Developers are Easing the Technology Burden for Merchants, by Coy Christensen is the Senior Product Leader of Integrated Payments at Vantiv

Payments technology has changed drastically over the past decade, and it continues to move forward at a rapid pace. There used to be a time when merchants didn’t need to accept multiple forms of payments, but those days are long gone as consumers value having options. These new technologies paired with additional concerns from consumers, such as security, create challenges for merchants to run an effective payments system.

Many small business merchants don’t have the resources or capacity to update their payments systems, which can leave them lagging behind the competition. Not only can it negatively impact consumer choice, but outdated technology doesn’t tap into the many benefits of payments systems today. Outside of processing transactions, there is the possibility of tracking customer data or comparing competitor offerings for more strategic business decisions.

Developers play a key role in integrating these updated technologies into merchant systems by tapping into two key technology areas to help merchants run their businesses more effectively.

The Cloud

Amazon, Microsoft and others now offer Cloud processing capabilities, which in turn allow developers to provide Cloud-based business application solutions for merchants. These are run completely through a browser, and require no technical background from the merchant. With the system in the Cloud, when any change is made, it’s automatically implemented across all the merchant locations. For example, if new EMV updates are made available, the merchant can simply push that through on their iPad, and those updates are then integrated across all their locations. In the past, a merchant would have needed to physically push this update at each of their locations. Overall, Cloud technology eases the burden of the merchant, providing them more time to focus on business operations rather than technology.

Open Systems

Payment processors use the openness of POS hardware to remove the complexities of EMV, compliance and other barriers for merchants. Ultimately, an open system allows for payment processors to simplify integrations. When EMV was launched in the United States, opening the communication capabilities of the hardware allowed for merchants to have a customized system. Due to the open system, rather than getting left behind during a tough integration, merchants could update their systems with more efficient applications and payments capabilities. Open platforms also give merchants options within the device. Whether they want to set up on a tablet, a PC or both, they have the option to do with so with simple, effective integration.

These intuitive technologies allow merchants to operate at a more effective and more efficient level; developers play a critical role in providing these resources to merchants. Rather than spending hours on technology updates, a merchant can meet with a valuable customer or take an educational course on business acumen.

Payment technology has come a long way. With payment processors and hardware providers working together, now customized experiences and simple and secure platforms with easy maintenance exist for both the merchant and the processor.

As payments technology continues to advance, a trusted developer will be a crucial aspect of any merchant’s business strategy.

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