivalents, installing approximately 8 million POS systems to accept these chip-based payment cards. Your merchants will require and ask for various hardware options, so the ability to offer a variety of hardware options from the get-go is paramount.
2. Support for virtually all payment processors
If your current payments solution isn't compatible with your merchants' preferred payment processors, you're leaving business on the table - guaranteed. Support for all processors is a pre-requisite for any payments solution. Beware of direct process certifications that will eat time, on-going resources and will leave you with a solution that covers only a fraction of your customers' needs.
3. Platform agnostic interfaces
Starting to see a trend? In payments, flexibility is key. You want to make sure you're utilizing a payments solution that has cross platform support and can adapt with your roadmap. Many POS providers started out with a platform-specific offering, but have since moved into the cloud to take advantage of simplified implementation, updates and variable platform support. Of course the transition to POS mobility is much easier for POS providers who can easily migrate their software to mobile devices without having to start re-think their payments integration/offering.
Choosing a payments provider with a long-standing track record and support for a variety of platforms will make sure that you're set for the inherent payments industry and technology updates on the horizon.
4. Security-centric platform
Whether your payment infrastructure includes on-premise or browser-based POS systems, your payments solution must be security-centric. The saying "All press is good press", does not apply to press that connects your Point of Sale app with a security breach. Be sure that any payments solution you're evaluating has options for EMV, point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization.
- EMV surpasses magnetic stripe security because card duplication becomes nearly impossible (or prohibitively difficult). EMV essentially prohibits fraudsters from using stolen card data to create new cards for in-store fraud and in most cases, validates the card holder via an associated PIN.
- P2PE (or Point to Point Encryption) uses algorithms to cryptographically shield payment data from the point of interaction to the processing server. This is the most important security enhancement for merchants as it renders intercepted card data useless.
- Tokenization goes one step further than encryption. Instead of obfuscating data, such solutions replace credit card data with "tokens." These tokens can then be used for subsequent transactions without the need for the merchant to actually store card data.
Mobile POS's popularity is growing because these devices cover more use cases for merchants and often, a lead to a better experience for consumers. A payments solution equipped with strong security, agnostic platform support, support for multiple payment processors and hardware flexibility puts POS providers in a position to thrive.