Gift Cards Expected to Exceed $6 Trillion by 2022

Gift Cards Expected to Exceed $6 Trillion by 2022

The average consumer is spending $59 more than the original value of their Gift Card, up $21 from 2017, according to the 2018 Prepaid Consumer Insights Study released by First Data (NYSE: FDC)  Despite the set value on a gift card, 72% of customers report spending more than the given amount on their card.

Offering gift cards allows a company to attract new customers, increase brand awareness, improve sales, and reduce fraud. Total retail sales in the United States were projected to amount to 6.03 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022, up from around 5.4 trillion U.S. dollars in 2018.  Often, businesses overlook the benefits of integrating gift cards into their companies.

Attracting New Customers

Gift cards are incredibly useful in attracting new customers.  They continue to be the number one gift given, therefore introducing new customers to your business.  Also, these Gift Cards serve as an incentive to purchase something your customer may not typically seek out.

Increasing Brand Awareness

Providing customers with Gift Cards increases your brand awareness, as well. As gift cards are purchased and given to others for holiday or birthdays, your brand will be introduced to a new audience. 93% of consumers will either buy or receive a gift card; also they are the #1 most requested present during holidays.

Marketing Your Company

Customizing your Gift Card serves as a self-marketing tool. Your logo is displayed in your customer’s wallet and viewed often.  Not only will this prompt customers to revisit your store, but it will also hopefully turn them into loyal repeat customers.

Reducing Fraud

By offering Gift Cards to customers, as opposed to paper certificates, you will also be reducing your risk of fraud.  Tracking certificates is difficult, and with Gift Card integrations to the new POS Systems, it is now a simple process to monitor.  Using a POS System will deter internal theft and quite possibly reduce the likelihood of counterfeit certificates being produced by fraudsters.   Gift cards electronically monitored with a POS system allows the merchant to verify the initial transaction.  This is also a great way to deal with returns by getting your customer to come back to purchase another product.

With these exploding numbers in the Gift Card industry, what are you going to do to capture your share of this market?  We can help uplift your sales today!

 

Generate More Revenue and Traffic with an ATM

Generate More Revenue and Traffic with an ATM

ATMs still Represent Easy Money for your Business, Restaurant or Store

With the rise of online shopping, brick-and-mortar businesses today need to do everything they can to stay competitive. Sometimes that means using a traditional, tried-and-true method of boosting traffic and earning some passive income.

We’re talking about the ATM machine.

Your store, restaurant or business just might need one.

Why?

Not everyone likes to swipe or dip the chip at a business. Credit and Debit card security concerns are causing some people to stick to the safety of cash. One-third of U.S. consumers (34 percent) say they are making more purchases in store with cash because of data breaches, according to ATM Marketplace.

Avoid card processing fees: Customers who use your ATM and then pay cash in your business save you in credit card processing fees.

Where’s my bank? In a tourist market, in particular, a customer’s regular bank may not be available or may be prohibitively far from his or her local destination. Your customer may want to withdraw money from or check his balance from an ATM before making a card transaction with you or another business.

“Now that I’m here”: Average 7-Eleven ATMs perform about 3,000 transactions per month, according to National Cash, an industry provider. That could be 3,000 times a customer visits your business just to use the ATM, and while there, they notice what else your business offers.

It’s a tax write-off: The ATM is a tangible personal property item which can be expensed. Your tax advisor can tell you about how the cost of an ATM machine can be depreciated or expensed beginning in the tax year that it is placed.

Earn income on surcharges: Talk about passive income! It’s the easiest way to make money on your money.

Operating an ATM is easy and a great way to drive more revenue and foot traffic into your establishment this year!  Call or email us today to learn more.

Is Managing Your Images on your POS this Easy?

Is Managing Your Images on your POS this Easy?

Is Managing your POS System as Easy as Posting a Picture to Social Media?  It Should be!

Imagine being able to upload an image of your daily specials or entrées as soon as they come out of your oven.  Uploading an image to your menu is as simple as posting to your facebook page.  Wow your customers and entice them into your restaurant or store today.  The power of an image is incredible!

As a business owner or manager, can you edit and make modifications easily from wherever you are?

Envision being able to make real-time changes to your menu, manage your staff and keep an eye on your sales from anywhere in the world.  Whether you are at home or on vacation the newer POS systems allow you to manage all of your operations in one place!

The newer POS systems are now state of the art, replacing the old legacy systems and improving your life as a restaurant or retail owner.

If your current POS system doesn’t have all these easy-to-use features, make the change and upgrade today!

3 Holiday Gift Card Recipes for Success!

3 Holiday Gift Card Recipes for Success!

With the holiday season right around the corner, gift cards are one of the most requested items.   Here are a few tips to sell and benefits you will gain with a simple gift card program.

TIPS:

  • Impulse Buyers – Stock up and make sure you have them within eye-sight at your register. Your impulse buyer is sure to purchase for a family member, colleague, teacher or friend.
  • Up-selling – Educate yourself and your staff. Consumers like to be enticed. Offer them the pleasure and advantage.  If you are not up-selling your customers, you are missing out on a LOT of revenue.  It works, just ask: “I am so happy you and yours enjoyed yourselves this evening.  Why not add a gift card for a loved one?  Sounds great, right!”  As you and your staff master this amazing tool, you can move onto cross-selling.  Just by suggesting other relevant options to your customer like: “Did you know the $25.00 gift cards are on special this week, buy three get the fourth for half price?”  Or, “Don’t forget to pick up a few of these cards for your family and friends; they are handy to have for last minute needs.  Want me to add another card to your order?”
  • Lifesaver (Be the “Go to Merchant”) – As consumers, we have all done it. It’s down to the last minute and we need a gift.  If a customer comes in for gift cards and you don’t have them, you lost a sale.  The mere act of displaying gift cards lets your customers know they can rely on you in a pinch.  Be the Hero and “Go To”. Try it!

