Will Nick Cards Kill Mobile Processing?

mobile emv card reader

Since Square launched in 2009, the charge card industry has, in lots of ways, been switched on its mind. Charge card acceptance is much more prevalent and fewer costly than ever before. But with the nationwide change to nick cards arriving October 2015, we may see another major shift in the manner we conceive of in-person payments, as well as in the alternative direction.

Remember whenever you once had to ask in the counter should you could pay having a charge card? Well, lately I opened up in a school fundraising event carwash and considered to myself, &#8220They most likely take charge cards.&#8221 Plus they did. With Square. This is the way much low-cost, phone-based processing has altered the way you purchase things, and just what we predict from sellers. Today, I believe any grade school child having a lemonade stand could be foolish not to take a look at (with parental supervision) an application like Flint. 10 years ago I most likely might have known as law enforcement when the same child requested me in my charge card. However with an upswing of nick cards, are we able to expect exactly the same ubiquity?

The news about how mobile processing required root

Let&#8217s be obvious: most from the democratization of payments introduced about by third-party payment services like PayPal, Stripe, and Square is not going anywhere soon. These types of services introduced charge card acceptance towards the masses by not charging any monthly charges, supplying nearly instant approval, and requiring no setup costs. Which means that literally anybody are able to afford to register to simply accept card payments with hardly any effort and simply no expense aside from charges according to usage. Compare that to old-fashioned traditional credit card merchant account setup that may take days, cost 100’s of dollars in advance, after which include monthly charges of $40 or even more even when no transactions are processed, alongside hefty early termination charges. (Note that lots of the best merchant account providers can hold low-volume users without charging a leg along with a leg.)

But exactly how are the likes of Square in a position to ship out free charge card readers to anybody who requests one? Two reasons: low-cost hardware and the requirement for an enormous users list.

Square along with other mobile processors create a very, very little bit of profit on every account. To create a sustainable quantity of profit, the organization should have a massive quantity of accounts. By looking into making the setup process as frictionless as you possibly can, Square has the capacity to cast the largest internet possible. And because Square has in the past were able to produce this kind of affordable charge card readers, there isn&#8217t much financial risk involved with setting everybody up. The truth that Square&#8217s signup process requires essentially no underwriting or evaluation doesn&#8217t hurt either, a minimum of when it comes to keeping operating costs lower. Although, as we view, this doesn&#8217t always make the best consumer experience.

The price of mobile nick card readers

As I don&#8217t have exact figures, I will tell you with absolute certainty that manufacture of nick card readers is a lot more costly than magnetic stripe card readers, especially thinking about that nick card readers, typically, will still need support mag stripe cards. The development price is elevated a lot, actually, that Square charges about $30 for this&#8217s current nick card readers &#8211 a high rise in the formerly free readers it’ll replace. The organization&#8217s new NFC-capable nick card readers will retail for $50, but certain retailers may be eligible for a a totally free readers (based on processing volume and business type), while some who pre-order may be eligible for a a $50 statement credit.

The reality is, many micro retailers won’t be able to get a totally free EMV nick card readers from Square, or elsewhere, a minimum of not without having to pay a regular monthly fee. It might just be too dangerous and costly of these companies to ship out nick card readers to retailers who might not even process just one transaction.

But retailers who don&#8217t wish to covering out $30 to $60 for any readers aren’t at a complete loss. Of course, users can key-in card information with no readers whatsoever. The down-side for this is the fact that keyed-in transactions tend to be more vulnerable to holds, plus they generally are more expensive to process. I additionally expect that we’ll see more camera checking functionality implemented, like what Flint uses, that will a minimum of result in the keying-in process faster and simpler.

How are mobile processors coping with the requirement for nick card readers?

Here&#8217s what we should know to date regarding mobile processors&#8217 plans for EMV nick cards.

PayPal Here:

PayPal states that it is new readers is originating in &#8220Fall of 2015.&#8221 Since Fall begins on September 23rd this season, and also the official EMV switch date is October first, I suppose don’t be surprised it sometime that week? The organization lately released pictures of the forthcoming nick card readers, but provided no pre-order date.

Here&#8217s what we should can say for certain about PayPal&#8217s US-based nick card readers:

  • It will likely be another Bluetooth connected device, not really a headphone jack readers
  • It’ll have a complete PIN pad
  • It will likely be NFC-capable, meaning it may accept Apple Pay and other alike mobile wallets
  • It will likewise support magnetic stripe cards
  • It won’t be free

The present United kingdom version form of PayPal&#8217s nick card readers costs about $50, however the new US version will probably be more costly because of the NFC readers embedded.

Paypal-emv-chip-card-reader

Spark Pay:

Most mobile processors are keeping things near to the vest regarding the nick card switch. Spark Pay&#8217s official response is:

Yes, Spark Pay will support EMV. The deadline for supporting this latest standard is October 2015. Once we catch up with up to now, we’ll provide additional information around our support and just what actions, or no, you will have to undertake.

In addition to that, there’s been no public comment from Spark Pay about this subject.

Flint:

Flint Mobile has remained quiet regarding its plans for that approaching EMV shift. Because Flint uses the devices camera to scan charge cards rather of the card readers, the transactions are technically processed as card-not-present. The brand new EMV rules won’t impact card-not-present transactions, therefore it appears prone to me the nick card liability shift won’t pressure Flint to create any changes. However the ultimate decision rests at the disposal of Flint&#8217s backend processor. I&#8217d anticipate seeing some type of announcement later this summer time. If Flint could use its application as-is, when i anticipate, the organization is going to be better off because it won’t suffer from the cost and friction of issuing hardware.

flint-card-scan

PayAnywhere:

At the begining of This summer, PayAnywhere published inside a Facebook comment proclaiming that &#8220we are presently evaluating supplying a Mobile EMV capable device, and much more information is going to be available soon.&#8221 Regarding the storefront tablet, the organization had this to state: &#8220We started shipping EMV capable Storefront units recently [June 2015]. Should you purchased just before then, your unit is probably not EMV capable.&#8221

Oddly, however, PayAnywhere isn’t positively advertising its EMV hardware or releasing images and specifications on its website. So right now I do not know what the organization&#8217s nick card system may be like or what features it’ll offer.

QuickBooks Payments (Intuit GoPayment):

Quickbooks lately started accepting pre-orders because of its mobile EMV card readers. It&#8217s a sound jack readers that actually works with magnetic stripe and nick cards, but doesn’t support NFC payments for example Apple Pay. The cost tag is $30, on componen concentrating on the same non-NFC mobile readers. The readers is certainly not to reside in about when it comes to either design or features, however it&#8217s nice to determine the organization is on the top from the EMV transition.

Quickbooks-intuit-gopayment-emv-chip-card-reader

Square Register:

Finally, we’ve Square. This is actually the apparent frontrunner within the EMV race, with among the first mobile nick card readers available on the market (we unboxed and evaluate it), as well as an NFC-capable readers presently readily available for pre-order. The conventional audio jack nick card readers can process EMV cards and magnetic stripes, as the Bluetooth NFC readers cannot run magnetic stripe transactions (Square ships individuals readers having a free audio jack mag stripe readers). In addition, Square has released a nick card readers particularly for that Square Stand. That&#8217s a fairly solid number of products, especially thinking about your competition.

Square EMV reader

It&#8217s lower towards the wire for mobile nick card readers, however they&#8217re not going anywhere soon

I honestly expected a lot more from mobile processors with this point. As recently This summer, this really is all the information we’ve. I&#8217m surprised that each processor hasn&#8217t issued official press announcements with information regarding forthcoming hardware at the minimum. As you can tell, only 1 / 2 of the businesses we checked out here did this, and just one of these includes a nick card readers presently available to buy. With simply about two several weeks left prior to the liability shift, I&#8217m just a little disappointed.

But here&#8217s what’s promising. Nick cards are certainly not likely to kill mobile processing. They might, however, allow it to be more costly &#8211 designed for micro retailers who won&#8217t wish to covering out $30 or even more for that new hardware. These users will either choose to swipe them and risk fraud, to key-within the card data and spend the money for surcharge for doing this, or otherwise to simply accept card payments whatsoever. This might make camera scan mobile processing apps like Flint Mobile more appealing, because no hardware is required to entitled to the standard rates. But time will inform how scalping strategies adapt for nick cards. I’d reckon that a minimum of a couple of mobile processors will fold along the way.

In the meantime, I&#8217m excited to get hold of newer and more effective hardware for testing! Follow us on social networking for additional hardware reviews and also the latest news regarding nick cards and mobile processors.

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10 Surprising Advantages of an iPad POS System

iPad POS system

Traditional point-of-purchase system providers and modern companies alike have acknowledged the benefits of a method that provides both reliability and versatility inside a mobile world. The likes of NCR, that has been supplying POS solutions since 1884, now provide more contemporary, affordable solutions for small companies using iPad-based terminals. Newer companies, like Clover, use alternative hardware that is equally as sleek and effective being an iPad. Because it stands, iPad POS systems offer great possibilities for startups along with a smoother transition from bulky terminals for retailers searching to create a switch. When you think about the options, listed here are ten advantages of an iPad POS system you might find surprising.

Low Learning Curve

The iPad POS system provides a virtually painless consumer experience. Unless of course you’ve never touched a tablet before, the simplicity makes staff training (or customer use if you’re utilizing a kiosk-type model) quick, simple, and simple. John at Toppit Pizza, had this to say of the Amber POS:

“It really didn’t take lengthy for the employees to determine the machine. Training is actually pretty easy using the more youthful, more tech-savvy generation. Most employees learn about ten or fifteen minutes of coaching . . .”

Security

Secured data transferUsing the growing chance of data breaches, device hacks, and charge card fraud, security is really a high priority for just about any business. On POS systems like Bindo, charge card information is encrypted and isn’t stored around the iPad itself. Here’s another little bit of great news. The Apple iOS has a few of the top cybersecurity measures in the class. Their security guidelines really are a bit mind numbing, however, you can skim through their 55 page guide for more information. I’ll provide you with the hyper-condensed version: The Apple iOS uses a mix of hardware and knowledge file encryption techniques to prevent software and firmware from studying certain facets of your device information directly, or perhaps other devices in case your storage device is used in another device. Apple also uses several user-controlled safety measures to avoid direct accessibility device, including passcodes and time delays for incorrect passcode records.

Forward Thinking

The iOS software programs are well known because of its forced upgrades, but keeping pace with safety measures and industry standards could keep your customers’ information safe. This can also make sure that your software programs are running in an optimum level. Another advantage of that’s the freedom from the cloud. You have access to the information you require from almost anywhere, though I wouldn’t recommend doing this over a wireless network.

Faster Checkouts

Because of the speed from the cloud, along with the ever-updating software from the user-friendly iPad, checkout occasions are usually faster. Some POS providers, for example Revel, also provide offline modes where you can still accept payments even when your network connection is lower. Gourmet Services executive VP Alfred Baker had this to say of Revel’s iPad system throughout an ASU game:

Customer Engagement Tools

Among the greatest advantages of an iPad POS product is the elevated use of customer engagement tools. Included in this are paper versus electronic receipts, customer tracking tools, and marketing abilities that will help you integrate the systems that monitor customer transactions and customer relations. Vend POS offers the opportunity to email customer receipts, and Lightspeed Retail offers CRM tools able to supplying specialized reduced prices for customers in a few groups.

Effective Features

Many iPad POS systems include effective features that frequently aren’t on traditional systems. These functions include inventory tracking, direct ordering for restaurants, shipping integrations, loyalty solutions and much more. Becky McCray, a small company owner and blogger, authored this about her experience switching to ShopKeep from the traditional POS System:

“The people working the leading lines love the brand new system. Forget about marking lower every item offered in writing. You don’t need to train any new part of the arcane organization of liquor products by category. (“Is honey whiskey an upright, or perhaps a niche?”) You don’t need to be aware of category system to find information about a cost. You don’t need to write lower your clock-in and clock-out occasions. All that is handled by ShopKeep . . .Inventory control may be the single greatest benefit for all of us . . .ShopKeep has additionally ongoing to include features, like gift certificates, awesome email receipts, integration with MailChimp for e-mail marketing for your customers, a much better reporting dashboard and marketing dashboard, and plenty more.”

(Link)

Reporting Abilities

ipad tablet reports data and chartsWith multiple features built-into a main system, report tracking could be more descriptive than ever before, providing you with reliable, actionable information regarding your customers’ behavior, in addition to supplying information that may help you manage your company more proficiently. Quetzal POS, that is aimed at small retailers, offers numerous sales history filters for reports. Additionally they offer other customizable reports, like the “What to Buy” report which can serve as a listing tool. Read the Quetzal review for more information.

Financial Savings

The price of many traditional POS systems runs from costly to downright prohibitive, particularly if you’re searching for particular features. Having a cloud powered iPad POS system, startup pricing is considerably lower and much more easily available to the business proprietor by having an iPad along with a reliable web connection. Shannon Seip, who owns Bean Sprouts Café &amp Cooking School, saved roughly $10,000 switching from her traditional POS system for an iPad based system. She states:

“For small businesses like us where $10,000 makes a significant difference, which was a vital differentiator.”

(Link)

Bigger Tips

Server picking up tipsFor individuals within the hospitality business, customer-facing iPad POS systems that facilitate customer ordering and payments happen to be recognized to encourage better tipping. Research made by Software Advice concluded three quite interesting points about tipping utilizing an iPad. First, most customers experienced virtually no difficulty while using iPad to tip. Second, 86% of consumers choose to input tips themselves, instead of getting a web server input strategies for them. Third, 29% established that an “opt out” option would boost the likelihood they could leave some advice when the order forced customers to choose from departing some advice or marking “no tip.” See? Guilt journeys work well.

