If you’ve been using our Stripe integration, then you know how easy it is to take partial or full payments on your website in real-time, recharge a guest for additional booking items without asking for their credit card again, and refund the original payment method directly. Your online bookings and payments are swift, seamless, and secure.
But what about in-person?
Is your current point of sale (POS) system outdated? Does it take forever for your card reader to process a transaction and print a receipt, which slows down check-in, puts you behind schedule, and makes your guests impatient as the line-up grows? And do you wind up staying late most days because you have to reconcile transaction information manually?
We’ve got great news! We’re excited to announce that Stripe Terminal is now available to Checkfront customers in the United States and Canada.
Why Stripe Terminal?
As a set of SDKs, APIs, and pre-certified card readers, Stripe Terminal works seamlessly with your Checkfront web application and existing Stripe integration. By connecting all three, you no longer have to source both an online payment processing and POS solution.
But there are many other benefits. You can:
1. Enhance the walk-in experience
Website bookings have been getting most of the attention lately. While it’s undoubtedly a growing channel, making up the majority of sales with no signs of stopping, walk-in and phone bookings still play a huge part.
In 2019, offline accounted for 39.78% of total bookings, following closely behind online at 49.20%. More specifically, 56.75% of same-day bookings were offline, ahead of online at 39.54%. Though the pandemic will likely boost online even more as people feel safer booking and paying with their own device, there will always be a need to take payments at the front desk, especially if you sell merchandise and souvenirs.
So rather than focusing on one channel over another, it’s best to adopt an omnichannel approach. Luckily, Stripe Terminal ensures your offline payments don’t get left behind. Since the card reader accepts swipe, insert, and, best of all, contactless tap — such as Apple Pay and Google Pay — your guests can safely make a cash-free transaction.
2. Provide secure transactions
On top of end-to-end encryption for PCI-compliance, Stripe Terminal is EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) certified for levels 1, 2, and 3, meaning it abides by a worldwide transaction standard for the hardware, software kernel, and application.
As a safer alternative to magstripe readers, Stripe Terminal protects your guests from credit card fraud when they make a transaction because their card information can’t be copied. But it also protects your business from the EMV liability shift by removing your liability from all disputes with the reason code, “fraudulent.”
3. Reduce check-in time
Let’s walk through a scenario. Your guest pays a 25% deposit at the time of booking online. Now ready for check-in, they owe the remaining balance but also want to purchase some merchandise. Here’s how your team might ring up the sale:
- Rebill against the same card using the stored token — if you already use Stripe
- Accept cash, cheque, or gift cards, and record the payment under the POS classification and sub-type
- Manually enter a new card in Checkfront, which might also require supplying a new address
- Run the transaction through another payment gateway that has physical hardware, and classify it as POS-[other] payment
As you know, minutes matter at the front desk. Extra steps tend to pile up and lead to lines out the door. The last thing you want is to get behind schedule and make your guests wait. Thankfully, Stripe Terminal is a major time-saver. In fact, Stripe has seen their Terminal readers process transactions 3x faster than magstripe readers in the market.
And for the payment flow, your team only has to:
- Bring up the invoice in Checkfront
- Click Add Payment
- Enter the amount
- Select the card reader from the drop-down menu
- Hit Process
- Let your guest proceed with paying
4. Unify all of your card readers
If you have multiple locations, you need more than one card reader. And it’s likely a massive headache trying to keep track of them all. Well, Stripe actually allows you to group, manage, monitor, and order your entire fleet of Terminals by physical location, right from your Stripe Dashboard.
Not to mention, you can customize the email receipts for every terminal so that you maintain brand consistency, no matter where your guests pay.
5. Streamline reporting and reconciliation
Stripe Terminal doesn’t just unify the payment experience for your guests; it also unifies your payments stack in the backend. You can collect customer data across all channels for a holistic view of purchasing behaviour, such as loyalty and churn, so that you no longer have to switch between platforms every time.
Of course, this also allows you to create accurate financial reports, automatically — which makes it easier to gain insight into your sales performance. Whether you want to track cash flow, discover a trend in payment preferences or figure out the number of discounts applied, you can see all of the data in one place.
Most importantly, Stripe Terminal automates your end-of-day processes. Instead of manually entering and reconciling transaction information, your POS payments flow smoothly into your Checkfront and Stripe reports. Needless to say, this also reduces human error in your bookkeeping.
5. Save money on payment processing
While the card reader, Verifone P400, costs $299 upfront, you can save in the long run with Stripe Terminal. As you know already, Stripe doesn’t come with monthly fees, and that applies to Stripe Terminal as well.
Stripe is also competitive and transparent about charges. On average, the cost of processing payments for US-based businesses is between 2.87% and 4.35% per transaction. For a card-present rate, Stripe Terminal sits at 2.7% + 5¢, compared to keyed or online at 2.9% + 30¢.
Plus, the rate stays the same for most debit and credit cards, meaning you can accept any payment method your guest prefers. (Of course, there are additional fees for international cards and currency conversion). And when you process all of your payments, whether online or offline, through one provider, you can unlock lower rates as your volume grows.
So it pays to keep your POS in the Stripe family.
Get started with Stripe Terminal & Checkfront
For now, Stripe Terminal is only available to US and Canadian operators, but more countries will be coming soon. If you’re eager to get up and running, here are a few simple steps you can follow:
- Sign up for Stripe Terminal and Checkfront — if you haven’t done so already
- Order the Verifone P400 through Fleet Management, and keep an Ethernet cable on hand
- Enable and test Stripe Terminal in Checkfront by following these steps
- Start collecting card payments at the front desk