PoS Issues in the Retail Space

Retailers know the importance of ensuring their PoS systems are in top-notch shape. These systems are their bread and butter; they enable retailers to accept payment, keep a pulse on sales, and perform other critical functions. But like any piece of technology, PoS systems are prone to their fair share of issues. In this blog, we’ve outlined the most common PoS-related challenges and how to overcome them.  

Common PoS Issues 

Retailers are often surprised by the long list of potential PoS problems they could face — but with a bit of prep work, can keep them at bay. Security breaches, improper installation, unintentional service agreement breaches, and a buggy interface are among the most common culprits that can cause a PoS system to act up.

Security Breaches

Most retailers understand the importance of keeping their customers’ payment information secure — a data breach is expensive and can damage a store’s reputation. However, some may not be aware that fraudulent charges resulting from security breaches can trigger their PoS provider to suspend their accounts.

To avoid account suspension, retailers should keep current with software updates, ensure each user has a unique ID, and encrypt their Wi-Fi networks. Beyond these basic measures, retailers would be wise to work with an IT managed services provider to put a more comprehensive security plan into motion.

Faulty PoS Installation  

At first glance, installing a PoS system may look like a relatively simple endeavor — especially if a retailer chooses an iPad-based system. But in practice, performing minor tasks incorrectly, such as networking cables or configuring software settings, can wreak havoc on a store. Unfortunately, such oversights rarely present themselves before a retailer begins to use its new system — and they can be expensive.

According to Richard Crone, head of Crone Consulting, approximately two-thirds of EMV readers are set up incorrectly at smaller retail stores. EMV readers are the computer chips used to authenticate and secure chip-card transactions — a more secure alternative to cards with magnetic stripes.

Sometimes, a PoS is set up to favor Visa and MasterCard payment networks over debit payment networks. In these cases, debit card transactions are routed through credit networks rather than debit networks, and retailers can be charged higher fees. Conversely, retailers typically pay lower transaction fees when debit transactions are completed over debit payment networks. An incorrectly installed PoS system can cost a retailer thousands of dollars each year — an unnecessary price to pay. 

Other risks related to poorly-installed PoS systems include Wi-Fi connectivity issues and incompatibility with existing devices. Partnering with a knowledgeable managed IT services provider enables retailers to start their PoS transformation off on the right foot and avoid the pitfalls of a faulty installation. 

Merchant Service Agreement Breaches

From time to time, retailers may unintentionally violate the terms of their merchant account agreements without realizing it. Unfortunately, such breaches come with considerable consequences, such as a terminated or frozen account. 

For instance, a PoS vendor may freeze a retailer’s account if it begins to sell items not typically associated with its industry or vertical. For example, a vendor may flag a retailer for suspicious activity if it begins to sell skincare products. Retailers may also accidentally violate the terms of their agreements by accidentally exceeding their monthly processing limit or processing too many chargebacks.

Retailers will want to steer clear of suspicious transactions if their PoS system operates on an aggregate merchant account. These accounts lack clear processing limits, which means a retailer can violate them without realizing it.

A Buggy PoS Interface

Retailers can typically spot a PoS bug immediately. When items don’t add up to a logical total or a negative tax amount appears on a receipt, a store likely has a bug on its hands.

Bugs can slow PoS systems down, cause them to freeze on command input, or result in a complete system crash. Ultimately, they lead to downtime, which causes retailers to endure considerable losses. Moreover, when transactions are erroneously completed, PoS systems produce inaccurate reports — leading to confusion and potential tax penalties.

Ensuring staff members check the PoS system’s data gathering abilities before each workday is good practice; retailers are then able to connect with IT support to clear up problems before they impact customers.

Keep Your PoS Running Smoothly

While PoS issues can occur for various reasons, retailers can take steps to avoid them and lessen their impact. Implementing best practices internally and working with an experienced IT professional can significantly reduce downtime and boost efficiency. 

Build a Solid Internal Foundation

While it’s essential for retailers to partner with an IT support partner that can fully manage their network, hardware, software, and devices — some internal work is still required. To limit PoS-related downtime and empower their staff, retailers could consider:

  • Training their staff to troubleshoot minor IT issues
  • Consolidating software solutions that enable staff to do more with fewer applications
  • Investing in comprehensive PoS training
  • Implementing remote access to enable IT providers to troubleshoot from afar

Partner with a Professional

A reliable IT managed services provider should promptly respond to service requests, identify their root causes, and rapidly resolve them. At Riverstrong, we pride ourselves on fixing issues in record time. We know PoS systems in and out and understand how they interact with retailers’ hardware and applications.

Rather than passively waiting for PoS failures to run their course, Riverstrong can help your store develop a disaster recovery plan to meet IT issues head-on. Our central priority is to keep your IT resources running smoothly, so you can carry out time-sensitive business functions. We ensure your hardware, software, connectivity systems, and security measures are always running at peak performance.

To learn more about how Riverstrong can transform your IT environment to make your store more efficient, agile, and secure, get in touch with us today


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