5 Reasons Why You Need Clover POS Gift Cards.

Clover Gift Card

5 Reasons Why You Need Clover POS Gift Cards.

For nine years straight, gift cards have topped holiday wish lists, according to the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey. If that’s not testament to how much shoppers love gift cards, how about this? Each year, 93 percent of Americans buy or receive a gift card. So it really goes without saying that if you’re the proprietor of a quick-serve restaurant, like a coffee shop, deli, or frozen yogurt vendor, or a retail store, you want to make this hot seller available to your customers.

Husband and wife team Justin and Brie Henshaw, owners of Fuse Frozen Yogurt, have witnessed the importance of gift cards to their small business’s bottom line. Customers regularly hit up Fuse – which has locations on St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia – for their tasty froyo, gelato, sorbet, and soft serve fruit, but gift cards are extremely popular, too.

The Henshaws use Gyft to sell both physical and digital gift cards. Despite some minor bumps along the way (like the ability to purchase only one gift card per transaction), they’d recommend Gyft to other small business owners. Here’s why.

1. They’re attractive to Millennials.

For those who prefer to remain old-school, Gyft offers plastic cards. But for members of the 18- to 34-year-old crowd that want to keep their entire lives on their smartphone, Gyft also offers digital cards. Buyers can purchase digital gift cards in-store, online, or over the phone and have them sent directly to recipients’ phones. When it’s time to purchase, recipients just fire up the Gyft app and redeem the card value from there. No more wallets bulging with plastic cards, and you always know where your balance stands. There’s also the option of purchasing a physical card that the recipient can upload it to her phone.

2. They’re word-of-mouth advertising for your business.

Gift cards aren’t just an additional service to offer customers, they’re also an easy, low-cost way to build brand recognition. Someone may be unfamiliar with your business, but if he receives a gift card, it’s going to entice him into visiting. Gift cards “reconfirm our brand and give customers who wouldn’t have come, the chance to come and be a fan,” explains Justin. Gift cards also bring loyal customers back through the doors since they’re likely to include them on a holiday or birthday wish list.

3. Gift cards provide valuable information about customer buying habits.

As a small business owner, you won’t need to wonder if gift cards are one of your top sellers. Nor will you need to spend hours sorting through receipts to find out. Gyft sales data downloads directly into your Clover system, providing you details about your customers’ purchasing habits in just minutes — giving you the ability to adapt your marketing plans nimbly to reach your patrons more effectively.

4. They’re relatively trouble-free.

Ever experience a barista or clerk grumble when you ask to buy a gift card? Chances are, they’re ringing you up on a cumbersome, non-intuitive POS system. That won’t happen for merchants using Gyft (the app integrates with Clover’s API), which the Henshaws transitioned onto right before the busy Christmas season. Even better? Gyft’s customer service. “You call Matt right away, and you always get him on the phone, and he always takes care of things,” says Justin.

5. The economics of gift cards are great for merchants.

To an outsider, it may seem like swiping a gift card and swiping a credit card are the same thing. But when you’re a business owner, that same action has different costs associated with it. Both are convenient, but payment processing costs are cheaper for merchants when a customer pays with a gift card. Additionally, most consumers spend  20 percent more than the gift card’s face value, so this method of payment reaps more revenue for business owners. And since Gyft makes it easy for users to add value to (or “re-up”) a card once it’s been depleted (a key offering for coffee shops, ice cream parlors and the like), it’s likely that the sale of the original gift card will lead to more purchases from a single consumer.


As the Henshaws experienced first-hand, selling gift cards is an effective way to expand your business for little cost. “Having a gift card option allows us to reach new customers,” Brie says. “But it also brings loyal customers back in as well.”

Sounds like a gift worth giving to yourself.

EMV Transition Has Been A Nightmare For Businesses. This Guide Should Help.

EMV Chip Card

EMV Transition Has Been A Nightmare For Businesses. This Guide Should Help.

EMV Chip Card


Transitioning to accept EMV chip cards has been a nightmare for businesses, small and large. And the result of this confusion has been loss of millions of dollars and growing, in fraudulent chargebacks!

So here is a must-read EMV transition guide that will walk you through everything you need to know step-by-step.

What is EMV?

EMV stands for Euronet, masterCard and visa. It is a security standard adopted by the payment industry to reign in on billions of dollars of credit card frauds committed every year in US alone. This security standard has been adopted in most parts of the world, but is still fairly new to the United States. It just had it’s first year anniversary.

EMV is also popularly referred to as ‘chip card’ as well.

Why should I upgrade my equipment?

For starters, EMV Compliance is NOT a law as many people assume. You are not doing anything illegal if you still using the old “Swipe and Sign” process on your terminal or integrated POS.

However, it is important to know that you will be held liable for any fraudulent transactions that happen at your location because you did not upgrade to an EMV compliant equipment.

Previously when you fell victim to a chargeback, the issuing bank investigated and based on the proof submitted, covered you for the disputed amount.

But starting October 1, 2015 the responsibility has been shifted to the merchant or the one with the weakest link in the payment process.

