Categories
Uncategorized

EBT Unlimited

EBT Unlimited

 

Over 37 million people in the U.S. participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP benefits help people purchase groceries using an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card, which functions like a debit card. To accept SNAP payments, you need to have the right equipment where a customer can swipe their EBT card, and you need a cred card processing provider (MSP) that can process the EBT payment.

With National Retail Solutions (NRS), you can take part in our EBT Unlimited program, which can help you make the most of your ability to accept EBT payments.

What Is EBT Unlimited?

SNAP allows low-income families to purchase staple grocery items at no cost to them. The EBT card allows them to tap into their SNAP benefits and pay merchants for the groceries they purchase. To accept these payments, you need EBT credit card processing services.
EBT Unlimited is a type of payment processing that allows you to accept unlimited EBT payments from customers. Rather than paying individual transaction fees each time a customer uses an EBT card, you pay one flat monthly rate. This simplifies your payment processing and can save you money if your customers frequently use SNAP benefits to pay for their groceries.

EBT Unlimited vs. Traditional EBT Acceptance

Here’s how an EBT card works: The customer swipes the card in your card reader and enters a four-digit PIN. The cashier then uses the POS system to enter the amount the customer spent on SNAP-eligible food items, and this amount is deducted from the customer’s SNAP account. Your business will receive that money within two banking days. To facilitate the payment transfer into your bank, you’ll need a credit card processing provider.

Many credit card processing providers can process EBT payments along with debit and credit card transactions. From the merchant’s perspective, processing EBT payments will look much like processing a credit or debit card payment. One key difference from your MSP’s perspective is that, whereas credit card processing involves interchange fees, card association fees and more, the cost of EBT processing is more straightforward. Traditionally, your MSP will set a certain rate for processing EBT payments.

This means that each time a person uses an EBT card to pay, you’ll be charged a fee, which will come out of the payment you receive from the customer. If your customers frequently use EBT cards to pay for groceries, these fees can quickly add up and eat into your profits.
If you want to accept EBT payments and not worry about fees accumulating, you should consider opting for a monthly flat rate to cover EBT processing. You might think this model would involve a transaction limit, but not with NRS. Our EBT Unlimited program allows you to process a limitless number of EBT transactions. You’ll just pay once a month, and you’ll never experience any hidden fees or limits.

How Does EBT Unlimited Boost Your Profits?

Why should you use EBT Unlimited to process EBT payments? When you accept an unlimited number of EBT payments, you can boost your business’s profits. The consistency and low cost of EBT Unlimited make it advantageous for your business, and when you accept EBT, you can pull in more customers.

Here are some ways EBT Unlimited can boost your profits:

1. Benefit From Consistent Budgeting

One great benefit of a consistent monthly rate rather than per transaction fees is that it makes your costs more predictable. This allows you to budget more accurately, knowing ahead of time what your costs will be for future months. Any time you can simplify your budgeting, it’s a win. It can allow you to make more informed decisions for your business, so you can increase profits.

2. Keep Processing Costs Low

As long as you frequently have shoppers paying with an EBT card, you’ll see that a monthly fee rather than a fee for each transaction can save you a lot of money. Of course, this may not be the case if you’re paying a high monthly rate, which you may find with some MSPs. Luckily, EBT Unlimited has a low monthly rate and doesn’t involve any hidden fees, so you can maximize your profits.

3. Attract Shoppers With SNAP Benefits

If you don’t currently have a way to accept EBT payments, then you’re missing out on potential profits you could be getting from the millions of people carrying around EBT cards in their purses and wallets. With a program worth over $60 billion, you can sell more when you become more inclusive and invite shoppers to pay with an EBT card. When customers know they can use their EBT card at your store, they may become loyal returning customers.

Payment Processing Through NRS Pay

NRS Pay is National Retail Solution’s payment processing service. In addition to providing small businesses with top-of-the-line POS equipment, we are also a credit card processing provider. When you use NRS Pay, you can benefit from some of the cheapest credit card processing you’ll find for small businesses. Our rates are always straightforward, with no hidden requirements or fees. In addition to credit card and debit card processing, we can also process mobile wallet payments and — of course — EBT payments.

