A Point of Banking (POB) machine provides businesses – those that are no longer welcomed by MasterCard and Visa due to the products and services they sell, those that haven’t established themselves yet, or have no credit – with a way to accept cards without a merchant account. Merchants that want to accept and process credit card payments need merchant accounts. Unfortunately, smaller, high-risk merchants and those with bad credit have a hard time getting approved for a traditional merchant account. The only way they can accept cards is to move forward with a high-risk merchant account, which mean higher fees and other limits. Another option to consider is a Point of Banking terminal. A POB looks like a standard ATM machine, but is better defined as a cashless ATM because it doesn’t dispense any cash. Users swipe their cards and punch in PINs, and then the customer receives a receipt. Then, the shopper takes the receipt and gives it to a retailer’s employee to pay for whatever products or services they want from that store. The receipt the customer is given can only be used at the place where it was issued. After the transaction is completed, the customer gets whatever change they may have in cash. So, for example, if the customer requested $40 from the POB machine and only spent $12 at the store, the merchant would give back $28 in change.
With a Point of Banking terminal, merchants not only get to choose how much money a customer can take out in $5 and $10 increments, they also get to boost their sales. When customers use debit cards, merchants foot the bill for the processing costs. However, with POB terminals, customers get the convenience of using bank cards and getting cash back when making purchases and merchants appreciate them because the fee cardholder also cover the cost of processing ACH transactions. Therefore, merchants get to accept debit card transactions without paying for the processing.
Additionally, the set up and use of a POB terminal is simpler than installing an ATM machine because it is small, compact and takes up inches on a counter. To use it, merchants simply plug it into an electrical outlet and connect it to a phone line. Most importantly, unlike a traditional ATM, it doesn’t need its own phone line. A separate line is unnecessary since transactions take only a couple seconds. After the machine is hooked up, merchants need to follow the instructions that come with the machine.
Also, there is a common misconception that merchants have to keep extra cash on hand at their businesses’ to meet customers’ demands for cash back. When merchants opt to move forward with this solution, they need to prepare to be able to make change for several $50, $75, or $100 transaction per day. Merchants who know their business, customers, and transaction volumes will be able to plan accordingly. Additionally, many POB systems record transactions and have real-time reporting capabilities, which provide merchants with valuable information, such as purchase times, products purchased, and average ticket amounts. This makes it even easier for merchants to adjust their businesses based on customer buying habits, and to continue to take card payments without the hassle of setting up merchant accounts.
A merchant’s risk of chargebacks, fraud, and refunds also are almost eliminated because customers must enter their own unique PIN codes to complete transactions. In general, banks consider chip and PIN transactions are considered riskier than other types. Less fraud is committed with a four-digit codes, so using this type of payment solution can help put customers at ease.