Customer using a Pineapple POS credit card terminal.

Understanding the Mechanics of Credit Card Processing for Small Businesses

Are you a small business owner looking to accept credit and debit payments? Credit card processing can be a great way for your business to increase sales and offer customers the convenience of using their preferred payment method.

But with all the features, fees, technology, and legal requirements involved, understanding the basics of credit card processing for a small business is no small feat. Discover how credit card transactions work and where any cost markups may arise along the way.

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Computer screen with SkyTab point of sale system on display.

What Should Retail Businesses Look for in a Point of Sale System?

Point of sale retail systems have come a long way from the old, clunky registers of yesteryear. Credit cards were processed using a hand-operated device, making a carbon copy of the form of payment. Depending on the transaction amount, the cashier would have to call the credit card company to authorize the amount.

These days, a point of sale system (POS system) can do everything from taking orders to offering real-time credit card processing, a long way away from trading or using an intricately carved tablet from ancient civilizations. And when it comes time to buy one for your retail business, there are many things you should look for. Let’s take a look at some considerations for choosing a point of sale retail system.

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Customers ordering concessions at a stadium kiosk.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Arena & Stadium POS Systems

If you’ve ever attended a sporting event or concert, you know that purchasing food, drinks, and merchandise is an essential part of the experience. With the rise of digital payment methods, point of sale systems have become a crucial component of arena and stadium operations. Some have stopped accepting cash altogether. However, not all stadium POS systems are created equal, and selecting the right one for your venue requires careful consideration.

Learn the important factors you need to consider when choosing a POS system for your entertainment venue.

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Food industry employee using SkyTab on a computer.

Looking at the Most Popular POS Systems for 2023

As a business owner, you know that having a point-of-sale system (POS) is crucial for streamlining transactions and keeping track of inventory. But with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for your type of business needs. To help you make a decision, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular POS systems for 2023. Read on to see which one might be the best fit for your needs.

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Person shopping at home using an online payment systems.

The Basics of Online Payment Systems

As a modern business owner, taking any type of payment is a must. It’s not enough to take a customer’s payment at a point of sale (POS) terminal in a brick and mortar location. Your business must be equipped to process online payment options from an ecommerce platform in order to maximize your profitability. How do these online payment systems work? Here’s a rundown of how online payment platforms function.

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Point of sale system at a retail store.

Point of Sale Systems: A Software and Hardware Overview

POS systems are where your customers are able to pay for the goods or services you provided to them. Find out about all of the capabilities that a point of sale software has, and how these functions can help your business operate more efficiently.

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Restaurant employee using a point-of-sale system.

Restaurant Point-of-Sale Systems: What to Consider

Restaurant POS systems are a vital part of your restaurant’s operations, whether you operate a cafe, food truck, quick-service restaurant, or full-service restaurant. However, they can also be one of the most confusing things to buy. That’s because there are so many options out there, and each has its own unique set of features and capabilities. If you’re considering updating your current system or starting from scratch with a new POS provider, here’s what you should consider.

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New POS system set up in a restaurant.

Setting Up a New POS System: How Long Does it Take?

Your small business has finally grown to the stage where you’re ready to adopt a POS provider. As a business owner, you want to avoid unnecessary disruption to your business and customers during the setup process. So how long does it take to set up a POS system for the first time?

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SkyTab POS interface and Toast POS interface side by side.

A Tale of Two Point of Sale Systems: Comparing SkyTab and Toast

It’s essential that you compare brands when you’re shopping. When buying a new car, you compare features, mileage, and price – you don’t just hop in and drive away. The same is true when shopping for a restaurant point-of-sale system for your business. You want to be sure that all of the POS features your business needs are included at a price you can afford.

You may have already heard of two of the most popular POS options on the market: Toast POS and SkyTab POS by Shift4 Payments. We’re going to take a look at both of these systems and see how they compare.

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Restaurant server using point of sale system.

Understanding The Cost of A POS System in 2022

Your point of sale system or “POS” system is quite possibly the most essential piece of equipment that you’ll have when running a public facing business. It houses all of the inventory of products and services which you’re selling and organizes them in a line item fashion when a customer places an order. The two main features of a POS system are the software and hardware to look at it very simply. But the contents and the scale of each piece are where things can become more complicated and more expensive. We’ve put together an exhaustive explanation of how all of these things can affect the cost of running your point of sale system in your business in 2022.

POS System Hardware

The physical infrastructure of how your business will operate and communicate orders and other information to various employees resides within the hardware of your POS system. The hardware includes a great deal of networking pieces and equipment as well a great deal of interactive guest facing pieces for working with the customers and employees alike. Hardware costs vary widely with POS providers and the right POS with the right POS features will be something you should discuss with whichever POS vendor you decide to do business with. Some aspects of POS hardware include:

  • Cash drawer/cash register
  • Credit card reader
  • Receipt printers
  • Routers
  • Cables
  • QR and barcode scanners (depending on type of checkout structure)
  • Employee kiosks
  • Customer kiosks
  • Customer displays and kitchen displays

Touchscreens have lately been all the rage for customer facing displays and table side handhelds at restaurants, which seamlessly allows the employees to easily navigate between dine-in, delivery, contactless take-out and even online-ordering functions.

POS System Software

Other than facilitating the customers orders and accepting payments, new point of sale systems come equipped with POS software that covers a great deal of administrative features and functionality which keep the business running at top shape for many of the necessary back office tasks such as: analytics and sales reports, employee time clock management, employee management and earnings (which can be transferred to quickbooks for easy payroll running). In addition to the previously stated capabilities, modern POS systems handle customer relationship management or CRM functions, loyalty programs, gift cards, inventory management, online ordering and eCommerce functions.

Retail POS System, Restaurant POS System or Other

The best POS systems, POS solutions and software varies widely depending on individual business needs, so a small business restaurant POS system won’t require the same things as a retail POS system. And the hardware will be powered either as a web based service or cloud based service, also known as “SaaS” or software as a service, such as Vend, instead of software fees rendered from equipment you have installed in your place of business which often you’ll pay a monthly subscription cost. Restaurant POS systems often need different capabilities with inventory and many mobile POS applications, so POS system pricing varies with larger businesses and if you require any back end merchant accounts which come with payment processing fees and other transaction fees.

POS Software Costs, Upfront Costs, Monthly Fees, Etc.

Different products offered by your point of sale system vendors like Pineapple POS with different capabilities make the additional costs fluctuate such as if you’ll need to use us as a payment processor, where credit card processing fees are usually a percentage of credit and debit transactions. Retail stores software pricing can fluctuate depending on if its integrated with eCommerce programs such as Shopify. Upfront costs for the newest most integrated systems such as Clover, Square and Toast are handhelds, iPads or other touchscreen terminal bundles and additional add-ons. The level of fees and upfront costs can be totally covered once the systems go to work and begin paying for themselves during their useful life operating your business.

Let Pineapple POS Help!

Pineapple POS has experience with many different applications of POS system installation and the costs associated with it. Pineapple POS is the best for local point of sale consultations, service, and support once installed. POS solutions are available for industries such as food and beverage, cafes, hotels/hospitality, eCommerce, retail and physical stores, sports, and entertainment. What is the right POS system for you? How can our POS systems maximize your business’ productivity at the lowest cost? Pineapple POS is proud to offer all of the most modern systems like Duet, Clover, Harbortouch, and Micros, including contactless card reading such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. Jarret Smotrila and the team at Pineapple POS can find the right POS solution for you and your business! Contact us today!