Published On: August 16, 2022
  • Power outages and communications disruptions in payment processing can be a big problem
  • Choosing the most reliable service providers can help minimize the risks of unexpected downtime
  • Equip your business with flexible payment solutions that can provide backup when disruptions occur

Downtime is a major source of frustration when it occurs with any of your business’ systems, but the last thing you want is to have a customer ready to pay for their purchase, only to be told that the payment processing system is down and there’s nothing you can do about it. Minimizing and preventing the potential for downtime of your POS solution is important, and there are many factors to take into account along the way.

When everything is running perfectly and your business is handling transaction after transaction, you know it’s going to be a good day. But what happens when an unexpected problem arises and your payment processing system is suddenly down for the count? Chances are it’s a fairly simple problem, like a temporary power outage or a system that just needs a reboot. Even so, every second of downtime costs your business money, sometimes in ways that you may not realize.

It’s essential that payment processing downtime prevention is something that your business is paying attention to, and taking steps to minimize the likelihood of downtime occurring, and keeping the overall impact of downtime as low as possible for those times where it is unavoidable.

What Causes Downtime for Payment Processing Systems?

There are many reasons why a POS system may lose functionality. Things like power outages caused by storms or infrastructure accidents will certainly cause any electronic system used by businesses in the area to shut down until the lights come back on. Communications network and internet service provider failures are also possible causes of POS downtime that are obviously completely out of your control. These situations can have far-reaching effects on all businesses in the area, and are not just limited to the type of payment system which is used.

Out-of-date POS software can also result in downtime, as glitches or bugs that should have been fixed can continue to cause problems if not addressed promptly. Systems that have not been properly maintained can fail or lock-up as a result, preventing payments from going through, requiring a software system reboot or even physical maintenance on the hardware. The downtime could also be due something as simple and preventable as a portable POS terminal being left with dead batteries. Nothing is going to be processed on that unit until it can be powered up again!

Regardless of the specific reason why the system is down, the resulting effects are generally the same across the board. Now, let’s look at the different types of detriments that POS downtime can cause.

What are the Detrimental Effects on a Business of Payment Processing Downtime?

Lost Revenue

Obviously, the biggest problem of POS downtime is going to be the lost revenue that you could have generated during this time. Depending on the length of the downtime, the amount of lost revenue could vary greatly. If it’s just a few seconds, some customers may be content to just wait until the system comes back up. However, not all customers will be this patient and understanding. If the problem takes longer to address, they may just leave with no guarantee that they’re coming back to complete their purchase, taking their dollars elsewhere.

Negative Customer Experience

Customers who are unable to complete their purchase due to a non-functioning POS system are not going to be very satisfied by their interactions with your business. This kind of inconvenience can be very frustrating, with some customers being upset at the notion that their time is being wasted, and understandably so. Even in cases where the cause of the downtime was completely unavoidable and in no way the fault of the business, such as a complete power outage, the negative impact on the customer experience can still be quite profound. For some customers, the inconvenience of POS downtime during a previous visit to your business just might give them pause the next time they are in need of your products or services, and could even be the catalyst that drives them to try out a competitor instead.

Wasted Time and Resources

In addition to lost revenue and frustrating customer experiences, payment processing downtime also results in wasted resources. Time your employees spend dealing with system restarts and troubleshooting could have been used to assist customers and handle transactions. You still have to pay for wages, utilities, rent, insurance, and all the other operating costs, whether your POS system is running or not. Downtime hurts your business through lost efficiency, so you’ve got to take steps to minimize the impact and mitigate the effects.

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What Steps can Your Business Take to Prevent and Minimize Downtime?

A little preparation, training, and investment in the right tools and technology can help your business avoid many instances of preventable downtime, as well as lessen the negative effects when it does occur. Here are some effective measures your business can take to be better prepared for these situations.

Maintain Your POS System and Install Critical Updates

Like any other computer system, your POS system requires regular maintenance, software updates and hardware upgrades in order to operate at optimum efficiency and prevent exploitation of software vulnerabilities by hackers and data thieves. Make sure that your merchant services partner is supporting your business by providing the latest software patches, hardware improvements, and technical support to keep your payment processing technology running in perfect order.

Choose Reliable Providers for Communications and Internet Services

Saving money by choosing the cheapest providers for your communications and internet services just might come back to haunt you in the form of frequent outages, unreliable connections, and lack of support. Be sure to evaluate the customer reviews and ratings of these providers before you sign on with one to choose the one that is going to deliver the consistency and reliability your business needs to keep the data flowing so you can process transactions with speed and efficiency.

Leverage Payment Systems with Cellular Network Connectivity

Following hot on the topic of choosing reliable internet providers, it’s wise to consider incorporating payment solutions into your business that have the ability to connect to LTE and 3G cellular networks in addition to Wi-Fi. For example, portable POS terminals like the compact Clover Flex have built-in technology to enable cellular connectivity, so you can process payments from virtually anywhere, even on the road and away from Wi-Fi networks.

Offer Internet Payment Gateways and Virtual Terminals

Furthermore, payments can also be accepted through e-commerce portals and virtual terminals that are hosted in the cloud and accessed through the browser on smartphones and connected tablets. These flexible payment solutions can accept credit cards, debit cards, and a wide range of other digital payment methods without ever needing to physically handle the customer’s card. In essence, any smartphone or connected tablet can become a remote payment processing station through the use of virtual terminals and online payment portals.

Choose a Merchant Services Provider with Exceptional Customer Service and Tech Support

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, one of the most effective ways to avoid and prevent the problem of POS downtime is to partner with a reliable and trusted payment processing provider. MONEXgroup proudly offers our clients 24/7/365 customer service and technical support from expert professionals with a wealth of knowledge that you can leverage. Our team will help you every step of the way, from selecting the best combination of payment systems and technology to suit the needs of your business, to providing complete implementation and integration into your other existing business systems to achieve optimum reliability and consistency.

Protect Your Business Against POS System Downtime with MONEXgroup

Your business deserves to have the most reliable payment processing system possible, and you shouldn’t accept anything less. If you’re ready to make the move to a more reliable POS system and take advantage of the benefits that 24/7/264 support and service can bring to your business, now is the time to make the call to the team at MONEXgroup. We’re standing by to answer your questions and prepare a free cost-savings analysis for you. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Contact MONEXgroup today for more information and your free quote!

Blog Author LayalAuthor: Layal Scheirich, Head of Sales at MONEXgroup
Bio: With 18 years of experience in payment processing and merchant services, Layal has seen in-store POS technology evolve from its humble beginnings to contactless, unattended, mobile and online alternatives. Today, Layal is an inspiration to the MONEXgroup’s team and a go-to source of information related to payment processing. She is enthusiastic to share her knowledge with audiences interested in cutting-edge technologies available today, such as unattended payment for self-serve kiosks, e-commerce online payment gateways, virtual terminals, and contactless and mobile payment solutions.
Social Media Profile: LinkedIn
Contact Info: insights@monexgroup.com

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