During recent travels to South America we experienced the not uncommon occurrence of two payment terminals being brought to our table after dinner and being apologetically informed that, ”these things don’t always work so to be sure we bring two”.
It should be easy; mobile networks cover everywhere, right? But far too often we come across retailers who have problems with their payment terminals with frustrated staff apologising for the poor signal or malfunctioning terminals. Is this avoidable?
We know that franchises and retail owners who roll out connected payment terminals using a single mobile network may struggle with network coverage in some locations; too often network cover is limited to certain areas of the facility, or is a bit hit and miss. This in turn creates frustration, with customers waiting to pay as retail staff struggle to make the terminals connect. Each time a terminal needs to connect to a network it can take up to 6 minutes to do so… a long wait when we know that an approval process from pin-press-to-approval should be no more than 7 seconds. This is particularly annoying during peak periods where the store or restaurant needs to process as many payments as possible in a short period of time. The result is delays and staff being tied up.
This can be avoided. Using a roaming SIM card ensures that payment terminals are always connected to the network, thus alleviating issues around lack of network and time-to-payment. It is also important to note that to rapidly process payments, terminals need to keep open data sessions. Consequently, locking the terminal to a network with extensive cover can be extremely beneficial. This is particularly important for contactless payment where the approval needs to be quasi instantaneous.