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How mPOS And Card-Present Rates Could Open the Door to Higher Sales for Home Services
August 9, 2017

By John Stewart

While much of the payments industry is focused on restaurants, groceries, discount chains, and other such merchants, point-of-sale companies aren’t neglecting sellers like caterers, home-delivery providers, and handymen. Now, they’re hoping to build the market for mobile point-of-sale gear for these markets by stressing the savings merchants gain from card-present interchange rates.

Image Credit: Ingenico Group

Wagner: “The [return on investment] is pretty clear.”

With a phone or tablet equipped with a card reader, plumbers, pizza-delivery persons, and other home-services personnel “have the flexibility to accept payment however the consumer wants to pay,” said Ben Wagner, director of solutions at POS terminal provider Ingenico Group. Wagner spoke Tuesday at the RetailNOW conference in Las Vegas. Those methods can include PIN debit and mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Wagner said, in addition to credit cards. But with mPOS, home-services providers can also benefit from avoiding the higher cost of running card numbers later and by eliminating the delays and inconvenience of checks and invoices, he added.

Speaking primarily to an audience of value-added resellers and independent software vendors, Wagner advised the audience to lay out for their clients the savings offered by card-present rates. In a pizza-delivery example, Wagner showed how 1,000 orders with a $20 average ticket processed at a card-not-present rate of 1.65% plus 15 cents would yield a cost of $480. But the same scenario at the card-present rate of 1.19% plus 10 cents would cost $340, resulting in a $140 savings. For plumbers, where the average ticket is much higher, the savings are likewise larger, Wagner pointed out.

Estimating a $265 cost each for two systems consisting of a tablet and mPOS software, Wagner estimated a small pizza-delivery service can break even in three-and-a-half months. “The [return on investment] is pretty clear,” he said.

Nor are the advantages limited to cost savings, Wagner said. Services using mPOS can also rely on the devices to route drivers more efficiently, upsell customers at the door, enroll customers in loyalty programs, and, if necessary, change orders on the fly. “MPOS can play a role in solving problems” for home-services providers, Wagner said.

VARs and ISVs that want to pursue this market should look for providers offering a wide range of devices and readers, Wagner said. “The difference between a 7-inch and a 10-inch screen can be a deal-breaker for some businesses,” he said. For others, the weight of the device can be important, as well. A wide range of payment choices is critical. “You’ll want to work with an EMV gateway,” Wagner advised the audience, by way of example.

RetailNOW, which concludes Wednesday, is sponsored by the Retail Solutions Providers Association.

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