The image below is a great illustration to help you understand these changes:



Chargebacks have been on rise exponentially, in thousands of dollars every month, especially at Lounges/Bars, High-End Restaurants, Liquor stores and Gas stations.

A discovery channel video below shows how easy it is for credit card fraudsters to make fake credit cards and use at your locations.

How to upgrade and how much it cost?

The first step to upgrade to EMV is to understand your needs. Do you need to be able to accept EMV chip cards only or you need to adjust tips as well on those EMV transaction.

Or you  want your customers to enter their debit card PIN on those EMV transactions?

There are various different features that you need to be aware of and then decide the terminal model.

Especially if you are a business that takes tips.

Not ALL terminals support tip adjustment at the end of the day. It depends on the type of terminal and the processor that supports it.

There are 2 components that make up your EMV compliance.

  1. Hardware – The equipment needs to have the slot to enter the chip card
  2. Software Certification – Software needs to be certified by the processor for that particular hardware to accept EMV.

Every processor supports different terminal/hardware for EMV and Tip Adjust. So for example, if Ingenico ict220  is supported by First Data for EMV + Tip Adjust, does not mean all other processors will support the same hardware for EMV + Tip adjust.

The terminals below are certified by First Data to accept chip cards.

  1. Verifone Vx520 – Accepts chip cards, Accepts Tip adjust after the sale.

           Recommended for restaurants or businesses that accept tips.


Verifone Vx520


 2. Ingenico ict220 – Accepts EMV chip cards + Tip adjust.

Recommended for businesses that need to accept tips.


Ingenico 250


Approx: $250

3. Clover Mini – Accepts EMV chip cards with Debit PIN + Tip adjust, Apple Pay and Android Pay and can connect using Wi-Fi.

Features to Note:

  1. Customer can sign using their finger on screen and opt for text, email or paper receipt.
  2. Clover Mini can also be connected to cash drawer and replace your old cash register.
  3. Retailers can also download Register software and turn this into a full fledged POS SYSTEM.

Recommended for any businesses that need to accept debit cards with PIN, better receipt management or POS functionality.


Approx: $450

  1. FD 130 – Accepts EMV chip cards + Tip adjust, Apple Pay, Android Pay and can be connected using Wi-Fi.

Recommended for businesses that need to accept tips, and Debit PIN

FD 130 EMV


Approx: $350

Once you figure out what features you need and what terminal you want to buy, it’s time to go shopping.

BUT, let me warn you – Don’t just buy from the cheapest place you can find. You might buy something that’s totally worthless for you. Not all equipment will work with your processor. Usually, the terminals are locked to a specific processor just like how your cell phone is locked to works with a certain wireless provider.

Don’t just buy from the cheapest place you can find. You might buy something that’s totally worthless for you. Not all equipment will work with your processor. Usually, the terminals are locked to a specific processor just like how your cell phone is locked to works with a certain wireless provider.

Usually, the terminals are locked to a specific processor just like how your cell phone is locked to work with ONLY certain wireless provider.

Option 1:

If you already have a service provider you can call them and ask for their pricing but make sure they are not locking you in multi-year processing contract, a lease or any monthly rental fee.

It’s ALWAYS best to buy your own equipment. Not only will you get the best deal on your processing but you have the flexibility to move your processing to someone else and use the same terminal.

The saying ” There is NO free lunch” cannot be more true in credit card processing industry.

A brand new Verifone VX520 should not cost you more than $250. If the provider quotes anything more than that, here are two things you should do:

  1. Buy your own terminal online and stay with your current company if you are happy with their processing rates. But before you place an order, ask your processor if they support Verifone Vx520 or any other terminal you wish to order and will provide all the features you need.

Pitfalls to look out for while ordering online:

  1. Never buy a used terminal as they may be locked to work with certain processor only.
  2. Avoid buying from Ebay, Craigslist, or Amazon or any other reseller sites. Many companies will sell you very cheap just so they can get you into processing agreement with them. Just make sure you do your homework.
  3. Look for a new company that will provide a terminal at a fair price or subsidized price for the equipment.
  4. While hardware equipment is one component of your merchant account, processing rates are something that must NOT be ignored.

Always make sure you are getting a fair deal without any contracts. To understand a little more about the same, definitely read through our post on how to get best deal on your merchant processing.

Or better, subscribe to our FREE Savings course and learn how to save ridiculous amount of money on credit card processing by clicking  HERE.

We hope this guide was simple to understand and will help you in implementing the EMV migration successfully.

We here at Onesto Payments believe in absolute transparency and love to educate our customers. Feel free to contact us to get our equipment and credit card processing rates. You will be glad you did.!


Here’s the Game Plan You Need for the Holiday Shopping Season

Here’s the Game Plan You Need for the Holiday Shopping Season


In the retail world, fall is synonymous with holiday prep.

Shoppers have already begun filling out their gift lists, and this means that something you sell is probably on it.

So how can small retail businesses keep up with the demands of holiday shoppers without going bust, ignoring current customers, or missing opportunities to snag new business?

The key is to have a great strategy before the holidays even start.

