Point-of-sale technology gets more muscle | PaymentsSource

In order to reach a wider audience, the digital payments provider linked2pay is concentrating on the offline world through the integration with the terminal manufacturer Pax Technology.

The partnership illustrates the need for the physical point of sale to be as comprehensive as an e-commerce site, with support for mobile wallets, rewards, loyalty programs, and customer news. In the wake of the global pandemic in particular, consumers expect these functions to be integrated into every channel they use to shop.

“COVID-19 … has accelerated the timelines for our product roadmaps, so we answered that bell here,” said Bill Lodes, chief revenue officer for Linked2pay, based in Oxnard, California. “We did a lot of work before COVID, so we’re strong with this technology and anticipatory enough to get it on developers’ schedules.”

The integration of new software into the operation of a POS terminal enables a variety of payment options as well as rewards, loyalty programs or customer messages. In many cases the process would include links to back office operations that require transactional information.

While the race to quickly get mobile and digital multi-channel functions into the hands of retailers via an integrated POS increased last year, this was a sharp contrast to the time when many retailers and developers were not entirely sure what the payments integration means in terms of integration. to payment terminals.

Pax is working with linked2pay so that its Android-based terminals can do more with customer data.

In the early days, integrated payments required a lengthy process with a partner because “people were not fluent with integrated payment technology,” Lodes said. “But now that it has grown, a lot of these software people are more familiar with the payments ecosystem and have realized that they need more technology than just a simple integration.”

The Linked2pay / Pax offering enables independent software vendors and independent sales organizations to support APIs for credit cards, ACH, instant merchant settlement and real-time payments. The benefit for ISVs is the provision of multi-channel and real-time payments made possible by linked2pay’s platform and onboarding automation, risk management and security tools, all from one partner as opposed to multiple providers, Lodes noted.

“It used to be just stand-alone terminals that were placed on a counter,” said Lodes. “We didn’t have anything that was integrated through our platform.”

Linked2pay has found a partner in Pax Technology Inc., with whom it can integrate its payment software and participate in future advances in contactless payment acceptance, a specialty of the China-based company, which offers countertop models and PIN pads as well as Android portable payment terminals manufactures. As a global company, Pax operates its North American sector from Jacksonville, Florida.

“The advantage of partnering with Pax is that they are strong in many industries,” said Lodes. “They have a variety of options, and if you integrate them through your operating system and EMV kernel, the coding is the same across the product line. You can use any device without having to recertify it every time. “

Linked2pay has long been focused on digital payments and underwriting through its sales channels. For the past five years, it has offered smaller banks technology for faster payments and other digitally focused use cases.

But like other tech companies, linked2pay saw an opportunity in the ability to integrate with other vendors at the POS and bring digital advancements into an arena that essentially places it at the heart of developing any POS improvement.

In this environment, says Lodes, ISVs take on more responsibility by engaging with commercial sectors they are familiar with and handling the technical aspects and pricing of the products.

“You now know more about the users, too,” Lodes said. “They know if they want to pay by credit card, ACH through a bank account, online or on a mobile phone. When we interview potential payment providers, they ask for more means of payment.”

An example of how things at the POS have evolved into an omnichannel environment, restaurants provide an important playing field for integrated payment expansion with pre-order, mobile ordering, roadside pick-up, take-away, gift cards, loyalty programs and promotions. All of this is managed through software integrations at the POS.

“Once you’ve signed up and have a particular restaurant app on your phone, there are mechanisms that allow you to tap on an ad for a discount on a dinner near the restaurant,” Lodes said.

Many of the early disruptors in integrated payments were technology companies that gave the payments world a technological turn, including Apple, Square and Stripe, Lodes added.

“It got us in the payments world to think about end users and their behavior – and come up with solutions,” said Lodes. “Linked2pay has followed this trend by allowing a mom and pop business to go to the linked2pay website and fill out an application online, especially for a no-card solution that can be up and running within a few hours on the same day. “

Pax Technology sees the cooperation with technology partners as crucial for the future design of the POS, as mobile and digital payments as well as business tasks interact even more closely with the retailer network.

“It is our mission to provide solutions that meet the needs of businesses and consumers for today, tomorrow and for the future,” said Heather Mlachnik, Senior Vice President of Acquiring and ISO Sales at Pax, in a statement on the Linked2Pay Partnership.

Data driven

Whether they’re a newbie to integrated payments at the point of sale or someone who has been in this ecosystem for years, the goal is generally the same – they want consumer information, especially their payment preferences and login information.

“The key at the POS is getting payment information when you incorporate payments into the experience,” said Richard Crone, CEO of San Carlos, California-based payment advisory firm Crone Consulting LLC. “The habitual use of order-ahead and other services that result from integrated payments will drive a general shift to digital payments.”

Any restaurant that uses Square, Toast, or Zettle can save payment information when someone calls to place an order, making it a key component of integrated payments, Crone added.

“The end game is knowing the customer,” he said. “Many companies, like Square, have always had a vision that Square would benefit from having a registered base with proof of payment to generate Square Cash.”

The ability to build a database of payment information for customers also generally empowers a business to do bigger and better things.

marqeta, a company that started out with prepaid card products more than a decade ago has grown into a company that handles many embedded payment transactions for Uber, Doordash and Square. It came as no surprise that it got strong enough to go public recently.

The culmination of such an approach, Crone said, lies with Amazon and its current efforts to move forward Amazon Go through the ability to retain payment information and convert it into a one-click checkout or autonomous checkout in one physical location.

“But it’s not really about the cash register,” added Crone. “It’s about checking in, registering the customer with proof of payment that is pre-authenticated via KYC and ready for the user so that payment is simply embedded in the experience when they leave.”

Linked2pay may transition to physical POS integration now, but the company will remain in a good position to adapt to any future with autonomous checkout as it has laid a foundation for integrated payments, Crone noted.

As an ISO sees it

Merchants know that there are built-in payment products out there, but some are reluctant to accept the advances because they fear the ramifications of a long-term contract or the total cost.

“Education is needed to reduce resistance,” said Leigh Cook, president and technology specialist for Today Payments in San Diego, California. “If merchants weren’t forced to give up their activities from scratch, I think they would embrace digital advancement.”

With that in mind, Cook turned to linked2pay to add their company’s payment technology to their engine.

“We want to give merchants a wide avenue to take advantage of the advances in payment technologies available,” said Cook. “We offer a simple additional service that gently transforms a retailer’s accounting software and customer relationship management into a payment terminal that suddenly has access to all types of payment.”

There’s no need to spend days migrating to built-in payment technology, Cook added. This can be done in hours – or even minutes – as there is no need to replace the dealer’s accounting software, Cook said.

Most merchants like the idea of having POS information available for use or review in their accounting systems.

“I continue to watch the rollout of point-of-sale terminals, which offer a complete package from customer details to purchases to inventory and loyalty and more,” said Cook. “We specialize in enabling merchants to use their preferred accounting / CRM platform in the process when payments are accepted and received.”

Today Payments offers an additional service that converts a merchant’s accounting software and customer management into a payment terminal and its access to all types of payment.

“We’re removing resistance to the new digital advances,” added Cook.