With so many options for processing payments, it can be confusing and difficult to pick the right one. The right payment processing system is especially important when you’re running something as unique as a craft brewery or a brewpub, where your focus is creating the best selection of craft brews and your processes must run at an optimum level, often in the background. Here we take a look at the different options for payment processing and what type of brewer would benefit from them.
Payment-enabled software is usually part of a larger customer relationship management software system (CRM). Payment-enabled software allows you to directly process payments from information already existing in your customer management system. Admittedly, this does not have much use in your gift shop or pub. If you do have integrated CRM software, however, payment-enabled software could open the door for loyalty programs and repeat customers, streamlining the customer experience while allowing you to focus on other things.
Credit card terminals
Credit card terminals are commonly seen at smaller restaurants and retail shops that do a higher volume of payment processing. A credit card terminal is essentially a credit card reader that supplements an existing cash register, allowing you to swipe a credit card, input the amount to charge and process the payment. Some credit card terminals also print receipts. Credit card terminals are a solid option if your volume is large enough or if you’re looking to begin accepting credit card payments on top of your existing hardware setup. If you’re forecasting growth, this could be the easiest way to go.
Traditional POS systems
Traditional point-of-sale (POS) systems are hardware-intensive solutions for payment processing, basically a step up from a simple credit card terminal. They do lend themselves to use in brewpubs, gift shops and on-site tasting rooms or bars, but only if there is an exceptionally large volume of payment processing. Using a traditional POS system gives you a physical place to establish a cashier station or desk, allowing you to swipe cards and print receipts. Going this route also means you’ll be able to easily add up what you’ve sold and calculate your taxes. This is a good solution for large operations.
Mobile payment processing
Mobile payment processing is a relatively new technology, but it is currently trending upward, especially in newly established small businesses. Many of the businesses that are finding success with mobile payment processing are similar to what you might envision for your brewpub, tasting room or bar. Small restaurants and independent retail operations use mobile payment processing thanks to convenience and a low initial investment. With mobile payment processing, all you need is a smartphone or tablet and a small card-swiping piece of plugin hardware. Mobile payment processing works well if you have a small-to-medium volume of payments to process, are low on space, or utilize loyalty programs. Mobile payment processing would also introduce a unique customer experience, one that isn’t currently seen in the typical bar. The ability to shape a tasting room or brewpub experience around the convenience of mobile payments and the potential it unlocks could give your new business a competitive edge — aside from your superior brews. Mobile payment processing also allows for plenty of room to grow with your operation.
The various options available to you for payment processing vary in their effectiveness when it comes to the size of your operation, the volume of payments you’re processing and your ability to build brand recognition among potential customers. Once your payment processing systems are in place, you won’t have to worry — you can focus on continued perfection in your product.
Kristen Gramigna is chief marketing officer for BluePay, (http://www.bluepay.com) provider of payment processing for a wide range of businesses. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing to the company and also serves on its Board of Directors.