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Retail News

The Rapid Growth of the Convenience Store Industry Continues

rapid growth of convenience store industry

No matter where you live or work, there’s a good chance you have a convenience store somewhere nearby. For many people, they need only to walk down to the corner to take advantage of all their local c-store has to offer. When you’re on a road trip, c-stores dot the highway, providing the perfect pit stop for travelers who need to refill their gas tanks and buy something to eat or drink.

If you own or operate a convenience store, then you’ve probably noted the rapid growth of c-stores over the past several years. This growth means more opportunity for entrepreneurs but also means fiercer competition for existing businesses. Now that we’re into 2019, let’s take a moment to review how the industry grew over the last year and what sorts of challenges and trends will shape the industry this year and in the future. Then, we’ll take a moment to look at how c-stores can overcome these challenges and continue to succeed.

2018: Another Year of Marked Growth

Since the first U.S. convenience store opened in Texas in 1927, Americans and other consumers all over the world have discovered the value of c-stores. No matter how much the world changes, people need a place where they can buy staple products and even food without having to make multiple stops or take the time and energy to walk around a huge big box store.

The convenience store industry is not just surviving — it’s thriving. The main piece of convenience store news from 2018 is that there are now well over 150,000 convenience stores in the U.S. — more than ever before. In an era where consumers highly prioritize convenience, c-stores are there to deliver it. Convenience stores account for over a third of all outlets in the U.S.

The trend of growth in the convenience store industry has continued steadily for many years. In 2018, a record total of 57,301 c-store businesses generated $29 billion in revenue. Individual states have noted convenience store growth, as well. For example, New Jersey, one of the smallest states in the U.S., is now home to 3,229 convenience stores. That’s a 20 percent increase from the number of c-stores in the Garden State just 10 years ago.

Halfway through 2018, c-store sales were up from the previous year, and a record 86 percent of convenience retailers surveyed by National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) said they were optimistic about their business prospects going into the third quarter. The year continued to deliver positive results for c-stores, and many are looking forward to continued growth and new opportunities in 2019.

Reasons for Growth

reasons for growth

Even in an age where big box stores seem to dominate, convenience stores continue to compete because they offer some unique advantages that big box stores simply can’t replicate. 

It’s no secret that people today greatly value convenience, and this is what convenience stores are designed to deliver — the name says it all. In one relatively small, easy-to-navigate store, probably close by your home or workplace, you can quickly check off your shopping list for household items, grab a cup of coffee or a sandwich, purchase your favorite lottery tickets and, in many c-stores, refill the gas tank on your car. With such diverse offerings in one convenient location, it’s no wonder that c-stores continue to draw customers.

It’s easy to see why convenience stores are popular, but why do they continue to pop up in more and more locations across the country? After all, c-stores have always offered consumers a uniquely convenient shopping experience.

The steady growth of c-stores in recent years may be due in part to a rise in the average American’s disposable income. Disposable income in the U.S. hit an all-time high toward the end of 2018. Generally speaking, the more disposable income people have, the more they are willing to pay a bit extra for products at their local convenience store as opposed to a big box store down the street.

The growth can also be attributed to the way many convenience stores have adapted to an ever-evolving market. This industry has certainly experienced some changes, some of which may present challenges to c-store owners. But successful convenience stores are turning these challenges into opportunities and are continuing to succeed and even multiply their locations.

New Challenges in the Industry

So, what are these new challenges facing the industry today? The good news is that there aren’t necessarily problems taking a toll on the industry. However, there are new trends that may present obstacles to c-stores that fail to adapt. Let’s take a look at four major convenience store trends to be aware of in 2019.

new challenges in the industry

1. Larger Chains Acquiring More Stores

The largest convenience retailers, particularly 7-Eleven Inc. and Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. which operates Circle-K stores in the U.S., have only gotten bigger this past year, acquiring hundreds of stores that were previously owned by smaller companies. As these major chains have grown in greater proportion compared to independently-owned stores and smaller chains, there are now 5 percent fewer independent companies in the market compared to 2017.

