Last week, Scott Agatep, COO for POS Portal, a ScanSource Company, explained why “easy” payment integrations don’t have to be a myth. As a follow-up, DevPro Journal asked Agatep to share his insights into the payment terminals themselves. As he explains, “Payment terminals are important because ultimately that’s where the rubber meets the road — the terminal needs to process transactions. It needs to integrate to the POS software and it also needs to work perfectly in the connectivity environment of the end user.”
Despite their importance, solution providers often overlook the importance of payment terminals, believing they’re all the same or selecting one as an afterthought. “We’ve seen it happen before where an ISV will spend time and energy doing the integration only to learn that the payment terminal their end users actually need hasn’t been certified by the gateway or processor,” he says.
To avoid such mishaps, Agatep advises to always have a plan that includes a list of requirements. “Don’t assume everyone knows everything,” he cautions. Track these deliverables against the known requirements. If something goes wrong, make sure you can understand specifically what should have happened versus what actually happened. If you have this discipline in place, you’ll be able to drive to the root cause of any problem sooner.”
He goes on to say that knowledge and experience are key, adding that it’s important to physically hold and test the payment terminals. “You will want to reach out to people in the know; companies have the experience to identify what creates success when deploying payment terminals,” he says. “Distributors and device manufacturers have a vested interest in making this work for you.”
Post-Integration Support Plan
Agatep also points out that ISVs need to have a clear plan in place for end-user support for their software and its payment integration. “While most ISVs will know how to support their own software, a new payment integration will add an integrated payment terminal into the mix,” he says. “Indeed, most integrated payment devices don’t fall under the Class A support that payment processors provide. ISVs need to have a strategy for providing support to their end users if the device fails in the field or when transactions are not going through.” When something goes wrong, who takes the call? How does an end user find the right answers? What does it take to run a payment hardware support center?
Agatep poses all these questions and adds that you need to give your customers an easy path for replacements, and if needed, additional new devices. “I’d advise ISVs to find a partner with the ability to maintain and manage a library of custom configurations so that each new or replacement device goes out configured exactly like the one before it,” he says.
Understandably, payment integrations are probably the last thing you want to deal with as an ISV. However, by finding the right partner and taking the proper steps to plan the integration, you can ensure the process is truly quick and easy.