Image Booster

If your company is the area darling, you are able to most likely pull off utilizing an old terminal some time longer, but transitioning for an iPad POS system does create a forward-minded statement. The iPad looks awesome, runs well, is current, and resonates with today’s modern, technology-crazed society. If you’re just beginning your company, new clients expect a “wow” factor of some type. Possibly a sleek bit of technology will have the desired effect, though I wouldn’t expect any people to revisit exclusively to stare at the iPad.

Conclusion: iPad POS System Leads those

Here’s an eleventh benefit, that is good for individuals who don’t make use of an iPad for his or her POS system. The introduction of iPad POS software has opened up the marketplace for several competition, giving older companies a lot more incentive to modernize. I’m wishing to determine more the likes of NCR develop 21st century solutions (like NCR Silver for small companies) and searching toward seeing beginners develop Android and Home windows options (for individuals people who can’t bear the idea of touching an iPad or anything Apple Mac).

Anyway, the iPad POS makes beginning a small company readily available for retailers with less capital and offers a far more centralized means to fix managing a effective business. Before the pool widens to incorporate more diverse alternatives, the iPad POS system takes charge.

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Spark Pay Versus Shopify

shopify-vs-spark-pay

Shopify is really a broadly popular cloud-based shopping cart software which is used by greater than 175,000 big and small e-tailers within the U.S. and abroad. Its elegant simplicity, gorgeous styles, and accessible customer support earned Shopify an almost perfect ranking on Merchant Maverick (see our full review here.) Types of stores presently using Shopify include include Tattly and Good As Gold.

But Shopify has lots of solid competition. Other web-located carts are used to produce killer stores, and something towards the top of the heap is Spark Pay (formerly AmeriCommerce, a good eCommerce cart which Capital One acquired to higher meet the requirements of the small company customers.) While Spark Pay is less popular than Shopify, it’s created many beautifully designed stores, appeared around the 2012 Corporation. 5000 list, and snagged a CODiE Award this year. Notable stores using Spark Pay include Kellogg’s Store and USA Hockey League.

Spark Pay and Shopify offer full teams of features and integrate with assorted payment processors and add-ons. Plus, each cart includes a history of consistently increasing the UX of the admin backends. But exactly how do these competitors compare when it comes to prices, user feedback, and style? We check out the intricacies of both shopping carts within the following comparison.

Don’t have enough time to see a whole article? Check out our best search engine optimization for any couple of quick recommendations. Every option we present here offers excellent customer care, superb website templates, and simple-to-use software, all for any reasonable cost. Otherwise, continue reading for that full scoop on Spark Pay and Shopify.

Web-Located or Licensed:

Spark Pay and Shopify are generally web-based, cloud-located shopping cart software solutions.

Software and hardware Needs:

Spark Pay and Shopify are fully web-located. Nothing apart from a safe and secure web connection and updated internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari) are needed to gain access to the cloud-based software. While all os’s and browsers are supported, installing the most recent technologies are usually a good idea.

Prices:

Champion: Shopify

Spark Pay and Shopify both offer free 14-day trials that don’t need a charge card to gain access to. Neither charges set-up or cancellation charges or insists upon sign an agreement. Both could be cancelled anytime.

Information regarding plan prices have been in my complete Spark Pay and Shopify reviews, however i&#8217ll address the popular features of each cart here.

Spark Pay charges $24.95/month because of its starter Steel plan and Shopify charges $29/month because of its comparable Fundamental plan. (Shopify also provides a $9/month Lite plan, that provides Facebook integration as well as an embeddable Buy Now button, but doesn’t present an online shop of their own.) After that, plans diverge a little more. Spark Pay has 5 plans, varying from $24.95 to $299/mo. Shopify has 3 primary plans, weighing $29, $79, and $179/mo. Custom-tailored Enterprise sized plans can be found by each, with variable prices.

In this category, Shopify may be the obvious champion. Its $29 plan can be a couple of dollars greater than the competing plan from Spark Pay, but almost every other plan’s considerably less, all while supplying a lot more overall convenience. Including limitless products, limitless bandwidth, and limitless online storage at each subscription level. They are three of the Big 4 points of comparison for each shopping cart software, the 4th being Transaction Charges. This is actually the only reason for similarity backward and forward carts, as neither charges transaction charges.

Simplicity of use:

Champion: Shopify

Spark Pay&#8217s admin includes more functionality than most retailers will require, although not a lot of extras that the store is going to be bogged lower. To obtain began, you’ll make use of a wizard to include information regarding your shop, select a template, set tax and shipping rates, and employ a style editor to change your store’s fonts, colors, and (if preferred) fundamental page structure. Soon you’ll anticipate to incorperate your first product. The newest form of the admin includes a standardized UI pattern that’s enhanced for cellular devices.

It didn’t take lengthy that i can get my bearings within the Shopify admin, with four steps to accomplish before you start selling, published in the forefront around the dashboard: adding products, customizing styles, establishing a domain, and entering tax and shipping info.

For me, after using both tools I discovered Shopify’s live theme editor to become more intuitive and accessible than Spark Pay&#8217s theme editor. Plus, with Shopify adding groups, products, and customer data is easy. Your nav menu could be rearranged via drag too. Overall, I love that Shopify comes as they are with what’s important and enables you to pick the functionality that’s most useful via its application store.

Though we provide the win to Shopify within this category, I wasn’t whatsoever displeased with the simplicity with Spark Pay.

Features:

Champion: Spark Pay

Both Shopify and Spark Pay offer an array of as they are features: see our Shopify review and Spark Pay review for that full lowdown. Spark Pay is phenomenal for the reason that it offers all features on all plans no matter its cost. So rather of sifting through lists to make certain your plan features a e-newsletter or Google Analytics integration, for instance, Spark Pay customers garner accessibility cart’s total suite of features, which simplifies the sign-up process. Another primary Spark Pay distinction is its multi-storefront feature that allows you to maintain several shop at any given time from one admin (additional stores are $39 each to include on.) Plus, Spark Pay offers one-page checkout, gift cards, and multi-language support as they are, while Shopify doesn’t.

Note that gift cards are offered on Shopify’s Pro and Limitless plans, and you may go for plug-ins for many any feature that doesn’t come immediately with Shopify via its application store, although doing this could cost extra.

Shopify introduces new features on regularly. And That I like this Shopify provides a mobile application so that you can keep your store everywhere via tablet or smartphone. (Spark Pay offers 31 Mobile Responsive themes to be sure that your store displays properly from the device, but hasn’t introduced a downloadable application to higher manage your store on the run.)

Website Design:

Champion: Shopify

I love that Spark Pay&#8217s skins could be customized via its Live Design Theme Editor that allows you to edit widgets and drag layout elements. If you’re a coder you’ll have the ability to gain full use of each template’s CSS and HTML (Shopify enables you to edit raw files through the &#8220Template Editor&#8221 within the admin too.)

Shopify features its own form of an active theme editor. You are able to follow together with alterations in a preview window before they’re printed and modify other elements of design instantly without requiring to refresh the pop-up window.

Even though many of Spark Pay&#8217s themes are eye-pleasing and fresher than what’s provided by competing carts, there are less of these than&#8217s provided by Shopify.

Templates are among Shopify’s most powerful selling points, with superbly designed free and premium options. It’s difficult to really ruin Shopify’s styles while making customizations, consider there are plenty of good options to select from, the probability is good that you simply won’t have to execute heavy changes to obtain selling to begin with. If you’re launching a brand new business and don’t cash experience building online retailers, you almost certainly want something which&#8217s simple to tweak which looks great. For me Shopify and Spark Pay have what must be done, but Shopify ends track of a narrow lead within this category.

Integrations and Add-Ons:

Champion: Shopify

Spark Pay offers some helpful add-ons to go with its set of features, having a couple of free and lots of premium options including Quickbooks, LivePerson, and Amazon . com Ads. However the amount of extras offered in Shopify’s application store blows Spark Pay out from the water. You’ll find countless marketing, reporting, shipping, social networking, and inventory integrations, including tools for strengthening product options and loyalty programs. Shopify also keeps a well-reviewed iPhone application. But beware: as pointed out above the price of plug-ins can also add up fast.

Payment Processing:

Champion: Shopify

Spark Pay is suitable for a large number of domestic gateways, including Authorize.net and Chase Paymentech and most 50 processors including PayPal. Shopify integrates using more than 70 gateways. Like Shopify, Spark Pay offers a free account. But don&#8217t worry- I won&#8217t point out that I distrust &#8220Persolvent&#8221 purely based on its absurd name for a A Merchant Account provider. You&#8217re welcome.

Overall, I’m more impressed using the new Shopify Payments. The processor approves sales instantly, displays payments in tangible-time, and includes chargeback recovery for all of us-based retailers. Registering cancels the transaction charges Shopify tacks onto its less costly plans. On Shopify Payments here.

Customer Support and Tech Support Team:

Champion: Shopify

While my encounters with Spark Pay customer support happen to be mostly positive, If only there is a method to interact with the tech team after 6pm. You are able to submit emergency tickets if trouble does show up throughout the weekend or overnight and study a forum, watch older video tutorials, and check for solutions inside a Understanding Center.

Shopify’s customer care team is among the very best in the biz. You’ll find a variety of methods for getting info, together with a Understanding Base, discussion forum, wiki, and Ecommerce University (that is basically only a couple of blogs on eCommerce topics.) Plus, customers located in The United States, the United kingdom, Australia, and Nz can call a delegated regional telephone number.

Watch will claim that they can offer top-notch support. However the proof is incorporated in the user community. Granted, users who’ve had unfortunate encounters are far more prone to leave feedback than users who’d positive encounters, but we are able to still consider the volume, severity, and customary styles one of the reviews for a concept of the likely trouble spots. The following two sections covers a few of these details.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

Champion: Spark Pay

An intensive online search of user interactions and comments about both Spark Pay and Shopify switched up an extensive selection of complaints about both carts.

Spark Pay merchants are unhappy about its poor resolution rate for intricacies, however the recent acquisition by Capital You can (or might not) impact this. The possible lack of 24/7 phone support is another sore point of these reviewers. Other users want the opportunity to integrate with a lot more worldwide payment processors, but still more grumble about all of the extra charges for bandwidth overages, etc.

Many Shopify retailers detest the transaction charges Shopify contributes to its least costly plans (as pointed out above, the firPercent to twoPercent fee is waived should you join Shopify Payments) and don’t like this add-ons can rapidly make an inexpensive payment more costly. Others don’t like this clients are redirected towards the Shopify domain (checkout.shopify.com) to do purchases because it could (theoretically) result in abandoned carts. Additionally you won’t locate one-page checkout with Shopify (it’s an element Spark Pay has offered since its beginning) or discounts within the Starter and Fundamental plan. Spark Pay includes all features on all plans, making the sign-up process more straightforward and convenient.

Positive Testimonials and reviews:

Champion: Shopify

Retailers have ample good stuff to report about both Spark Pay and Shopify. Spark Pay customers cite the cart’s dependability with little downtime, regular software updates, and customizable styles. Others like its as they are reporting and powerful product management tools and discover its multiple storefront feature useful and simple to use.

But overall Shopify users reported a larger selection of positives, centering around stellar customer care encounters and general simplicity of use. Others love Shopify’s styles, its mobile application, auto backups, and healthy uptime record, as well as its limitless bandwidth.

While both carts stand out with positive user feedback, Shopify&#8217s depth and breadth of positives simply outweighs Spark Pay.

Final Verdict:

Champion: Shopify

Shopify and Spark Pay both got their start in 2005 and earned almost perfect star ratings within our reviews, placing greater than any competing cart.

For me, Spark Pay offers a effective suite of features that’s a great fit for established firms that don’t always require a simplified interface, but enjoy an intuitive admin nevertheless. I’ve found Spark Pay to be considered a well-built cart supported by a whip smart group of engineers. Plus, through the years it’s been making plans to become a bit more hip and welcoming to newbies. And it is multi-storefront feature is indeed a draw for retailers that run several online stores but wish to man the ship from one backend.

Shopify is easy to make use of, and it keeps improving upon that success. It markets itself to first-time retailers while offering a $9 starter plan for those who would like to test the waters. Despite the fact that I’d want to see a plumped up attributes which includes one-click checkout and multi-language support (and transaction charges dropped permanently) Shopify’s 24/7 support, number of integrations, mobile application, and beautiful styles provide the advantage over its competition.

Prepared to discover for yourself? Consider using a free demo of Spark Pay and take Shopify for a trial run for fourteen days and find out which shopping cart software may be the right fit for the online shop.

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The Very Best POS Systems for Liquor Stores

liquor store pos

Bust out the lager, tepache, and plum wine—you’re opening a liquor store!

Discontent using the cheap beer and weak spirits of local supermarkets, you’ve finally made the decision enough is sufficient. Should you don’t bring some truly select fair for your town soon, surely the economy will collapse!

Okay, so perhaps I’m hamming up a little, but whether you’ve been swigging sake or downing daiquiris because the tender chronilogical age of twenty-one (or earlier—I won’t tell), you’re ready to become purveyor of nature’s nicest nectar and open a wine shop or liquor store. You’ve signed the lease, plastered within the holes within the wall, as well as built a countertop from wine casks to own place that charming, rustic feel. Now you just need your products and you’re all set, right?

No! You didn’t remember the most crucial element: an incredible reason for purchase system which will keep the store raking within the revenue lengthy enough to pass through across the family business for your great-grand son, little Jack Daniels.

Obviously, you can always fluked it and pick whichever POS system has got the lovliest name. I’ve always found ERPLY fun to state, and it’s an excellent software program, but it’s most likely not the best choice for the specific industry. Within my research, Revel Systems may be the only POS that goes far above for wine and spirits retailers. But I’m getting in front of myself.

First, If only to increase a disclaimer to my ever-mindful audience. The next details are relevant to individuals companies that sell alcohol among other products, however is not always written particularly on their behalf. I mean , that although systems like Revel and ShopKeep may be ideal for a bar, liquor store, wine shop, or perhaps a winery, they’re not guaranteed is the right fit for say a supermarket or perhaps a complete dine-in restaurant. But basically just ruled your company out, you’ve managed to get to this point. You may as well keep studying and get a couple of pointers.