This trend may worry independent store owners, but the reality is that one-store operations still account for more than six out of every 10 convenience stores. With the right strategy, any independent convenience store can compete against bigger chain stores.

2. E-Commerce Creating New Checkout Expectations

Another major challenge facing c-stores today is that e-commerce has had a profound impact on the retail industry as a whole. Consumers have always appreciated an efficient shopping experience, but they are now more likely to compare their checkout experience at a store to their checkout experience online — one that doesn’t include lines and allows them to pay with new methods like mobile wallet apps.

As we’ll see, c-stores can embrace these new expectations and meet them through the use of modernized checkout technology and a continued commitment to efficiency. Finding ways to speed up checkout time will help you capitalize on the need for fast, convenient service that keeps people coming into your store.

3. A Decline in Smoking Limiting Tobacco Sales

Health trends are also creating some new challenges for c-stores. Cigarette sales have historically accounted for more than one-third of sales in the convenience store industry. As the number of smokers in the U.S. has steadily declined, however, c-stores can no longer depend on tobacco sales as they could in years past.

This trend is good for the overall health of Americans, but it nevertheless cuts into a mainstay of convenience store sales. While tobacco products aren’t going away any time soon and will continue to make up a substantial portion of many c-stores’ sales, stores should make sure they’re offering other products that bring people in and don’t rely too heavily on revenue from tobacco product sales.

4. Health-Consciousness Changing the Demand for Foods and Beverages

Another trend affecting c-stores is that people are becoming increasingly health-conscious. While many people will still be happy to purchase a large soda and a hot dog when they stop in your c-store, an increasing number of consumers may look for drinks and snacks that are lower in sugar, carbs, fat or calories or made with fresher ingredients.

Many c-stores have noticed this first-hand, and the numbers confirm it. Looking specifically at soft drinks as an example, while the soda industry is certainly alive and well, the majority of Americans today say they are actively avoiding drinking soda regularly.

This trend toward health-consciousness is possibly why 2018 saw a decline in the growth of in-store foodservice sales. Because of this trend, c-stores are overwhelmingly saying they’re focusing on expanding their offerings of fresh and healthy items, such as low-calorie teas, health bars, fresh produce, pre-prepared salads and nuts. When people want to refuel their car and themselves, they’ll be happy to see some guilt-free choices that will give them the healthy energy they need.

Keeping up With Trends in 2019 and Beyond

keeping up with trends

There is no doubt that the face of the convenience store industry is evolving, along with the rest of the retail world. As culture and the industry changes, new challenges will always be on the horizon, but convenience store owners can meet these challenges head-on and use them as opportunities to embrace new trends and better serve today’s consumers.

The key to success in an ever-changing marketplace is to adapt continuously and always look for ways to improve. Across the industry, people understand that convenience stores will continue to grow and thrive only if they embrace change.

So, what sort of changes need to take place? They can be boiled down into three primary areas. First, convenience stores in 2019 must focus more on encouraging customer loyalty. Second, they must look for ways to tailor their product offerings to match current trends in what their customers want. Finally, they must embrace the latest technology to make their operations more organized and checkouts more convenient. Let’s take a closer look at all three of these areas.

1. Encourage Customer Loyalty

To successfully compete with other stores, c-stores need to focus not just on acquiring but also on keeping their customers. Customer loyalty programs are an excellent way to encourage consumers to shop more, or even exclusively, at your store rather than other stores in town.

According to a 2018 C-Store Shopper Profile report, 73 percent of shoppers who are a loyalty member at a particular c-store business will shop there more frequently or even exclusively. Loyalty shoppers won’t just frequent your business more. They may also spend more when they come in. Two out of every five loyalty shoppers spend over $10 when they come in. 

