Cloud really is the new buzzword when it comes to IT, with the ability now to move many different systems from physical to online servers – and this includes payments. So what do you need to know if you’re thinking of moving across to a cloud-based payment system?
A seamless payment experience
One of the biggest advantages of a cloud-based system is that it can give you much more flexibility than your traditional store point of sale (POS) technology, both in what payments you can take and how you take them.
A cloud system allows you to take payments on mobile devices and tablets, so you can transact with customers away from a fixed checkout spot, or even outside of your bricks and mortar building. Digital receipts can often be sent directly to a customer’s phone. It also lets you implement a truly seamless, omni-channel payment system, and take payments online and via mobile, as well as via the more traditional EFTPOS system. And the ability to take mobile payments is especially important when you consider the growing popularity of Apple Pay and Android equivalents.
Another benefit is the amount of data you can have at your fingertips, 24 hours, 7 days a week. Most cloud-based systems offer you instant access, live data and sales reports, so you can track sales as they happen, update prices and place orders, all of which can bring many efficiencies to the way you run your business.
You can also integrate other systems with your payment systems, such as external accounting or your management software, and you can often integrate loyalty programs, gift cards and awards – all of which enhance the overall customer experience.
Security is of course one of the biggest concerns most people have with cloud-based systems, especially as it’s still relatively new technology. However, for the most part data stored on the cloud is actually more secure than data stored on your own physical systems. That’s because most cloud payment providers are using the most secure and up to date data security technology, and follow the guidelines of the Payments Card Industry Security Council (PCISC) around applying the PCI Data Security Standards in the cloud.
You also don’t have to worry about losing your data (even if you lose your laptop or your hardware crashes), as everything is backed up in the cloud.
So is a cloud-based system right for me?
As with anything there are of course some potential downsides to cloud systems. The most significant of these is that at the end of the day they are only as good as your internet connection. So if yours is patchy, you need to consider the potential for lost revenue if you lose access to your data, or worse, the ability to make sales.
You should also look at what’s involved in the process of transitioning from a traditional payment system to a cloud-based one. For example, will you lose money on any existing contracts you have with your current payment provider, and what risks may be involved in moving your inventory and customer data to a new system.
Overall, the rise of cloud-based payment systems can offer many small businesses real advantages in the form of flexible, reliable POS systems, but you need to look at the pros and cons in relation to your individual business to decide if it’s the solution for you. At Ezidebit, we can look at your circumstances and help you implement the right system for your business.