What to look out for when choosing an EPOS supplier

Published: 09/12/2020

EPOS, or Electronic Point of Sale systems, can make day-to-day life as a small business owner that bit easier so it’s unsurprising they’re fast becoming one of the most popular tools on the market for retailers.

You’d be forgiven for believing an EPOS system is just a modern-day cash register, but they’re so much more than that, providing access to heaps more data and information which - if used effectively - could make your business more profitable, competitive, and ultimately more successful.

But with their increasing popularity comes an ever-growing number of providers to choose from, and this can make it tricky to know which direction to head in to get your hands on all these neat perks and benefits - and at takepayments we want to help.

So, here’s the ultimate guide to what business owners should be looking out for before stepping into the wonderful world of EPOS, but first…

The benefits of EPOS

Just in case you’re still on the fence about EPOS and questioning whether it’s right for your business, here’s our rundown of the major perks on offer.

  1. Speed up the payment process - saving you, your staff, and most importantly your customers valuable time. 
  2. Eliminate human error - integrated payments with EPOS protect your business from accidental (but naturally inevitable) human errors.
  3. Reduce the opportunity for staff theft - we won’t labour the point but it happens, and EPOS minimises the chance for foul-play.
  4. Save you time - whether it’s accounting, creating reports, cashing up, stock taking, staff scheduling, or heaps of other things - EPOS can help.
  5. Reduce reporting inaccuracies - kiss goodbye to manually tallying up your card reader and cash desk balances and wanting to cry when the numbers don’t add up - EPOS and integrated payments do it for you.
  6. They’re mega secure - enough said.

Sound good? That’s because it is, but only if you source your EPOS from a supplier who offers all the above in a system and more, so let’s move on to what you need to look out for when choosing your supplier.

What to look out for

Support

Your EPOS provider shouldn’t just be a bog-standard payment retailer but a partner to your business - someone who’ll help train you and your workforce on how to use the equipment, provide ongoing support and be on hand whenever you need them, and keep you up to speed with updates or improvements you need to be aware of to make the most out of it.

So, do your homework about prospective suppliers and ask the right questions:

  • Do you have local consultants?
  • Can I phone you for help?
  • What are your operating hours?
  • How will I find out about future updates?
  • And so on and so forth.

Also, remember that talk can be cheap but the proof is often in the pudding, so don’t take everything you hear or read on face value. 

A good way to get the reassurance you’re after is by checking existing customer reviews - a reputable supplier will have these proudly displayed on their website for all to see, if not a quick Google search should reveal whether a supplier’s all smoke and mirrors.

Replacements

Part and parcel of support is how your supplier deals with system breakdowns or malfunctions - no business can afford to be left high and dry if their payment system is kaput.

A decent EPOS provider should understand the consequences of being without your machine and will supply you with replacement equipment pronto - some as soon as the next working day.

Price

Every penny counts in business so naturally, you’ll want to get your EPOS system for the best price you can but always keep in mind the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’.

If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is and you might find yourself shelling out for unexpected costs to get the functionality you expected down the line.

For example, some EPOS providers offer a monthly price which includes any support, additional training, replacements, updates, and so on and others will expect you to fork out for them.

Do your homework and ask the questions - find out what bang you get for your buck - before signing on the dotted line.

The same discrepancies exist around fees for signing up with a supplier and leaving them - yep, some suppliers expect you to pay a fee for the privilege of giving them your custom (crazy, right?), so keep an eye out for this when comparing the market.

Packages

No two businesses are the same, and any supplier worth their salt will acknowledge this in their pricing and packages.

For example, a fledgling start-up wouldn’t and shouldn’t expect to pay the same for their payments as a well-established business turning over the big bucks every month.

Look for a supplier who offers tailored and personalised pricing packages to suit the individual needs of each and every business and you can be sure you’ll only be paying what you need to be. 

Add-ons

One of the major perks EPOS systems can offer is integrated payments - essentially whereby the EPOS machine communicates with your card reader to allow for smooth, streamlined, and error-free transactions.

So, when you’re looking at your options for EPOS rental remember you’ll need at least one card machine too - some suppliers charge an additional rental cost per card reader and others don’t.

System features

A supplier might offer a promising price, shed loads of support, and a compelling contract, but is their EPOS system actually any good?

To make sure you get your hands on an EPOS system that does everything you want and need it to, first you need to work out exactly what that means. Things that might be important to you include:

  • Inventory management
  • Staff scheduling
  • Real-time data
  • Customisable dashboards
  • Trend identification, etc.

Be sure the suppliers you look at can offer you a machine that ticks all your boxes both now and going forward.

Cloud-based EPOS systems, for example, allow you to connect to 100s of apps and add and remove features that are or are not useful to your specific needs - essentially future-proofing your business.

Security

Payment fraud is no secret so it’s important your supplier can demonstrate how the EPOS system they provide is packed full of the latest security features and meets all required standards. 

Not only that but some suppliers will go one step further and help you meet all security requirements - including PCI compliance, on your end too.

EPOS Now with takepayments

In the interest of objectivity and impartiality, we’ve made a point of not mentioning our EPOS system and what we do in this article, until now.

But while we’ve got you it seems only right we tell you about our top of the range EPOS system and how helping small businesses thrive is at the heart of everything we do.

EPOS Now

We’ve partnered with EPOS Now to offer their market-leading EPOS system which does all of the following:

  • Gives you access to real-time data 
  • Allows you to create custom dashboards
  • Let’s you look for trends and propel your business forward
  • Inventory management
  • Manage staff pay, rotas, and performance
  • See which products are selling well and which aren’t 
  • Collect customer data and build loyalty.

Not only that but it uses its own Cloud-based back-office system meaning you can log in from anywhere you have internet access, plus it integrates with 100s of apps including:

  • Bookings
  • Table service
  • Track and trace
  • Click and collect
  • And many, many more.

takepayments

At takepayments we:

  • Don’t charge sign up or exit fees
  • Offer card machine rental for free with all EPOS rentals
  • Have a team of dedicated local consultants up and down the country
  • Provide remote one-to-one training
  • Offer unlimited telephone support available whenever you need it (which you’ll never pay for)
  • Will have broken systems replaced within one working day
  • Offer tailored pricing packages to suit individual businesses starting from just £65 a month, and last but not least
  • Have a PCI compliance team who’ll help you get set up in no time.

To find out more chat to one of our friendly experts today!

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce

Copywriter

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