To successfully implement a loyalty program, the program should be automated so cashiers don’t have to punch cards or figure out complicated rewards systems. When people can simply scan a card or log into an account and track their rewards, they’ll be more likely to take advantage of the loyalty program.

2. Tailor Your Product Offerings

Some products, like gum, beef jerky and bottled water, are staples of most convenience stores that don’t need to go anywhere in 2019. However, with the average convenience store carrying thousands of products, there is plenty of room to critically consider whether some products should be eliminated and others added. As we’ve seen, adding healthier and fresher food and beverage options is one smart strategy for c-stores this year.

In addition to stocking nutritious options, c-stores who want to effectively tailor their product offerings to consumers in their neighborhood should take advantage of inventory tracking analytics. This software can make it much easier to accurately track the inventory your store currently has in stock and what needs to be reordered. It can also show you which products aren’t selling well and which ones are selling like hotcakes, so you can determine how to optimize your product offerings.

3. Embrace New Technology

Inventory tracking software is just one example of the type of technology c-stores should consider embracing this year. The best way to take advantage of current technology and deliver a modernized checkout experience to customers is by investing in a point of sale (POS) system. These systems are a major improvement on old manual cash registers.

Modern POS systems are intuitive to use for both employees and customers. A smoother checkout experience meets customers’ needs for speed and convenience. Some POS systems can also support new methods of payment, including mobile wallet apps. Shoppers who frequently bemoan shopping in stores rather than online won’t shy away from your store when they know they can quickly and easily checkout at your store, gain loyalty rewards and pay with their method of choice, all in a way that takes advantage of current technology.

Make 2019 a Successful Year With the POS+

pos success

The convenience store industry has enjoyed great successes in recent years. The industry can continue to grow and succeed this year and in future years, as long as retailers stay on top of trends and deliver a shopping experience that meets consumers’ evolving needs.

A modern POS system can give you a huge advantage when it comes to tracking your sales, managing your inventory and checking out customers. The POS+ from National Retail Solutions (NRS) is an all-in-one system that integrates high-quality hardware and cutting-edge software. NRS is committed to keeping our software current, so we will automatically update your system periodically.

One thing that sets our POS system apart is that it’s compatible with our nationwide customer rewards program, BR Club. This system makes it easy to encourage loyalty among your customers so they continue to frequent your store.

When you partner with NRS, you can expect an unmatched level of support and service. We are especially focused on helping small businesses successfully compete with larger stores and chains. If you’re interested in making 2019 the year you embrace new technology, learn more about the POS+ all-in-one system from NRS. No matter what challenges come your way, your c-store can take on the future with confidence. Contact us today for a free quote.

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Payment Processing

How to Integrate Payment Processing With Your POS System

pos with payment processing

When looking for point-of-sale (POS) technology, you might consider getting a POS system or credit card reader. You might already have one or both of these technologies. However, to get the most out of your POS and card reader, they need to have compatible hardware, software and features.

When your POS and card reader are working together efficiently, it enables you to streamline your ability to take payments, which means you can take payments faster and give your customers a better overall experience. It is well worth the time and effort to find the best POS system with credit card processing for your business.

This guide will explain how to choose a POS and card processor that suit each other.

How Do I Integrate a Payment Processor With My POS System?

If you’re like many business owners, you may not have given a second thought to how your POS system and card reader work together. If this is the case, however, you may be missing a great opportunity. It is not difficult to integrate POS with payment processing, and it can pay tremendous dividends when you do.

Adding a card reader or POS system to your business can increase your profits and efficiency. When you combine these technologies in your workflow, you can improve your results even more. To ensure your company operates at peak efficiency, you need to find compatible hardware and software that let you take advantage of every feature available to you. Follow the tips below to make the process simple.

payment processor

1. Choose a POS System

There’s no Point of Sale credit card processing without a POS system. Think of your POS system as the brain of your payment processing, taking inputs placed in the credit card reader and interpreting them as financial transactions for your business.

