ISOs should prioritize hardware when looking to differentiate their offerings to merchants.
Any independent sales organization (ISO) is readily aware of the dramatic changes in the payments industry in recent years. New technologies, increased capabilities of Point of Sale (POS) hardware and evolving consumer demands have empowered merchants to seek more from their payments partners. Merchants are now more actively seeking solutions to help them compete like a big chain or enterprise.
This has left both ISOs and independent software vendors (ISVs) serving the payments industry converging to find new paths forward to serve the small business sector, among other markets. It’s an important segment as 99.9% of all US businesses, roughly 33.2 million, fall under that classification. Mergers and acquisitions have dominated headlines in the ISO/ISV space recently as providers here look to capitalize and differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace.
ISOs are aligning with ISVs to tap into numerous benefits. By converging with the producers of the software that empower their payment processing, ISOs can enjoy advantages that help them stand out:
- More frictionless onboarding
- Increased exposure to merchants
- Reduced attrition rates
- Better consistency of service
- Upsell opportunities
But without considering the possibilities related to POS hardware, ISO/ISV partnerships won’t fully capitalize on the opportunity present or fully meet the demands of merchants. The ISO/ISV convergence lacks impact without the tools and technology to execute the integration.
That’s where we come in.
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Power Payments Planning with POS Hardware
For ISOs seeking to integrate with an ISV, it’s important to remember it’s never too early to consider input from a valued hardware vendor or managed services provider. These organizations have the expertise and insight into what solutions will work best with your goals and new alignment strategy.
Unlike in the past, when payment processing was simple about facilitating the transfer for funds, the convergence of ISOs and ISVs has dialed in on redefining the customer experience and enabling business owners to manage their operations with increased ease. With all the payment processing options available, merchants now are prioritizing working with those that deliver these additional features. POS hardware and a complete POS system are critical in this effort.
Hardware remains the backbone of any POS system and is broken down into five distinct categories. Employing new technologies across this range of components will help ISOs provide not only the essential payment processing capabilities but also uncover new avenues to satisfy both merchant and consumer demand.
Credit Card Reader — The device that accepts credit and debit card payments and a necessity in today’s environment. Versatility is key and modern selections can read cards via magstripe swipe, a card’s chip via EMV, or use near-field communication (NFC) to access virtual wallets like Apple Pay.
POS Terminal — This device runs your POS software and has an interface the merchant uses to manage transactions. These can be desktops, a tablet or proprietary (like a Square Register).
Cash Drawer — Cash isn’t extinct quite yet and most businesses still need to account for a way to handle these transactions. Locking mechanisms and compatibility with your POS software are critical.
Barcode Scanner — Scanners help businesses of every variety keep track of their stock and speed up the checkout process. These need to be compatible with your overall system, and can be enabled to be viable with USB or Bluetooth connectivity.
Receipt Printer — While many now opt for text or email receipts, printed receipts are still required for many customers. There are many decision points here as well, from thermal or ink printing, to additional connectivity via wireless technology — similar to the scanner and cash drawer functionality.
What Merchants Want from POS Hardware
By involving a hardware vendor earlier in your discussions with ISVs, an independent sales organization can map out which services and features can be implemented seamlessly and use those to appeal to merchants looking to distinguish themselves. It’s critical to identify what matters most to the merchants you’ll be serving and how your hardware choices will make it possible.
POS hardware works in conjunction with POS systems to allow your business to run transactions. But POS hardware does not work with all POS software.
When exploring hardware options, it’s important to consider the kind of software it can integrate with. With ISOs and ISVs converging, this is a natural point that a qualified third-party vendor can help navigate.
With a complete POS system, businesses can improve their efficiency in handling transactions. Just as importantly, but involving a hardware vendor earlier in your discussions you can identify specifics that may be more relevant to the merchants you’re trying to target.
If your merchants are focused on events or conventions, a POS system that is cloud-based — to avoid losing data — makes more sense. If you’re targeting restaurants or food service, then kitchen printers, which sync with the POS terminal, would bear strong consideration.
Streamlined Service for Multiple Locations
A mobile POS system allows merchants to sell from multiple sites and still enjoy a streamlined process. If your merchants are selling outside of their physical store location — trade shows, conventions, fairs, markets — the right hardware can help them expand their operations without sacrificing ease of use, clarity, and data gathering.
Real-Time Data and Inventory Control
An integrated POS system helps vendors log, track and access real-time data quickly and efficiently. With hardware support, your payment software can provide dashboards to keep track of sales performance and which items are in stock. Retailers can identify their best-selling items, reorder when stock gets low and review previous transactions. This puts more power and control in the hands of the merchants you’re serving.
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Payment Processing Problems? Talk to TRG
With an incredible, comprehensive range of services and solutions, TRG is the one POS hardware vendor capable of navigating convergence concerns for ISOs looking to stay relevant and competitive.
We have extensive experience working with both ISOs and ISVs and have cultivated valued relationships with both camps to find the products and POS hardware solutions that move the needle for the merchants they serve. From the largest enterprises to small businesses across nearly every industry, TRG has the procurement expertise to deliver mission-critical hardware and payment solutions.
Connect with our team today to learn how your ISO can deliver everything your merchants need from POS hardware.