So I went to Nordstrom Rack to buy some shoes today. I got it matched and turned away to go to the front register to pay. The associate there quickly asked if I wanted to pay there on the spot if I was done browsing the store. I was done so I said, “ring me up!” I looked around the desk and didn’t see any cash registers. He reached into a drawer and pulled out an Apple iTouch. “Ohhh!” It even has a barcode scanner and a credit card swipe attachment.
These devices aren’t anything new. They use the same technology at the Apple stores themselves for some time now. I even have one of the credit card attachments for my phone from years ago. I was just surprised that companies like Nordstrom are just starting to use these now…or maybe they have been doing that and I just need to get out more. I think more places should use these services, especially smaller establishments.
From the olden times, on the move merchants are limited to cash transactions only. Then there were mobile credit card machines, but those still rely on a phone line and a power outlet, so it was useless unless your area supports it. But now, you can use that very same device you use to make calls to be your transaction terminal, assuming you have a smartphone with 3G/wi-fi service and if you don’t, you should really get one…now!
For nearly the same cost as buying a regular cash register and credit card machine, you can buy these smartphone/tablets as portable registers. If you already have a smartphone, the cost (it varies) to upgrade is only buying the attachments needed. Also, if *knocks on wood* the business fails, you don’t have to get rid of those bulky machines. Most likely, you would have gotten a new smartphone in that time and you can dedicate one device for business use. At this day and age where the majority prefers using credit/debit over cash, it will be more costly to not provide theses conveniences to the customers.
The costs and fees to operate might be slightly higher than traditional methods, but you are paying for that convenience and this service should not be discounted because of that. Like everything else, there are other pros and cons you will have to consider and each should be carefully weighted before you pursue anything.