When you partner with NRS for payment processing, we’ll gift you with a free credit card reader, so you’ll be ready to start accepting EBT, mobile, credit and debit cards in no time. With NRS Pay, you won’t have to turn away customers because you don’t have the means to accept their form of payment, and you’ll see your store’s profits grow.

Get EBT Unlimited With NRS Pay

If you want to start accepting EBT payments, make sure you complete an application with the USDA to become a SNAP authorized retailer. Once you’re authorized to accept EBT payments, all you need is the right partner to process those transactions. Make NRS your credit card processing provider for all your payment processing needs, including EBT payments. With EBT Unlimited, your customers can get the groceries they need, and you can increase your store’s revenue, all with one simple monthly fee.

Learn more about EBT Unlimited and get started today!

Categories
Uncategorized

How to Support Local Retailers in 2020

How to Support Local Retailers in 2020

2020 has brought some unique challenges to small local retailers. To get through this time, retailers need the same thing they always need to succeed: the support of their local community. In this guide, we’ll discuss a few reasons why you should support local businesses and how to do it.

Five Reasons to Support Local Businesses

You might be wondering why supporting local businesses matters to begin with. When you support local stores, you can:

1. Stimulate Your Local Economy

One simple reason everyone should consider supporting local businesses in their area is because it stimulates the local economy. Would you rather walk down the street and see empty storefronts with For Rent or For Sale signs posted or a thriving network of local businesses? Great local businesses can draw people to live, work and visit in your town, which will continue to help your community thrive economically. This means more economic opportunity for everyone in your city or town.

2. Discover Unique Products

Big box retailers and chains can start to get old over time. Even as new products come in, you may feel that the choices are generic. When you want to discover something truly unique, local businesses are a great option. For instance, if you want to find an original piece of decor for your home, shopping at your local antique store or art gallery can feel like a treasure hunt.

3. Enjoy Personalized Customer Service

Who doesn’t appreciate great customer service? Some national and regional chains offer adequate customer service, but we’ve all experienced the frustration of being put on hold or passed around from one customer service rep to another without feeling truly heard. With a local business, you can enjoy a more personal and direct connection with the business and take up any concerns you run into with the business owner or manager directly. Local business owners are highly motivated to offer exceptional customer service.

4. Keep the Market Competitive

When you support small businesses, grocery, liquor and tobacco stores in your town and help them stay competitive, larger chains will have to maintain high standards to stay in business. Competition in a market is great for consumers, too. It means business owners are motivated to innovate, keep costs low, impress their customers and, ultimately, convince you to patronize their business instead of another one.

5. Support Local Entrepreneurs and Employees

Local retail stores are often run by entrepreneurs who are striving to provide for their families and achieve their American dream. When a local entrepreneur succeeds, it can inspire others to share their talents and open a business as well. Local businesses also create jobs for people in your community, even the ones that stay small. In 2015, firms with fewer than 20 employees added more jobs than any other small business size. To support local businesses is to support your local workers and entrepreneurs and help them succeed.

Five Practical Ways to Support Local Businesses</h2

Here are five ways you can help your local retailers:

1. Be a Loyal Customer

One of the best ways to help a local business is to become a regular customer. For example, if there’s a locally-owned grocery store that carries items you need for your favorite ethnic dish, then shop there regularly instead of at the chain down the street. It’s also a good idea to see if they have a loyalty program. Some small businesses will reward your loyal business just like the chains can, so you can enjoy special discounts.

2. Purchase Gift Cards

For some local retailers, the events of 2020 have meant they’ve had to close their doors temporarily. How can you support a business when you can’t take advantage of their services or buy their products? One great solution is to purchase gift cards. This will add to the business’s cash flow now and allow you to make purchases later. Even when businesses are open, purchasing gift cards for family or friends is a great way to support a local business and encourage others to become repeat customers.

