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By Korry D.
If you want to accept credit card payments in your restaurant, you need an integrated payments solution.
Integrated payments refers to credit card processing that’s tied directly to your point of sale (POS) system. Bringing these two systems together makes payment processing faster, easier, and a more seamless experience for everyone involved.
But while integrated payment systems have many benefits for your restaurant, it can be a big decision to make if you’ve never used one before or you’re used to a non-integrated payments solution.
To make the process a little less daunting, this article covers everything you need to know about integrated payments for your restaurant, including:
Let’s start by getting one important question out of the way: what are integrated payments?
Integrated payments refers to alignment between the systems and the platforms that facilitate payments in your business. In the case of restaurants, integrated payments means connecting your POS with your payment processor, so data can flow seamlessly from one platform to the other.
Integrated payment solutions eliminate the need to manually type each customer’s card information into your credit card readers because all the necessary information is already ready when you initiate the process using your payment terminals.
Integrated payments differ from non-integrated payments in the number of ways. The best way to illustrate these differences is to look at how the checkout process differs with each payment processing option.
If your POS has integrated payments, the checkout process looks like this:
In this case, your payment terminal speaks directly to your POS and information flows automatically from one platform to the other.
However, if you’re using a non-integrated payment solution, the checkout process would look like this:
From the above, you can see that a non-integrated payments solution means that your payment terminal does not speak to your POS. Instead, all this information has to be input manually, adding several steps to the checkout process.
And while non-integrated payments is generally the less expensive option to implement, the catch is that the process takes significantly longer, and it may open your business up to a higher risk of payment errors and fraud – something that may actually end up costing you more in the long run.
Another drawback of non-integrated payments is that you aren’t able to gather any valuable data about each transaction. When you record each non-integrated payment, the only information you’re collecting is that there was a sale and that a card was used to pay for it. This means you’re missing out on gathering valuable data about each of your individual customers (e.g. what that specific customer bought, how much they spent, what time of day they made their purchase, etc.) that you could later use for targeted marketing campaigns.
By now you’ve probably gathered that integrated payment solutions make the checkout process significantly more seamless and straightforward. But beyond pure simplicity, integrated payments also offer a number of other important benefits for your restaurant:
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of using integrated payments is that it saves time. Integrated payment systems talk directly to your POS, so there’s no need for manual entry. This significantly shortens the amount of time between when the transaction is entered in your POS and when the transaction is complete – saving both you and your customers valuable time.
Integrated payments also makes end of day reconciliation quick and easy, since there is no manual entry involved, and the totals and tender types are automatically reported in your POS system.
Not only do integrated payments speed up the checkout process, but they also support your staff’s ability to provide stellar customer service. An integrated payment processing solution essentially acts as a detailed customer database for your restaurant because it can track valuable information such as previous transaction history. In turn, you can use this information to improve your customer service with personalized promotions, suggestive selling, and even targeted marketing campaigns.
The information collected by your integrated payments platform is also valuable on a broader basis because it can help you keep an eye on important sales trends and adjust your strategy accordingly.
One of the biggest drawbacks of credit card processing is the impact it can have on your restaurant’s cash flow. Even when you receive a large number of payments, conventional payment systems can delay the transfer of funds to your restaurant merchant services account.
Integrated payments systems solve this issue by allowing you to process your payments as soon as they go through. This ultimately means faster deposits because payments are processed in real-time and there is less lag time due to manual data entry. In turn, these timely payments help to increase overall cash flow.
While some restaurants can get by with non-integrated payment systems, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to frequent data entry errors. Remember, your employees are human and if they’re entering dozens, if not hundreds, or transactions into your POS and payment terminals on a daily basis, they’re bound to make mistakes. And these mistakes could end up costing you more than you’re saving on payment processing in the first place.
Integrated payment solutions easily eliminate this risk of error because all of the customer and transaction information is synced automatically and accurately.
Related to the issue of data entry mistakes is instances of fraud.
What is credit card fraud in this context? Fraud occurs when personal data, like a customer’s account information, is accessed by fraudsters through data breaches.
