Is It Time to Upgrade Your Payment Hardware?

As a business owner, you need a payment solution that’s secure, reliable, easy to use, fast and cost-effective. That’s a lot to ask but modern technology makes it possible, even for SMEs. Here are seven points to consider when you’re considering whether to upgrade your payment hardware.

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The first fully integrated POS terminal for any kind of business.

Can you accept the payment methods you want to?

If your POS hardware is only geared up for standard debit and credit cards, it’s time to prioritise an update.

Investing in products such as Square Terminal and Square Reader means you can accept more up-to-date payment methods. In particular, they’ll allow you to take mobile payments such as Google Pay and Apple Pay. They may never fully replace traditional cards but their market share is growing quickly.

Does your POS hardware support wireless connectivity?

In the context of payment hardware, there are three key types of wireless connectivity: NFC, Bluetooth and WiFi.

NFC (Near-field communication) is the technology used for contactless transactions. If your POS hardware does not support these, you are missing out. Contactless has long been popular for its convenience and since the onset of the pandemic it’s now valued for its hygiene, making customers feel safer.

Bluetooth is used to connect devices together without cables. This is particularly useful if you need a powerful hardware solution such as Square Register. Having Bluetooth connectivity means you can attach multiple peripherals without suffering from the dreaded cable clutter.

WiFi allows your payment hardware to go online for authorisation without using a cabled internet connection, so you can take your terminal to your customers rather than them coming to you. For example, you can take payments at tables, market stalls, or even in a customer’s own home.

Do you have enough clear space?

If your payment hardware takes up all your counter space, it’s time for an upgrade. Using a solution like Square Stand lets you reclaim your prime workspace. In addition to the practical benefits, having a clutter-free environment looks much more professional, creating a better impression for customers.

How quickly does your payment hardware work?

As technology ages, it tends to slow down. Wear and tear builds up, as does minor damage, while firmware and software go out of date. You should not subject potential customers to slow devices. Respect their time and upgrade your POS hardware to improve their experience.

Is your POS hardware reliable?

Having slow POS hardware is bad, but it’s even worse if it’s not reliable. You could end up letting a customer walk away with an item they haven’t paid for, charge a customer twice or lose a sale at the last minute. Unless you’re 100% sure your payment hardware is reliable you should prioritise an upgrade.

Is your payment hardware secure?

The older your payment hardware, the less secure it is likely to be, given that older payment hardware is prone to attack from cybercriminals.

Older payment hardware is also harder to update to the latest security standards. There will come a point when your payment hardware cannot be updated any further, making it an easy target for cyberattacks.

Cyberattacks on small businesses happen all too often, and if word gets out, whether in local news outlets or on social media, the damage to your reputation can be devastating. Even if you escape the news, you will be legally obliged to inform your customers if their data is compromised.

Are your POS hardware fees reasonable?

If you’re paying monthly fees for your POS terminal, check them against what’s available on the market. If you’ve had your POS hardware for a while, you might be surprised at how much functionality you can get for the same – or less – money. Depending on your usage, you might even be able to swap to a pay-as-you-go option.