Your POS system will act as the foundation of your customer checkout experience. It processes sales, records transactions and manages other critical parts of your business. You can use a POS for additional functions like tracking employee shifts and monitoring your inventory.

Since a POS system records sales as they happen, you need your equipment and software to recognize your card reader. If you don’t have a POS system yet, you can use this opportunity to create a setup from the beginning.

Business owners who have an existing POS system can consult their POS company for information about compatibility. The company may offer its own reader and processing service or have a suggestion.

2. Pick a Payment Processing Service

A payment processor, also known as a credit card processing company, handles the relationships and steps needed for credit card processing. Many of these providers offer card readers that work with their services. In some cases, you can also buy your own card machine. If you use a different company for payment processing than the one that provides your POS, you need to do careful research. Remember to check that all the hardware and software involved in both services work with each other.

If you decide to use the same provider for your POS and card processor, you can leave it to the company to handle updates and compatibility. However, that also means you need to choose a provider that offers excellent customer support and frequent software updates.

If you work with multiple vendors, you have probably thought about how much easier things could be if you had a single vendor to deal with. For instance, it’s better to work with one company that delivers your produce than to make separate deals with both the grower and the delivery company.

Integrating POS with payment processing is a similar idea. If your POS provider and payment processor are the same, there is only one point of contact, which makes communication much easier. In addition, you can be sure that all hardware and software will be compatible.

3. Research Security, Customer Service and Extra Features

When considering POS and card reader providers, the experience they offer matters as much as their services and products. So many financial processes now happen through the internet, making us more vulnerable to fraud. Make sure your providers have security features like anti-fraud services and breach protection. You may also want to look into any costs for customer service and its availability.

What Benefits Come With POS-Linked Credit Card Processing?

Using an all-in-one POS solution and credit card reader together lets you take advantage of powerful business features. These technologies help you manage all aspects of your store and help you grow your profits. A comprehensive POS linked with a card reader provides the benefits listed below and more.

Faster Checkout Times

Your POS and card reader will save you time handling payments at checkout. You can use the POS to scan and enter item prices with unparalleled accuracy and add discounts within seconds. The POS calculates theses transactions and sends the information to your card reader.

pos card reader

This not only allows you to complete more sales in a much shorter amount of time, but it also means less wait time for your customers, which is something they will definitely appreciate.

POS tools such as a scanner and integrated scale let you ring up items in an instant. With a robust payment processing machine, your customer can use a variety of payment types for their purchase. Once you finish the sale, your POS system will keep the information in its records.

Accurate Record Keeping

How much time do you currently spend trying to make sure the day’s or week’s credit card transactions are all in order and accounted for? You may be surprised what a difference a quality integrated POS system and card reader can make in this regard.

The combination of a card reader and POS system can save you hours on bookkeeping and profit analysis. Your POS makes an immediate record of every credit card transaction at checkout. It also keeps track of check, cash and mobile payments so you can see all the money that goes into your store.

An all-in-one POS solution includes comprehensive store statistics that show your profits and performance. These statistics use your sale records to calculate what types of items your customers buy and where you make the most money.

Increased Security

Even if it’s not already happening in your business, you have probably noticed that most companies with card readers have readers that are enabled for chip cards. There is a good reason for this.

Modern card readers use EMV technology to protect you and your customers’ financial information. EMV reads the chips in the newest payment cards instead of a magnetic strip, adding extra layers of security.

When it comes to digital financial transactions in the modern era, reliable security is critical. Today’s criminals are highly sophisticated and will stop at nothing to procure people’s private financial information. An EMV reader that takes chip cards can go a long way towards protecting your customers.

Your POS system will also secure your information with employee logins and accurate records. The reports generated by a POS system can give you the necessary information to track possible theft or fraud. When you choose services that follow industry-best security procedures, you benefit from an even higher level of security.

secure information

Market Leadership

Adding a POS system and payment processor to your business gives you the features needed to become a leader in your local market. Major chain stores use these technologies to make business efficient, and you can give your customers a similar experience. A card reader that accepts multiple payment forms helps you increase your number of customers by giving them more options at checkout. With so many customers relying on cards as their primary payment method, you open up your store to more people than ever before.