Integrated payment systems reduce your risk of fraud because they provide you with the hardware, software, and services to accept payments safely and securely. For instance, most integrated payments systems offer value-added services like EMV, tokenization, and end-to-end encryption – all of which add additional layers of security to the payments process.
Now when you think about your current payment processing solution, what comes to mind?
A streamlined process? Rates that make sense? Support you can always reach?
If none of these pop into your head when you read “payment processing,” it may be time to think about a new integrated payments solution for your restaurant.
If you’re located in the U.S., TouchBistro Payments powered by Chase is that integrated solution.
A complete payments solution for restaurants in the U.S., Chase integrated payments offers a host of added benefits for your restaurant, including:
Not located in the U.S.? Learn more about integrated payment processing options for Canadian restaurants.
If Chase integrated payments sounds like the right fit for your restaurant, the first step is getting started with TouchBistro.
And luckily, getting started with a new POS and payment processing system doesn’t have to be a lengthy process – both the setup and training are easier than ever.
So what happens once you purchase a POS and integrated payment solution from TouchBistro?
Convenience, right from the start.
With TouchBistro, you receive your POS software, hardware, and integrated payments all from the same provider. This means you’ll get set up faster than having to do each step separately.
Begin setup and onboarding as soon as you get your equipment, so you can start accepting integrated payments right away. With a world-class Restaurant Success team behind you, your team will be up and running in no time.
But the help doesn’t stop there. Our restaurant merchant services support team is available 24/7 – at no extra cost – to help you when you need it most. We’re here to make sure your integrated payments system is running whenever your restaurant is.
A simple setup is just the start.
The TouchBistro POS and Payments solution is built to help your restaurant run smoother, your guests leave happier, and your pocket full of that hard-earned revenue. Here are just some of the benefits of using TouchBistro and Chase integrated payments:
Servers and counter staff don’t have to worry about double, triple, quadruple checking the amount they typed into credit card readers to make sure it matches the POS total.
They can take payments using a terminal that connects directly to your POS, which eliminates errors – and frustrations – that can happen with manual, double entry.
Your payment system is either one of the first things your customers interact with at your restaurant, or the last step of their dining experience. Make sure that transaction is seamless. It can help keep guests happy and – more importantly – coming back!
With TouchBistro Payments, you don’t have to worry about a customer trying to use a payment type you don’t accept. You can swipe, dip, or tap all payment types, including restaurant mobile payments such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Customers have a positive payment experience every time and with every payment type.
Even when the Internet goes down your payment integration will stay up and running so you can still accept credit card payments offline and keep your business moving.
You can also take the payment experience right to your guests with TouchBistro’s tableside features. Bringing orders and mobile credit card processing right to the table enhances your guest experience and saves time.
We get that every dollar counts with your restaurant – and you count every dollar.
That’s why TouchBistro Payments makes it easier for you to settle transactions, see what you’re paying in credit card fees, and keep more revenue from each sale.
At the end of the day (11 p.m. EST), you can automatically settle your transactions all in one batch. This isn’t just about convenience, but also about making sure you have access to your funds as soon as possible.
And when that monthly statement comes?
You’ll know exactly where your money is going because you’re getting easy-to-read statements with no hidden fees. Understanding your business costs just got simpler.
On top of that, you’ll be getting a cost plus pricing that offers the fairest, most transparent, and most competitive payment processor rates out there – no need to add a surcharge to recoup your costs. Benefit from great service and more revenue staying in your pocket.
With faster onboarding, world-class 24/7 customer support, and POS integrated payments, TouchBistro makes it easier to deliver a great customer experience every time.
If you’re located in the U.S., click here to learn more about TouchBistro Payments.
Outside of the U.S.? Learn more about our integrated payment processing partners here.
TouchBistro Payments powered by Chase is currently only available to U.S. customers.
As the former Senior Product Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, Korry helped restaurateurs navigate the complicated waters of payments by deeply understanding both restaurants and the payments market. He has a passion for hockey, beer, and hot wings, and loves when all three happen at once.
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