Small Business’ Guide to Choosing an EFTPOS Machine

The key to a successful small business venture is customer satisfaction, and that begins with the right EFTPOS terminal. No matter what kind of small business you have there is an ideal EFTPOS machine out there that will suit your exact needs—no more, no less. It’s just a matter of choosing the right one.

There are two dimensions to an EFTPOS machine: whether it’s integrated to a Point-of-Sale system or it’s a standalone device, and whether it is mobile (wireless) or stationary. Pros and cons exist for both, and each would be ideal in one kind of business or another. To help you find out which one is ideal for you, we’re going to discuss how to go about choosing between them.

Integrated Systems vs. Standalone Machines

Integrated systems describe when an EFTPOS terminal connects to a supplementary point-of-sale (POS) system for payment processing. Standalone machines do not have this feature, and instead operate entirely from the EFTPOS device. The choice between these two will affect your business’ day-to-day operations.

Integrated System

Integrated systems are incredibly useful for businesses with inventory that needs to be tracked, and transactions that need to be logged. POS systems, by their very nature, provide an easy and trainable interface for employees to initiate payments, and it makes stocktaking much simpler.

Aside from this main benefit, integrated systems also initiate automatic transactions using information from the POS, so you don’t need to key in the price on the terminal manually. This creates a more streamlined, professional transaction, which is essential when establishing a small business.

That said, there are some bumps in the road for start-ups when it comes to getting an integrated system. They can be very expensive, as you have to purchase the supplementary POS hardware and software alongside the EFTPOS terminal. The plans from payment providers for this kind of setup can also run more expensive from month to month, increasing your business expenses.

What to ask yourself: Can I afford an integrated Point-of-Sale system? If I can, are the features going to elevate my business and improve my bottom-line, or is the money better spent elsewhere?

Standalone Terminal

Standalone terminals are comprised of the entire system in one small device, so you don’t need to worry about spending a large amount of money on hardware. Plans from payment providers also run cheaper for standalone devices, which saves you money every month.

While that might seem inconsequential now, small businesses and start-ups undeniably benefit from every penny saved. These terminals also have the benefit being a space saver, as there is no large POS system clogging up the counter.

While these systems benefit from cheaper operation, they have a few cons to them as well. For example, business owners need to track inventory the old-fashioned way when using a standalone terminal—writing down transactions, stapling receipts, and so on—as there are no supplementary systems logging transactions. This leaves a lot of room for human error, and potentially inaccurate books.

What to ask yourself: Do I have a large amount of inventory that I need to keep track of from day to day? How much space do I have on my counter for a sales system?

Countertop vs. Mobile EFTPOS Terminals

Integration and standalone configurations are available for both countertop and mobile terminals, so the choice comes down to what kind of business you run. Do you benefit from a lot of flexibility and mobility on the sales floor, or is it more efficient for you to have a stationary sales-point? Let’s take a look.

Countertop EFTPOS Terminal

Having a countertop terminal ensures that your customers will come to you, so all of your sales can be conducted from one stationary point. This is a great way to optimise the customer experience in a brick-and-mortar store, as it directs them to one easy-to-find point of sale. Furthermore, countertop terminals can be hardwired to your form of connection to improve the stability and speed of transactions.

This kind of terminal is less suitable for stores where mobility and flexibility are key. For example, if your customers prefer to pay from their table, or if you’re a boutique business, a mobile terminal is likely to be a better option.

What to ask yourself: Would my business benefit from having a stationary point of sale? Do I need the flexibility a mobile terminal offers?

Mobile EFTPOS Terminal

We’re seeing more portable EFTPOS machines in New Zealand than ever thanks to evolving technology and an increasing need for flexibility. These convenient devices are helpful for all kinds of small businesses, especially ones that rely on their mobility.

If you have a business that moves from place to place—like a food truck or a pop-up store—then using a mobile device is the key to enabling a convenient experience for your customers. And it’s not just mobile stores that benefit from this technology! Brick and mortar establishments that prefer to bring the payment to their customers—such as cafes, restaurants, and bars— would be the ideal place for a mobile terminal.

The only downside of this kind of EFTPOS terminal is its connectivity. The terminal relies on wireless internet connections, so if your internet is precarious, you might need to consider a hardwired countertop terminal instead.

What to ask yourself: Would my business benefit from bringing payment to the customers? Is my business mobile? Do I have a stable Wi-Fi connection suitable for this terminal?

Have more questions? The Skyzer team is happy to help.

We’re the experts of EFTPOS, and we can help you to figure out which kind of technology is ideal for your business. We can direct you to suppliers of everything from mobile EFTPOS machines to state-of-the-art POS terminals, and advise you on what’s right for you. Carve out your place in business, and give our friendly experts a call today.