Check out these 5 Tips for Turning Seasonal Shoppers Into Loyal Customers


Have a Plan and Stick to It

The busiest shopping days of the latter half of the year are fairly predictable: Black Friday, Super Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas), and, of course, Christmas Eve.

It’s not enough to only plan for the busy days and forget the rest. It often seems that holiday shoppers start as soon as the weather turns cold, which means that your holiday strategy can’t focus solely on the one or two days before major holidays.

The best strategy is one that covers you through peaks and dips in sales on a weekly basis. Whatever strategy you come up with, it’s best to stick with it, even when times get busy. Select one or two people who will be responsible for watching your website and someone who can be responsible for watching in-store trends as they happen.

Track Your In-Store and Online Analytics Daily

The sooner you can catch shopping trends and adjust your marketing to match, the better.

Online this is fairly easy to track. If you notice a spike in interest for certain pages, products, or orders, you can quickly create offers or advertisement and post on social media.

For in-store retailers, this won’t be as blatantly obvious, but you can still track the number of people that come through your store and make purchases with your daily sales numbers, notice popular items that sold, notice what didn’t sell, and adjust your in-store (or even online) marketing accordingly.

The trick is to do it on a daily basis. Don’t wait for the end of the week once you’ve put two and two together to create a sign display or send out a tweet. Doing this more frequently will not only help you take advantage of peak sales, but also help you notice periods of slow sales and adjust accordingly.

Promote Deals for Loyal Customers During Slow Times

New customers are great, and you will probably see your fair share of them during the holidays, but don’t forget about your loyal customers that are faithful to buy year-round.

During times of slow sales, be sure to focus on those customers in order to keep that loyalty. While you still want to come up with special deals and offers for new customers, having something special for your regular customer base will help keep sales steady.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the slow times to clean and organize your store (and website) and review your strategy and analytics to see where you can make adjustments.

Use Last Year’s Data to Boost Sales

The holidays are the main time of year when shoppers aren’t buying products for themselves, which makes marketing more difficult. One way to overcome this is by looking at your sales from last year and identify where and how they have diverged throughout the current year.

For example, if you’re a restaurant or bar that sold quite a few bottles of wine during the holidays last year, but have noticed those sales drop in favor of gift cards, you can target your marketing toward promoting gift cards to continue the trend.

Or, you can combine sales tactics to reach more people. Using our example above, you could sell specific gift cards for bottles of wine. The key is to target the demographics that have had a positive buying record over the last 6-12 months.


Use Social Media and Social Trends

The holidays are also a time of socializing, and many physical and online retailers can take advantage of this in a few ways.

Social media can certainly drive online sales and should be used as a part of any marketing campaign during the holidays, but it can also be used to drive in-store sales by promoting in-store events and offers.

If you don’t have any specific on-location events planned, consider scheduling some. You will still want to target these events to certain consumer bases (your loyal shoppers, new shoppers, older shoppers, younger shoppers, etc.). Don’t be afraid to use these events to focus on connecting customers with your brand and with each other.

Develop a Rewards or Referral Program

Rewards programs provide a great incentive to buy year-round, but they’re extra effective during the holidays when customers are looking to save money. Programs like “Buy 10 sandwiches and get the 11th free” can boost sales in a few ways:

Customers can save money on their own purchases, especially if the program started before the holidays and they can use their savings on holiday purchases
Customers can give those reward benefits to their friends and family as (or alongside) a gift

This can also give you a step up above your competition that might not offer programs like this for their loyal customers. The plus side is that they’re also relatively inexpensive to set up, which is great for businesses looking to save money on marketing.

Likewise, referral programs are equally valuable for gaining new customers while rewarding loyal ones. There are many options to a referral program – you can reward with cash or offer discounts or free products. Referrals are also a great way to keep customers coming back even after the holidays are over.

Promote Online Shopping But Don’t Ignore Your Store

A large portion of holiday shoppers is switching to shopping online, which you don’t want to ignore. It’s best to take advantage of this by offering some form of discount or promotion for those who come to your website.

If they can’t purchase a product online directly from your site, they should at least be able to print out a coupon (or download to their phone) and come into the store to use it.

You also want to make sure you don’t ignore your in-store shoppers in favor of online shoppers, however. In a blog post on FTI Journal, Christa Hart, senior managing director of retail and consumer products at FTI Consulting, said that in certain product categories — appliances, furniture, food and groceries — the majority of consumers prefer to shop in-store.

Even for apparel and footwear, more than half of consumers surveyed by FTI prefer in-store shopping.

This means that your physical location is still relevant to your customers. To maximize profits, your best bet is to target both online and physical shoppers.

Here are 5 strategies for turning holiday income into year-round revenue

Final Thoughts

While the holidays are a busy time of year for many retailers, they can also be great for the bottom line. When it comes to creating a strategy to win customers over, you can never start too soon.

It’s best to come up with solutions for marketing both online and in-store, and to stick to that plan and measure your metrics on a daily basis during the busy times.

During slow times, use reward and referral programs to win new customers and bring discounts to your loyal shoppers. And always be tracking trends from the last year to assess which areas of your business will continue to see an upswing during the holidays.

