US Bankcard Services Industry Blog

Monday, May 2, 2016

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How Do You Choose a Restaurant POS (Point-of-Sale) System?               
With so many choices of POS systems out on the market, choosing the right restaurant pos system for your business can be an exciting but also very daunting task. Although there are many similarities between the various POS systems, no two systems are built the same. For the time being, the holy grail of all POS systems has yet to be discovered. Merchants who are struggling to choose a POS system oftentimes find themselves juggling between the pros and cons of each of their choices. We’ve scoured some of our favorite online forums and aggregated the most important concerns merchants face when searching for the right POS system for their business.
1.       Helpful Customer Support
The number 1 biggest concern of settling with a POS provider is having access to helpful customer support. Procuring a POS system is really only half the battle. Your potential provider should always be willing to guide you through whatever concerns or questions you may have when an issue arises.
2.       System Stability/Security
It goes without saying that when choosing a restaurant POS system, it is necessary to go with a system that is PA-DSS (Payment Application Data Security Standard) compliant. This helps keep your system safe from fraudsters, data thieves, and breaches. Also be sure to do your research and check with other users who have used the platform. If users have complaints about frequent unresolvable glitches and bugs, you may want to reconsider your choice. [EK1] 
3.       Pricing
Pricing for POS Systems can largely vary and range from as low as $400 to as high as $10,000! When comparing prices between units, be on the lookout for added fees for POS accessories that may or may not be included. Check with your provider to see if things like a cash box, POS stand, barcode scanner, or credit card reader would be an added expense.
4.       Ability to Integrate With Other Software
This tip may not apply to every business but it is indeed a perk that you may want to consider. If your restaurant is heavily dependent on programs like Excel or Outlook, you may want to look out for a platform that can readily integrate with those programs. This added functionality can help make your transition to a POS system a breeze!
5.       Integrated Credit Card Processing
Being able to swipe and process credit card transactions straight from your RESTAURANT POS SYSTEM is a necessity when it comes to streamlining restaurant operations. Be sure to check with the POS provider and make sure that the system will not have any issue integrating with your current merchant service provider. If you are not setup with a merchant service provider yet, the friendly folks at US Bankcard Services, Inc. can get you set down the right path!
6.       Advanced Data Analytics and Reporting
Processing transactions have come a long way since the days of the old cash register. Nowadays, POS systems are equipped with advanced analytics and reporting that help merchants see how well the restaurant has been performing. Some POS reports are more dynamic than others, so be sure to check which reports will be most useful for your restaurant.

Other Useful Bells and Whistles

Your restaurant pos system will be your most powerful tool when it comes to managing your restaurant. POS functions like inventory, shift, and tip management can help make running your business a much easier process. Overall, deciding on a restaurant pos system involves a lot of patience and research, but if done properly, you can easily save yourself from many future headaches. Still haven’t decided on which POS system is right for you? Give US BANKCARD SERVICES INC. a call at 888-888-8872 and we would be happy to offer some of our best suggestions!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Merchants are Feeling the Sting for Lack of EMV Implementation

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EMV Enabled CardWhat EMV Sting?
Three months after the EMV liability shift, merchants who have not focused on their EMV implementation are beginning to experience more chargebacks than they had previously anticipated. Prior to the EMV Liability Shift on October 1st, 2015, fraudulent transactions were generally assumed by credit card issuing institutions. Now with the upgrade to the more secure EMV protocols, credit card issuers have now shifted the liability over to merchants who have not yet prioritized their EMV compliance. In other words, merchants who have not yet switched over to EMV-enabled terminals now face a much higher risk of having to deal with the threat of potential fraud and chargebacks. Most countries within the EU, Asia, and Africa have been using EMV for years now and attest to its capacity to fight fraud but the US has been very slow to adopt the new system. This means that merchants across the country are suddenly huge targets for credit card scammers.

Chargeback Predictions for 2016
               
Many experts within the credit card processing industry believe that the first wave of chargebacks should have been mailed out to merchant inboxes sometime early last month. Chief Executive of Merchant Services for JP Morgan, Mike Passilla, has been preparing his call centers for a sudden spike of calls from disgruntled merchants regarding chargeback issues. Passilla expects this spike to plateau for at least 6 months as more and more merchants get stung for EMV non-compliance.  Many experts agree that after the first waves of chargebacks wreak havoc on unsuspecting merchants, other merchants will be spurred on to protect their businesses by implementing their own EMV terminals. With more and more merchants switching over to EMV, consumers will surely follow suit by learning to better adapt to their own chip cards. In my opinion, I think merchants should not procrastinate with their EMV implementation. Although the EMV migration was not mandated with the passing of the liability shift, why wait until you have no other choice?


