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How to choose the best EFTPOS solution for your small business
(A complete guide)

If you are new to EFTPOS, navigating the options of EFTPOS technology, costs and providers can be daunting as you try to find the best EFTPOS solution for your business in New Zealand. 

EFTPOS is a round-the-clock, functional solution from which you want reliability and ease of use. Undoubtedly you want to find something that works for you without having to go through the costly hassle of changing EFTPOS machines or providers. 

Whether you are setting up a new business or are an established business looking to get started with EFTPOS, we have put together this guide for business owners to help you choose the best EFTPOS solution for you. 

happy lady choosing the best EFTPOS for business

PART 1 : Choosing the best EFTPOS solution for your small business
- Partnering with the right EFTPOS provider

With all the EFTPOS providers in the New Zealand market, it can be overwhelming to understand all the  available alternatives and even tempting to choose the cheapest option to maintain a resourceful attitude to finances. 

A service like EFTPOS should be considered as essential as power in terms of it being crucial, continual and stable in nature – meaning you want your provider to give you reliability.

7 things to consider when choosing the best EFTPOS provider for your small business

Am I getting the right guidance?

An EFTPOS solution is an on-going utility for your business. It’s a combination of a reliable product, prompt service and accessible support; often for an extended period of time. 

This makes good service the most paramount factor to choosing your provider. This includes getting all the right information to get started, an easy set-up and experts to answer your questions through the process. 

Prompt support, equipment replacement, security compliance and value-adds are all important parts of receiving great service for your business. To have the best EFTPOS solution, you want to ensure you are securing good service from the get go.

What if I need help with my payment solution?

EFTPOS  is something you want to set-and-forget and not have to worry about too often. But should you require support, the resolution should be accessible, quick and hassle free.

Smartpay offers 24/7 support, 365 days a year with all our EFTPOS solutions. Your calls go to a NZ help desk where our experts not only answer 80% of support calls in under 20 seconds but also resolve 90% of support requests on the first call within an average of 4 minutes.

Our support also includes prompt machine replacements (next business day) if our technical support team cannot resolve your issue on the phone. To learn more about our service promise, check out what we offer.

Will I be secure, compliant and up to date with the latest features?

EFTPOS machines handling your business transactions need to be kept secure with regular software updates that meet industry regulations. These should ideally be done remotely; with no disruption to your business. Any out-of-date hardware should also be replaced with a compliant machine. 

Smartpay maintains our own EFTPOS machines which includes releasing updates that are automatically downloaded by our terminals. Our in-house tech experts keep our terminals secure and also deliver product improvements and new features. 

UPDATE TO COMPLIANCE APRIL 2023

With the upcoming changes to compliance regulations in April 2023, many existing terminals in the market will need to be updated to remain compliant. Smartpay’s tech teams have already started working on building this update for our customers. A provider that is on to it will always keep you one step ahead with compliance updates.

What additional POS integrations and value-adds can I choose from?

Did you know there are several ways you can customise your EFTPOS solution to improve the way you take payments? 

Popular features like contactless payments, surcharging, QR code mobile payments and POS integrations can add to the customer experience while growing your business and serving more customers.

Smartpay not only develop an extensive range of features and POS integrations done entirely in-house (no middle men here!), we also include a variety of these features, for free, in our EFTPOS solutions. 

What contract term is best for my business?

Depending on your business, you may need EFTPOS for the long term or shorter durations such as a day or week. A provider that offers flexibility in their contract terms allows for adaptability and alignment with your business as you establish, grow and diversify.  

HANDY TIP -> LONGER TERM = LOWER MONTHLY COSTS

Committing for a longer term should also help your business reduce monthly rental costs as most providers will offer cheaper pricing for a longer lease and the advantage of promotions such as free time and prize draws. 

What am I really paying for?

EFTPOS costs should be easy to understand and transparent; with no hidden fees or charges. Your provider should clearly guide you on the costs involved to accept EFTPOS payments. These include the EFTPOS rental and third party costs like the payments network and your merchant bank (particularly if you are choosing to accept payWave or credit cards). 

If you do choose to accept payWave or credit, your provider should also guide you on how to offset some of these costs by enabling surcharging

Am I partnering with someone who is well established?

From a merchant perspective EFTPOS should be simple but behind the scenes, there is effort and complexity involved in terms of technology and service. 

Given you want to set-and-forget your EFTPOS solution, you ideally want to partner with a provider that you can rely on completely. Ask yourself if they have been around in the New Zealand payments landscape and have the experience needed to back up their services. 

Consider someone well established; with the scalability and bandwidth to provide country-wide support with minimal disruption. Meaning they need in-house capabilities to support their terminals, and have a large team of locally based experts for technical assistance and account queries – so you are always assured that you are well taken care of in a situation where it matters most. 

PART 2 : Choosing the best EFTPOS solution for your small business
- Configuring the EFTPOS machine

Your payment set-up can be simple or complex to suit your business requirements – from simply accepting debit cards to offering a host of payment features – the choice is entirely yours to tailor the solution to work your way. 

An EFTPOS machine can be more than just a terminal to take payments on. Adding payment features and value adds can help you maximise your investment in EFTPOS. The features you enable will largely depend on your industry, how you operate your business and your customer needs.

8 things to consider when tailoring the best EFTPOS machine for your small business

Where will I use the EFTPOS machine?

Where you do business will answer a lot of questions about which EFTPOS machine is suitable for you. Consider where you would like to take payments from your customers.

If you are a business on-the-go (such as a taxi, tradie or food truck) a mobile EFTPOS terminal with a SIM card lets you take payments anywhere. If you run a restaurant, you might want to take payments table side, in which case, a portable machine that connects with Wi-Fi will suit best. For a retail store, a hardwired EFTPOS machine on the table will get the job done.  