That Which You&#8217ll Need

Nugget of Understanding 1: Naturally, using the consuming age set at twenty-one (criminal, I understand), you’re gonna need to make sure to verify a person’s age before you sell them all of your fine fair. Bloodstream exams are costly and just accurate within nine many years of the person’s actual age so you’re most likely likely to desire a POS system that prompts your cashier to determine the customer’s ID before finishing the transaction. Revel Systems provides the only software I possibly could find with this particular feature. Certainly one of their sales representatives even explained their next software update includes the opportunity to scan ID cards to make certain they’re authentic. Which means you can finally eliminate the alley behind your store from the hoodlums selling fake IDs from the back of the van.

Nugget of Understanding 2: Fortunately, America is really a democracy, and that’s great. Regrettably, democracies sex laws and regulations, and you will find numerous rules managing the distribution of alcohol. For instance, you need to be in a position to track and report all the alcohol based drinks that get to your store, together with where they originated from. As well as, if some college kid is tossing the greatest party because the finish of prohibition and buys twenty wine gallons or even more previously, you need to record the date of purchase, the kid’s address and name, how and what much he bought, and also the serial figures associated with a full installments of distilled spirits. So therefore it may need robust reporting functions and ideally, a way to trace your clients as well as their purchases. This can require good accounting programs, preferably integrated into the POS. Again, Revel’s got all you need here: excellent reporting and inventory management functions, integrations with QuickBooks and Xero, as well as an integration with ShipCompliant—a compliance keeper that enables you to maintain on all of the industry-specific shipping rules.

Nugget of Understanding 3: Though I’m unwilling to compare your relationship together with your employees to that particular from the U.S. and Soviet Russia, the Russian/Reagan proverb “trust, but verify” works pretty much here. Sure, you’d prefer to believe the employees will be honest and ethical when they walk-through the doorway and don their multi-colored aprons (or whatever your store uniform winds up being), but this isn’t always the situation. Fortunately, most POS systems (including Revel) come outfitted having the ability to assign unique pins or swipable cards to employees. With this particular feature, you are able to track individual employees’ voided transactions, refunds, exchanges, comps, or other questionable actions. Obviously, you could designate permissions for the employees, only letting them perform certain functions inside the system. Like a bonus, Revel also enables integrations with DTT video surveillance to be able to compare questionable transaction records using the live video feed. Simply to make certain little Jack isn’t getting greedy.

Nugget of Understanding 4: I’d be darned basically didn’t mention this last nugget, though it’s not specific to simply liquor stores and wine shops. More essential than other things is selecting an excellent POS that functions well throughout. Yes, Revel is impressive using its fancy sales tracking and handy-dandy customer stalking abilities, however it has additionally been vetted and well accepted by a large number of users. I’ll admit that it’s got a bit of issues with customer care, which is actually a huge a part of any software company, but no product will probably be perfect. Overall, it’s among the best systems you’ll find for the particular kind of company. But if it’s wrong for you personally, ShopKeep and Bindo are a few high-ranking systems too. Sure, they don’t have as numerous features, but ShopKeep has won awards because of its customer support and Bindo has probably the most advanced inventory systems I’ve seen. So heck, be picky. In the end, the client is definitely right which time, you’re the client.

What We Should&#8217ve Learned

It’s time to locate a POS that can take the job from working. Let Revel help remind you to definitely make sure that college kid&#8217s ID which help you keep an eye on all individuals nitty-gritty details. Like I stated, our democracy loves documents and thus do great POS systems. Revel&#8217s excellent reporting functions, software integrations, and customer tracking features will make certain that you can maintain all individuals distribution and shipping rules. But your greatest priority is to locate a system that&#8217s best for you, even when it isn&#8217t Revel, ShopKeep, or Bindo.

Look for a system which will expand your market achieve with online store integrations. Bring your advertising campaign one stage further with advanced customer tracking and CRM software. Offer coupons, gift certificates, and niche discounts. Decide on a company which will try everything they are able to to make certain little Jack Daniels will get the opportunity to run his great-grandpappy’s store at some point.

If you’ve found an excellent system, share it around inside a comment below. Otherwise, tell us, and our experts can help you get the best POS for the business. In almost any situation, decide to open shop As soon as possible.

The publish The Very Best POS Systems for Liquor Stores made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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Understanding and Staying away from CNP Fraud

Credit card online shopping

Once we trundle ever-nearer to total nick-card domination, professionals are predicting that &#8211 as happened far away who adopted EMV technology &#8211 nearly all fraud will migrate from counterfeit and stolen cards, and for the simpler target: card-not-present (CNP) fraud.

As always, for business proprietors, this is an excellent news/not so good news kind of factor. Unhealthy news? Unlike card-present fraud, where the issuer generally accumulates the liability for fraudulent costs, retailers are often accountable for any CNP fraud. Since this kind of fraud has already been the biggest way retailers generate losses, the concept that CNP fraud will become a level bigger problem is daunting.

But here&#8217s what’s promising: there are several relatively simple things you can do to prevent nearly all CNP fraud.

Internet Fraud 101

Everyone knows the internet is rife with methods and scams, but minus the coupon-clipping all of them. Let’s review the fundamentals, after which discuss what your company can to complete do not be responsible for their fraud.

Phishing Attempts: The fraudsters will be sending out fake emails or setup fake websites that appear to be legitimate so that they can get individuals to enter sensitive information for example charge card figures. These emails may also contain adware and spyware&#8230

Adware and spyware: Software made to work without anyone’s knowledge and monitor the consumer to be able to collect sensitive information, or simply really ruin their computer.

Account Takeover: A kind of id theft where the fraudster gathers details about their victim, then use that information to consider within the victim’s charge card/merchant services, change their passwords and billing address, etc.

Application Fraud: Similar to in account takeover, the fraudster uses information collected regarding their victim to spread out accounts within the victim’s name.

Charge Card Generators: This is exactly what it may sound like: a fraudster uses a generator to create fake charge card figures. That one is simple to combat should you employ a minimum of a few ways of verification.

Friendly Fraud: This type of fraud (also referred to as chargeback fraud) continues to be increasing lately. After ordering and finding the goods, a fraudster will request reimbursement claiming they never got their order, it had been broken, or even the order was said to be canceled. These claims are tough to combat because frequently retailers don’t have the documentation to demonstrate the fraudster wrong.

How you can Safeguard Your Company

Maintain PCI standards (even though you aren’t being attributed): PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Standards) is some standards made to reduce card fraud. These standards largely include common-sense ideas: conserve a firewall, set all passwords to something unique, regularly update and run anti-virus software, secure or tokenize all sensitive stored and transmitted data, restrict access of customer data to simply individuals who need to visit it, etc. Browse the PCI Standards Council website and this reference guide for more details regarding their standards. That one may not assist you to avoid CNP fraud around it can help you avoid data breaches. My own mail data breaches.

Make use of an Address Verification Service (AVS): This particular service blogs about the billing address joined through the customer towards the address on record using their charge card issuer. The service will flag any orders in which the addresses don’t match or only partly match, and it’s your decision to determine if you wish to risk accepting an order. AVS is nice protection against card information acquired though means like phishing and adware and spyware since the fraudster may not be aware of billing address. The down-side: AVS only works within the U . s . States.

Look into the Issuer Identification Number (IIN): The very first six figures from the charge card number is known as the IIN (formerly referred to as BIN&#8211Bank Identification Number). The dpi is much like the worldwide AVS&#8211you can be sure that the info on the IIN (like the country) matches the data presented to yourself on an order.

The Three Verification: By requesting the 3 or 4 digit the three on the rear of a charge card, you set another bit of information which fraudsters need to collect to be able to pass off like a legitimate customer.

Email Verification: Should you send a note towards the current email address supplied by the client requesting the customer verify the e-mail address is true, you are able to be sure that the email is connected using the additional information provided.

Make use of a 3D Secure Service: These types of services, for example MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa use plugins in your web site to verify the identity from the cardholder. Customers who’ve cards held by participating banks is going to be requested to go in your password verifying their identity before they create their purchase. Bonus: the liability associated with a fraudulent charges that will get with the 3D services are selected up through the issuer, and not the merchant.

Check out Suspicious Orders: Somebody silently place in a purchase for a lot of costly goods? Plus they want priority shipping? Plus they would like them shipped to overseas? Sounds suspicious in my experience! Perhaps you should consider that the bit further. Read this link to find out more about what suspicious orders seem like and you skill about the subject.

Maintain Extensive Records of the Transactions: The greater information you’ve, the greater difficult it’s for purchasers to assert fraudulent refunds. Just make certain you simply keep sensitive information that’s essential. Also&#8230

Distribute Confirmation Emails: This task also causes it to be harder for fraudsters to weep chargeback. They can’t claim they weren’t informed, and email leaves a paper trail.

Practice Good Customer Support: Frustrated customers who can’t make contact with your company are more inclined to request refunds on their own products instead of trying to solve the issue in a manner that&#8217s more agreeable for you.

Don’t assume CNP fraud is somebody else’s problem. In all probability, you&#8217ll lose probably the most if your company is hit with fraudulent purchases. But here&#8217s more great news: because we know CNP fraud is rising, people happen to be developing new methods to combat this issue. It&#8217s only getting simpler from now on.

The publish Understanding and Staying away from CNP Fraud made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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Heckler WindFall Box Set Unboxing and Review

WindFall-Box-Set-Grey-White-Location-760x450

Heckler Design is definitely an American-based product design company, most widely known for pairing minimal designs with solid commercial-grade construction. Founder Dean Heckler is mind of the perception of the organization as well as an artist in the own right based on the Heckler Design website, Heckler oversees the style of best of luck, and try to using the finish-user in your mind. He states he has &#8220long had a love for smart simplicity and finding uses of technology intelligently and superbly.&#8221 This passion is instantly apparent in the organization&#8217s number of products, from cash drawers to wall frames to iPad stands.

At Merchant Maverick, we&#8217re always interested in new kinds of hardware, so that as a POS software reviewer, I’ve got a special devote me for POS paraphernalia. Naturally, after i learned about the WindFall Box Set, I needed to obtain a first-hands take a look at a number of Heckler Design&#8217s latest innovations. Like Heckler&#8217s entire WindFall collection, the WindFall Box Set includes strong, helpful POS hardware having a simple, smooth appeal. It’s beautiful, in the own way, in addition to compact, which makes it a fantastic choice for small companies with hardly any space.

Continue reading to see what else I came across&#8230

Packaging

The Heckler WindFall Box Set is well-organized and comes nicely packaged, a minimum of in my opinion. Generally, this area set will ship within 24 hours you order it when the order is positioned before 12 pm. I had been pleased with how quickly it showed up inside my door, however i was especially impressed with how good it was it to the shipping process.

Securely nestled within the primary shipping container itself were two compact card board boxes: one for that cash drawer and yet another for that iPad Air stand. They were simple to open and didn’t require me to compromise, tear, or else maim the types of materials having a knife or a set of scissors. Every component showed up undamaged, there was tight bubble-wrap around any factors that may have been prone to scratching or damage. Overall &#8211 similar to the product itself &#8211 I discovered the packaging to become both minimalist and functional. The interior boxes were sturdy and multiple-use, and would prove useful should you required to move your hardware in one place to another.

Additionally towards the check out and iPad Air stand, the 2 boxes contained screws, mounting equipment, along with other paraphernalia, and several installation directions (filled with diagrams) along with a flier which alerted me how to locate an instructional set-up video online. Each component was present and taken into account. On top of that, after opening everything up there wasn’t any mess! Obviously, there were a couple of inevitabilities &#8211 small plastic bags and a little bit of tape in some places &#8211 however i didn&#8217t need to get rid of any annoying Styrofoam peanuts or wads of packing paper. It&#8217s always nice to locate a company which understands how to use space correctly (thanks, Heckler Design!) and that i appreciate there weren’t any wasted materials or unwieldy, oversized boxes that i can cope with after unpacking my Windfall Box Set (I&#8217m searching to you, Amazon . com.com).

What&#8217s Within the Box?

The Heckler Windfall Box Set includes:

  • WindFall Are A Symbol Of iPad Air Box Set Edition
  • WindFall Cash Drawer (Automatic)
  • WindFall Cent Tray
  • WindFall Hanger for Star Micronics Receipt Printers
  • Kensington ClickSafe Cable Lock
  • Drawer-Kick Cable for Star Micronics Receipt Printers
  • Drawer-Kick Cable for Epson Receipt Printers
  • Two Manual Override Keys
  • Counter-Top Mounting Screws (optional installation)
  • Under-Counter Mounting Screws (optional installation)
  • PivotTable for WindFall Cash Drawer

Specs

Colors: Black-Gray, Gray-White-colored, Vibrant Red, Seafoam, or Emerald

Cash Drawer Dimensions: 11.9 inches wide, 8.5 inches deep, 4 inches tall

Cash Drawer Weight: 18 lbs

Materials: Powdercoated Steel, Urethane, Polypropylene

iPad Stand Viewing Position: 45 levels

Cost: $339-$399 (cost varies slightly based on that which you order)

Compatible Devices:

  • Ipad2
  • Ipad 3
  • Ipad 4
  • Ipad Air 1
  • Ipad Air 2
  • Ipad small
  • Ipad small 2 with Retina Display
  • Epson OmniLink TM-T70II-i Receipt Printer
  • Epson OmniLink TM-T88V-i Receipt Printer
  • Epson TM-T20II Receipt Printer
  • Epson TM-T70II Receipt Printer
  • Epson TM-T88V Receipt Printer
  • Epson TM-U220B Receipt Printer
  • Star Micronics DK-AirCash
  • Star Micronics FVP-10 Series Receipt Printer
  • Star Micronics TSP143L Receipt Printer
  • Star Micronics TSP650II Series Receipt Printer (Ethernet)
  • Star Micronics TSP654II BTi Receipt Printer
  • Star Micronics TSP654II WebPRNT Receipt Printer
  • Star Micronics TSP700II Series Receipt Printer

Compatible Card Readers:

  • Bank of the usa Mobile Pay on
  • Groupon Payments
  • IDTECH iMag Pro
  • IDTECH iMag Pro II
  • IDTECH iSmart
  • IDTECH Shuttle
  • IDTECH UniMag II
  • IDTECH UniMag Pro
  • IDTECH UniPay Card Readers
  • Intuit GoPayment
  • iZettle
  • MagTek iDynamo
  • MagTek uDynamo
  • PayAnywhere
  • PayPal Here
  • Rambler
  • ROAMPay
  • Shopify
  • Square
  • SumUp
  • Verifone SAIL

Set-Up

The WindFall Box Set is straightforward and doesn&#8217t require much setup, that is nice. Actually, the whole set up process includes investing in a couple of screws in some places, sliding your tablet device in to the iPad stand, deciding where &#8211 or perhaps if &#8211 you need to mount the entire unit for your countertop and/or mount an invoice printer somewhere, and winding cords with the proper channels (though this really is much more of a pleasing issue and it has no impact on function).

