Published On: October 4, 2017

Integrated Payments are a set of transaction-related tools that a business can employ to integrate with various systems including accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM) and full-service POS systems that all share and utilize communications via payment processing. Integrated payments provide enhanced intelligence for day-to-day business applications. This data can assist business owners with saving time and money by effectively streamlining operations and reducing errors. Overall it provides managers with a better perspective of their businesses. Integrated payments most often entail an integrated POS terminal and a cash register combined into an integrated software that offers users a seamless payment experience, and allows business managers to gain greater visibility into finances. Business owners can utilize the intelligence from integrated payments to identify trends and make strategic decisions that will address the needs of their business.

What are ECRi Integrated Payments?

Electronic Cash Register Interface (ECRi) is a popular EMV certified payment processing software which connects a POS Countertop Terminal to an electronic payment application via a cash register interface. The ECRi system is created with the objective of a cost-effective, PCI compliant, accurate and efficient Integrated Payments solution. MONEXgroup offers the clover terminal, a highly compatible ECRi Integrated Payments solution with strategic partnerships with the leading POS manufacturers and software systems in the market.

Integrated payments connect the payment terminal with the POS system that enables accurate transaction processing coupled with new operational and financial efficiencies, which include the following advantages:

  • Provides real-time inventory Updates: the ECRi system and supported payment processing solutions integrate with inventory management software for improved visibility of inventory status
  • Improves speed of service: An integrated POS system improves in-store experience for customers due to improved efficiencies. For instance, the cashier only has to key in or scan the total once, as opposed to duplicating across different systems
  • Processes secure transactions: Software integration with industry-leading POS technology ensures the secure transfer of payment data to the operational system
  • Compliant with PCI standards: Secure software with the latest PCI compliance standards; making the ECRi a certified safe platform for Integrated Payments
  • Eliminates redundancy errors: the POS software provides greater visibility as it is embedded in the finances and inventory systems, which calculates the stock level in inventory and ensures proper sales tracking when keying-in the sales information
  • Provides quick POS System implementation: An easy to set-up system that allows for authorized transactions to be processed smoothly between the standalone POS terminal and the consumer’s preferred payment method

Why are Integrated Payments Essential to the Success of your Business?

Having to manually enter data and sales figures into separate systems to track your business revenue tends to be tedious and gets tiring as your business grows.  Since every business wants to get paid fast while reducing operational steps and having powerful data available for analysis, it is advantageous for the business owner to implement integrated payments in their retail locations.

Here are the key benefits supporting integrated payments implementation:

  • Saves time and eliminates errors by reducing time spent on redundant data entry and cross-referencing credit card verification, reconciliation, etc.
  • Saves money, because time is money
  • Gains financial visibility and control. Integrated payments works with accounting tools, which automatically record information and provide business managers with better visibility and the capability to create more up-to-date and accurate reports
  • Improves cash flow. By monitoring payments, a business can reduce their daily spending, speed up receivables and improve cash flow

Three Key Business Benefits Derived from Integrated Payments

Integrated payments save merchants’ time by eliminating manual processes, reducing human error, increasing cash flow, and decreasing labour costs. Integrated payments can also allow merchants to accept payments across different channels such as face-to-face, online, mobile, smart devices and in-application. Here are three ways that integrated payments can help a business:

Guarantees Superb Customer Service

One of the fundamental reasons behind a business succeeding is the time and effort they spend on their customer service. Being able to attract new customers and retain current ones is key in order to drive business and see it flourish. The full-service POS system is not only efficient, but also reliable as it speeds up the transaction process for the staff of an organization while minimizing wait time. The traditional POS systems we are accustomed to are standalone terminal machines that process Debit/Credit Cards. Full-service POS system have a wider component that enables employees to make reservations, assign waiting lists, guest logs, gift card management and customer ID databases all on the same device.

Enhances Teamwork and Communication

Integrated POS systems are intuitive and easy to use.  The more advanced systems are customizable and produce reports for owners to review at their convenience.  Managers may customize their POS machines and reports according to the needs of their respective customers and business. If you run a retail business or service-based business, a customized POS system allows you to generate detailed reports that highlight your busiest times of the day, as well as the most popular items sold.  With this information, you can also evaluate your staff’s performance.