How to Successfully Add Ecommerce to Your Retail Business

How to Successfully Add Ecommerce to Your Retail Business


There are many reasons why a retailer would want to dip into the world of ecommerce.

For one, you want to grow. Your customers are already online because they love the convenience of online shopping. If you want to stay current with the latest trends and tap into the digital market, it pays to have an online presence.

Two, some items may be easier to sell online. If you have trouble moving your inventory or you have underselling products or services, an online store may be the perfect place to create an additional source of revenue.

But if you’re not sure about how to transition to ecommerce successfully, or you’re just hesitant to build or promote your online presence, there are a few things you should know.

Here are 6 Physical Retailers with Awesome Online Businesses


Shopping online

Why Brick-and-Mortar Stores Need Ecommerce

Ecommerce sales are predicted to grow to $370 billion in 2017. If that’s not enough incentive to tap into an online market, consider the benefits of adding ecommerce to your brick-and-mortar store:

  • Measurable results – Online shopping leaves a trail of data that’s easily analyzed. While physical retailers often rely on generic sales figures or customer satisfaction surveys to measure success, data from online users can reveal more significant patterns and customer behaviors, allowing you to target products and prices more directly to consumers.
  • Flexibility – Retail is about reacting to customer’s behavior quickly and efficiently. Changing inventory, pricing, or creating discounts doesn’t always happen instantly in-store, but it can online with the click of a button. Ecommerce stores allow you to quickly notify customers of important information, offer discounts, and promote selected products at the drop of a hat.
  • Brand awareness – Even customers that are already familiar with your physical store may browse products online first before heading there in person to make a final purchase. Your online presence can reach shoppers who are searching online and drive some of them to your nearest location. It has the added benefit of reaching customers who would never set foot in your physical store because of location concerns or other factors.
  • Holiday shopping sales – In-store Black Friday sales fell by 12% last year compared to 2014, while online sales rose by 13%, which makes having an online store completely worthwhile, especially during the holiday shopping season. Consider that overall sales in physical stores fell by 5% or more last year compared to online shopping and you have a valid argument for launching an online store.
  • Low start-up costs – The best part of adding ecommerce is that start-up costs are relatively low. Rent, payroll, utilities, property taxes and insurance will never factor into the equation. In fact, most of your online store can be automated, taking relatively little attention away from your physical location.

If you’re still on the fence about setting up an ecommerce store, remember that there’s very little risk involved. If you’re not seeing the results you want, you can always go back to a static website. In all likelihood, however, you may find that having an ecommerce store benefits your physical location more than not having one.

How to Get Started with Ecommerce

If you’ve decided that ecommerce is something you’re ready to try, getting started is fairly straightforward.

1. Sign up for an ecommerce platform

There are many ecommerce platforms to choose from, whether you’re starting from scratch or simply integrating with your current site.

If you’re starting from scratch, consider using platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, which exist specifically for ecommerce websites.

If you already have a WordPress site, you can utilize a platform like WooCommerce to attach a store to your current site. There are also a variety of other plugins and platforms that will allow you to build a store on your current site.

2. Sign up for a merchant account

If you’re using Shopify or BigCommerce, you will automatically have a merchant account that allows you to accept and process payments online. If you’re using something like WooCommerce, however, you will need to sign up with a third-party merchant account service, like Authorize.net.

3. Integrate with your current POS system

You may discover that your current POS already integrates with your online store, so if that’s the case, don’t worry about this step. If you don’t have a POS system that’s fit for online use, however, consider upgrading (we recommend Clover) so you can manage both your physical and online stores from one place.

4. Create an online marketing strategy

Marketing to your brick-and-mortar shoppers won’t be the same as marketing to your online shoppers. TotalRetail has a great article here with advice for marketing to each platform.

How to Use Your Online Presence

Once you have an ecommerce store setup, you need to know how to use it.

What many retailers don’t realize is that ecommerce is much easier when you already have an established business because you already have an established customer base.

Therefore, the goal of your online store is two-fold:

  • To increase your level of notoriety and bring in new customers
  • To make your current customers happy by offering them additional online services

So how exactly do you do that? Here are a few creative ways you can use your online store to reach customers:

  • Browsing – Allow shoppers the ability to browse your products online before they come in the store. This can be helpful for any type of business, whether it’s browsing a restaurant menu or a selection of clothing or other retail items.
  • Social promotions – Offer in-store or online discounts for customers who promote your company on social media through tagged images or mentions.
  • Delivery – Offer delivery service if a customer is close enough to your physical location. If you really want to reach new customers, you can also offer shipping services for certain products or baked goods for those who can’t access your physical location. For example, The Cute Little Cake Shop has a physical storefront but also ships their cakes nationwide.


Source: The Cute Little Cake Shop

  • Sell gift cards – Many physical stores use their online stores to sell gift cards, which users can either use online or the next time they pop into your store.
  • In-store pickup – Along the same lines as delivery, you can also use your ecommerce store to allow customers to order online but pick up in store.
  • Cross promotion – You can entice your online shoppers into coming to your physical store by offering a discount online if they pickup in-store, or tell people in-store that they can get a discount if they shop online.