BENEFITS:

  • Increased Sales – The primary benefit is your sales numbers will boom! You will generate revenue in advance of sales, and studies show customers spend more than the amount on the card.
  • Marketing – Get the word out about your establishment.  Gift cards are like mini billboards.  Your branding speaks volumes.
  • Breakage – refers to the amount left on a gift card that is never redeemed. A person with a $100 gift card may purchase $97 and inadvertently toss the card in a drawer, or throw it away. This helps your margins.
  • Repeat Business – If someone has never heard about your business, but receive a $20 gift card for their birthday, Christmas or even a holiday party, they will find you and maybe become a customer for life!
  • Advertising – Your gift cards encourage customers to join loyalty programs as well and you will now have the data you need, providing you are using a POS system, to capture that data.  Now you can send specials or “ping” them when they drive by your business.

CardSystems Merchant Services

Card Skimming/Shimming 101 – Protect your Business and your Customers

Card Skimming/Shimming 101 – Protect your Business and your Customers

With the advancements in technology, it’s just a matter of time before your business could become a victim.  Everyone who works with credit card and/or chip readers in any capacity should be aware of skimming threats and be watchful.  It could cost your business thousands and it may be someone right under your nose.

The card skimming wave was active this week in Oklahoma where the waitress was fortunately caught by her manager.  Read the full story here.  By the way, the waitress DID have an adverse background that would have been found had they run a background check.

The new era of thievery is now called “shimming”.  The thieves are inserting ultra thin circuit boards through any card slot to read EMV card details from inside the device.

What is the difference between skimming and shimming?

Skimming is recognized as fraud that “skims,” the information off the magnetic strip on a credit or debit card.

Shimming refers to an attack that captures data by tapping directly into the EMV chip.

7 Tips to Protect your Business:

  • Inspect card and chip readers regularly in and around the card slot
  • Background every employee dealing with credit cards and payments
  • Trust your instincts when it comes to your employees
  • Look into pay-at-the-table or mobile devices and software to take credit card data out of scope
  • If you must write down credit card data, protect it by locking it securely away
  • Inspect for hidden cameras or unrecognized devices
  • Ensure your host network is checking card verification codes of both magnetic strip/chip-based transaction authorization processes

7 things to Protect Yourself:

  • Trust your gut.  Rely on your instincts.  Know your surroundings
  • When in doubt, don’t use the ATM or hand your card over to a cashier
  • Make sure your card stays in sight. Never let anyone walk away with your card
  • Use your credit card instead of your debit card.  Don’t use your PIN unless you have to
  • Not all ATM’s are equal. Be particularly careful in a tourist areas
  • Use NFC or contact pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay (payment tokens). Always monitor your accounts
  • Be aware of transactions that force your card to use the magnetic stripe

We have your safe-guarded practices in mind always.  Remember, trust, but always verify.  For ideas to help safeguard your devices, call Card Systems now for all your POS, Credit Card Processing  and Equipment & Software needs.

Small Business Can Compete

Small Business Can Compete

Most small business owners ask themselves is ” will I be able to compete against my big box store and online competition?” When we hear the name Ace Hardware we may not always think about them being a small local business. In fact, each location is owned and operated by members of our local communities. You will notice that each Ace store has varying selections because the owners are empowered to make their own purchasing decisions. Inventory is not dictated by a corporate office, allowing each location to offer the right products and prices for their local community.

Ace Wins Big!

Locally owned and operated Ace Hardware stores throughout the country, have out-ranked Lowe’s, Home Depot and Menards as the favorite home improvement retailer. The small town hardware store achieved an incredible composite loyalty score of 63% in a Market Force Information study.  They beat the Big Box stores!

Of the four companies selected Ace Hardware’s score was 63%. The remaining competitors were  Menards 60%, Lowes 55% and Home Depot 51%. A poll of more than 7800 consumers was used to determine the home improvement rankings.  Ace Hardware was strong in most categories, especially ease in finding merchandise, knowledgeable and service-driven staff, and speedy checkouts.

Small Business Works For The D.I.Y. Consumer

The study also shows that 60% of the consumers polled consider themselves “DIY enthusiasts. Those are the consumers who make their own purchases and complete their own home improvement projects.  As for the “do-it-for-me” group, 22% purchase the material and outsource the work.

Home improvement could be a bright light in the retail sector with remodeling  projects on the rise and consumers more confident about investing in their homes,”  says Ray Walsh, CEO of Market Force Information,  “…retailers must continue to focus on the customer experience to differentiate their offer and capture a greater share of this growing market, excelling  in areas such as value, store cleanliness and merchandise variety and availability.”

Card Systems understands the challenges of small to medium-sized businesses. One of the most complicated tasks is to determine what system is right for me? Whether you’re in need of a basic credit card terminal, the point of sale system, integrated solution, or need to take payments online, we can help you choose the right solution for your business.  Call today 866.207.3298 or email for more information how we can increase your business efficiency and workflow.

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Reference:
ACE 
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