Investments bring payback

Recent years have seen major technological developments in payment services.

BILL payments services have become an expected part of the offer at many c-stores across Scotland.

But there’s now much more that can be provided at a shop counter that’s signed up to a services provider, and uses some of the most useful recently developed hardware and software, says one of the giants of the industry PayPoint.
Andrew Goddard, the firm’s retail director, said: “At PayPoint, we know that great technology can be just as important as the payment schemes that attract customers into the shop. Over the last couple of years, PayPoint has devoted considerable resources and energy in technology to improve the service we provide to retailers – to speed up transactions, reduce paperwork, reduce staff and other costs, free up time for other important activities in the shop and improve the overall customer experience.
“Recent initiatives such PayPoint Rapid, PPoS, the ‘virtual’ PayPoint terminal, and Single Daily Settlement, have helped retailers realise all those benefits.”
More than 630 retailers in Scotland (and 9,400 throughout the UK) have switched to PayPoint Rapid, a new, version of PayPoint’s terminal which reduces transactions times by up to 70% using a standard broadband connection, the firm said. It reckons the benefits to retailers include: faster transactions, including mobile top-ups, Western Union, pre-paid cards and vouchers, Health Lottery and credit/debit card transactions; improved customer service; savings in staff time; reduced costs by removing the need for a dedicated phone line; and an average increase of almost 10% in credit/debit card transactions, with some retailers said to have seen increases of up to 80%.
The firm describes its PPoS virtual terminal as a self-contained system that runs all PayPoint terminal functionality on the same hardware as retailers’ own EPoS software. Assistants press a button on their till touchscreen, automatically transferring to separate software to process the PayPoint transaction and completion of the transaction automatically reverts the till to the shop’s own checkout system.

“We know that great technology can be just as important as the payment schemes that attract customers into the shop.”

PayPoint says daily reconciliation of cash transactions with cash in the till has been eliminated in stores with PPoS. Such reconciliation could take an hour or more every day, time that store management is now able to reallocate to more productive activity.
PPoS is currently installed in more than 700 PayPoint retailers in Scotland (and 6,500 across the UK).
In mid-2013 PayPoint introduced what it says was a radical improvement to the way it manages payments to and from retailers.
With Single Daily Settlement, amounts to be paid to PayPoint are combined in the same cycle with amounts to be paid to the retailer to create a net amount to be collected or deposited.
The technological developments behind the new settlements scheme have, says PayPoint, saved retailers large amounts on bank charges and, as a result, have improved cash flow.