For complete instructions about establishing your hardware, and also to discover for yourself how easy it may be, browse the instructional video below:

&nbsp

First Impressions

WindFall goods are a minimalist&#8217s dream, and never with no certain oddly aesthetic charm, particularly if you&#8217re keen on a glance that’s at the same time bold and austere. Bear in mind, however, this isn’t any-nonsense equipment. It&#8217s heavy, it&#8217s stark, also it&#8217s utilitarian. It’s not only really made from hands-welded steel, however it looks enjoy it&#8217s made from steel and, more considerably, it feels enjoy it&#8217s made from steel (it really contains as much as 300% more steel than a lot of its competitors). Don&#8217t drop it in your feet, quite simply. Around the plus side, the sheer majority of the money drawer means that it’s unlikely to be taken in by opportunistic robberies.

One great feature from the WindFall cash drawer is it is made to be repaired and upgraded, not only replaced, if this malfunctions. This can be a huge money saver over time. What&#8217s more, the engineering is simply plain solid. Actually, &#8220to be sure that your drawer opens reliably each time, the automated WindFall Cash Drawer employs exactly the same electronic latch utilized in hospital crash carts.&#8221

The iPad stand is unremarkable, though well-built and functional, which is mounted in a perfect 45 degree position. The many other components also appear to operate perfectly in a fundamental, utilitarian level. I’d go to date regarding state that the entire box set is well-built, otherwise exactly attentively designed.

No method is without flaws, however. If only the money drawer inserts were as impressive because the cash drawer itself. Unsurprisingly, Heckler Design offers quite a bit to say of the innovation and mass benefit of their funds drawer inserts, that are certainly unique. Begin to see the image below:

2014-0625-Heckler-Design-518-F-600x400

The crux from the design is it can hold many currencies and isn’t restricted to the dimensions or denomination from the bills/coins (it works with $ $ $ $, Canadian Dollars, Australian Dollars, Euro, small denomination British Pound notes, Yen, and Rubles). In this manner, it features a mass, worldwide appeal, and may function exactly the same wherever it is worldwide. There’s one serious problem wonderful that, obviously: innovation doesn&#8217t always result in better functionality. Heckler Design has attempted to reinvent the wheel here, that is nice of these, don&#8217t misunderstand me, but finances lots of lovely, circular wheels that roll exactly where we want these to go. These re-imagined cash drawer inserts will vary, there&#8217s without doubt, however they&#8217re also confusing, a little cheap-searching, and reminiscent of a kid&#8217s check out set &#8211 less than the sense you need to convey for your customers. In Heckler Design&#8217s defense, the money drawer is produced from the strong polypropylene and it has no moving parts particularly in order that it doesn’t creak, slam, and groan in the same manner that the traditional cash drawer does. Should you&#8217re searching for something with minimal noise and minimal fuss, this can be the perfect drawer for you personally.

Another part of the cash drawer that stymies us a bit is it locks at the base. So, if you wish to have the ability to secure your money &#8211 who wouldn&#8217t? &#8211 you are able to&#8217t mount the register on your countertop. You need to either let it rest united nations-mounted (by which situation look out for thieves and/or perhaps your toes!) or mount the drawer around the bottom of the counter, and then leave the iPad stand on the top (begin to see the below image for a concept of the salt water evaporates).

WindFall-Box-Set-under-760x450

This can be a solution, obviously, however it isn&#8217t particularly appealing, particularly if your counter doesn’t have a front (such as the one above) and definitely doesn&#8217t convey the content: I&#8217m An Expert Store, Please Business Here. Frankly, I&#8217m unsure why they didn&#8217t just place the lock around the back or front from the cash drawer, where it might really be around. Because it is, you need to either turn the system over any time you wish to lock it (i adore that weighs 18 lbs?) or stoop lower underneath your counter, just like a little retail gnome.

Basically we&#8217re speaking about confusing design decisions, I must state that I’ve found the Kensington ClickSafe Cable Lock absolutely baffling. Meant to &#8220quickly and safely connect your countertop towards the WindFall Box Set&#8221 and stop against thievery, it appears for the world just like a bike lock. A little, toy-sized bike lock. Which, once more, doesn&#8217t scream professional establishment!

I suppose the cable lock is supposed to provide security, not just so that your hardware doesn’t get broken, but so that you can leave your money drawer unmounted without having to worry. The factor is, I’d think the sheer heft from the factor will probably be much more of a deterrent than the usual little bitty cable lock. Anybody who commits to some smash and grab robbery with this particular till will have a great deal of steel to cope with anyway.

Final Ideas

So what can I only say? The Heckler WindFall Box Set includes a pleasing (if austere) visual appeal, also it&#8217s very well built. It will be a terrific investment for any low volume business or perhaps a start-up. And man! It&#8217s unequalled that cost! At $399, it&#8217s a genuine steal for those that steel (see things i did there?) Overall, it truely does work well and really should be sufficient to obtain anybody through their first couple of years running a business.

That stated, will i recommend the product to medium or high volume companies? No, and it wasn’t designed for use in individuals environments. Do It could be great for a thriving loaves of bread or perhaps a busy thrift shop? Again, no. It isn&#8217t created for volume, it isn&#8217t created for speed, also it isn&#8217t particularly professional searching. However it&#8217s unfair to anticipate a starter package such as this to become any longer than what it’s: a good, functional beginner&#8217s hardware package with fundamental features &#8211 ideal for the merchant who processes couple of cash transactions and it has minimal counterspace.

The publish Heckler WindFall Box Set Unboxing and Review made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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Merchant Maverick’s Awards for Best Small Business Software

Best small business software

For most small business owners, it’s a jungle out there. Danger lurks around every corner, predators seem to be silently stalking your every movement, and – in the immortal words of Jethro Tull – the rivers are full of crocodile nasties. Let’s face it, when it comes to start-ups and small businesses the statistics are grim. According to one recent study, the failure rate of retail establishments after four years is over 50%, and businesses in the service industry usually meet the same fate. Sadly, restaurants tend to do even worse, and the majority are forced to close their doors before a decade has passed.

There are many reasons why businesses eventually fail – bad locations, limited staff, a poor economic climate, etc. But experts are beginning to agree that most failed businesses (no matter what industry they belong to) have one, very important factor in common: inexperience on the part of the owners/managers. It’s all very well to follow your dreams, but man does not live on dreams alone. For most of us, a little thing called money is required if we want to eat, access our electricity, wash our clothes, keep our children shod, etc. That’s right, money. It’s what you get when you run a business that brings in more revenue than it puts out. That sounds so simple: spend less than you make. But the reality is that pulling in a profit takes knowledge, skill, and access to the proper tools. Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve opened up a cat-grooming boutique or finally launched that grilled-cheese food truck you’ve always wanted – if you don’t know what you’re doing when you set out, and/or don’t bother to learn as you go, you might as well throw your seed money down the storm drain.

Fortunately, at Merchant Maverick (MM), we understand how hard it can be to start a business – let alone to keep one going for more than a year or two. You shouldn’t have to do everything by yourself – keeping up with inventory, payment processing, invoicing, shipping, point of sale, website design and the like is nearly impossible without the right equipment (good ol’ pen and paper just doesn’t cut it anymore). The good news? Advances in software and cloud technology have resulted in some pretty impressive small business tools. Even better news? The writers and reviewers at MM have invested thousands of hours researching, testing, and rating small business services/software. In other words, we know our stuff. Running a business is a tremendous burden, but the heavy lifting has already been done – we’ve done if for you – and all you need do is benefit from our years of experience.

Each company below has undergone a rigorous evaluation by an experienced MM reviewer. We scoured websites, read help articles, and browsed through user forums. We talked to customer service and saw for ourselves how responsive they were. And most importantly, we tested the actual software or service ourselves. The following are our reviewers’ top small business software picks for merchant services/payment processing as well as for mobile payments, shopping carts, point of sale, accounting, inventory management, invoicing, booking, email marketing, CRM, project management, loyalty rewards, and website building.

So, without further ado, let the awards ceremony for the best small business software begin!

Merchant Account Providers

Winner: Dharma Merchant Services

dharma-merchant-services-logo

Dharma Merchant Services is one of our all-time favorite companies, period, here at Merchant Maverick. Defined by exceptional customer support, low-cost hardware, excellent industry connection, and reasonable negotiation-free rates and fees, Dharma is an ideal option for small businesses with in-person sales. It distinguishes itself from the competition by using only interchange-plus pricing and charging no early termination fees or monthly minimums. There are no annual fees, no application fees, and no pesky PCI compliance fees to deal with either. In addition, this company dedicates 50% of its net profits to charity. Dharma is basically a paragon of integrity, honesty, and respect, and it’s worth its weight in gold in this sometimes unscrupulous industry,

There is one small catch: businesses must process at least $10K per month to use Dharma Merchant Services. Businesses with smaller revenue streams are directed instead to Flint Mobile (see review below).

Dharma offers amazing in-house customer support during business hours (8:00am – 5:00pm Pacific Time). If you need support outside this time frame, you will be directed elsewhere, depending on the severity of your issue and what processor you’re using.

To read more about Dharma Merchant Services, see our full review here.

Runner-Up: CDGcommerce

cdgcommerce-logo

Boasting a great reputation and a low monthly base fee (which includes access to Quantum gateway), CDG Commerce is a budget friendly alternative to Dharma Merchant Services, especially for low-volume merchants or web-based businesses. CDG was established in 1998, and has had plenty of time to cultivate a reputation for honesty and excellence. In fact, customer complaints are nearly non-existent, which is a miracle in itself after nearly 20 years in business. Like Dharma, CDG offers interchange-plus pricing, does not charge an early termination fee, and has no gateway setup fees or PCI compliance fees.

CDG Commerce charges only $10 per month in base fees; beyond that, you can pick and choose which additional services you want to pay for. This is a great system, as it ensures that you won’t be stuck buying things you neither want, nor need.

CDG offers live chat, email, and phone support 24/7. In our experience, support staff is helpful, knowledgeable, and scrupulously honest.

Click here to read our full review of CDGcommerce.

Mobile Payments

Winner: Flint Mobile

Flint-mobile-logo

Flint Mobile is our overall top pick for mobile, based primarily on its speed, ease of use, reliability, and price point. To start off, it doesn’t offer a swiper – not a free one, not a paid one, just no reader whatsoever. You can either key in card numbers or simply use your phone’s camera to scan numbers instead. That in and of itself significantly reduces the cost for setting up your account. Flint therefore has the ability to offer lower rates, which is exactly what they do. And with a ridiculously low rate for processing debit alongside a very fair credit rate, they’re nearly impossible to beat.

Flint has only two rates:

  • Debit transactions: 1.95%
  • Credit transactions: 2.95%

Yep, that’s it. It doesn’t get more complicated than that at any point: there are no per transaction fees, no non-qualified fees, and no surcharges of any kind. Flint Mobile runs transactions at a much faster speed than other similar apps, and while it might take a couple tries to get your scanning settings set up the way you like, Flint makes customization an easy and intuitive process. Our one complaint is that they do not provide any means for printing a paper receipt.

One very important thing to mention about Flint Mobile is that, even with the EMV liability shift (effective October 1st, 2015), users have no need to upgrade hardware. The camera scan will continue to work as it always has, with no change to liability. Currently it’s the only mobile processor we’re aware of that will securely process chip cards with no hardware upgrade.

This app can’t replace a full-feature tablet POS, but it comes with a number of amazing features (integrated QR coupons, invoicing, customizable receipts, etc.) and executes service flawlessly. If you’re looking for a sensible, surefire way to accept payments and grow your clientele, you can’t go wrong with Flint Mobile.

If you’d like more information about Flint Mobile, check out our full review.

Runner-Up: Payline Data

payline-data-logo

Payline Data is mostly a standard merchant account provider, but it has a good mobile solution and low-volume fee structure. Extra services are offered as-needed, so you only have to pay for what you need. There are two pricing models (to accommodate both low and high volume merchants):

Simple (Under $5,000 per month)

  • $5 monthly fee
  • Interchange + 0.50%
  • $0.10 per transaction

Pro (Over $5,000 per month)

  • $20 monthly fee
  • Interchange + 0.20%
  • $0.10 per transaction

We really appreciate the number of customer service and support outlets Payline provides, and it has an extensive knowledge base and FAQ for self-service support, which is quite nice.

Payline Data delivers on any businesses essential needs, and has managed to maintain positive reviews and a spotless reputation since 2009 – which is no small task in the credit card processing industry. In general, it’s a great pick for mobile processing for small businesses everywhere.

Find out more about Payline Data by reading our full review here.

