What’s Your Transactions Strategy for 2019?

It almost goes without saying that taking payments has changed a lot in the past two decades. “I sold my first credit card terminal in 1996 … [and] back then we would basically go around and talk to small businesses and you’d have to talk to each one individually,” begins Henry Helgeson, President of Integrated Solutions at TSYS. “A lot of them just accepted cash and you had to talk them into accepting credit cards.”  

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What’s Your Transactions Strategy for 2019?

Dec 31, 2018

What’s Your Transactions Strategy for 2019?

It almost goes without saying that taking payments has changed a lot in the past two decades. “I sold my first credit card terminal in 1996 … [and] back then we would basically go around and talk to small businesses and you’d have to talk to each one individually,” begins Henry Helgeson, President of Integrated Solutions at TSYS. “A lot of them just accepted cash and you had to talk them into accepting credit cards.”

Today, pretty much every business accepts credit cards; it’s essentially a minimum requirement of doing business, as customers expect to be able to pay with a card. While some small business owners tend to view taking credit cards—and by extension accepting electronic payments—as something approaching a necessary evil, in the past few years payments has evolved into something much more than a means to an end. Just like the Internet has created a new opportunity to reach previously unreachable customers, payments now presents a new business opportunity all its own—a new way to differentiate yourself from the competition and a new way to maximize sales and boost revenue growth.

“Payments isn’t just about getting the money from point A to point B,” elaborates Helgeson. For one, new technologies are encouraging consumers to spend more, while also contributing to a positive customer experience. As an added benefit, digital payments are helping to improve the profitability of small- and medium-sized businesses, in part because processing digital payments can cost less than processing non-digital payments.

On the other hand, if you’re like most small- and medium-sized business owners, you find understanding new technologies and keeping up with the pace of change in the payments space to be a daunting prospect. Predicted trends for 2019 include: a further rise in adoption of mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices, a further evolution of peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, the rise of alternative financing, and widespread adoption of biometrics, including fingerprint authentication and facial recognition technology.

Anyway, you probably don’t have the time or the energy to educate yourself about all the different emerging technologies, much less choose and implement the ones that would be most beneficial to your business using an à la carte approach.

As a result, your resolution for 2019 should be to establish a relationship with a trusted partner in the payments space. In a nutshell, you ought to look for a partner who can advise you which products and services are mission-critical for your business and which cutting-edge technologies would be most beneficial in terms of growing your business going forward. Ideally, the partner should also have the size and reach to provide comprehensive solutions that provide the functionality you’re looking for at an affordable price. This way you can focus on making your small business the best—and most profitable—it can be.

Payments as a Competitive Advantage

The good news is that even if payments technology is something you’ve neglected for a long time, you have the ability to catch up—and leapfrog ahead of your competition—using 2019 tools and services. Regardless, whether you run a retail store or a medical practice, simply taking payments at the counter isn’t going to be sufficient for much longer. “That basic VeriFone® or Ingenico® device with simple merchant acquiring contract, that is going to fade out over time,” notes Philip C. McHugh, Senior Executive Vice President & President, Merchant Solutions at TSYS.

Now, with a partner like TSYS you can employ a next generation tool like Genius®, a powerful integrated payment platform that allows you to take payments at the counter, but also anywhere your customers want to pay. Today’s customers “not only expect to have the in store presence and experience that they’ve always loved … but now they want to be able to buy through apps, through mobile, through desktop,” says Helgeson. “All of this can happen through the Genius platform without needing to go out and rototill [your] payment platform and bring in a whole new system.” Better yet, a solution like Genius also provides peace of mind in terms of security. “With the Genius platform all of the card data stays in the terminal itself. It doesn’t flow through the point-of-sale system, which is generally the weak point,” he adds.

A “Vital” Solution

Another great payment solution, especially for small to medium sized businesses, is the Vital® point of sale system, which, with a single sign-on, enables you to manage your business from anywhere. “Vital provides cloud based reporting and inventory tracking capabilities,” notes Helgeson. “Instead of being [at your business’ physical location] 24/7 you can monitor sales in real time on your iPhone® or Android™ device. You can see how your ratings are doing on social media,” to name but two of many benefits.

“It’s a tool to simplify and help manage your life,” adds McHugh, who agrees that providing essential payment functionality—authorizing, processing, clearing and settling transactions—while also making life better for merchants is the wave of the future.

“One of the things we pride ourselves in doing at TSYS is making the life of small business owners easier,” concludes Helgeson. “What we’ve been able to do with Vital is provide a comprehensive software solution—a suite of products that simplify your life…. We just make it easy for you to be up and running in a very short amount of time, selling your product and doing what you do best—running your business.”

Have questions about Genius or Vital or want to learn more about how you can grow your revenue via payments and gain an advantage over your competition? Contact TSYS online or give us a call at 1.888.845.9457.

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