The possibilities are endless. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your online offering, and remember that your ultimate goal is to make the lives of your customers easier so they come back for more – either in person or online.

Check out these 6 brick-and-mortar retailers that are succeeding with ecommerce

Final Thoughts

If you want to drive business to your physical location, or simply expand into a new market, having an ecommerce store in addition to your physical store can be extremely beneficial.

Not only will you reach a new market, but you can also make the lives of your current customers much easier. To get started, research the best platforms for ecommerce sites, and if you already have a website, make sure that the integration is seamless.

Be sure to consider upgrading your POS system to accommodate both physical and online storefronts, and don’t forget to be creative when it comes to your promotions. Unlike your brick-and-mortar store, the sky is the limit when it comes to building your digital empire.

Why You Should Seriously Consider Owning Your Clover POS System

Why You Should Seriously Consider Owning Your Clover POS System


Implementing a POS system is a process that requires time and patience, and many small business owners may feel overwhelmed by the choices they are presented with.

How do you choose the right system? Can you afford to purchase your system outright? What sort of technology and hardware will the system come with? Are there any hidden fees? What are the costs for processing? Any POS system is a major investment, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

If you’re considering installing a POS system for the first time – or even if you’re upgrading to a new system or shopping for a better alternative – there are a few things you should know about owning your system first.

Ask these 6 questions before you buy your POS system


Do You Need a New POS System?

For the most part, you should only be investing in a new system if it’s going to be an improvement on your current situation. It’s important to understand how your POS system fits into your overall business goals.

Are you trying to save money because you want to expand your business? Are you frequently missing money that should be in your cash register, and you want a better system of accountability? Are your customers asking more about Apple Pay?

Whatever the reason, you should first make a list of goals that your POS system could help you accomplish.

Then, ask yourself what you can afford.

There’s more to a POS system than just technology. You have to consider the cost of implementation, installation, credit card processing charges, and most importantly, support. Which situations are covered by the initial costs of purchase? Will you be paying for anything out of pocket if something goes wrong? Will there be any surprise fees at the end of the month? Can the POS change with your business, without causing a disruption in service or loss of current income?

When you’re shopping around, it’s important to have these questions in the forefront of your mind, and here’s why…


The Hidden Costs of Your POS

The average lifespan of a POS system is about five years, so any financial investment you make will be a commitment.

The cost of an average POS system can be broken into a few categories:

  • Hardware – This includes bar code scanners, receipt printers, or any other gadgets you will use to process payments
  • Software – Every POS system requires computer software, which runs the hardware
  • Integrations – If you want a POS system that works with other software that your business is currently using, like an accounting software, there’s likely an additional fee for it
  • Credit card processing – There is often an additional fee for your business to accept and process credit cards
  • Service and support – Some POS companies provide service and support as a flat fee each month, but others include it in the overall package price. You may also have to pay a training fee in addition to support fees

Traditionally, small businesses purchase POS systems outright for a one-time fee. This often requires business owners to save up money to make the purchase or take out loans to supplement the income if the business is struggling.

This one-time fee also doesn’t account for credit card processing fees, support fees, or any upgrades your software or hardware needs to go through in the 10 or more years you will own it, and with the constantly evolving technology available today, it’s only a matter of time before your system becomes obsolete.

You also have to worry about maintenance. While owning a POS system means you have full control over your data, it also means you have to pay for any maintenance issues that arise.

With all of that weighing on your shoulders, we can understand why upgrading your POS system can be a daunting process.

But what if we told you there was a better way?


Why You Should Rent to Own Instead

Although making a one payment may sound appealing at first, it can actually cost you more in the long run, especially if things go wrong or technology continues to shift the way it has been for the last several years.

In fact, as technology advances, you may be all but required to upgrade to features like Apple Pay to stay relevant. And if you want the latest technology, you should buy a system that can handle it.

But what if you’re strapped for cash, or you’re still not sure you need that technology just yet?

A better option for you might be rent to own, which would allow you to rent your system until you can afford to buy in outright. You pay a flat monthly fee of $59/month for your POS services, and you can upgrade to all the latest features without needing to put down a large payment up front. This ensures that you will be able to meet customer demands both now and in the future without having to sacrifice your finances.

Rent to own is also a great option if you’re not technologically savvy. It’s important to consider the technical support available when looking at POS systems. As we mentioned before, many systems offer support for an additional fee and don’t cover everything you need.

And you don’t have to worry about maintenance, since most rent to own systems are based on cloud technology, so there’s no physical server that can malfunction during business hours.

Even if you do know your way around technology, keep in mind that even the most competent person will at some point need help, whether with installation, transition, or simply to answer customer questions. You want a system that comes with a great team that can answer all of your questions (and problems, should they arise) in a timely and efficient manner without costing you more money.

Here are 6 questions to ask if you want to own your POS

Final Thoughts

So, should you own your POS? Yes. But you don’t need to make a huge commitment to reap the benefits of the latest technology. Rent to own is a great solution for small businesses who want to upgrade but have tight budgets or need more support for their customers (or for themselves!).

