POS systems and universal law

July 29, 2015

Don't self-exile yourself from our industry by ignoring mainstream trends. 

Paradise Lost by John Milton is arguably one of the greatest poems ever written. It essentially tells the story of Satan’s banishment from the garden of Eden. In the poem, one of the most interesting verses is: “Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss.” These lines describe how the devil felt when he finally realized what he had lost. The feeling described can also hold true for a retailer that fails to invest in new point of sale systems. You don’t want to look back, see all the potential sales you could have had and mourn what could have been. That is why it is so important to continually invest in your business, so you don’t feel like the devil after being kicked out heaven. Accordingly, here are 4 things you should do so that you never feel like Milton’s Lucifer:

“Mobile payment apps like Apple Pay are gaining popularity with consumers.”

1. Heed the advice of experts and consultants
Countless experts and industry analysts have explained that mobile payment apps like Apple Pay are gaining popularity with consumers. People like the added security and convenience that contactless payments offer and they will be making more purchases with their mobile devices in coming years. Resistance is futile. Satan refused to accept divine law and look what happened to him. Mobile payment apps aren’t going away anytime soon. Instead of putting off investing in new point of sale systems, you should just get it done. In order to accept mobile payments, you need sales terminals that have near-field communications technology. NFC World pointed out that almost one in five U.S. consumers have used a mobile device to either make an in-store or online purchase in 2015. That number will only increase over time, so you should take be ready to accommodate for that change. Accepting mobile payments will bolster your bottom line – that is what the experts say. Don’t ignore them.

2. Don’t tempt your consumers with false promises
It is likely that as part of your marketing strategy, you have said you care about your customers, you offer them speedy and convenient services, possibly even that you are cutting-edge. If you have said those things, then you should hold true to your word. Satan lied to Adam and Eve and that relationship was ruined. You don’t want to do the same thing to your customers. Make good on your promises and offer them what they want: the ability to pay with any option they choose, whether it be cash, credit or mobile. Also, the newest point of sale systems allow you to integrate loyalty cards, rewards points and other perks for your preferred customers. If you care about the people that allow your business to grow, then make use of everything our digital age has to offer.

Don't ignore universal law and accept change in the payments industry. The right POS system can take you to heaven.

3. Don’t celebrate your mistakes, humbly learn from them
After Satan was banished from heaven, he built a city of the damned and devised his revenge. If you have already missed out on opportunities because your point of sale systems have not been upgraded, humbly learn from your mistake. Here, it is important to recount the experience of a group of popular retailers known as the Merchant Customer Exchange. The MCX includes companies like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, 7-Eleven, Kohl’s, Old Navy, CVS, Gap, Kmart, Target, Rite Aid and Bed Bath & Beyond. Some of these retailers opted to stop accepting payment from apps like Apple Pay and instead build their own mobile payment technology. Industry experts were quick to point out that this is a failing strategy based solely on avoiding paying fees to banks and some member retailers have already begun switching your positions. MediaPost pointed out that earlier this year, the CEO of the MCX resigned and Best Buy announced that it would accept Apple Pay and break from the consortium’s terms.

4. Accept change and embrace the inevitable
In the garden of Eden, Satan was not happy when Adam and Eve came on the scene. He did not accept change and wanted to resist their inclusion in his world. Similarly, some retailers do not like that the payments industry is changing. EMV cards are coming to the U.S. soon, mobile payment apps like Apple Pay will continue to account for a larger number of purchases and e-commerce catalogs will compete with brick-and-mortar stores. That is just the way things are. It would be better to adapt to the new environment than fight it and risk self-exile from the industry.

In Paradise Lost, Satan is portrayed as a tragic hero of sorts, being the victim of his own hubris most of all. Perhaps what the poem did for the world of classic literature is introduce the idea that even those who err are not fundamentally bad. Along those lines, retailers that feel compelled to stick with their outdated magnetic stripe readers and ignore larger trends in the payments industry are not being malicious. However, they are placing too much faith in the past. As previously mentioned, sophisticated point of sale systems are now part of our world. It is advisable to accept that as universal law.

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