3. Leave a Positive Review

In a 2019 survey, 36% of the respondents reported that they always read online reviews to determine the quality of a business. While many people rely on reviews to choose where they’ll shop or dine, too many people never think to leave a review to help others out. If you have a positive experience at a local store, leave a review online and help build their positive reputation.

4. Give Them a Shout Out on Social Media

If you’re enjoying browsing at a local tobacco shop with your friend, or you just got an amazing deal on avocados at your local grocery store, why not take a minute to give that local business a shout out on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or whatever social media platforms you use? Tag the business in your post, so your friends and followers can easily find their social media page.

5. Take Advantage of Delivery or Pickup Services

Many small, independent retailers that have had to close their storefronts due to health restrictions this year, have added features like curbside pickup and delivery services, so they can continue to serve their communities and keep their businesses running. Some stores integrate with a special shopping app that links to their checkout register, so that customers can easily order ahead. Taking advantage of these services can allow you to patronize your local businesses even if you are not able to or would rather not visit them in person due to health concerns.

Business Owners: How to Increase Local Business

Business owners can also do their part to get more local business this year. Here are a few of the ways you can help your business attract and keep customers:

  • Increase your online presence: Make sure people can find information about your business online. Even if you don’t have a website, you can use social media to share information about your business online and encourage people to shop small.
  • Run promotions: It’s no secret that consumers love getting a great deal. Some people may opt for big box stores or chains because they think they’ll get a better deal, but you can offer promotions that keep your pricing competitive and draw in new customers.
  • Reward customer loyalty: It’s also a great idea to create a loyalty program, so you can reward returning customers and keep them coming back. The POS+ from National Retail Solutions (NRS) automates this process for you and your customers.
  • Install a modern POS system: Installing a modern point-of-sale (POS) system can help you upgrade your business in a big way. This will help you gain valuable metrics to help you grow your business and modernize your checkout process for customers.
  • Take Your Local Business to the Next Level With NRS

    At National Retail Solutions, helping small businesses is central to our mission. One way we do that is with our POS+, an all-in-one POS system that can help you run your business and make checkout a breeze. Now more than ever, it’s critical that you have the tools you need to support your business. Learn more about our POS system for retail stores.

    Categories
    Uncategorized

    Your Store Needs a Secure POS System

    secure pos system

    Your Store Needs a Secure POS System

    You may have security measures like surveillance cameras, alarm systems and locked cash drawers in place to prevent break-ins and theft in your store, but have you considered whether your point-of-sale (POS) system is secure? Whether through a physical break-in or a virtual one, a thief may target your POS system for the sensitive data it holds. The most valuable data to criminals is your customers’ payment information. An insecure POS system can expose your customers to credit card theft and can cause irreparable damage to your company’s reputation.

    We’re going to look in more detail at why you need a POS system and how you can keep your customers’ data secure so your business can grow and thrive rather than being brought down by a data breach. If you’re looking for the most secure POS system out there, the POS+ from National Retail Solutions (NRS) is the way to go.

    Why You Need a Secure POS System for Your Store

    No business owner wants to mishandle their customers’ payment information, but even if you think you’re doing your due diligence, your POS system could be letting you down. Many POS systems today are vulnerable to malware that steals credit card data. ZDNet explains that much of the problem is due to companies using legacy systems with vulnerabilities that are difficult to patch. Malware is not obvious and can continue affecting your POS for a long time.

    Earl Enterprises, which includes restaurants such as Planet Hollywood and Earl of Sandwich, discovered malware that was compromising their payment card processing systems after the malware had been active for nearly 10 months. This incident affected around 100 restaurants and is just one example of a news-worthy POS security breach. The news tends to feature security breaches that affect larger businesses, but for every one of these instances, there are many others that target small businesses.