One thing to keep in mind when looking for a POS system is to focus on what you really need, not just right now, but in 10 years from now. The biggest complaint we hear from business owners is a lack of transparency from POS companies who tell them they will be getting features they never end up using (or they don’t get features they end up needing).

That’s why it’s important to take the time to clarify what you need now and to be informed about what changes you may want to make to your business (e.g., Will you expand? Will you start an online store?). Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions, and remember that your POS exists to serve YOU, not the other way around.

This is how you make payment in Space using Clover POS

This is how you make payment in Space using Clover POS

Clover goes where no payment has gone before.

Recently, Clover partnered with UK financial institution Nationwide Building Society to focus on the future of payments by asking the question, “What about making a card payment happen in space?” The question is only somewhat fanciful: figuring out how to make payments happen in extreme conditions — at spacelike altitudes and temperatures — offer insights into what’s possible here on Earth.

A team up to the task recently launched a Clover device into the stratosphere and made a payment happen there, for the first time ever. Read the full infographic below to follow their experiment from the ground, into near space, and back again.

Clover POS

So, on your next trip to space forget the cash 🙂 We got you covered!!

Originally posted on www.Clover.Com

10 Free Small Business Planning Resources

10 Free Small Business Planning Resources

Planning to start your own business is both exciting and overwhelming. While you know exactly what your business wants to address, you don’t really know where to begin. You need to be careful about your money and the resources you invest in to set shop.

So here are 10 free small business planning resources available online, that will guide you through the process of planning your business to setting it up effectively:

1. The Small Business Association (SBA)

If you’re still drafting a business plan, SBA’s create your business plan section is where you should head to. This section will walk you through each section of planning a business – telling you what to include and what will make you stand out in the competition.


SCORE’s business plan section is another fantastic planning resource that is loaded with free online workshops and podcasts that guide you through the initial phases till the end. They also offer free mentoring in person and via emails.

3. Onesto EMV Payments Guide

If you want to set up a successful small business, you just can’t ignore EMV payment methods that are going to be implemented for all credit cards. To understand everything about this payment method, you can view our guidehere.

4. Startup Planner

Entrepreneurs often have more than one idea for their business, but often face a problem in articulating it. Navarro College Small Business Development Center in Texas recognised this issue and offers a free business startup planning questionnaire that allows you to put forward your ideas in words.

5. Entrepreneur.com

Entrepreneur offers a business planning resource that is loaded with business planning guidelines, checklists, forms, templates and models. In fact the platform also links you to related categories that are important for setting up a business – marketing forms and templates, entrepreneurship tips and finance management.

6. Business USA

The start a business wizard offered by Business USA is an online tool that asks you a variety of questions like your inventions, plans on opening a venture, thoughts on acquiring an existing business, etc. Based on your answers the tool then prepares a sample action plan with the necessary steps you need to take to set shop and the local resources that will be available to you based on your ZIP code.

7. Microsoft Office

The Microsoft Office site offers a gallery of templates, including business plan checklists, financial managers, presentation layouts and marketing planners. These templates are helpful if you want to keep everything in your business plan highly organised right from the beginning. It also offers a presentation template that is highly optimized for showcasing your business plans to potential investors.

8. VFinance

A publicly traded company, VFinance uses their personal investment knowledge in creating a business plan template for small businesses. It allows you to download a free business plan that is targeted at the industry you’re focusing on with $75 towards 3 months of professional posting of your business plan for potential investors.

9. BizGym

BizGym is an online business planner that allows you to fill out a planning template on-site section wise. It then tracks your progress and enables sharing of the plan once completed. It offers a collaborative platform with multiple pricing options, including a free plan called ‘inventor’. You can simply apply to gain access to resources such as deck builder, budget builder and pivot planning.

10. BPlans

BPlans offers a free, basic business plan template for download. This template includes an organized guideline to creating a business plan, and takes you step-by-step towards being investor ready and SBA approved.

Know of any other resources that has been helpful to you in business planning? Feel free to add to this list by dropping a comment in the box below!

The EMV Liability Shift Checklist For Small Businesses

The EMV Liability Shift Checklist For Small Businesses

Running a small business efficiently is a tough job. But becoming liable for credit card frauds that might occur during business makes the going a lot more tougher. As the EMV chip cards come to the United States, it is time to prepare yourself for small changes that will only reduce fraud and boost your customer confidence at the point of sale.

EMV checklist for small businesses

Here’s your 4 step EMV liability shift checklist that you must get started with right away:

1. Educate yourself

With the US liability shift getting introduced, small businesses that are generally unprepared will face the risk of scams. The best way to protect yourself and your business from this is to understand how the EMV chip card technology works, stay up-to-date with US liability shift policies and know exactly what to expect from chip enabled terminals or payment processors.

2. Create a robust EMV Enablement Plan

Look for a provider that can supply you with an EMV enabled card reader who can support contactless payments and traditional magnetic stripe cards. While the upgrade is important for securing your business, keeping the customer’s needs in mind is also a wise idea. Get a clear picture of the time, money and training necessary to ensure a smooth transition, and how the provider will help you with it.

3. Ask more questions

Hold a discussion with your payment processor and ask him questions around enhancing security and how they will help you reduce the point of sale transaction fraud. Some point of sale providers have integrated payment processing that simplify the transactions as well as save time.