POS+ Is a POS System With Credit Card Processing

At National Retail Solutions, Inc., we understand that small businesses like yours need a straightforward solution to sales management. You need resources that get the job done and make sense. We created the POS+ system and started our payment processing services to meet these standards. POS+, the all-in-one POS solution, includes all the software and hardware needed to process sales and grow your business. You can also add a credit card reader and processing services at an affordable rate.

You’ll find all the benefits that come with an integrated POS system and payment processing solution mentioned above, including a free EMV card reader. Our system is the World’s Greatest POS System, and we will do everything in our power to make sure your payment card processing experience is a smooth and efficient one. We have successfully worked with a wide range of businesses and we have an appealing loyalty program to bring you even more benefits.

Let us handle the complicated aspects of payment processing so you can build business strategies that increase profits. Get in touch with our sales team today to learn more about POS+ or request a quote.

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Payment Processing

Integrating the Right Card Reader Based on Your Business Needs

integrate credit card reader

Integrating a credit card processor with your point-of-sale (POS) system lets you expand your customer base to anyone who uses cards. Every credit card reader provider has different equipment and plans with unique strengths. With so many options on the market, you have endless possibilities for a reader that suits your business strategy. This guide will help you consider the factors involved in choosing a card processing company and reader.

What Credit Card Reader Options Do I Have?

You have multiple types of credit card reader equipment to consider, as well as payment technologies. Manufacturers offer two primary categories of card processing equipment:

  • Card processing machines: Card processing machines work with a point-of-sale (POS) system to accept a variety of payments. Many models have a small screen and PIN pad that lets the customer input their payment information.
  • Mobile credit card readers: A mobile credit card reader attaches to a tablet or phone to process card payments. These devices plug into a headphone jack or connect through Bluetooth technology to work with an app.

These readers can accept a combination of three types of payments:

  • Magnetic stripe: Card processors that read magnetic stripes can take cards that you swipe for payment. Many readers still take cards with magnetic stripes, but new cards also include an EMV chip.
  • EMV: Many modern stores use a card reader that takes EMV chips because of liability. If a security issue happens to an EMV chip card when you don’t have an EMV reader, you could become responsible. We recommend prioritizing this payment technology to keep your business and customers safe.
  • Tap pay: Mobile payment apps like Google Pay and Apple Pay use NFC or contactless technology to interact with a card reader. A processor that takes mobile payments must also work with NFC.

A card processing machine that uses all three types of payment technology will give you the most power and versatility. It takes the most payment types and uses dedicated hardware to process your payments.

Which Factors Should I Consider When Browsing My Options?

When choosing a credit card payment reader and processing company, multiple factors should guide your decision:

  • Costs and fees: Your processing company can charge you many types of fees for using their service. You may have to pay per transaction or monthly statement. The company can also ask you to pay for the initial setup or early contract cancellation. Whether you buy your equipment from the company or get it on your own, you also have to consider its price.
  • Accepted payment forms: In addition to accepting certain payment technologies, a company will also accept specific payment types. For example, a provider might have equipment that uses EMV (technology) but accepts select credit cards (types). A service that takes a wide variety of payment types will open your business to many customers.
  • Contract requirements: When you work with a credit card processing company, they will set a contract period. The period will depend on the company and its policies, but some providers offer bonuses for signing the contract. Reading all documents before you sign or agree to anything ensures you know the terms you need to follow.

You can use the internet to compare these traits among each provider you research. The importance of one factor over another will depend on your business’ needs.

What Features Should I Look for When I Want to Integrate a Credit Card Processor?