Once you know where you and your customers are while taking payments, it brings you to the next question – how will I connect my terminal?

How will I connect the EFTPOS machine?

You have 3 main options when it comes to connecting your terminal to the payment network to start accepting payments:

  • GPRS/3G (SIM card) – Great in situations where you do business on-the-go such as a van, food truck or if you do not have stable internet at your location. Terminals using these connections rely on cellphone networks therefore need network coverage. 
  • Wi-Fi – Perfect option for portability when you have an existing, stable internet connection throughout your place of business. If you need to extend your Wi-Fi connection to your EFTPOS machine permanently, you might want to consider a Bluetooth base or create a hotspot from your mobile in case you get caught out. 
  • Plug-in – This uses an ethernet (broadband) cable to connect your EFTPOS machine to the internet. Most suited to brick & mortar style shops where you may also have a computer or point of sale (POS) at the counter. Do ensure your cable is long enough to reach the EFTPOS terminal – or use an extension cable if the router is more than 1 meter from the payment station.

HANDY TIP -> MORE CONNECTION OPTIONS = MORE RELIABILITY

It is beneficial to get a machine that connects using more than one option so you have a back-up if one of the communication methods becomes unavailable for some reason.

What payment methods do I want to accept?

In today’s market customers expect flexibility and options to pay how they want. Deciding which payment methods you want to enable for your customers is the next crucial step to tailoring your EFTPOS machine and customer experience. 

  • Even as the pandemic slowly fades, habits formed during that time have stuck with customers making contactless payments the new expectation. Customers now expect not to touch the terminal while making a payment and even avoid shops that don’t offer contactless payment options.  
  • Those with premium offerings or high ticket sales might consider accepting credit cards to offer more flexibility and buying power to customers. 
  • Those serving many International and Chinese customers might want to accept Union Pay and QR code based mobile payments (with AliPay & WeChat Pay). 

Smartpay provides New Zealand businesses with all these options to accept payments. 

The great news is, we also provide the option to offset the costs (bank fees) associated with accepting contactless payments and credit cards by adding an automatic surcharge on your EFTPOS machines. This feature is free to activate for Smartpay customers and can be programmed remotely.

Do I require my EFTPOS machine to be integrated with my POS?

Point of Sale (POS) systems are widely used in many industries including retail, hospitality and beauty. POS systems enable small businesses to better manage their operations like sales, inventory and people. 

By integrating your EFTPOS machine with your POS, you streamline how you take payments. Reducing manual errors, making reconciliations and transactions quicker are just a few of the benefits. If you are using a POS, integrating it with your EFTPOS machine is a no-brainer. 

Smartpay integrates with some of the most popular POS providers in New Zealand and are continuously adding new integrations. If you don’t have a POS and would like to try a free solution, Smartpay offers our very own Till2Go POS solution

What other features and value-adds would be useful to me?

Depending on the nature of your business and industry, you might want to consider adding features which not only improve how you take payments but enhance how you do business. Some examples of how payment features can add value to your business:

  • For a hospo business a feature like tipping allows customers to include their tips with their bill directly on your EFTPOS machine. 
  • The pre-auth feature allows merchants to hold funds for accommodation, bar tabs and settle the final amount without the card being present again. 
  • The currency select feature improves customer experience by letting international customers see the transaction amount in their local currency. 
  • For  businesses that share an office (such as physiotherapists), the multi-merchant feature lets up to 8 merchants take payments on one EFTPOS machine and receive settlements to their individual bank accounts. 

At Smartpay we develop our payment features in-house and have a range of industry based features for any big or small business. We also continuously roll out new features to help you future-proof your business and provide an exceptional customer experience during payment. 

How easy is the EFTPOS machine to set-up and use?

To make it easy for you and your staff to use day-to-day, the best EFTPOS machine is one that is intuitive, user friendly and versatileThis doesn’t just include taking payments but also to do simple tasks like process refunds and change paper rolls easily. 

Activating new features or functionality remotely on the EFTPOS machine with minimal disruption is also important for flexibility to make changes as your business grows and changes. 

Smartpay EFTPOS terminals come ready to use out of the box. They are pre-configured and require no set-up or long wait times for installation. Everything you need to get started is included in the box along with the terminal. Our in-house experts are always available to answer any questions about using the EFTPOS machines and our website provides various resources for help and troubleshooting

How will my transactions remain secure?

To ensure you remain compliant with payment security regulations, your EFTPOS machine should receive regular software updates rolled out by your EFTPOS provider and hardware upgrades when necessary. This part is usually taken care of as part of your contract. 

With Smartpay, you never have to worry about being compliant because our in-house tech teams regularly roll out remote software updates that apply automatically, hence always keeping your transactions safe. 

How can I keep track of my transactions?

Understanding more about your payment transactions can provide insight into ways to grow your business. Keeping track on things like slower days, loyal customers and high performing stores gives you opportunities to unlock your business potential and determine the areas that need work. 

The payments network connected to your EFTPOS machine provides you with these insights and data in real-time. Smartpay EFTPOS machines connected to the Wordline (previously Paymark) network have the added ability to report on sales, revenue, customer loyalty and other important information in real-time. 

Talk to us at Smartpay 

To empower you to make the best choice, a good EFTPOS provider should walk you through this information, learn more about your business and work with you to tailor the best EFTPOS solution.

At Smartpay, we pride ourselves on making the process of getting EFTPOS for your business easy and stress free. Our payment specialists have helped thousands of Kiwi businesses get the best EFTPOS solution for them. Talk to us today about getting started with Smartpay.

Speak with one of our Kiwi payment specialists today!

Every year our payment specialists help hundreds of businesses in all sorts of industries to get the right payment solution. Talk to us about your business today.