4. Find what suits you the best

Gather price quotations from payment processors and assess the costs. The cost of upgrading to EMV point of sale technology can vary greatly based on the quality of the software, as well as the features, functionality and the level of support offered by the provider. While doing your research, keep in mind the reliability of the hardware, ease of use and the type of support that will be available to you right from the beginning of the transition.

And most importantly, lookout for hidden fees. Reliable POS providers will not just help you understand the entire process, but will also offer a transparent pricing model.

Time to protect yourself from frauds and get ready for a positive business year ahead!

5 fees that prove you are overpaying for your merchant services

5 fees that prove you are overpaying for your merchant services

Let’s face the truth. Most of the  small business owners do not understand merchant services fees and  overpay for credit card processing every month. That’s unfortunate.

The single biggest reason is the complexity of fees structure for merchant services. There are multiple level of fees involved when you swipe a credit card at your terminal. Below are just some of the fees you need to lookout for on your monthly statement.

1. Statement fees

It’s a fees charged for printing the credit card statements and sending to your address by courier or postal mail. Some companies charge as much as $15 per month that may appear as miscellaneous fees in your statement.

You may get away with statement fees by opting for electronic statements. Check with your merchant to find out the pricing difference between online statements and printed statements.

2. Batch fees

Merchant receives authorization code from the issuing bank after the transaction is completed.  Batch of authorization codes are processing by merchant (generally at the end of the day) for payment settlement and a fees is charged to submit those authorization for you to get paid. If you do not ”batch out”, also called ”Settle”, at the end of the day, you do not get paid for those transactions.

It’s also a good idea to batch out everyday since some merchant companies will downgrade those transactions to non qualified transaction resulting in higher fees for you.

3. Basis point (Also known as volume fee, other fee)

Basis point is 1/100 of a percent and the term is used in financial domain to represent very small fees on transactions. To simplify, 1 basis point means 1 cent of fees on $100 transaction. Looks ignorable? but it becomes a significant amount on large volume of transactions.

Let’s assume your merchant is charging you 25 basis point fees on credit card processing. If you have $100,000 of transactions in a month, then you will be charged 0.0025 * 100,000 = $250. More the volume, more the fees – that is why it’s also called volume fees.

4. PCI Non Compliance fee

Some portion of fees is paid to Payment Card Industry. If your business is not compliant with PCI standard then you will be charged for PCI-Non Compliance fees, mostly in the range of $19.99/month and higher.When compliant, you still have to pay fees to your merchant for keeping yourself within regulations.

Check with your merchant services company if you are being protected by PCI compliance and how much you are being charged for this service. More information on PCI Compiance

5. Terminal Fees

Terminal fees are the rental fees being charged to you for using the actual machine/hardware that enables you to process the transactions.

There are many options when it comes to hardware ownership. The best option is to buy your own equipment/hardware and avoid these fees. You end up paying 3-4 times the cost,  overtime the course of rental or lease agreement and can range from $15-$30 per month.

A brand new EMV compliant terminal, like Verifone Vx520 can be bought for around $180 online and will save you thousands in the long run.

Besides the fees listed above, there are various other fees that merchants need to lookout for. Some are negotiable and some are not.

Contact us today for a free analysis of your statements.

Top 51 websites – to learn and avoid costly mistakes with your business

Top 51 websites – to learn and avoid costly mistakes with your business

It can be very time-consuming and frustrating for new Small business owners to find  honest guidance or reliable vendors while setting up new business. A wrong contractor or company can set you up for months in delay and thousands of dollars in losses.

We have researched and assembled a list of 51 websites that can help you in setting up legal structure of your business, learn marketing and sales, raise capital, get credit, organize finance & accounts, and create an online business presence.


small business

 Business plan and strategies for small business

1) LivePlan

One of the oldest and easiest way to prepare a business plan to pitch to investors. Cloud based. Pitch, plan and track your business anywhere.


SBA is often overlooked as a great place to prepare a business plan. In fact, you can visit a local SCORE chapter and get one on one guidance by seasoned entrepreneurs.

3) Allbusiness

It provides advices to small businesses about how to start, finance management and build a business.

4) Frannet

Frannet.com provides guidance and advice. If your thinking about buying a franchise then it provides guidance to determine you are suited to franchise owner or not.

5) W-work

Women’s Work is about helping the working women. It provides articles, advice, flexible career choice that helps women towards their business decision making.

6) B-plan

B plan provides business plans, business plan software and articles on business plan and other business related topics.

7) Business How Know

Business how know website provides idea and strategies for marketing, finance, start a business, running or about how to growth.

8) Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs.com provides practical information, articles, videos, tools, news regarding small businesses.

9) Inc

Online portal of Inc magazine. Great place for inspirational articles, startup news and business know-how.

10) Accounting Web

It offers accounting industry news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight-everything you need to prosper and interact with other accounting professionals.

11) More Business

You can find  sample business plans, templates, sample contracts and business agreements to help entrepreneurs to start and grow a small business.