The features that benefit you the most out of your potential choices will also vary based on your needs. We consider these aspects of credit card reader services and equipment necessary for business:

  • Security: The ideal provider will prioritize you and your customers’ financial safety. As we mentioned earlier, EMV technology can help you prevent fraud and security breaches. You can also look into their fraud resolution services and how they help their customers when something happens. A provider that works with your industry will also know common risks in businesses like yours.
  • POS compatibility: If you already have a POS system or plan to get one, you may want to check that a card reader works with it. Some POS solutions include a free card reader and processing services for your convenience. These services make all their equipment compatible with each other. Having compatible hardware and software across your system ensures you have fast, seamless service.
  • Customer service: Your card reader company’s customer support will help you understand your service and solve any problems that occur. When you look into reviews of a company, look for information on their customer service. A reliable customer support department can improve the quality of your experience with your reader and processing.

The experience offered by a credit card processor matters as much as the process itself. Keeping all aspects of service in mind when searching for a provider will help you make a confident decision.

How Do I Choose the Right Credit Card Reader for My Business?

You and your business will have unique requirements for the perfect credit card processor. To figure out the features that will make a service better suited to your business, ask yourself questions like:

  • What kind of payments do my customers like to use?
  • How much can I afford to pay for a processing service every month?
  • Will certain features outweigh specific drawbacks?
  • How much help will I need with setup and other technical factors?
  • Can I make a long-term commitment with a single provider?

If you have an assistant or business partner who makes important decisions for your company, remember to keep them involved. They may have ideas you didn’t think of before.

POS+ With Credit Card Reader: Process All Major Credit Card Transactions

Looking for an all-in-one business solution? Our POS system has all the features a small business needs and the option to add a card reader. When you sign a three-year processing contract, we can offer a free credit card reader with seamless integration with the rest of the POS. Learn more about POS+ and NRS credit card processing today by contacting our sales team.

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POS System

Cash Register vs. POS System: Why You Need to Upgrade

cash register vs pos

Did you find this page while looking for a cash register online? A cash register provides a simple option for sales management, but you can also choose a point-of-sale (POS) system. In fact, you might have a POS system in mind without realizing it. Many people confuse the two devices when they each have different strengths.

This guide will explain the differences between a cash register and POS system and explore which will benefit your business.

About Traditional Cash Registers

The traditional cash register has over 100 years of use in American stores. We now use electronic models, but they achieve the same goals as the original version — storing money and calculating sales. Electronic cash registers can get their power from a battery or electrical outlet. Their simple functions and ease of use make them a popular choice for small businesses. However, cash registers make up a single part of the point of sale in your store.

What Does an All-in-One POS System Include?

A point-of-sale (POS) system manages all aspects of your customer checkout experience and tracks important business metrics such as daily sales statistics and inventory. It includes the hardware and software you need to run your checkout counter. POS systems can include a cash register as part of their hardware, but they have more functions than a cash register alone.

They can also have hardware such as:

  • Customer display screens
  • Touchscreens
  • Barcode scanners
  • Built-in scales
  • Receipt printers
  • Credit card processing machine

Your POS system may include some or all of these pieces of equipment. In addition to hardware, a POS system includes software that can:

  • Processes transactions
  • Records sales
  • Manages inventory levels
  • Track customer and vendor relationships
  • Log employee shifts

Just like with POS system hardware, POS system software can have various features, so your software may include some or all of these features. It can also have additional functions not mentioned here.

When you look for a POS system, you can benefit most from an all-in-one POS system. An all-in-one POS like POS+ from National Retail Solutions, Inc., includes all the hardware and software you need to manage sales. POS systems that don’t have all the required components require you to buy more parts, resulting in a higher cost and technical issues.

Cost of Cash Registers vs. POS Systems

While cash registers have a lower upfront cost than POS systems, there are substantial other costs to your business when you use a basic cash register as opposed to a modern POS system. A POS system will make your business more efficient and will make you more money long term. Since a POS system makes the checkout experience faster, your cashiers can checkout more customers per hour, and you will have more time to focus on managing your business. The POS also makes it easier for you to analyze your business’ performance and make smart business decisions. When deciding between a POS system and cash register, consider the long-term net profit in addition to the upfront price.

