The ideal point of sale system for your small business:
After visiting yet another market and not being able to buy juice for my kids because I was not carrying cash, I decided to investigate alternative payment systems.
We did our research and contacted merchants in the industry looking at four options:
- Payment via an app like Snapscan, Zapper and Yoco
- Payment via a card machine (FNB, Capitec and Yoco)
- Cash Handeling fees (Yes, there are many ways to get past this one)
- Instant eft
Having had a business taking card payments we know the costs of a transaction plus the commission on the sale often makes buying a cool drink, a loss for the small business. I was also surprised when I reported to capitec that my clients who have debit cards get invoiced to me as credit cards, and their response was “We are not in the business of cards, we are in the business of POS machines”. So it can get even tougher/more expensive when cards are programmed wrong by the bank.
For business owners, there are two deciding scenarios that should come to mind when I say this. The one is: “Is this a loss of R2 or a much bigger loss, the loss of a future client?”. The second questions is: “Will this be a 'single' incident or is my markup on my products so small that I will go under if I do make use of a card machine and thus , do I have to consider alternative options?”.
During our case studies we targeted the following businesses:
- Shopping mall based restaurants & shops
- Family entertainment venues
For those who had app payment options, we asked the following questions:
- How often do customers use an app to pay?
- How often do customers pay by card?
- How often do customers pay with cash?
- How often do customers pay via instant EFT?
The users we asked, what is their preferred method of payment
- Other (e.g WeChat wallet or instant eft)
We asked the POS providers for their cost analysis via social media and then via the provided email. Yoco, FNB and Capitec were the only ones who provided us with quotes. Zapper marketer said via email they were not interested at this time.
Now, before I get to the results I have to add I have been seeing a lot of Zapper adverts on my restaurant bills. Zapper is now incentivising users on their bill for their first payment, and yet I have chosen to pay by card every time. Why is this?
Our conclusion after evaluating 10 customers and 10 businesses:
From shop owners Western Cape, medium to high income group areas:
In malls: Cashiers hardly ever use the app, cards are most popular means of payment.
At markets: Customers will pay cash or via app if there is no other option e.g card machine
Family Entertainment venues: Customers pay by card, then cash, if no alternative card system they will pay by app.
The customers feedback was a unanimous- "We pay by Card!" And 8 out of the 10 also had a payment app on their phone installed or linked to their bank account.
Our conclusion and suggestions
So if you, as a shop owner, answered yes to the second question, your mark-ups are just too low- then please do consider providing an alternative payment option. Especially at markets. Consumers do not want to be walking around with a lot of cash on them. The are willing to bend knee and pay by an app.
To the market architect
Consider enforcing this rule that all stalls have to offer an alternative payment option, and you will have less customers leaving unsatisfied and empty handed.
To the app developers
How can you make this more simple and provide less barriers to entry for consumers? R25 incentives do not seem to make the cut?
I found it interesting that Yoco, who is marketing via one of our affiliates, offer both these options at a low entry price.
What makes Yoco unique?
"At Yoco all we do is focussed on helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
The sign up process is extremely quick and easy. Businesses simply visit our website and fill in a form which doesn't take longer than 10 minutes. As soon as they complete the form and pay for their card reader online, we deliver it to them within 4 days (or less!) at no extra cost.
You also don't have to be a registered business to sign up wth Yoco. You can sign up as a sole proprietor, and all that's required is a South African ID. In this way, we are trying to make card payments as accessible as possible to small businesses.
We do not simply provide a method to accept cards, but also an end to end payments solution for your business. This includes a free point of sale App and a free Business Portal.
Within the app you can process transactions, add items, invite staff members, see a full transaction history and process refunds.
In your Business Portal you’ll be able to see which items sold best, which staff member brought in the most money and compare your sales and performance over different periods. We believe this information can be invaluable to growing your business.
When a business signs up, they purchase the Yoco Wireless card reader at a once-off cost, which they then own. The card reader is valued at R 2600, but can be purchased for R 1999 (excl VAT).
Thereafter they only pay the transaction fee when they actually transact. The transaction fee is 3,5% (excl VAT) on credit cards and debit cards. There is a flat fee of R3.50 on credit card transactions below R100.
There are no monthly rental fees, set up costs, admin fees or other hidden costs.
The Yoco mobile app and business portal are both free."
Let me know what payment options you prefer in comments!!