Shopping Carts

Winner: Shopify

shopify-banner

Shopify is unique in that it can be used as a physical POS or an online shopping cart or both at once. This inherent flexibility gives it a clear edge over other shopping carts, and its low price point make it well within the reach for small businesses, even those with strained budgets. Shopify is the industry standard for shopping cart software, and for good reason. There are never any limits to the number of products you can sell, which is nice, though there aren’t many limits to the software in general.

All Shopify plans come with a full 14-day (no credit card required) trial. There are no setup or cancellation fees. Plans range from $14/month to $179/month with rates ranging from 2.9% + 30¢ to 2.4% + 30¢. You can pay on a month-to-month basis, but you’ll receive a 10% discount if you choose to pay for one year up front (a 20% discount is offered for those who sign a two-year contract). We’re not terribly fond of Shopify’s transaction fees, unfortunately, although they do get waived if you use Shopify as your credit card processor.

Shopify is eminently user friendly, and the cart is easy to set up and easy to manage. In our experience, the software works flawlessly from the point of view of both the customer and the merchant, and it is one of the most feature-rich carts available. It is accessible for online mavens, but it is also well within the reach of newcomers and amateurs. Shopify offers a number of apps, some of which are free and some of which may cost a small fee. You can check out Shopify’s App Store to browse offerings.

Customer support is available via phone, email, and live chat, but there are other great self-help resources as well, including a support center, Knowledge Base, a discussion forum, and a Shopify “Experts” page where you can find experienced professionals in design, marketing, development, and photography.

For more information, click here to read our full review of Shopify.

Runner-Up: Ecwid

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Ecwid, the “go anywhere, sell anything, no manual required” shopping cart, is designed for small eCommerce businesses, as well as for individual sellers and start-ups. We’re big fans of Ecwid, and there are two main reasons why. Firstly, it is extremely ubiquitous, and capable of integrating with nearly every existing website, from social media platforms to blogs. Secondly, it is so reasonably priced, compared to its competitors, that you would be foolish not to take it out for spin. Unlike most shopping carts, there is no typical “free trial period” for Ecwid. Instead, you can simply try out the Free Plan (the obvious advantage to doing this is that your services won’t be cancelled after your trial period ends).

Ecwid offers unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and no transaction fees on every subscription level, even the free plan. Paid plans range from $15/month to $99/month. Personal support by email and online chat are only available at higher subscription levels.

Like Shopify, Ecwid gives you the option to use the software as a physical POS. However, this function is really best suited for online-only business owners who want the option of having a mobile or “pop up shop” operation, but aren’t trying to maintain a physical storefront at all times.

In general, Ecwid is a solid product with great, user-friendly elements. It’s not the best solution for high-volume sales, but most companies out there (especially startups and very small businesses) will be fully satisfied with its features and ease of use.

Read our full review of Ecwid to learn more.

POS Software

Winner: ShopKeep

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ShopKeep is one of the best software solutions we’ve ever encountered at Merchant Maverick. This simple, elegant, and visually-appealing cloud-based POS has carved out a solid niche catering to small-business food and beverage sellers. For a very low monthly cost, ShopKeep can help you manage your inventory, customers, employees, as well as record transactions and offer a variety of reporting options (for analyzing all this data).

ShopKeep does not require you to sign a contract. It is a pay-as-you-go, monthly subscription service. There are no extra maintenance fees, and what’s more impressive, tech support is 100% included in the monthly charge. The actual pricing system is beautifully simple as well: $49/month/register.

Other than it’s extremely reasonable price point, ShopKeep’s biggest selling point is its ease-of-use. There is very little learning curve involved, and even the most technologically deficient should have no problem learning the ins and outs of this software in a matter of days (or hours, more likely).

Customer support is fantastic, and unlimited email, live chat, or phone is included in the monthly price. The support page on the company website is also fantastic, and offers comprehensive articles and video tutorials on every aspect of the software.

Read our full review of ShopKeep if you’d like more details.

Runner-Up: SalesVu

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SalesVu is a perfect POS for the average small business, offering a robust feature set at a competitive price. eCommerce options are built right into the software, so you can design your own site from the back office without ever having to pay for (and integrate) Shopify or hire an expensive third party designer. Integrated eCommerce also ensures that communications between the web store and the brick and mortar store are smooth and seamless.

Prices range from $25/month to $150/month, depending on how many features you need (things like time tracking, accounting, etc. are a bit extra). Basically, SalesVu can be as affordable as you need it to be. Additionally, when you open an account with SalesVu you get a free credit card reader, which is a nice benefit (for some small business owners, an iPad and a credit card reader may be all you need).

Customer service is good, but the primary strengths of this software are found in its intuitive interface and broad flexibility. It is so much more than just a mobile cash register. With SalesVu, you can monitor inventory, create detailed reports, design custom discounts and promotions, maintain an active customer database, and manage employees – and you can do all these things anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. Opening an account with SalesVu gets you a free credit card reader, which is a nice benefit. For some business owners, an iPad and a credit card reader may be all you need.

SalesVu integrates with SalesVu Easy Accounting, Quickbooks, Facebook, and Zapper.

You can check out our full review of SalesVu for more information.

Accounting Software

Winner: Xero

best small business accounting software

It’s not hard to see why Xero takes the prize for best small business accounting software. It is mobile, cloud-based, easy-to-use, and extremely comprehensible for the small business owner who is handling finances on his/her own (click here for a full list of features). While it can be more expensive long-term than something like QuickBooks Pro, small business owners – especially those who aren’t accountants by nature or profession – are more likely to enjoy using a simple, intuitive program like Xero.

There are multiple pricing plans available, ranging from $9/month to $70/month (these prices include updates as they are released, usually every 3-6 weeks). Small companies with limited invoicing needs would have to look far and wide for a similarly robust accounting/payroll package that trumps Xero’s $9/month price tag. And happily, you don’t have to sign a contract with Xero; plans are paid by the month and you can basically cancel the service at any time. Xero offers a 25% discount for non-profits and a 15% discount on your total bill if you subscribe for multiple businesses. If you do feel comfortable making a commitment and signing up for a 6 month subscription, you’ll get a 30% discount.

There are only a few minor problems with Xero, one of which is slow customer support response times. Customer service is offered 24/7, year-round, but some customers have complained of long response times, cut-and-paste answers to questions, and reps who don’t seem to actually know how to use the software. This would be a much bigger deal if Xero was complex or had a steep learning, curve, but it’s not as alarming considering the software’s general simplicity and ease of use. Furthermore, many customers praise Xero’s level of customer service, and the wait times are comparable to those of other accounting software programs.

One real perk of using Xero is that it integrates with over 400 other applications which can facilitate nearly every aspect of business operation, including inventory management, CRM, and POS (some of these are only available to certain countries; in the U.S., there are about 350 Xero integrations available). 

Read our full review of Xero here.

Runner-Up: QuickBooks Pro

Best small business accounting software

Intuit’s QuickBooks Pro is a robust, feature-rich accounting solution, perfect in many ways for small business (to see a full list of features, click here). It is locally installed software, which results in lower per-year costs and more features than your typical cloud-based software, so if you’re willing to deal with a pretty steep learning curve at the beginning (especially difficult for people who have no previous accounting background), then QB Pro can be an excellent way to save money in your accounting budget. Though it lacks the convenience of a cloud based solution – you don’t get automatic, routine updates or instant access to new features – it is a very viable accounting solution for companies with complex bookkeeping needs.

QuickBooks Pro’s list price is $299.95. This might seem a bit high compared to something like Xero, but keep in mind that QB Pro requires a one-time purchase and does not use a subscription model — and it is nearly always available at a discount. While there’s no free trial available, Intuit does back QB Pro with a 60-day guarantee; if you return the program for any reason within 60 days, you can get a full refund. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, the purchase price does not include updates, nor do you get full tech support or bank feeds. It’s also worth noting that customer service tends to be slow.

One comment we’ve noticed often on user reviews is that, while people aren’t particularly enthusiastic about QB Pro, it works and does what it’s supposed to do; many claim that it’s the best accounting program available. While that’s far from a resounding recommendation, it’s also true that despite its drawbacks, for many businesses, QB Pro is more than adequate. And whether you love it or hate it, QuickBooks Pro is often the best option for the money.

Read our full review of QB Pro here.

Inventory Management Software

Winner: Stitch Labs

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Stitch, the flagship product of Stitch Labs, is a cloud-based inventory management solution with tons of functionality, myriad useful integrations, and fantastic customer service. Designed to combine inventory, billing, accounting, shipping, and eCommerce features with your choice of 3rd party integrations, Stitch is the do-it-all, full service inventory solution. As the name would suggest, it is intended to be the thread that holds the backend of your company firmly together. Really, its only flaw is that is designed exclusively for American companies. International businesses will have to look elsewhere. 

Price plans range from $29/month to $449/month, not bad considering how many features this software brings to the table. What’s more, Stitch is easy to use, even for the uninitiated. The UI is clean, understated, and intuitive. Within a few minutes of signing up, you should feel like a pro, able to create products and customer contacts and generate sales orders with ease. It’s easy to pick up on your own just by experimentation, but if you’re queasy about finding your own way around, you can reference one of the many tutorials on each page that take you step-by-step through all the basic tasks.

In general, the customer service department is responsive and helpful. Our questions were promptly answered (never longer than 24 hours, even on the weekend), and ticket creation happened immediately, so we always had a case number to reference and never felt lost in the shuffle. Not surprisingly, the Stitch Labs support team is highly praised all over the web.

Stitch integrates with a large number of other programs and applications, including Amazon, eBay, BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, and Square, to name just a few. And when you combine an excellent selection of integrations with powerful suite of tools,you’ve got inventory management software that is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses.

You can read more about Stitch Labs in our full review.

Runner-Up: TradeGecko

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TradeGecko, a cloud-based inventory application for small to medium sized businesses, is comparable to Stitch Labs in functionality and number of integrations, but is more geared toward international companies (it still works well for American companies, if you don’t mind a time difference with the support staff).

The design of this software emphasizes collaboration, group workflows, and activity feeds. This means that you can reference sales information, purchase orders, and stock levels at once, and they will all update in real time. TradeGecko is intuitive and easy to use, and has a clean – if spartan – UI which is perfect for a bookkeeping system.

TradeGecko offers a free 14-day trial, no credit card required. Plans range from $49/month to $399/month, though you can get a monthly discount if you commit to paying for a year up-front. The company provides a detailed knowledge base, with step-by-step instructions for performing many tasks, and it also offers 24 hour customer support. On the whole, our support experience was positive, though a few of our tickets took longer than we would have liked to resolve.

Integrations include Shopify, Salesforce, Xero, Magento, Quickbooks Online, Amazon, and WooCommerce (to name a few). All in all, TradeGecko isn’t the cheapest product on the market (which is why it’s the runner up for this category) but it is so intuitive and feature rich that small to medium-sized businesses with a budget to kick around should give it a look.

For more information about TradeGecko, read our full review here.

Invoicing Software

Winner: Freshbooks

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Officially, Freshbooks is a web-based accounting solution, though it is fair to say that it’s best utilized for its incredible invoicing features. This software is tailor made for independent contractors and small, service-based businesses; it is easy to use, has lots of interesting features (including time tracking, reporting, and expenses), and integrates with a huge variety of 3rd party applications.

Pricing, unfortunately, is a bit steep for the target market (small businesses), though there is a free plan which allows you to manage a single client. Paid plan range from $19.95/month to $39.95/month. Customer support is available Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm EST. In our experience, representatives are remarkably quick to respond to emails (usually within 20 minutes during business hours) and are courteous, helpful, and knowledgeable.

As mentioned above, FreshBooks offers more than 60 integrations and add-ons including  PayPal, Shopify, Basecamp, and Stripe. It is as comprehensive an invoicing solution as you could hope for, especially since it does offer other perks, like reporting.

You can read our full review of FreshBooks here.

Runner-Up: Invoiceable

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Invoiceable is simple, easy to use software that allows you to create professional looking invoices. It’s actually free to all, with no feature limits, though you can opt to pay a one-time fee to remove the company’s branding from your invoices: this is a perk that no other free invoicing program offers. Additionally, unlike many of the other major free invoicing programs, Invoiceable isn’t just a wimpy, scaled-back version of a paid service. You can have as many clients and send as many invoices as you like.

Of course, with a completely free service you’re going to miss certain features that come with a paid subscription. Support, for example, is unreliable and sporadic. Response times can vary between 1-12 days, and sometimes you may not get any response at all. There is also limited sales tax functionality, which means that the software really only works for businesses that charge a single, across the board tax rate, or don’t charge tax at all.

That said, if you are a freelancer or own a very small business with relatively low sales volume, this may be all you need for now. It’s leaps and bounds better than simply typing out your invoices into MS Word or Excel, and it is one of the best free options out there that both allow you to have unlimited clients and actually works in the United States! The interface is basic and intuitive, and while customer service is slow, you probably won’t need it most of the time. If this sounds like a good match for you, we suggest you try it out. You’ve got nothing to lose – after all, it’s free.

Read our full review of Invoiceable here.

CRM Software

Winner: Zoho CRM

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User-friendly, reasonably-priced, and full of useful features, Zoho CRM is our favorite customer relations management software, hands down. It’s not hard to see why we’re such big fans. The “building blocks” which make up the Zoho CRM logo are not there for design purposes alone; these blocks allude to the fact that the Zoho team has developed many other business applications, all capable of working together seamlessly (much like Google Apps). In addition, Zoho has an well-deserved reputation for integrating nicely with a number of 3rd party add-ons, including MailChimp, Unbounce, Google Apps, MS Office, and Quickbooks (see a full list of add-ons and integrations here). In short, Zoho CRM software can adjust to any size business, be whatever you need it to be, and grow with you as your business expands.