If you decide to get a point-of-sale system, you could also have the choice to pay in installments. Some POS companies offer this option to help smaller businesses start with their product. They may also have a base package that you can buy and add accessories to as you earn more money.

Keeping Records With a Cash Register vs. a POS

When you get a standalone cash register, you need to find a way to keep track of your sales. Cash registers cannot keep a sales record for you, so you have to create your own system. You can try keeping receipts from every sale and doing your bookkeeping by hand. If you understand how to use computer spreadsheets or bookkeeping software, you can enter your sales into one of these programs. However, all these options take time and put you at risk of making mistakes.

An all-in-one POS has a built-in system that keeps track of your sales. When you choose a high-quality system, you can also benefit from statistics and analytics that show your sales performance. In addition to tracking profits, you can use a POS system to manage many of the important records involved in running a business.

Marketing Tools From a Cash Register vs. POS Marketing Resources

All-in-one POS systems come with helpful marketing features that you can’t find in a cash register. Most standalone cash registers come without marketing tools that help your business grow. You must create marketing techniques from the start without the extra support that comes with built-in resources.

A comprehensive POS can include loyalty programs, gift card acceptance and customer relationship management. Some POS systems also enable you to advertise on a customer-facing screen.

Growth Opportunities Available With Cash Registers and POS Systems

A cash register serves as an important part of growing your business, but upgrading to a POS gives you more capabilities. When you choose an all-in-one POS system, you get the ability to:

  • Build relationships with your customers
  • Manage your employees and keep track of shifts
  • Start a loyalty program to encourage people to buy
  • Create in-store discounts that help you get items off the shelves
  • Record your purchases from vendors
  • Analyze your business’ performance to improve your growth

Your comprehensive POS system handles some of the complicated aspects of doing business so you can focus on growth initiatives. It streamlines your business practices to give you a more professional appearance and saves you time.

Upgrade Your Cash Register Today With POS+

To get the most out of upgrading from a cash register to a POS, you need to choose a system that fits your business. At National Retail Solutions, Inc., we pride ourselves on offering an all-in-one POS for small businesses. POS+ has an affordable price and powerful features that help community businesses like yours succeed in a competitive market.

Our POS+ system includes everything you need to grow your company, including a cash register that works with our POS software. We offer payment plan options and additional equipment to accommodate a wide range of customers. You can contact our sales team today to learn more about your options.

Categories
Payment Processing

What Are Merchant Services?

what are merchant services
 

If you have a small business, you may have heard of merchant services. There is a good chance you are using them already. If not, you probably should be, and NRS Pay can make it easy. Here’s what you need to know about merchant services for small businesses and why they can be so important for you.

Merchant Services Explained

Thanks to the convenience of payment cards, many customers prefer to use them over cash. The truth is, as our society becomes more and more digital, the importance and prevalence of cash is decreasing dramatically. If we’re not there already, we will soon get to the point where small businesses cannot afford to decline payment cards and only take cash.

 As a small-business owner, you can increase your profits by expanding the payment types you accept. Merchant services empower you to give your customers the payment options they want. Learn more about merchant services and how they help small businesses grow.
 
customer payment options

What Is a Merchant Service Provider?

Businesses use merchant services for the handling of electronic payment transactions. A merchant service provider takes care of the software, hardware, services and partnerships needed to process these transactions. You can find many of these providers available for businesses. They each have a different approach to services that suit specific companies. When you look for a merchant service provider, you have multiple factors to consider. Every service has its own fees, financial relationships and accepted payment types.

Who Are the Parties Involved in Merchant Services?

Merchant service providers manage the parties that take part in card processing. These people and institutions include:

  • The cardholder – The customer who presents you with a debit card, EBT or credit card in order to make a purchase.
  • Your business – You, the company making the sale of a product or service.
  • The bank your business uses  – Where the money from a purchase ends up.
  • The cardholder’s bank – Where the money from a purchase may be coming from.
  • Card associations like Visa and Mastercard – And other credit card companies that you may wish to accept payment from.

