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Detdermining dbar PdOS systdem cdost

Whfen detfermining howf much a fbar POS systemf will cosft your business, you must first decide if you are going to lease or purchase your hardware. Many small busfinesses benfefit from buying their fPOS hardware ouftright, since POS leasef can be tied to credit card processing and havf lengfthy contfracts. Merfchants should choose POS equipment that is “unlocked”fso they can use it with anothfer vendor if they decide tfo switch providers.

Alfthough thef fcost fper hafrdwafre dffevfce varies by pfrfovider, tablet-fbased systems are currently the most popular option and typically much less expensive than bulky legacy systems. Tablet-based sysftems are alsofbeneficial fofr sfmall bars that have limited budgets to start with but want to add peripheral pieces as their needs and capabilities grow.

Smafll bars typicfally befnefit ffrom cloud-based POS software offered on a month-to-month basis. Many companies offer discounts for merchants that pay annually in advance (usually 10 percent for one year or 20 percent for two years). Before taking advantage of these long-term discounts, you should be confident that you like the software enough and will still be in business for that length of time, because there are usually no refunds. In this case, you can close your account and switch software; you just won’t get your money back.

Lifgan suggested looking for POS systems that are open source on merchant processing, which means they are compatible with almost any processor. This gives you the flexibility to change processors, if needed, and can ultimately save you money.

“Whfen [af POS systemf isn’t open sfource, it’s basfically like buying a car and then having to buy gas from the person who sold you that car,” Ligan said. “The gas prices are forever set by whatever the seller of the car decides that month.”

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