You can try Zoho CRM for free with a 15-day trial of their Professional package. After that, pricing breaks down as follows:

  • Entrepreneur: Free, up to 3 users
  • Standard: $12/user/month
  • Professional: $20/user/month
  • Enterprise: $35/user/month

24-hour Mon-Fri telephone support is available to paying customers, though those using their free edition are limited to email support. However, your email questions can be flagged according to urgency, so that important queries do not fall to the wayside.

You would be hard pressed to find a CRM that provides more functionality at a lower cost. Zoho CRM is, without a doubt, the most bang for your buck.

Read our full review of Zoho CRM here.

Runner-Up: CleverTim

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Clevertim is a cloud-based CRM system with a firm mission: to cater specifically to small businesses. With a surprisingly reasonable price point, a clean, user-friendly UI, and the ability to integrate with 3rd party developers (via an open API), Clevertim may just be as clever as its name suggests. The only chink in Clevertim’s armor is the lack of a mobile app. As it is now, the app functions smoothly on a desktop, but is only so-so on a tablet and virtually nonexistent on a phone.

Clevertim offers a 30 day free trial. After that, plans range from absolutely free to $99/month. You can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your subscription at any time. Unlike most other CRM systems, Clevertim does not charge on a per-user basis. Instead, each plan has a user limit. There is also  customized pricing available, which allows you to upgrade the number of users allowed in your plan.

Clevertim is relatively new and does not yet have its own dedicated Technical Support team. However, queries can be sent to the company either via web tickets or through the sales email address.

Read our review of Clevertim here.

Booking Software

Winner: BookingBug

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BookingBug can do just about anything you would expect from scheduling software, but still manages to be accessible and intuitive. Many companies claim to be versatile, but this software actually is designed for a wide variety of industries, making it one of the only options out there for B&Bs or bike rental shops, and a better option than most for medium-sized spas and salons. It is a perfect tool for businesses that want to offer combination services while managing limited resources and limited staff (see a full list of features here). It is distinct from other appointment booking software other ways as well: first, it’s designed for serious scalability – which again validates its claim to be “the only real-time distributed booking and reservation system that works for all business types” –  and second, it integrates with a vast number of 3rd-party apps all over the world. This is a company that prides itself on innovation and flexibility.

Plans run from $19.95/month to $69.95/month, or you can scale up to an Enterprise plan, which are priced on an individual basis. Customer service comes free with your account. Like most companies, BookingBug relies heavily on email support, but phone support is available for some of the more expensive plans. We received helpful responses to our email inquiries within hours – always a great sign.

One terrific thing about BookingBug is that it offers your customers the option to make online payments (full or partial, including pre-payment and bulk payments); you can also issue full or partial refunds directly through the site via one of the software’s numerous payment integrations. BookingBug integrates with programs like MailChimp, WordPress, Facebook, and Dropbox as well.

There isn’t much negative feedback about the company online or in user reviews. Granted, some people have complained about issues with their mobile apps, but BookingBug’s receptivity and responsiveness to these issues speaks well about the company’s commitment to customer service.

To read our full review of BookingBug, click here.

Runner Up: Bookeo

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Bookeo is cloud-based booking software with a lot to offer. Not only does it include important booking features, but it provides a surprising variety of marketing solutions, integrates with many payment platforms and third party applications, and boasts excellent security features. This is innovative software as it is, and Bookeo continues to improve with age; significant new feature releases occur every few months, and updates are frequent. The only consistent complaint disappointed reviewers have is with its lack of phone support. (Bookeo relies on email and a store of 300 tutorials for its customer support.)

Bookeo’s pricing differs by product (in other words, by whether you want to book appointments, classes, or tours), but each version offers a 30-day free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee on the first paid month of subscription. Bookeo accounts do not require set-up or processing fees and you don’t have to sign a contract – always a good sign.

One of the best things about Bookeo is that it is user-friendly. Action items and information are intuitive and clearly distinguishable, and the software in general is organized neatly, in a very manageable way. There isn’t much setup support, unfortunately, but the self-help tutorials available are precise, and sufficient enough to help you circumvent most major problems.

Customer service centers on the Bookeo Help Portal, which consists of 300 tutorials and an email support form. There is no phone support, however, and this is the only consistent complaint from disappointed reviewers. You can receive some support via a live chat option on Bookeo’s promotional website.

Read more about Bookeo here, in our full review.

Email Marketing Software

Winner: MailChimp

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At Merchant Maverick, we’re all in agreement that MailChimp is the boss when it comes to email marketing. It’s a mature, time-tested software with reasonable pricing plans, a great selection of features, and tons of integration, and it scales well to just about any size campaign. Better yet, for users with modest needs, MailChimp offers a robust, flat-out generous free plan which lets you have up to 2,000 subscribers and allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month. There’s only one real catch: if you do your email marketing with the free plan, there will be a small MailChimp badge at the bottom of every email you send out. 

Paid plans come in two basic varieties: send-based (pay as you go) and list-based (monthly). These plans are fairly specific and complex, so if you’d like more details about pricing you should navigate here.

MailChimp is generally very easy to use, and signing up for a MailChimp account is simple; enter a name and email address and you’re on your way. The customer support system is pretty extensive as well, though it lacks telephone support, which is slightly disappointing. However, our experience with them has been good; representatives were courteous and well-informed, and inquiries were answered in anywhere from 20 minutes to 20 hours, depending on urgency. MailChimp’s biggest selling point, however, is that it offers over 500 integrations and add-ons. (These include Google Analytics, Zendesk, SHopify, Magento, and Salesforce).

Check out our full review of MailChimp here.

Runner-Up: AWeber

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AWeber appeals to a smaller niche than MailChimp, but it’s still incredibly easy to use and quite affordable. It comes with some very nice features, especially for businesses which want to send all new subscribers the same series of messages: the autoresponder setup in particular is easy, intuitive, and well explained within the program, and users have a lot of options. 

AWeber offers a free 30-day trial for lists of up to 500 subscribers. After that first month, there is a single list-based pricing plan available. It’s reasonably priced for the most part, but so robust that very small companies may find they are paying for lots of extra features they may not even require. If you don’t need much from your email marketing tool, you might be better off with MailChimp’s generous free plan.

In general, AWeber finds a healthy balance between ease of use and high functionality. Navigation is remarkably intuitive, considering the number of features available. The WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor has some quite impressive characteristics, and recent updates to the software have have managed to significantly improve the email design experience. Additionally, the analytics and reporting capabilities are well above par for an email marketing tool of this type, as are AWeber’s investment in numerous 3rd-party integrations.

Our experiences with customer support have been positive overall. As a rule, we’ve found AWeber’s representatives to be friendly, helpful, and prompt in responding to queries. Response times to our inquiries varied in time between 20 minutes and 6 business hours.

Read our full review of AWeber here.

Project Management Software

Winner: Trello

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Trello is a visually-oriented, Kanban-based project management tool that works by allowing users to see and manage their tasks and projects via detailed ‘cards’ which are then pinned onto ‘boards.’ At its most basic level, Trello is an ingenious way to create and organize a set of virtual 3×5 cards without the risk of misplacing them, but it also can also work as a simple task management tool, offering features like file storage and automatic email notifications.

The standard, free version of Trello allows for unlimited boards, users, and attachments (with a 10 MB max per file upload). However, for a fee, Trello also offers two upgraded versions of the software: $3.75/user or $5/user

Trello’s simple, visually-appealing UI makes it incredibly easy to use; there is almost no learning curve involved. A mere five minutes after I signed up I was able to navigate the software quickly, creating cards and boards like a pro. It may be integrated with several 3rd party apps, including Zapier, Google Drive, Box. Dropbox, and OneDrive.

Trello provides email support (via support@trello.com) to all users during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST).

Not only is this software reasonably priced, but it is characterized by elegance, simplicity, and user-friendliness. It would be difficult to find a basic project management solution with a more intuitive, visually-appealing design. And in terms of sheer adoptability – of getting your employees to actually use a software-based task management tool – Trello scores extremely high.

You can check out our full review of Trello if you’d like more information.

Runner Up: Basecamp

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With over 9,000,000 current users, Basecamp is considered the most popular cloud-based project management software system of all time. It is, without doubt, one of the most user-friendly project management programs out there. When it comes down to brass tacks, simplicity is an enormously valuable characteristic, and Basecamp is just that – simple. This is project management software at its most basic and effortless level.

This software is celebrated for its no-frills, no-fuss pricing system. There are no hidden fees and no per-user costs. Plans range from $20/month to $150/month. Features include task tracking, a calendar, email notifications and a daily recap of activities, text documents (basically giant legal pads), and very simple reporting.

Basecamp is known for fast, reliable service. While they don’t provide the level of immediate personal support that you can get from other software companies (read: no phone or live chat support), the folks at Basecamp respond quickly to email requests and offer a large variety of ready-made aids and live training tools.

Basecamp itself is a pretty basic program, but there are a huge number of optional 3rd party applications available if you want or need to increase software’s functionality. You can see a complete list of Basecamp integrations on the official product website

If you have plain, bread-and-butter management requirements, we think you’ll find that Basecamp is a suitable, extremely affordable way to go. One of the best things about Basecamp is the fact that it is designed, updated, and supported by an established parent company. It is a sure bet, in other words.

Read more about Basecamp in our full review.

Shipping Software

Winner: ShipStation

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ShipStation is a reasonably-priced, web-based shipping solution for eCommerce retailers. Designed to streamline the fulfillment process as much as possible, this software has invested in a huge number of integrations that make it possible for you to sync up your business with the most popular sales channels, shopping carts, payment gateways, and mail carriers.

Pricing plans range from $25/month to $145/month. There’s a free 30-day trial that includes access to all features, with no credit card required. If you’re not satisfied with the product within 90 days, ShipStation offers a full refund, no questions asked.

The user interface can be a bit overwhelming at first, as there multiple options, menus, and sub-menus displayed on most pages. A bit of patience is definitely required when you start out, though you can take advantage of a number of video tutorials, a large knowledge base, and a pretty robust community forum if you run into trouble. Actually, you can have your own personal account manager if you want, and this person will help guide you through the setup phase of your account. Some of the higher paid plans can receive chat support as well. In general, customer support is slightly disappointing, and the responses we received to queries were somewhat boilerplate and indifferent.

One of ShipStation’s biggest selling points is that it integrates with an enormous number of carriers, marketplaces and shopping carts, especially when compared to the competition, including FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Fulfillment by Amazon, as well as Shopify, Etsy, Magento, Square, eBay, etc. The list goes on.

Check out our full review of ShipStation for more information.

Runner-Up: ShipWorks

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ShipWorks is probably the best shipping software available, though unfortunately it’s a PC-only app (which removes about half of the world’s users) and the learning curve is extremely high. The good news is that this software, which is designed to streamline the order fulfillment process for small to large businesses, has many amazing features you can’t find in other shipping applications. With a few clicks, ShipWorks can download shipping information from an online sales channel, calculate and print postage, generate labels, packing slips, and more. Combine this functionality with integrations for over 40 different mail carriers and eCommerce platforms, and you’ve got a shipping solution that really packs a wallop. Additionally, ShipWorks scales well, in a way that its SaaS competitors don’t.

Cost per month is determined by two different factors: shipment volume and number of licenses. Shipment volume is divided into three tiers:

  • $14.95/month for 0-99 shipments/month
  • $29.95/month for 100-999 shipments/month
  • $49.95/month for 1,000+ shipments/month

The price for shipment volume is then added to your licensing fee to determine the monthly bill. How much you pay for licensing is based on the number of online sales channels you use with ShipWorks.

Our own experiences with ShipWorks support have been positive. Turnaround times on support tickets were 24 hours or less, and we never had trouble reaching anybody on the phone. The Knowledge Base is extensive, and covers everything from setup and configuration to online marketplaces and shipping providers. What’s more, the articles are clearly written and provide plenty of screenshots.

As I mentioned above, ShipWorks integrates with a huge variety of shipping carriers and online marketplaces (including USPS, FedEx, UPS, Magento, Etsy, Shopify, Volusion), but if you happen to use a store that isn’t directly supported by ShipWorks, you can always work with a developer and use the ShipWorks Generic API to create your own integrations.

Click here to read our full review of ShipWorks.

Loyalty Rewards Software

Winner: Sweet Tooth

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Sweet Tooth is a prolific loyalty rewards software that currently works with over 3500 merchants worldwide, including Delta, Universal, and Olympus. Sweet Tooth is dedicated to increasing customer engagement, and case studies from many of the clients mentioned above have demonstrated nearly 20% increases in customer lifetime values, sales and repeat purchases. It is complex software with a high learning curve, but in general, the benefits of using a robust loyalty rewards software outweigh the inconvenience of having to learn how to use it! Sweet Tooth is an ideal solution for both eCommerce merchants and merchants who use combined methods of commerce.

Sweet Tooth works best – and is most full featured – when it’s used through Magento, though you can use a lighter, simpler version of Sweet Tooth on BigCommerce or Shopify (this is free for up to 500 customers). Sweet Tooth subscription plans are offered monthly and automatically renew unless cancelled. Plans begin at $49/month, and are broken down by loyalty point transactions and annual revenue generated on Magento. If your activity exceeds the limitations of your plan you will be required to upgrade to the next available plan. You can view the full pricing details for Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento on the Sweet Tooth website.

Customer service is available Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST. Overall, our experience with Sweet Tooth has been positive. Everyone we’ve spoken to at the company has been knowledgeable and friendly, and most reviewers on Magento cite the technical support as an essential part of their loyalty program.

Read our full review of Sweet Tooth if you’re interested in learning more.

Runner-Up: Belly

belly-logo

Belly provides a more hassle-free loyalty rewards program than Sweet Tooth, and is ideal for smaller businesses with brick and mortar store fronts (such as bakeries, cafes, grocers, bars, spas, fitness clubs and boutiques). What’s really unique about Belly, though, are its customizeable rewards offerings and “all in one box” setup, which includes an iPad (with stand and combination lock), data reports, a personal support representative, social media integrations, and email marketing tools. Even more significantly, Belly customers get a mobile page for their business on the Belly app, where potential customers can look to find Belly-compatible businesses.