    Security breaches can hurt your company’s reputation and finances. This is why it is so critical to have a secure POS. This is not an aspect of your business where you want to cut corners. When you’re shopping for a POS, you may be more concerned about finding a model that offers the pricepoint or features you’re after. While there are many factors to consider when choosing a POS system, you want to make sure security is one of them. Find out how secure a POS system is before you buy it.

    pos system security

    What Makes Many POS Systems Vulnerable to a Security Breach

    When malware gets onto a POS system, it can access the system’s memory to collect data and send it to a remote server. Malware can make it onto POS systems in different ways, just as it can make it onto your personal laptop or phone —  through email attachments, malicious links and Trojan-horse apps, for example. Here are some of the ways many POS systems open themselves up to security breaches:

    • Windows: Many POS systems today run on Windows, meaning they are vulnerable to the same problems a standard Windows computer is. It isn’t that Windows is inherently insecure. The issue is in the fact that Windows is a choice target for hackers since it’s such a common system. This is one reason why you should look for a POS system that has its own operating system. If you have a POS that uses Windows, make sure you install antivirus.
    • Trojan-horse apps: Rather than a computer or a computer-like terminal, some stores use a tablet or even a mobile phone and simply download a POS app. These devices are also at risk if they have any other apps installed in addition to the POS app. Trojan-horse apps can masquerade as something harmless like a game but can actually have a malicious function, as well, or harvest sensitive data from your POS system.
    • Internet access: Another issue with POS systems that function like standard computers or tablets is that they allow employees to surf the web, check email or play games when they aren’t busy ringing up customers. Even if you have told employees not to use the POS system for anything except work-related activities, it only takes one employee opening a phishing email or clicking on a bad link to put your POS system and its data at risk.
    • Insecure networks: Yet another security risk is when your POS system is connected to WiFi or a cellular network. This connection may seem harmless enough, especially if your WiFi is password-protected, but connections like these have been shown multiple times to have weaknesses. A much safer alternative is for a POS system to be connected via Ethernet only. This protects your POS from the vulnerability of being on a more accessible network.
    • Lack of updates: Since any type of technology has vulnerabilities and since the methods hackers find to infiltrate POS systems and other online systems are continually changing, system updates are critical. Operating systems and software can be improved and shored up with each update, but for some systems, updates are few and far between. Cloud-based software allows the POS company to update your system automatically, which tends to mean those valuable updates are far more frequent.

    How POS Systems Handle Payment Processing Data

    We’ve focused on how data can be stolen from a POS system, but we should also talk about how that data gets there in the first place. POS systems can hold data relating to a store’s inventory, employee schedules and more. In most cases, this is not the data people are interested in stealing. Instead, it is your customers’ payment information that is so attractive to criminals.

    If they can get a person’s credit card information, they can use that information to make fraudulent purchases or can sell each credit card’s information. Even with security developments like EMV chipped credit cards, stealing credit card information continues to be a lucrative business for cybercriminals.

    Payment processing can be a bit complicated to understand, but when it comes to security, the important thing to understand is what data makes it onto your POS. There are three basic scenarios:

    1. Disconnected: In some cases, the POS is not actually involved in the payment processing at all. The card reader device does not communicate with the POS and functions completely independently. Unfortunately, this setup adds steps to the checkout process and allows more room for human error. The one upside is that your POS won’t store any payment information.
    2. Fully integrated: Another scenario is that your card reader and POS are seamlessly integrated. This setup is much more convenient and streamlined, but it often means your POS is holding onto sensitive payment data. As we’ve seen, this is dangerous since it makes your POS system a target for theft.
    3. Semi-integrated:  In this scenario, the POS asks the card reader device to process a charge for a certain amount, and the card reader alone deals with the credit card data. It passes the payment information on in an encrypted form to the processing network and then says whether the payment was authorized or declined. The card reader sends the authorization code and authorized amount to the POS to complete the checkout process.

    With a semi-integrated approach, the POS and card reader still communicate, but the POS is not privy to any payment data. This marries the advantages of a disconnected and a fully integrated approach and leaves the negative of each behind. When your POS system and card reader are semi-integrated, thieves will be sorely disappointed if they target your POS and discover your customers’ data is not stored in the system.

    internal pos security

    Why Internal Security Is Also Important

    So far, we’ve looked at some serious external security risks that can come with some POS systems. In other words, these systems are at risk of outside criminals hacking into the system. But POS systems should also have security measures that apply to your internal team, as well. In addition to payment information, a POS system can store all sorts of sensitive information about your store, such as financial records, sales analytics and employee data.

