Choosing the Right Retail Payment Solution for Your Business

Finding an effective retail payment solution helps your business efficiently capture revenue and provide a positive experience for customers. Learn more here.

Retail payment systems are foundational to the modern concept of retail businesses.

Accepting card payments, facilitating digital transactions, and maintaining security and compliance standards are often crucial to stability and success for retailers. On a broader level, so is aligning with customer expectations and preferences.

Cash-only and cash-focused businesses likely won’t disappear entirely in the foreseeable future. However, the era of cash as king has long passed.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco reports that, in 2022, credit and debit card transactions accounted for 60% of all payments made. Hard currency represented just 18% of the total.

More importantly, a strong majority of consumers prefer to use cash and debit cards. Together, these two payment options represent the preferred payment method for 73% of consumers.

These facts make the importance of implementing a modern payment solution for retail companies clear. However, retailers need to take their own business priorities and needs into account to find a truly useful retail payment system.

Keep reading to learn more about finding the right solution for your business among many retail payment options.

Is your business in need of an effective retail payment solution? The experts at Swipesum are here to help.  

We’re dedicated to helping companies just like yours find the best partners, retail payment processing systems, and rates. We’re provider-agnostic consultants. That means we’re focused on what’s best for you instead of pushing any particular provider’s services or solutions.

Schedule a free consultation to discover how Swipesum can help your company find an exceptional retail payment solution.

Understanding Retail Payment Options and Solutions

Let’s get a little more specific about terminology to better understand retail payment solutions.

Retail payment options are the methods that consumers can use to pay for a purchase and complete a transaction. Cash is a retail payment option, as are credit cards and debit cards. Mobile payment apps, checks, and any other method of payment businesses accept fall under this umbrella.

A retail payment solution is a tool used to facilitate, manage, and secure transactions involving retail payment options. In other words, a solution empowers your business to reliably accept payments and bring in revenue.

Retail Payment Solutions for Card Payments

A customer hands their card to an employee to make a payment.

A retail payment solution for cash payments or checks, for example, can be very simple. Some companies don’t need much more than a business banking account and a cash register.  

When it comes to card payments, mobile payment apps, and similarly advanced payment methods, more technology is needed. Payment processing is a term commonly used to refer to this type of retail payment solution.

Key actors involved payment processing include:

  • The payment gateway. This system doesn’t directly interact with the funds moved from a customer to a business in a transaction. Instead, gateways collect, encrypt, and move payment data between the involved parties.
  • The payment processor. Payment processors facilitate interactions between key players in a transaction, such as banks, businesses, and gateways. A processor requests approval for a transaction, receives approval or denial, and helps to move money from successful transactions into the business’s account.
  • Banks. Customers have an account for their card at an issuing bank. The merchant bank, also called the acquiring bank, is where a business has its merchant account established.

There are other players involved, for example: your business, your customer, and the card network. However, the three listed above are integral parts of your retail payment solution.  

Want to accept retail payments via cards and related methods, like digital wallets? You’ll need to partner with providers of gateway and payment processing services. Retailers also need to find an acquiring bank to provide them with a merchant account.

Retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence also need card-reading software. This is generally used via a point-of-sale (POS) system. Online retail payment solutions, at least those for exclusively online retailers, don’t necessarily need to include a traditional POS.

These solutions often include payment processing capabilities. They help to maintain accurate inventory records and issue receipts as well. Crucially, POS systems can also transmit payment data to other internal systems, like financial or bookkeeping software.

Wondering how to find the best credit card processing solution for your business? We offer an in-depth guide to making that choice. The major points to consider as you start making this decision include:

  • Identifying credit card processing systems that work well with your existing software and support the payment methods you want to accept.
  • Selecting a provider, and then negotiating merchant and transaction fees, rates, and an overall agreement.
  • Implementing the solution and integrating it with existing software.

Finding the Right Retail Payment Solution for Your Company’s Needs

Every retailer is unique, from the combination of software used to their customer base and types of products sold.

The good news is that a wide range of providers offer payment gateway, payment processing, and POS tools and services. The difficult part for many companies is twofold:

  • Finding the providers that provide the best combination of service, support, functionality, and compatability.
  • Negotiating an agreement with those providers that keeps costs manageable for your business.

Setting up hardware and software can be a complex process by itself. When you add in research and negotiations, the process of implementing a retail payment solution can take months. That’s often not an efficient or realistic timeline for retailers.

Swipesum is dedicated to helping businesses find the best possible retail payment solutions for their unique needs. Our experienced team knows how to research providers, negotiate rates and fees, help with setup, and more.

Retail payments are a complex topic. Moving to new service providers can put stress on your business and take you and your staff away from other vital tasks.  

Working with expert independent payments consultants gives your company valuable, informed support throughout the selection and implementation process. Even better, our services come at no additional cost to your business.

Learn more about how Swipesum can support your efforts to find the best possible retail payment solutions.

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Michael Seaman

Michael Seaman

Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Swipesum. A veteran of the payments industry, Michael and his brother Stephen have led Swipesum since its inception in 2016. In his free time, Michael enjoyes time with his three children.

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