Monthly subscription costs range from $99 – $199, and all contracts run for 12 months. The cost of the iPad, iPad stand, application software, and unlimited rewards cards are included in the subscription costs for the highest plan, but an additional $150 installation fee is charged for lower plans.

Right now there are only a few drawbacks to Belly, most important of which is its steep price. Customer service can be a bit spotty as well, and unfortunately, not enough other businesses currently use it, which doesn’t provide much incentive to customers to get in the Belly network. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an easy, no-worries loyalty program, you can’t go far wrong with Belly.

Read our full review of Belly for more details and information.

Website Building Software

Winner: Wix

 

wix

Wix is our number one choice for web building software, and it’s not difficult to understand why. With its sleek editing interface and multiple selection of apps and integrations, it is an extremely effective do-it-yourself website designer. In addition to being easy to use, Wix provides a great selection of unique and visually appealing templates (there are hundreds to choose from).

The free version of Wix is provided to anyone who signs up, though any website you create under the free plan will be branded with the Wix logo. Paid plans range from $4.08/month to $24.90/month. Wix’s store offers payment processing through a handful of vendors, including PayPal, WebMoney, Skrill, and PayU.

All in all, Wix is intuitive and user-friendly. Within a few hours, you should be able to take a template, mess around for a bit with the editing tools, and build yourself an incredibly fine looking website.

Because Wix allows developers to create and share their own add-ons, other users are given the opportunity to expand and diversify their websites as well. Some of the most popular integrations available include online shop expansions (like the Etsy app), the Wix Hotels premium booking system, live Instagram feeds, website profile systems, and a variety of other site boosting applications

There is one downside to the software: unlike most other website-building services, Wix does not offer 24/7 live-chat or provide an email response system. There is a toll-free number you can call for help with technical issues, but be aware that you could possibly be put on hold for an unspecified amount of time.

Click here to read our full review of Wix.

Runner-Up: Jimdo

Jimdo-Logo

With its reasonable price points and clever, yet simplistic editor, Jimdo has made a mark on the website building industry. Managing to be both straightforward and comprehensive, Jimdo allows users to make custom, professional looking websites. Templates are provided, of course, but you’re not bound to the confines of the template you choose; you have total freedom to edit and can essentially be as hands-on about the design process as you want.

Jimdo plans range from free to $20/month, and all plans come with an HTML5 WYSIWYG web editor, usage of professional-grade templates, social media tools, a mobile device editing view, blogging tools, photo galleries, Google Maps, contact forms, direct video embedding, widget integration, optimized mobile websites, and unlimited bandwidth.

While the only online payment processor currently supported by Jimdo is PayPal, a selection of various real-world payment methods can be activated in a website’s store, including invoicing, payment-in-advance, collection-upon-delivery, local pickup, and local delivery.

This is an easy-to-use service that somehow still manages to astound with the depth of its overall functionality. Some things may be a bit too simple, and Jimdo isn’t sophisticated enough to work as a tool for a professional web designer, but it is perfectly suited – price-wise and in ease-of-use – for small businesses who would otherwise have to hire out their web design services.

Read our full review of Jimdo here.

The post Merchant Maverick’s Awards for Best Small Business Software appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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Ways To Get Financing For Industrial Kitchen Equipment

A cafe or restaurant may be one of the greater daunting companies to obtain off the floor. Between your lengthy hrs, dinner and lunch rushes, and staffing needs, you&#8217ll have in all probability both hands full planning the logistics of the business. Not to mention, you are able to&#8217t be serving anybody meals with no equipment essential to produce great quantities of food. But how can you start financing a commercial kitchen?

Where To Begin

The good thing is that finding companies that offer equipment financing isn&#8217t hard. Furthermore, most equipment financers are, theoretically, prepared to finance kitchen equipment. Tougher is locating a financer that:

  • Lends to some customer with your credit history
  • Lends to some customer who has been around business for the period of time
  • Provides a lease or loan that meets your requirements and business goals

Potential financers include local and national banks, alternative lenders, and captive lessors. Merchant Maverick&#8217s reviews and blog posts on the topic you can get began.

Things To Look For

It&#8217s simple to be at a loss for the sheer volume of financing possibilities to some would-be customer or lessee.

In very broad strokes, your financing options fall under two groups: loans and leases. Used, many capital leases function much like loans, and merchandise like equipment finance contracts (EFAs) are effectively loans with a few lease-like attributes. There are more variations which are important to note.

In most cases&#8211and remember that the is filled with exceptions&#8211loans have a lower rate of interest but won&#8217t cover the whole from the equipment (80 % is normal). Leases, however, covers everything, often even soft costs like shipping and installation, but typically in a greater rate of interest.

As far rates of interest go, what you could consider &#8220reasonable&#8221 will be different according to your credit and business history. In most cases, however, you need to approach a tool financing arrangement that provides an APR over the teens carefully.

What sort of Lease suits Kitchen Equipment?

Since leases are usually a little simpler to find, we&#8217ll spend more time in it. Leases fall under two broad groups: capital (or finance) leases and operating leases. Some lessors is only going to offer either.

Capital leases function largely as alternative loans, and therefore when you get a capital lease, your intent would be to own these products. Capital leases are great for equipment that doesn&#8217t depreciate very rapidly and which you’ll picture yourself still using a long time from now. The title towards the equipment is going to be usually be used in you, the lessee, along with all the responsibilities and advantages of possession. The majority of the big variations between kinds of capital leases involve different balances between monthly obligations and also the residual (how much money you&#8217ll have remaining to pay for in the finish from the lease). The smaller sized your monthly obligations, the bigger your residual.

Operating leases tend to be more like rentals. These leases are usually a shorter time of your time. Within this situation, the lessor will often retain possession from the equipment. When you typically can continue to purchase the equipment in the finish from the lease, this would defeat the objective of the operating lease. More generally, you&#8217ll return the gear to the lessor, who’ll then re-sell it or lease it again. This is an excellent option for equipment that requires frequent upgrades, becomes obsolete rapidly, or that you simply just have for a while of your time.

Note, you will find important accounting variations in between each kind of lease.

Final Ideas

Before you start whipping your famous recipes, you&#8217ll wish to make certain you get a great deal in your kitchen equipment. Take a look at our equipment financing reviews to obtain a feeling of what&#8217s available.

The publish Ways To Get Financing For Industrial Kitchen Equipment made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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The Very Best EMV Compliant POS Systems

best emv compliant pos

If you’ve been maintaining around the recent EMV liability shift, this really is most likely the 4 hundredth and 70-second article you’ve find out about it. But it’s still October and we’ve still got information to talk about, particularly if you’re believing that now might be time for you to change your POS system. Not every systems are EMV-compatible yet, which could start squandering your soon. No, it’s not time for you to panic and also you don’t absolutely need to be EMV-compliant right this second, however these nick cards aren’t disappearing. Actually, they’re already scheduled to develop more and more advanced within the next couple years. You’re have to a POS system around the innovative of the shift should you hope to maintain your business running easily. That leads me to begin this, the 4-hundredth and 70-second article you’ll discover the EMV liability shift: to talk about the very best EMV compliant POS systems available on the market.

For your benefit and titillation, below is really a break lower of 5 POS solutions that provide great functionality for various differently sized companies and industry types. The factors through which each system was selected include EMV compatibility, overall system functionality, affordability, and offline abilities (the opportunity to accept debit and credit transactions with no Wi-Fi connection).

ShopKeep                                         best emv compliant pos

ShopKeep is our number 1 pick for retail and food service POS systems, and that i really want it to be made to accommodate service industry companies too, because not just is ShopKeep an excellent system with things to look for along with a finely-tuned suit of features, but it’s also creating a surprising offer. Named the ShopKeep EMV Liability Promise, Chief executive officer and President Norm Merritt guarantees that as lengthy as you’ve purchased an EMV device from ShopKeep, the organization covers any EMV-related chargebacks until their software programs are EMV-enabled. Essentially, though ShopKeep is selling nick card readers, their POS product is not EMV-compatible. Rather of creating you have to pay with this, however, they’ve agreed to defend myself against EMV-related chargebacks until they’ve their system so as, because it’s not your fault they aren’t quite compatible yet. This really is something I’ve never witnessed completed in the POS industry before and talks to the lengths that ShopKeep would like to choose its customers.

Obviously, without impressive customer support, ShopKeep is much more than able to standing by itself with features like:

  • An intuitive and easy to use interface
  • An easy prices structure ($49/month/register)
  • Easy set-up
  • Affordable hardware
  • Multiple payment processing options
  • A complete suit of back-office functions
  • Raw component tracking
  • Offline functionality
  • Integrations with MailChimp and QuickBooks

Created for promising small to medium-sized companies, ShopKeep provides a effective cloud-based iPad POS solution in a cost that won’t carve an excessive amount of chunk from your budget. Together with various hardware bundles available on their online shop, they provide two EMV devices:

  • Ingenico iPP320, $299 – a wired, Apple Pay-enabled nick and swipe card readers
  • Ingenico iCMP, $249 – a radio nick and swipe card readers that’s also Apple Pay-enabled

As well as, ShopKeep is presently offering $500 in free hardware for individuals who register soon, however the deal is just good while supplies last. I’d encourage you to look into the complete ShopKeep review for any more in-depth look. This robust, ease to make use of system has enjoyed positive results recently and it has constantly demonstrated itself around the innovative of POS solutions, but when you’re less than convinced, we’ve had a couple more choices for you.

Clover Small  best emv compliant pos

Clover Small is yet another food service favorite, but can also be well outfitted for essentially any company within the service industry. Clover provides a unique undertake POS solutions by basically designing the unit to enhance your charge card processor. Though produced by First Data, Clover Small is offered alongside a free account by a number of banks, business suppliers, and a merchant account providers. This enables retailers to look around to find the best rates and—since each provider sell the unit in a different price—negotiate the very best deals around the actual product.

The machine itself is equally as flexible because the charge card processing options it provides. Having a modular platform created for customizability, Clover Small could be made to suit nearly any quick serve restaurant, dine-in restaurant, or service companies. Some abilities either incorporated and among the service plans or on the Clover application store include:

  • The opportunity to sell fuel in-store or in the pump
  • A pre-ordering application
  • SMS and social internet marketing abilities
  • The opportunity to produce a customer layout of the store
  • A purchase kiosk
  • The opportunity to pre-authorize cards for a specific amount on bar tabs
  • Appointment and reservation schedulers
  • A time verification feature
  • Integration with Constant Contact, MailChimp, QuickBooks, Xero, Magento, and Shopify
  • Phone order manager
  • Offline functionality

Their email list above only includes a few of the basics without mentioning the entire inventory, worker, reporting, and customer management functions offered within this effective little device. Although the interface has already been simple to learn and employ, set-up is even simpler since Clover Small has a built-in scanner, receipt printer, magstripe card swipe, nick card readers, and contactless NFC payment readers. Having a compact, 7-inch screen, Clover is fantastic for the tiniest storefronts, although it should handle mid-sized companies too. Read the entire review if you’d like more information, but it’s hard to fail having a system you are able to so carefully tailor for your business’s unique needs.

Revel Systems

best emv compliant posRevel is yet another POS solution with sufficient features and add-ons to match different types of businesses. Unlike Clover Small and ShopKeep though, Revel could be customized for everyone just about any business size in essentially any industry it’s a favorite for managing liquor stores and wineries, particularly. Revel is multi-locational, can manage as much as 500,000 SKUs, and hosts some good features like:

  • Offline capacity
  • Matrix inventory management
  • Extensive and intelligent reporting
  • Loyalty and CRM programs
  • Appointment scheduling
  • DTT security integration
  • Custom menu building
  • Cinema distribution compliance
  • Shipping compliance and delivery keeper
  • Bar tab management
  • Worker scheduling and management programs
  • PayPal, Shopify, Magento, QuickBooks, Xero, and social networking integrations
  • Catering management

Obviously, there are lots of more available functions, and Revel enables you to choose which features your company needs with industry-specific feature packages and additional add-ons. Because Revel is really feature wealthy, its beginning pricing is just a little greater than ShopKeep and Clover Small at $119 per month for that first terminal’s software license, 24/7 live support, limitless data storage, limitless software updates, as well as an integration with QuickBooks. Next, the cost only goes lower though, using the second terminal visiting $70 monthly and $40 for every additional terminal. In almost any situation, Revel’s prices continues to be comparable with lots of POS systems, even individuals with less features, less functionality, and fewer usability.

Revel integrates with a few payment processers including Mercury Payment Systems, LevelUP, and First Data (though there are other). For your EMV options, Revel Systems presently offers two devices:

  • Ingenico iPP350, $300 – EMV and PCI PTS certified, also accepts NFC payments
  • Verifone VX805, $180 – nick and magstripe card readers, also accepts NFC payments

Like a bonus, Revel offers additional hardware integration, and therefore if you’re not deeply in love with either from the certified EMV options, they are able to use you to definitely add any standard card readers for your system. Overall, Revel has got the options, customizability, featuring you have to keep almost any business running easily. Browse the complete break lower if you’d like, but when you’re searching for something a bit more specialized and industry-specific, we’ve still had a couple POS solutions which are worth exploring.

ERPLY

erply-logo

ERPLY is really a system which i personally reviewed a few several weeks ago and required a specific shine to due to its specialization in retail ERP functions—hence the name ERPLY. ERP is short for for enterprise sources planning, and is a brand-encompassing expression used to explain the entire process of managing all of the different aspects of a company, in the front-finish reason for purchase to back-office functions. Essentially, ERPLY’s goal would be to provide promising small to mid-sized companies using the tools to handle every facet of their companies without getting to purchase pricey third-party ERP software. I’d argue they exceed this goal though, since the amount of features and integrations they provide helps make the system attractive to large companies plus the smaller sized ones.