How EMV Protects Merchants from Chargebacks
               
Mag-stripe technology is outdated and has been in use for nearly half a century. During that time, credit card counterfeiters have learned just how easy it is to replicate the stored information. The information that is stored on mag-stripe cards is static which makes it really easy to pirate information for later use. EMV chips are literally tiny computers that use a system to encrypt sensitive information for every single transaction it is used on. It is this encryption of information that makes it incredibly difficult for counterfeiters to replicate. In fact, EMV has been so successful in combatting fraud that in places like the UK, credit card fraud has dropped over 70%. Why wait until it is too late to protect yourself from chargebacks and fraudulent charges associated with EMV non-compliance? Inquire with US Bankcard ServicesInc. at (888)888-8USA to find out more about EMV implementation for your business today!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Take Your Business Online with a Merchant Gateway

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Merchant Gateways Are Key To Selling Your Products Online
Do you have a product that you would like to start selling online? If so, it is important to consider all the steps that are required to get your e-commerce business up and off the ground. Aside from building a website to host your products, your website will also require a merchant gateway to connect the dots between your shopping cart and your payment processing company. Merchant gateways are e-commerce website applications that allow for fast and secure communications between a merchant’s website and their payment processors. Having a Merchant gateway helps to streamline the sometimes hectic e-commerce environment by alleviating the amount of manual work that is required for processing online orders.

Benefits of Merchant Gateway Integration
Merchants who integrate Gateways onto their website reap many benefits from taking their store online. Online stores do not operate under normal business hours and instead are available to accept orders from the comfort of their home 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. This key difference vastly broadens a merchant’s customer base and allows them to oftentimes experience exponential growth within the business. Having a merchant gateway also enables merchants to accept a variety of different payment methods: Mail Order / Telephone Orders (MOTO), Face to Face Transactions (key-entered transactions), and e-commerce Transactions.

What to Look for in a Merchant Gateway Provider
With the recent explosive growth of e-commerce websites came a corresponding growth of Merchant Gateway options. With so many options available on the internet of things, it can be a daunting task to hone in on a Merchant Gateway option that is best for your business needs. Bottom line, the most appealing choices will be those that are most affordable for your business model but be sure to not overlook other important factors as well. Nothing can tarnish a business’ reputation faster than fraud and data leaks so be sure to go with a reputable payment gateway that guarantees a secure transaction. Elavon's Converge gateway is one of our favorite gateways as it offers a special encryption called Tokenization which helps to simplify merchant PCI-DSS compliances. Another handy benefit that makes Converge popular with US BANKCARD SERVICES INC. is the ability to integrate tip management into their gateway. This is especially useful for business models that require tip management like: restaurants, beauty salons, spas, bars, and other services oriented establishments.

Ultimately, finding a Merchant Gateway that offers easy access and is overall easy to use will be most beneficial for your business. Not every gateway is built the same so be sure to do your research and find a provider that will best suit your needs. Still not sure of what gateway is best for your business? Give US Bankcard Services Inc. a call and we can get you set on the path to making money even while you sleep!

Friday, February 5, 2016

5 Reasons Why Having an Online Ordering System Can Boost Your Restaurant’s Business

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Can Having an Online Ordering System Really Boost Your Restaurant?

         

If you are looking for ways to increase business for your restaurant but have not yet considered utilizing an Online Ordering System, it may be time to reconsider. Taken on face value, many restaurant owners underestimate the underlying marketing power of a Restaurant Online Ordering System. By definition, an Online Ordering System is in fact a system that allows restaurants to take online orders. Obvious, right? However, with the capacity to accept online orders come many other benefits that restaurant owners may fail to consider. In this article, we’ve listed 5 often overlooked reasons to start using a Restaurant Online Ordering System to boost your restaurant’s performance.


1. Having a Website with an Online Ordering System Can Build Up a Solid Online Presence

         

Welcome to the 21st century, where the Internet Of Things seemingly brings the world to our fingertips through our desktop and mobile devices. Now with so much search being conducted online, not having a website to represent your restaurant is almost like saying that you do not want the restaurant to be found! A study conducted by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) states that over 87% of adults utilize restaurant technology, like smartphone apps or online ordering services, to look up important restaurant information. Having a good online presence means that those people will have no problem in finding your business!