Increases Company Profits and Reduce Deficits

As of 2017, over 38 million small business owners are using POS systems in North America. This is because a full-service POS system contains innovative payment processing technology built into the hardware. With integrated payments, the business receives promotional and marketing tools to grow, maximize revenue, expose the brand and boost customer retention.  POS systems equipped with integrated payments allow business owners to accept a variety of debit / credit cards and mobile payments with speedy approvals.

What to Consider with Integrated Payments Processing

Business owners are bombarded daily with important tasks and responsibilities related to the success of their companies, so they tend to have no time for mundane tasks, especially ones that can be resolved easily without requiring their attention. Therefore, it’s ideal for them to explore integrated payments that will combine everything (accounting, CRM software, inventory management) under one umbrella.

Here are some things you should ask yourself, as a business owner, to determine whether integrated payments are for you:

  1. Where are the highest transaction volumes coming from? Credit Card, Cash, E-Commerce or Debit Card? Whatever the most common method of payment is, this is also where business owners spend the most time verifying, re-entering and reconciling with their accountant. Therefore, integrated payments will provide the biggest payback by addressing the bulk of transactions
  2. Consider what business applications you need the most to integrate with payments. Companies often start with accounting, because the bookkeeper does not want to allocate additional time focusing on reconciling between parallel systems, entering numerical data and making sure to reduce errors. However, many companies also want to provide software and tools that will help their Sales Department accept, verify and track payments. So employing integrated payments that offer these options are important. For example, almost all of the leading accounting and CRM vendors in the SMB market, such as Intuit, Microsoft, Salesforce, Sage, etc. have a variety of partnerships and third party support built-in to provide integrated payments solutions for their business software.
  3. Think about what level of integration and automation the solution should provide. This will vary depending on what the integrated payments offer. Some questions to consider are: does the solution pre-authorize, automatically accept or decline payments? What about security? Does it encrypt and store credit card info so that you don’t need to spend time re-entering? What about printing receipts, sending emails notifications to customers, and posting back to accounting, CRM or an order fulfillment system?
  4. Is the solution PA-DSS (Payment Application Data Security Standard) certified ? Are all exchanges of payment data secure and PCI compliant?
  5. Can you choose your merchant service provider, or do you have to use the merchant service provider that offers integrated payments option for your particular POS? Since credit card processing rates and services differ amongst merchant services providers, it’s important to find out if the POS vendor requires you to use their preferred integrated payments solution or allows you to choose your own.
  6. Think about your future business needs. Look for integrated payments vendors that have the capabilities mentioned above.

Integrated payments can help your business reduce costs and improve efficiency. It’s worth taking the time to conduct the appropriate research and consult experts on this matter (What Are Integrated Payment Solutions and Why Should You Care?).

The Relationship between MONEXgroup and Integrated Payments

MONEXgroup boasts a wide variety of full-service POS terminals for your integrated payments processing to choose from, regardless of the nature of your business. MONEXgroup makes it  easy for merchants to install ECRi-enabled Integrated Payment Solutions with a simple setup and allows them the ability to utilize a variety of popular market POS interface specifications to support wide ranging business needs. MONEXgroup offers the Canadian merchant with fully and semi-integrated payment solutions with the use of an Electronic Cash Register. With our EMV chip-enabled terminal and PCI Security Standards Compliance – SSL Encryption, Automatic Dial Back-Up Feature & Reliability – the Credit and Debit Card transactions will be validated and authorized seamlessly while data is transferred to integrated systems. Merchants can choose between Semi Integrated or Fully Integrated payment systems; both of which present new opportunities for high accuracy, inventory control, operations management, sales tracking and greater visibility to the business owner.

When partnering with the number one payment processor in Canada; MONEXgroup will increase your efficiency and quality of service and lower the related costs. Request a Cost Comparison Analysis today.

Author: Lindsey Lu, Marketing Communication Specialist, MONEXgroup
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