Texting at POS – Payment methods affect your business

TextingIs ”checkout rage” next?

 A driver last evening edged half-way into my lane. A quick toot of the horn fixed things. You guessed it – Texting while driving! What if that same situation occurred, not in the protective environment of a car, but shoulder-to-shoulder in your checkout lane? As someone who quickly gets “lost in space,” anytime he holds his PDA, I think that the phone- as-a-wallet concept is great for a vending machine. But, should we risk turning our checkout into a social media spot?

Payment methods should enhance the customer experience.

They do so when they are harmonious with the broader scope of the transaction. Some transactions have inherent wait times. The payment process can be conducted simultaneously with other activities like wrapping or bagging the purchase. And, they allow the merchant to offer payment types that have lower transaction fees.

  • Drive-thru restaurants tell you the cost of your meal immediately after you order. You have time to get your cash ready while you move forward in line.
  • A gift shop can even have you fill out a check, while they wrap your purchase.

Here are two recent examples I experienced where the payment method made for a great experience. I was last week in Canada and had a lightning-fast transaction at a coffee shop. I tendered a $5 note, and received back NOTHING BUT COIN!!! (Canada  replaced $1 and $2 notes with coin, years ago.) Coin was easier than currency for the cashier to pick from the drawer, and I just dropped it in my pocket.

At dinner that same day, our server brought to our table a wireless payment unit, complete with printer. I swiped my card, entered the tip myself and my card never left my hand. Fast. Secure. Nice.

Back to that checkout line: The name says it all – “CHECKOUT.” The customer is there to finish his shopping experience, not conduct business or enter the world of social media. I would suggest that very few checkout environments are improved by a customer interacting with his PDA. But, then . . . I’m a Cash Advocate.

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