To learn more about the parties involved in merchant services, read our guide to credit card processing.

What Card Payments Can I Accept if I Use Merchant Services?

Various merchant service providers give you their own selections of payment methods you can accept. An ideal provider lets you accept the full range of payment options, including:

  • All major debit and credit card payments, including American Express and Visa
  • Mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Android Pay
  • Payment support such as EBT and eWIC

Notice that some providers let you take payment methods besides cards. When you take mobile payments and EBT, your business appeals to customers from different backgrounds, including tech-savvy and low-income customers. This means that with the right payment processing system, you have the potential to dramatically expand your customer base without making any changes at all to your product or service.
 
expand your customer base

The NRS Pay POS payment processing system takes all major credit cards and forms of payment, including MasterCard, Discover, Visa, American Express, EBT, Apple Pay, Google Pay and more!

Do I Need to Get a Credit Card Reader?

To accept alternatives to cash, you need a card reader like an EMV machine. A secure card machine uses the latest forms of payment processing, including cards with chips and mobile payments. Many providers bundle a reader with their service agreement, but pay attention to their descriptions. Merchant service providers like National Retail Solutions, Inc. offer the latest technology at an affordable price. In fact, if you act now, we will send you an EMV card reader for free!

How Do Merchant Services Help Small Businesses?

When you work with a merchant service provider, they take care of the details surrounding credit card processing. For a small fee based on what you earn, you can spend more time growing your business. Partnering with a provider that understands small businesses saves you time and effort. A merchant service provider like National Retail Solutions, Inc. will support you as you aim for success.
 
merchant service provider

Imagine what it will be like to be able to take payment from a wide variety of sources without even having to think twice about it. You’ll never have to turn a customer away or force them to spend awkward moments fumbling for an alternative form of payment. Just let them swipe whatever major card they have and we’ll do the rest.

Count on National Retail Solutions, Inc., as Your Merchant Service Provider

When you buy POS+, the World’s Greatest POS System, you can add our merchant services from NRS Pay at a low rate. You can accept all major payment forms mentioned in this guide for an affordable price. Discover our software and hardware for small businesses today by contacting our sales team.

Other unique services NRS Pay take pride in helping merchants with:

When you buy POS+, the World’s Greatest POS System, you can add our merchant services from NRS Pay at a low rate.

Our system can and has been used by a wide variety of types of stores that need the ability to take credit cards or other payment cards, including convenience stores, grocery stores, delis, liquor stores, smoke shops and vape stores, beauty salons, retail stores, and many more. If you’re not sure if our POS+ system is a good candidate for your business, please get in touch and we’ll let you know. Odds are very good we’ll be a perfect fit!

Don’t lose valuable business just because you can’t take a particular payment card. If you’re not using an efficient POS payment processing system for your business, you can bet that your competitors are or soon will be. Stay competitive and streamline your business with NRS Pay.

You can accept all major payment forms mentioned in this guide for an affordable price. Discover our software and hardware for small businesses today by contacting our sales team. You can learn more about our Payment Processing and contact us now for a free EMV card reader here.

Other unique services NRS Pay takes pride in helping merchants with:

  • Cash Discount Program — Offsetting the Card Brand Fees by having the cardholders help pay towards it.*
  • Live currency conversion Know-What-You-Pay in your currency — for tourists/credit cards from other countries.
  • Rapid Funding — Batch anytime at night and early morning until 6:00 AM and still get funded by 5:00 PM!*
  • Merchants can sell state-approved CBD based products with NRS Pay merchant services. (Excludes Marijuana or THC based products).
  • ~24/7 multilingual support.
  • Lower interchange pricing based on consulting merchants how to have the cards they charge downgrade less.

*Additional charges/contract may apply