Understanding payment processing has become essential for liquor stores.
While the COVID-19 pandemic led to decreased consumer spending across many retail sectors in Canada, it increased sales in liquor stores. Bars and restaurants closed, and the only place to purchase alcohol was liquor stores. The result was a 1.3% bump in revenues for the industry in 2020 and 0.7% growth in 2021, helping the Canadian liquor store market to reach a value of $25 billion.
Growth in the liquor store segment has made it vital for these businesses to manage payments and cash flow, control costs, and create the experiences that customers want.
Why Liquor Store POS Systems Need Integrated Payments
Cash use is on the decline. The Canadian Payment Methods and Trends Report 2022 states that in 2021 the volume of cash transactions decreased 62%, while debit cards increased 10% and credit cards increased 33% from 2016.
With most people using payment cards, liquor store owners need a liquor store point of sale (POS) system with an integrated payments solution so that they can efficiently accept them. Stores that don’t accept digital payments risk losing sales or limiting the size of purchases to only cash in a customer’s wallet. Furthermore, customers may make decisions on where to shop based on payment convenience, looking for stores that accept payments with their EMV/chip cards, contactless cards, or mobile wallets.
Understanding Payment Processing at Your Liquor Store
To accept digital payments, you need a merchant services account. That account holds funds from payment card transactions until they transfer to your business account.
To establish a merchant services account, you need to work with a merchant service provider who will ensure you have the payment hardware you need to capture payment data and manage funds transfer for your business. Your merchant service provider will also ensure you have the technology required for the type of payment methods you want to accept, for example, a terminal with near-field communication (NFC) technology that allows your customers to use contactless payment cards or mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.
The Benefits of Integrated Payments
A number of liquor store POS systems leave payment processing up to you, requiring you to find a reputable merchant services provider, select a payment processor, and implement a payment terminal on your own.
Alternatively, some merchant service providers only sell payment processing, and may provide standalone payment solutions. In these cases, the card reader is separate from the POS system. It adds steps to checkout processes and adds time to end-of-day reporting. Furthermore, rekeying payment information into your POS or accounting system can lead to errors and even more time to correct them.
However, you can find total solutions for your business that include liquor store POS and merchant services that simplify digital payment acceptance. When payments are integrated into an all-in-one system, you’ll save time and create a faster, more efficient checkout experience.
Why Payment Processing Fee Transparency is Vital
Liquor store operators need to enter into a merchant services agreement understanding the costs associated with payment processing. Moreover, you need to understand that payment processing costs can vary. Some contracts have hidden fees that increase your monthly costs, and that’s something no business needs, particularly in a time of inflation.
Before you enter into a merchant services agreement or choose a total POS and payment solution, research payment processing fees and what your costs will be. Ensure you work with a company that is transparent about fees so you won’t have to deal with any surprises.
Give Your Business the Advantage of Excellent Support
When you’re choosing a provider for your liquor store POS system and integrated payments, also evaluate those companies on the level of support they provide. Your business will need a provider that will help you address issues with payment processing when they arise, including offering prompt emergency service and support when needed.
Do your due diligence, understanding payment processing services and support the provider offers and what it will be like to work with their company. Don’t settle for less than a commitment to provide help and assistance when you need it.
You Can Have It All
ClearTEQ’s POS and payments system is designed to provide liquor stores with everything they need to provide the growing number of digital-payment-first customers with the fast checkout and convenient shopping experiences they want.
We have successfully implemented our all-in-one system for many retail and liquor merchants, helping them to operate more efficiently and profitably and deliver the experiences their customers want. Our integrated system also enables seamless payments during checkouts.
Find out how your business can accept digital payments the easy way.