2. Online Orders Help to Streamline Restaurant and Customer Operations

         

Having an Online Ordering System offers benefits to both the restauranteur as well as the customer. Customers now have the convenient ability to order their favorite dishes from the comfort of their own homes without needing to place orders with a busy restaurant employee over the phone. Instead, customers can take their time to browse through and mentally digest the restaurant’s online menu while also browsing through promotions, images and other restaurant information. When orders are placed online, they are sent directly to the restaurant kitchen’s printer/fax machine. This feature helps to eliminate frustration with complicated orders while assuring that the order is exactly what the customer wanted.


3. Orders Made Online Tend to Produce Larger Tickets As Opposed To Phone Orders

         

Recent studies have shown that orders taken online can tend to be up to 30% higher than orders received by a walk-in or by a phone order. The reasoning behind this seemingly miraculous phenomenon was mentioned in the subject above: customer convenience. There is a strong upward correlation between ticket prices and the comfort of a customer. A 30% increase in ticket prices can easily be the difference between making and breaking a restaurant. Therefore, customer convenience should be considered as one of the most impactful restaurant marketing tools available!


4. More and More Customers are Using Smartphones to Place Orders

         

This cannot be emphasized enough: If you run a restaurant, you must have a mobile responsive website. Nowadays, with so many people conducting so much of their online search from their smartphones, restaurants now need to make themselves available for mobile searches. A study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau states that 69% of all mobile users use their phones to place orders at their favorite restaurants. When customers land on a website that is not accommodating to smartphone usage, many users will bounce right off of the page out of frustration. Do you see a trend here? Clearly, customers place more orders when it is most convenient for them. A Restaurant Online Ordering system is your bridge between restaurant and customer.


5. Online Ordering Systems Provide Valuable Restaurant Analytics and Data Reporting

         

Another benefit to using an Online Ordering System comes in the form of what customers cannot see. When deciding to work with an online ordering service provider, be sure to check the richness of their Analytics and Data Reporting. A good data report would include useful information like: busy days/hours, income over time, order amount distribution, or popular dishes. This key information is often times overlooked by the un-savvy restauranteur but can prove to be a valuable asset when it comes to optimizing business performance. Having a good data report can help with overall restaurant strategy. With this information, restauranteurs can effectively strategize promotions to fill in on gaps that they didn’t even know were there!


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If there is one key take away to remember from all of this, it is this: when customers are at ease with placing orders, they are more likely to order more. Implementing the use of an Online Ordering System puts you one step closer to achieving that goal. Therefore, why wait? Give online ordering a go and experience new heights with your business. sure3 is an online ordering service that we recommend for anyone looking to get their restaurant online. Give them a call at (888) 888-8500 and they can build your online ordering website just the way you want it!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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US Bankcard Services, Inc. (USBSI) took preventative measures to stop everyone from being pinched! We hope you decided to wear green to be festive too.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

USBSIer - Emily Yen

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"When you are out of college or starting a new career path, your first "real" job can be nerve-racking. The official moment when you step into the "real world" was definitely a scary thought to having to think that I will be on my own. But the haunting thoughts went down the drain ever since the first day I started the journey with USBSI. The friendly colleagues who welcomed me and the overall environment guided me into a big family where we always help each other and grow together. I was able to adapt to the Administration Department in a quick manner. And because of my colleagues, I was able to learn a lot, achieved my goals, and become a Supervisor of the Admin Department within 2 years. 

It's the family who made it possible and I'm grateful for being a part of this family."

 

– My name is Emily Yen. I am a #‎USBSIer.

 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

USBSIer - Julien Ort

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"True, accomplishments don't come easily. To get there, it is more important to focus on what you're good at than to compare yourself with others and always be willing to do more than what you've been asked to do. As part of the IT team, we are always developing solutions to meet our merchants' unique business needs in their industries, such as POS systems and various website solutions. It may seem impossible to accommodate everyone, but I try to put myself in our merchants' shoes and make sure the product is user-friendly. I believe as long as we don't give up, we can get there as a team by offering simple yet powerful solutions to help merchants manage their businesses at ease. "

– My name is Julien Ort. I am a #‎USBSIer -