Government Laws for Small Business

12) Business usa gov

It provides the information about the legal requirements and laws imposed by central, state or local agencies.

13) Uspto

Uspto.gov is the official site for searching U.S patent database. It also includes international treaties and patent news.

14) Irs

Internal revenue service provides information about business taxes information. It is a good place to stay on current taxes that affect business owners.

Business formation and legal documents

15) LegalZoom

Although almost all states have an online portal to help you set up your business, it can be little confusing. If you don’t mind paying little extra for a streamlined process, you should consider third party registration companies. LegalZoom does a great job when you need to incorporate or form LLC or file any other business document

16) MyCorporation

Similar to LegalZoom. Create and file you business documents online with state agencies.

17) LawDepot

Create personal and business legal documents online. Some free, some for charge.

18) RocketLawyer

Excellent place if you require constant legal documents. Starting for as low as $7/month.

Marketing/ Advertisement

19) Facebook Local

Facebook is one of the leading social media sites. By advertisement on facebook, it becomes easy to reach your customers and make them know about your products.

20) Yelp

Yelp is also marketing website. From the reviews on yelp, business owners come to know about the liking of customers and make improvements according to their needs

21) Yahoo local

Yahoo Local is an online local advertising system that gives businesses the ability to provide detailed business information to millions of potential customers.

Franchise for Small Business

22) BizBuySell

Biz-buy-sell is about the trade of businesses. It provides information the businesses that are on sale. It also provides information about franchises.

23) Franchise Expo

Franchise expo is also a search engine about franchises. If you want to buy a franchise then you can search here.

24) Franchise

Franchise.com is a search engine that helps in finding news related franchises and resources. It also provides information about the businesses that are for.

News/ Newsletters/ Magazines for Small Business

25) Business News Daily It provides the news business news which in turns helps the small businesses in making their future strategies.

26) US Chamber

This portal helps in how to start, inform about new taxes and much more that related to small businesses.

27) ToolKit

Toolkit features more than 5000 pages of free cost cutting tips, step by step check list, real life case studies and business template to small business owners.

28) TardePub

Trade pub features free publication of newsletter and magazine related to business and computer. Anyone can subscribe these for free.

29) Know This

Know this is a leading information resource that provides information in the area of market research, selling, advertisement and other related matters.

30) Smallbiztrends

Small business trends help in finding out the current trends and what will be future trends that affect the small businesses.

31) Social Media Today

Social media today provide the small businessmen information, tools, tips and strategies that help in establishing that business.

32) Survey Monkey

Survey money create and publish online surveys of consumers to gather data that in turns business can use for taking making business strategies.

Web Builder for Small Businesses

33) Copyblogger

Copy blogger helps the websites business by providing knowledge about how to gain more traffic, links and subscribers for sites.

34) Webs

Webs.com is one of the best website builders for small businesses. Build your own website or blog without any coding skills.

35) Score

Score.org offers face to face business counseling, mentoring and training for startups and small businesses.

Entrepreneur’s Associations

36) Econnect Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur connect is a social networking site of gathering palace of thousands of business owners. Join like mined people and receive valuable advice from trenches.

37) Young Entrepreneur

Young entrepreneur.com is an online community of entrepreneurs. These include business professionals, venture capitalist, industry experts and successful entrepreneurs. So it is a platform to learn from these experts.

38) Business Owner Idea Cafe

Business owner idea cafe is managed by successful entrepreneurs and authors. This site provides practical advice, business news.

39) NASE

National Association for Self-Employed, provides its members with support, education and training. It surveys the needs of the self-employed persons and posts articles those can be used by business owners.

Loan / Financial Help

40) Business Credit Blogger

Business credit blogger.com helps small business in providing information about business credits, credit reporting and credit cards.

41) Credit

Credit.com provides free help regarding credit planning. The experts offer advice and tip to save your money.

42) V Finance

V finance is helpful for those who are searching for sources of capital venture. It provide network with investors and sample business plan templates.

43) Sba.gov

Sba provides a wide range of sources for technical, managerial and financial help to small business owners.

44) Rangde.org

Rangde is loan provider for micro and ruler entrepreneurs. The main focus of this site is to provide ruler business.

45) Nawbo

National association for women business owners provides financial and other resources and support to business women.

46) Mint.com

Mint.com provides help in the form of personal finances, money management and budget planning. In addition, Mint offers free financial planning software.

Payment solutions for Small Businesses

47) Paypal

PayPal became a standard for accepting digital payment which allows people to send and receive money electronically.

48) Square

Biggest competitor of Paypal, it helps you to setup online store and process payments for your online business.

49) Stripe

Stripe works on different devices without any extra cost on your wallet. You can easily integrate stripe with your website and start accepting payments.

50) Intuit

Old player in the market, Intuit offers payment solution that works well with e-commerce payments. You can accept payments by connecting their card reader with your smartphone.

51) Authorize.net

Authorize provides multiple options to accept payments. Small business owners can get simple checkout option and start accepting payments.


Starting a business is not easy. There are so many complexities at each level. We can help you in processing payments if you are an owner of a small business like restaurants, cafe, pub or retail store.

Contact us by clicking here