Upgrade your merchant terminal now and be prepared for the holiday season
The holiday shopping season may seem far away but in reality, now is the time to upgrade your merchant terminals to make sure you’re ready for the holiday shopping rush. Read on for some key ways that you should prepare your business for the holiday shopping season.
Accept mobile payments
More and more consumers of all demographics want to be able to pay using their smartphone when they shop or eat out. Make sure your POS terminal is set up to handle mobile payments to capture business from these consumers. You should also take this opportunity to assess what other types of NFC (near-field communication) payment types like EMV that your business should consider accepting for maximum growth potential. Speak with your payments processor to better understand what payment types might be best for your business goals and growth.
Set up a loyalty and rewards program
It seems like everyone’s shopping lists are a mile long during November and December, so make sure you capture as much of their shopping dollars as possible by having a rewarding loyalty program in place now. First, make sure that your loyalty program is easy for shoppers to use. Consider integrating it with a mobile wallet or your proprietary mobile shopping app. Then, you’ll need to ensure that the rewards you offer are valuable to your customers. Make sure your program participation is worth the effort participate— to ensure they'll continue spending their shopping dollars at your establishment.
Upgrade to EMV technology
While the U.S. migration to EMV technology has been in full swing for almost a full year now, many merchants haven’t yet made the upgrade. If you already have a terminal that accepts EMV chip cards, but your processor hasn’t yet activated the feature, make it a top priority in the coming weeks to find out their planned date for EMV activation and consider switching processors if it will not be turned on by the holidays. If it isn't, your business will risk being held financially liable for certain types of in-person payment fraud that can be avoided with the new chip cards. And considering the volume of transactions you may see during the holidays, and the historical increase of fraud during the holiday season, even a small percentage of fraud could make a big financial impact on your profitability.
Supercharge your gift card program
As with the loyalty and rewards program, a great gift card program will help you capture more of your customers’ holiday shopping spend this season. Offering gift cards in both flexible and preloaded denominations can help make gift-giving decisions easier. Printing a variety of holiday themes on your plastic gift cards including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas—will make them appealing to a wider audience. Consider selling your gift cards in a variety of locations beyond just your store or restaurant—including big box retailers and local gas stations—so that more shoppers have a chance to see and buy your cards.
Contact Vantiv for more ideas on getting your business in shape for the holidays this year.