This training will equip you to have a meaningful, educated conversation with the merchant about their credit card terminal. If you learn this information and use it on your first visit, you will make a much better impression on the business owner. It will transform your image from a sales person to an industry professional. I encourage you to not only learn this information but use it in your conversations in the field with merchants.
Here are your goals:
1. Learn the different ways merchant’s are able to acquire and use a credit card terminal.
2. Learn to identify the main terminal types by site so that you can start a conversation with the merchant about their terminal during your opening.
3. Gain a basic knowledge of the sales approach for POS Systems.
4. Get back out in the field and use your knowledge so you don’t forget it!
Terminal Ownership Types
There are basically four ways that a business owner can obtain a credit card terminal. I have listed them below with a brief explanation of each, then I have included a video on how I use this information when speaking with a merchant.
1. Purchase: About 20% of the time, the business owner purchased their terminal outright and they own it. In this case, you are free to reprogram the terminal as long as it is supported by one of our platforms and most are. To be sure that the terminal is supported, get the model number and call agent tech support and ask if we support that terminal type.
2. Loaner: These account for probably 30% of the merchant’s in today’s market. In these cases the processor owns the terminal and they are loaning it to the business owner free of charge as long as they continue to process with them. This is what we offers our clients. In this case, switching them to our service would mean they need to return their current terminal to their processor and we would need to provide a new loaner in its place, which we would be happy to do.
3. Lease: This used to be just about the only way to get a terminal, but it now only accounts for probably 30% of the merchants in the market place and is clearly on the way out. These are usually (but not always) a complete rip off. In these cases, the merchant pays a certain amount per month for a certain number of months and at the end of this time period they own the terminal. Many captive processors charge $59.00 per month or more for as long as 60 months in order to own a terminal that could be purchased brand new for less than $300. In these cases, you cannot do anything about the lease, they are locked in, however you can reprogram their terminal just as if they owned it. The leasing company is totally separate from the processing company even though the same agent probably sold them both the terminal and the processing service. I explain this by saying, it is like a telephone, you can change your home telephone service while still keeping the same telephone.
4. Rental: This has never really caught on very much, but with merchant’s becoming more and more reluctant to sign a long term lease, many processors are using terminal rentals as a way to get extra revenue and they probably account for 20% of the merchants in some markets. Treat this just like a loaner terminal. Have the merchant send it back to their processor after you cancel the service and provide them with a new loaner form us.
Learn to Identify the Main Terminal Types
I highly recommend a site called North American Terminals when you run into a situation where you need to purchase a terminal. We will discuss these situations later in the training, but for this portion, I have listed the main terminal types, included a picture and a link to purchase the terminal at North American Terminals website so you can see what they look like and get more info on them. Do not send your merchant’s to this site, rather use it as your supplier, since they also sell credit card processing services you do not want to send your merchants to a competitor.
This is the terminal that I use most often. We offer it through the free merchant placement program and I highly recommend using it as often as possible. It is simple to use and is widely recognized as a stable terminal with good options like tip prompt, etc. This is also the terminal I recommend using as a spare or “swap” terminal for installations which I will explain later in the training.
Almost identical to the VX 510, this terminal has several additional options and costs a little more. This is the ideal terminal to use for stand along gas stations or for restaurants who plan on using our gift card program.
These terminals are easily recognizable because they are all large with small number pads in the center. They have no special features, and are very dependably over a standard phone line . Many times they are used by Government agencies for things such as food stamp cards (EBT) and prescription drug cards.
These terminals are quickly becoming outdated because the memory that they can hold on some older versions is not enough to hold the larger PCI Compliant files that are now required by most processors. We do support these terminals on Global platform, but don’t be surprised if you get an error towards the end of a reprogram that states there is not enough memory. If that happens, simply provide them with a free, upgraded terminal.
The programs are the same as the Nurit 2085, but I like this terminal much better. For one thing, they reprogram quickly and the seem to hold all of the newer PCI Compliant files. If you find one of these, just reprogram it, and your client will be happy.
This is a very common terminal and I hate it! It does have all the options that you need, but I think the software inside is poorly designed and it takes for ever to complete a reprogram or download of any kind. Stay away from this one if you can.
This terminal gets the award for longest download time. Once I did a reprogram on one of these that took 3 hours! Once you get them reprogrammed, they work just fine, but they are tough to reprogram. Also, many processors label these as something else in order to make it seem like a custom made product. Usually with a big number after the name like Optima 1000 or some other fake name. Don’t be fooled, we can reprogram them and just to surprise the merchant, tell them what it is and then flip it over, you will see “Hypercom T4xxx” on the back. Side note: The 4220 model connects to the internet with the 4210 is only for dial or phone line connections.
These terminals are a personal favorite of mine, but they have one huge drawback! They only work on the First Data platform. We do offer a First Data platform, but this platform is prone to more technical issues and the support for these accounts is mostly outsourced as First Data is a secondary processor for us. Our main processing platform is Global. If the merchant likes the FD 100 and does less than $20,000 per month in volume, put them on the FD platform and reprogram the terminal. If they do more than $20,000 swap them for a VX 510 to avoid technical issues and use the FD 100 as a free terminal at another, smaller location.
This terminal is identical to the FD 100, accept it has an electronic check reader built in. It is huge and a real pain to use. The other problem is that our check processing service does not support this build in reader, so if you want to reprogram it, you can only use the Credit and Debit features of the terminal. If the merchant wants to do electronic check processing, give them the free VX 510 with external check reader and they will be much happier.
Understand the basic sales approach for POS Systems
POS Systems are basically just computers with a credit card swiper attached to them and special software used to track everything from orders at a restaurant to reservations at a hotel. If you are looking to sell a POS System to a merchant, I highly recommend POS Nation. They have a great website and offer agent programs with good compensation. Keep in mind that I do not provide support for POS Sales, you would need to go through a distributer for this. We will get much more in depth about POS Systems later in the training, but for starters, here are a couple things you should know about POS Systems.
1. Anything that looks like a computer and does not use a standard credit card terminal is probably some type of POS System.
2. Unlike standard credit card terminals, reprogramming a POS System is not something that you as an agent want to mess with. The process of switching processors is handled by the POS Software provider.
3. Start the process like any other merchant. Get a statement and do an analysis. If we are saving them enough money it will be worth their time and yours to go through the process of switching over.
4. There are hundreds of different POS Providers for hardware and software, so don’t waste much time trying to learn one system. Your approach should simply be to get the statement, do the analysis, present the savings to the merchant and then contact the POS Software provider to find out what you need to provide them in order to complete the switch.
5. There are two charges that may apply to a POS switch over that you must be aware of before you close a deal. First, the cost of uploading a parameter sheet can range from $100 to well over $1,000 depending on the type of platform they are using and the technical work involved in changing processors. Call the POS software provider to learn what this fee will be. Secondly, some POS platforms charge a per transaction surcharge of between $0.01 and $0.05. Once you know the POS Software name and version number, email your ISO Support rep to find out if a surcharge will apply to this merchant.
6. Lastly, most POS Providers have a referral or even direct sales relationship with a processor, so when you switch someone and separate the POS Software services from the processing services, you are taking profit away from the POS Software company. They are usually not too happy about this, so be prepared for some push back. Unfortunately, they are the only ones that can complete the switch for you, so you need their help. Enlist the business owner by explaining that the POS Provider probably has their own processing service that is highly marked up and tell them you will need their help in pressuring the POS Provider to do the switch as quickly as possible.
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