Looking at adding a pos system and new credit card merchant.  Looking for suggestions!  I was thinking about shopkeep for iPad and using square up for credit cards.  Looking for some advice.  Thanks

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Chad, can I add to your list a pos system which integrates into an accounting software package. Right now I use Coffeeshop Manager as my POS but, as far as I know, this software does not integrate completely with Quickbooks. On the other hand, Quickbooks has a very unfriendly POS option....sorry, more questions than answers.

Many/most cc processing merchants have contract commitments with penalties for early termination. Make sure you check the terms with your current cc merchant before switching or you could get hit with a couple or three hundred dollar surprise charge.

Good point. I've learnt through the ages not to have a contract...if I swap, the processor will pick up their machine & head out the door. I'd also add there are many hidden factors with credit card processing. The actual cost is extremely high for low ticket items. Every credit card processing agent will quote a really low base rate for the base card. The problem is Master & Visa have Business/ executive cards which incur a far higher processing rate - sometimes as much as 3.75%. Add this to the litany of fixed charges listed each month on their statement & the actual cost becomes far greater than the quoted cheap base rate. As an industry, I think we should be talking to the credit unions for a deal for retail coffee shops.

I guess I was looking for more of a IPAD POS system to avoid the 5 grand for coffee shop manager or selbysoft.  Anyone have any experience with any of those systems? Pro's and Cons?

Chad, check out Jack Groot's blog post about this very subject, http://www.coffeegroot.com/2011/12/how-to-guaranteed-slash-your-pro...

Just read it earlier today!

Hey Chad, I'd be more than happy to talk to you more about our system offline.   There are a number of forum posts about us and CSM here on BX if you want more information about how the systems compare and peoples experience in general.

On the credit card side.  Contracts on the service and leases on the credit card machines are definitively things to avoid.  Usually once you are locked into a contact, you are stuck with a $300 to $900 cancellation fee. 

Square as a credit card processor is interesting and can, in some circumstances, save money for processing.  They don't currently integrate with any POS company I know of however.  



Chad said:

I guess I was looking for more of a IPAD POS system to avoid the 5 grand for coffee shop manager or selbysoft.  Anyone have any experience with any of those systems? Pro's and Cons?

If you're a using a single station to ring people up at and do not have the need for a bump bar or kitchen printer then Square is the way to go I use it for a backup system, its easy to use and free. The credit card processing is also the best deal you can get for the small transactions that a coffee shop typically sees since it is based on a percentage and there is no swipe fee. If you're busy 200+ transactions a day then it may pay to look at a more sophisticated system. But even then it's hard to see the ROI on a system costing $5000+ for most independent shops. You deserve to make some money too not just your vendors.

Jason, we typically tell people that they should be doing a minimum of $2,000 -$3,000 a week for a POS.  While I believe every shop can benefit from POS (imagine that :)), I know that if you are doing less than $2k a week it's very tough to afford it.  Once you get closer to that $3k a week number it starts to make more sense.  The  POS should be $4,500 to $5,500 for a single station (depending on configuration).  

If you are somewhere in those numbers, then POS makes a lot of sense.  Even 1% ROI on gross sales of $3,000 a week pays for the system in 3-4 years.  Typically most POS companies see a closer to 3-5%. 

If anyone wants a fantastic read on ROI with POS then check this out:

http://www.assuredcomptech.com/WHITE%20PAPERS/Effects_of_POS_Implem...

This link is not about SelbySoft but a white paper on a study done on an implementation Microsoft did a number of years ago.  

Looks like Intuit are not far behind. I know nothing of this system, just came across it & thought I might pass it onto you guys

http://quickbooks.intuit.com/microsite/staples/payments/index.jsp?p...

If you use Shopkeep with the iDynamo processor, you'll have all the credit card data available via reports. The fees are typical for credit card processors although the swipe fees are lower than I had previously. If you don't want the data from your credit cards integrated and you can accept having Square hold your funds for 30 days, then that's quite a bit cheaper. From what I understand, flat rate credit card processing will be coming.

We are using OWN point of sale in our two shops. Initial cost for the hardware is under $2000 per location. It's cloud based, so I can make changes to the menu, check up to the minute sales and look at reports from my iPhone. There is a monthly maintenance cost, but it's minimal when you consider what you all get. It's a pretty new system, so the gift cards aren't ready just yet, but they will be very shortly. They have the system functionality ready for it, but just need the cards.

A friend of mine that owns a cafe in another city had a programmer make an ipad app for him. It's custom made, and he gets all the functionality he wants out of it. It's pretty cool. For gift cards, he just gets those through his debit machine provider.

I recently signed up for Square when my credit card processor canceled my merchant account because I was dormant too long (I shut down for 6 months while I moved).  I needed something quick, so I went with Square.  I had an extra smart phone lying around, so all I did was turn on the phone's Wifi, downloaded the app, and plugged in the card reader that I bought at Target (there was a redemption code in the package that made the reader free).  I was accepting cards in five minutes and it has worked flawlessly.  Referencing an above post, Square only holds on to deposits if you do over $1000 in CC transactions a day, otherwise it batches out automatically at 5pm and I get the money the next day.

 

On the downside, it's not integrated with my POS (I use CSM) so there is an extra step in there to reconcile the transaction, but it's still pretty slick and the rate is way less than what I was paying before.

 

To Chad with your original question, how big an operation do you have?  If it's a simple quickserve space, take a look at SalesVu.  Credit card processing and a simple POS in one, and you're allowed to input modifiers and it's more robust than Square.

 

To Jeff, regarding OWN, have you been happy with them so far?  I'm demo-ing it now and I'm having issues.  Where are you located?

 

Other POS systems I am looking at... ISISPOS, Ambur, Aptito... anyone have any experience with these?

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