A few of the features which make ERPLY stand out from other POS systems include:

  • A simple shipping management module
  • Automated reordering and tracking of purchase orders
  • Advanced worker and customer management
  • Easy sales promotions and coupon features
  • Customizable sales reports
  • Customizable dashboard feature
  • QuickBooks, PrestaShop, Magento, and Shopify integrations
  • Offline functionality
  • A warehouse web application accustomed to manage and ship products, receive inventory, and configure shipping/receive rules everywhere

ERPLY also provides its very own accounting and eCommerce platforms, that is nice if you’re searching to side-step integration problems that can occasionally include third-party providers. The selection can be you.

Another option that’s your decision is the charge card processor. ERPLY has partnered having a pretty lengthy listing of them:

  • Bank of the usa
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • Wells Fargo
  • US Bank
  • HSBC
  • Mercury Payment Systems
  • Element Payment Services
  • PayPal
  • Cayan

Apple Pay can also be not far off, however if you simply don’t visit your preferred processor out there, contact ERPLY plus they might be able to add some integration for you personally. ERPLY has additionally taken a positive method of EMV compliance with three devices to select from along with a 4th scheduled to get available early 2016.

  • Verifone MX915, $480 – NFC and EMV-enabled video display readers
  • Verifone MX925, $570 – another NFC and EMV-enabled video display readers
  • Verifone VX520, $175 – a smaller sized, more rugged EMV and NFC readers
  • Verifone VX805, $270 – scheduled to be shown Q1 2016

You standard countertop EMV readers will probably be about $200 to $400, putting the 2 Verifone MX models over the average cost you’d normally purchase a nick card readers. As these devices have video displays, though, they are a good spot to put targeted advertisements and marketing information. Ultimately, you’ll need to determine if that sort of feature could be well worth the extra $100 or $200. In almost any situation, if you’re an entrepreneur within the retail industry, I’d recommend taking ERPLY’s free trial offer for any spin or at best exploring just a little further using the full review.

Quetzal

best emv compliant pos

Quetzal, created for promising small to mid-sized shoe and apparel retailers, is among my personal favorite POS systems simply because they have several the friendliest staff I’ve ever labored with. Customer support is definitely an essential facet of any POS solution, because every software will have the periodic glitch and you will find certain to be questions throughout the first couple days of operation (otherwise longer). A great tech support team team ensures that you will get the most from neglect the and Quetzal (together with ShopKeep) takes the prize for the reason that category. Although, I shouldn’t be amazed thinking about Quetzal is really a Canadian company.

That’s not saying that you’re going to need to use Quetzal’s support everything frequently, since the interface carries the Apple aesthetic and general simplicity of use. The rear-office and front-finish functions are without effort made to minimize user error and streamline the setup and checkout processes. You can handle as much as 10 locations with Quetzal, that is a pretty reasonable cap for many mid-sized companies. When you get bigger than that, you’re gonna need to transfer to a POS system made to handle large inventories and much more locations. However, even when you’re striking the maximum with 10 locations and a pair of,000,000 SKUs, Quetzal it’s still equipped to handle your operational needs. Some highlighted features include:

  • Simple, easy to use checkout functions
  • Decently priced hardware (especially because the built-in iPad camera can be the scanner)
  • Extensive reporting functions and options
  • Simple to use color and size inventory matrix
  • Customer account management (includes Tag Cloud feature which makes for simple upselling)
  • Offline operation functionality
  • 9 fully integrated language options
  • Integration with Apple’s Figures

Such as the other POS systems, Quetzal offers several charge card processing options. Quetzal integrates with payment partners National Discount A Merchant Account, Mercury, Velocity, Moneris, CardSmith, and SumUp. These payment gateways provide use of acquirers like Bank of the usa, Chase Paymentech, First Data, Global Payments, Heartland Payment Systems, TSYS, and Vantiv. The EMV options Quetzal offers include:

  • Ingenico iPP320, $299 – a wired, NFC-enabled nick and swipe card readers
  • SumUp Pin+ – SumUP isn’t available in america yet (it’s mostly the UK—where in EMV standards will be in place for some time), but it’ll be soon and Quetzal has intends to utilize their EMV abilities

With reasonable hardware costs and competitive licensing charges (as little as $890 per place for a 1-year license), Quetzal is really a robust POS solution that won’t blow a significant hole inside your budget. It won’t even blow a medium-sized hole, but you’ll have virtually all you need to cultivate a effective business. If you’re interested, I’d encourage you to definitely have a gander in the full review.

Final Ideas

I understand, I understand. I simply put a lot of information to you, but stay. I’ve got a bit more for you personally.

Like a general tip for anybody buying a new EMV device—or really any charge card reader—don’t ever lease it. Should you can’t covering the $200 to $400 for every new terminal, place the purchase on the business charge card. The eye minute rates are far better and also the purchase is tax deductible. Read this article if you’re thinking about a rent-to-own deal for your nick and pin readers.

Another good point is if the readers you’re purchasing can also be in a position to accept near field communication (NFC) or contactless payments. Though these aren’t as prevalent as traditional card transactions yet, they’re certainly growing in recognition, and it’s most likely smarter to possess that option now rather of getting to exchange your hardware again inside a couple years.

Finally, all of this talk of EMV liability and nick card readers ultimately leads us to your a merchant account provider. If you’ve observed bad rates, hefty charges, or simply poor service, now may be time for you to consider altering processors. I’d research just how much you ought to be having to pay for charge card processing and explore a few of the options available. If you’re ending up just a little overwhelmed on the bottom, though, you can call us. We’ve got the sources to assist you.

The publish The Very Best EMV Compliant POS Systems made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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Ingenico iCT220 Unboxing and Review

ingenico-ict220-1030x400

Ingenico is really a French-based company with one goal:

&#8220to provide retailers having a comprehensive and innovative selection of services and methods to eliminate payment complexity making the customer purchasing experience seamless and secure, regardless of the sales funnel or payment method.&#8221

To that particular finish, Ingenico offers a variety of POS and mobile hardware products, such as the more and more popular iCT220 card readers. This lightweight, portable countertop readers gives retailers &#8220the freedom to simply accept electronic card payments, without or with an interface having a check out or POS system.&#8221 However the most compelling feature from the iCT220 is the fact that all you need to do, from payment processing to settlement reporting to receipt printing, can be achieved rapidly and seamlessly about this one device.

The iCT220 is EMV compliant and PCI PTS V3 certified. Additionally, it seems to support all of the most leading edge modern worldwide security algorithms, that is hugely vital that you any store, however big or small their business. Simplicity of use, portability, and security make the iCT220 largely effective with retailers and restaurateurs recently &#8211 actually, the Ingenico Tellium II terminal series (including the iCT220 along with the iCT250, iWL220, and iWL250) are presently typically the most popular nick and PIN terminals on the planet. But at Merchant Maverick, we&#8217re not happy to simply recommend an item because numerous others did so. You want to understand how something works best for ourselves! (We&#8217re just nosy this way). That&#8217s why we lately purchased an Ingenico iCT220 and gave it an intensive inspection.

Need to know how this handy little device really compares physically and visually? Wondering whether it helps make the grade when it comes to ease-of-use and sturdiness? Continue reading!

Packaging

Ingenico iCT220 unboxing

We purchased our Ingenico iCT220 through Helcim, a very rated merchant services provider. It required some time to finally ship (due to popular and various back-orders from retailers scrambling to purchase EMV compliant hardware considering the current liability shift), but when it shipped it showed up in wonderful time and excellent condition.

Every item within the box was positioned for optimum protection throughout the shipping process, there was literally no wasted space. The contents have been packed carefully to reduce jostling and bumping, and also the readers itself was wrapped tightly in bubble-wrap. Not really a single item was nicked or broken, and absolutely nothing have been forgotten or overlooked throughout the packing process. To date so great.

What&#8217s Within the Box?

FullSizeRender(8)

  • Ingenico iCT220 charge card readers
  • Power cod
  • 2 rolls receipt paper
  • 3 receipt pads
  • American Express ledger book
  • Ethernet cable

Specs

Prices around the Ingenico iCT220 vary greatly based on the vendor. Helcim (from whom we’ve got our model) provides the readers for $199/unit, but it was online for everything from $182 on eBay to $109 (on purchase) at Amazon . com to $433 at Staples. Look around, quite simply, to get the best deal, but make certain you&#8217re purchasing from a dependable vendor.

Physical specs for that iCT220 are listed below:

ict220-cl

Should you&#8217re interested, browse the official product data page too.

Set-Up

It doesn&#8217t have a degree in advanced physics or brain surgery to setup an Ingenico iCT220. If you’re able to read some simple instructions- heck, if you’re able to consider a diagram &#8211 then you definitely will be able to learn how to have this little readers ready to go in 15-twenty minutes. There are only a couple of simple methods to keep in mind:

  1. Place the terminal with an even surface and position it therefore the display screen could be read effortlessly and also the card swipe is instantly accessible.
  2. Plug the phone cable in to the telephone wall plug before switching on power.
  3. Make certain you’ve your Merchant ID number handy &#8211 you’ll find it within the Welcome Letter you ought to have received.
  4. Turn on the ability and also the installation process will start! You’ll be motivated how to proceed next through the readers.

Also&#8230

FullSizeRender(11)

There’s also a couple of simple things you shouldn’t do at any time:

  1. Do not let water to obtain within the casing from the iCT220. If you want to fix it, achieve this having a moist (not wet) cloth. You are able to dip it in mild water and soap, if required.
  2. Don’t use solvents, cleaning fluids or abrasives at any time over time, or else you will risk damaging the plastic housing from the iCT220.
  3. Never use exterior cables and/or cable lengths apart from those specified and/or provided through the manufacturer.

First Impressions

Firstly. This can be a decent searching little card readers, folks. It&#8217s solid, it&#8217s visually appealing, also it boasts vibrant, prominent buttons and nice clean lines. Yes, it&#8217s simply designed, but may austerity is more suitable to clutter, glitz, and glam. You don&#8217t purchase a readers to thrill customers together with your aesthetic sensibilities. You purchase a readers to be able to take payments, period. And also the Ingenico iCT220 is made for maximum useability and minimum confusion for the client.

Furthermore, this card readers in some way seems to feel lightweight and sturdy. It&#8217s and not the lightest terminal we&#8217ve ever held, however it fits nicely in the users hand of the hands and isn’t overweight to hold around easily. The casing is great and thick, and doesn’t appear vulnerable to cracking or breaking. We don&#8217t recommend shedding the iCT220, obviously, but it appears as though it might handle a couple of tumbles out of your countertop and then function.

The iCT220 has among the largest screens around, which is very readable. The screen is backlit, that is nice, also it&#8217s also high contrast, making for simple studying. More to the point, however, the iCT220 includes a backlit keypad with wonderfully large buttons. So we do mean LARGE buttons.

Ingenico iCT220 review

Many people have dainty fingers, however for individuals people who don&#8217t, it&#8217s nice to locate a card readers that enables you to definitely push individual figures without in some way mashing all of them simultaneously. Pointless to state, this protects time by reduction of PIN entry errors.

FullSizeRender(12)

The iCT220 permits retailers to simply accept all kinds of electronic payment, including EMV nick &amp PIN, magstripe, and NFC/contactless. Easily, additionally, it instantly determines regardless of whether you&#8217re processing a debit or credit card. In a nutshell, you don’t need to consider time throughout a transaction and bother your customer with this annoying &#8220credit or debit?&#8221 question.

Once you slide the client&#8217s charge card or insert it into EMV readers, the transaction will start, and also the iCT220 asks for the quantity of transaction without having to be motivated. Once you input the transaction amount striking &#8220ENTER,&#8221 it starts to process after which prints an invoice for that customer to sign (or requests a Flag if you’re established to accept debit).

The Ingenico iCT220 has &#8216multi-merchant capacity,&#8217 meaning one terminal could be shared by as much as 12 different users. This is especially relevant inside a salon or health spa where each beautician or masseuse is running their very own business. In times like this, each individual might have their code and process transactions under their very own account.

Compared to other similar charge card terminals, the iCT220 can connect to the web via Ethernet. Understandably, this enables for considerably faster speeds than the usual standard reference to a mobile phone line.

The iCT220 prints at 18 lines/second and uses standard 2 1/4 inch thermal receipt paper. This sort of paper is typical, cheap, and simple to purchase &#8211 you will get it at Staples and Office Depot (really any office supply store), or simply order it in large quantities from Amazon . com if you would like. Some customers have were not impressed with the receipt paper, wishing the terminal could accommodate a larger size, however that appears just like a fairly minor gripe overall.

Final Thoughts on the Ingenico iCT220

The decision is within around the Ingenico iCT220, which is searching very good. After our detailed inspection, we’ve figured that this handy little card readers is eminently worth its great status and worldwide recognition. The iCT220 is sensible, durable, and durable, and &#8211 possibly more to the point &#8211 made with the consumer in your mind. Sure, there’ll always be the odd, myopic customer who are able to&#8217t evaluate which buttons to push or can&#8217t begin to see the screen unless of course they&#8217re 2 ” from it, however this terminal appears to walk out its method to provide users most abundant in simple, comfortable, apparent experience possible. The fight cry from the iCT220 ought to be &#8220Ease-of-Use!&#8221

We like the truth that it’s multi-merchant abilities. Cheap it&#8217s quick. Cheap it uses an Ethernet connection more than a traditional line. Let&#8217s face the facts, there&#8217s just a great deal to like here.

Should you&#8217re searching for any reliable, NFC/contactless-ready terminal to process secure EMV transactions, and wish something fast and never-too-flashy, we completely recommend the Ingenico iCT220.

Are you currently considering through an Ingenico iCT220? Would you love your own house? Inform us about it within the comments. We&#8217d love some feedback from individuals within the retail trenches!

The publish Ingenico iCT220 Unboxing and Review made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.

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