    If all your employees have the same unfettered access to your POS system as you do, you could be making your store vulnerable to internal security issues. This may not be much of a concern if you have longtime employees you trust implicitly. But especially for new hires, you have to be careful to protect your store’s sensitive data, especially customer’s payment information if that is stored on your POS system.

    A great solution is a POS system that allows you to set user logins and special permissions for each user. You want to be able to limit the data, features and settings an employee can access so you don’t have to worry about an internal security breach or even a mistake that can be avoided when employees can only access the aspects of the POS system they need to perform their duties on the job.

    How a Secure POS Can Help You Grow Your Small Business

    Securing your customers’ and your store’s data helps you avoid a data breach. You may have seen some stories in the news of major retailers, restaurants and other businesses suffering the consequences of their POS systems being breached. These incidents can severely hurt a company’s relationships with its customers.

    When customers swipe their card to make a purchase at your store, they’re putting their confidence in your business to keep their sensitive payment information safe. When your POS system doesn’t protect that sensitive data, customers will see your business as responsible for putting them at risk. In some cases, data breaches can result in massive lawsuits that can cost your business dearly.

    When you’re careful to keep your customers’ data secure, instead of hurting your relationships with customers, you can build strong, trusting relationships. For customers who are concerned about the news they’ve heard of consumers’ credit card information being stolen, you can explain how your POS system will keep their information secure. It’s important to note that any online system could have minor vulnerabilities, but some POS systems will have far more security measures built-in than others to keep data protected.

    nrs pos secure system

    Why the NRS POS+ Is the Most Secure POS System

    It should be clear now why security is a critical aspect of any POS system. If you’re looking for a secure POS system for your small business, the POS+ from NRS is an ideal choice. The POS+ is an exceptionally secure POS system because it:

    • Does not run on Windows: For one, the POS+ does not run on Windows or another major operating system. This automatically protects it from many common vulnerabilities that other POS systems experience.
    • Is exclusively for use as a POS: Because the POS+ uses dedicated POS terminals that do not double as standard computers or tablets, you don’t have to worry about threats from the internet, email or Trojan-horse apps infiltrating the system.
    • Has a secure connection: The POS+ is a cloud-based system, but it does not connect to WiFi. It is connected via Ethernet only, behind a Natted router. This means the network your POS system is on won’t compromise its security.
    • Receives ongoing updates: A huge advantage of the POS+ being cloud-based is that we can update your system as needed from our remote location. This means if any vulnerabilities or glitches are ever detected, they will quickly be shored up.
    • Does not store payment information: A major security feature the POS+ offers is secure payment processing through the semi-integrated approach we described above. This means your POS will not store sensitive payment information.
    • Includes user permission settings: The POS+ allows you to customize user permissions for each employee. You can designate someone as an administrator, manager or cashier and then select which features they are allowed to access.

    All of these features add up to a POS system that takes advantage of the latest technology without taking on the security risks that can come with many online systems today. Even when it comes to physical break-ins, your POS+ won’t be easy for a criminal to log into, and the cash drawer is locked and secure.

    secure pos system

    Enjoy a More Secure System With the POS+

    When you want to develop a reputation for being a retailer customers can trust, you need a secure point of sale system. The POS+ from NRS is the right choice for small businesses everywhere for many reasons. In addition to superior security, you’ll enjoy the benefits of user-friendly software, tools to help you grow your business, an automated loyalty program for your customers and more.

    You can learn more about the POS+ so you know about all the valuable features you and your employees could enjoy. It is difficult to put a price on a secure POS system, but you’ll be thrilled to learn just how affordable the POS+ is. If you’re interested in installing a POS+ at your store, contact us for a free quote.