Merchant payment processing has evolved quickly in today’s digital marketplace to keep pace with the many ways that customers make purchases. In addition to ringing up a sale, payment processing systems can now integrate with a business’s accounting software, CRM, and digital marketing platforms to provide data to conduct targeted marketing campaigns and upsell your products. Whether you decide to adopt an integrated or non-integrated payment processing, it affects your business’s efficiency, customer service, check-out experience, and security.
What Are Integrated Payments?
Integrated payments refer to credit card processing that’s tied directly to your point of sale system (POS). They offer seamless performance to optimize back-end business operations where your credit card terminal and POS system communicate efficiently with each other to carry out a fast and smooth checkout process.
How it Works
During the integrated payment process, your retail account’s sale total is sent to your card reader or terminal when it is time to process your customer’s credit card. Once the payment has been captured, and the sale is completed, the payment type (e.g., credit card, cash, check, debit) and the amount is recorded in your retail reporting.
Reggie finds the running shorts he wants in a sporting goods store and adds them to his shopping cart. After he is done with shopping, he goes to the check-out counter and gets his goods scanned. When he is prompted to pay, he swipes his credit card in the credit card reader and once his payment is captured, he gets a receipt. The sale is concluded!
This whole process is called integrated payment processing where the credit card terminal and POS system communicate with each other seamlessly making the checkout experience faster and smoother.
Advantages of using Integrated Payments
- Data flows seamlessly.
- Integrated payment systems communicate directly to your POS, so there’s no need for manual entry. Direct communication saves both you and your customers valuable time.
- Integrated payment systems speed up cash flow and put more money in your account. Payments are automatically posted to your account with integrated credit card processing.
- Integrated payment solutions eliminate this risk of error because all customer and transaction information are synced automatically and accurately.
- Integrated payments make the end-of-day reconciliation quick and easy since there is no manual entry involved, The totals and payment types are automatically reported in your POS system.
- An integrated payment processing solution acts as a detailed customer database for your business because it tracks valuable information such as previous transaction history. In turn, you can use this information to improve your customer service with personalized promotions, suggestive selling, and targeted marketing campaigns.
Disadvantages of Integrated Payments
Integrated payment systems are more expensive than non-integrated payments.
What Are Non-Integrated Payments?
A non-integrated payments solution means that your payment terminal does not communicate with your POS. Instead, all information has to be input manually.
How it Works
During a sale, you manually enter the sale total at your card reader or terminal when charging your customer’s card. Afterward, you need to select which type of payment the customer used and enter the amount charged to their card.
Reggie goes to the checkout counter and gets his items scanned. Once the cashier finishes scanning the items, he manually keys in the total amount in the credit card terminal and asks Reggie to proceed with payment. Once Reggie swipes or taps his credit card on the reader, the transaction is sent for processing directly from the credit card reader and returns as accepted or declined and prints out the receipt. After that, the cashier manually keys in the traction in the POS terminal for record-keeping and accounting.
This whole process is called a non-integrated payment system where the credit card terminal and POS system are not synched with each other.
Advantages of Non-Integrated Payments
Non-integrated payment systems are generally less expensive to implement.
Disadvantages of Non-Integrated Payments
- The checkout process takes significantly longer.
- The risk that the customer will abandon their shopping cart before finishing their purchase.
- May open your business up to a higher risk of payment errors and fraud.
- You aren’t able to gather any valuable data about each transaction.
The critical difference between Integrated Payment Processing and Non-Integrated Payment processing is communication. Suppose your Point of Sale system has integrated payments processing, In that case, it will automatically sync customer and sale information from your terminal to your POS system and complete the transaction. If your POS system is non-integrated, you will have to manually enter customer sale information in the credit card reader and ask the custom to pay for it. Once the receipts print out from the credit card reader you will have to manually key in the sale information in the POS system.
Which Integration is Best for Your Business?
The payment integration system which you want to choose for your business totally depends on your needs, your budget, and whatever works best for you.
When you think about the kind of shopping experience you want to provide for your customers, what do you envision?
- Smooth and seamless.
- Efficient and quick.
Integrated, uninterrupted communication between your payment terminal and your POS is essential if you want an efficient and fast checkout process that increases customer satisfaction and eliminates the risk of payment errors and fraud.
Finical is a leading provider of payment processing solutions and merchant services. We customize solutions for each client’s systems to ensure reliable and efficient payment processing that reduces errors and lost sales. We make it easy for your customers to pay with our powerful payment processing technology that connects all payment acceptance points with your back-end operations systems. Our goal is to develop intelligent, strategic payment solutions that best position your business for growth.
Are you interested in learning how Finical can boost your business? Get in touch for a free consultation! Ask us if your business qualifies for a free Integrated payment solution. If qualified, Finical will cover the cost of hardware.