Covid-19 has shaken up the world in the past two years, with significant implications on global payment markets. Many network operators and manufacturers of terminal and POS systems have experienced first-hand the economic impact of Covid-19. On the one hand, new markets have emerged through Corona. Many new merchants have decided to implement electronic payment solutions in this situation – from bakeries to car repair shops. Thus, the installed base has grown considerably in the course of the pandemic. On the other hand, numerous supply chains were thrown into disarray for weeks or even months.
The past few months have led to an enormous drive to digitalize more and more areas of our economy and society. The market for payment solutions and POS systems reaped the benefits of this. Digital payment systems became the main financial transaction tool on the ground, enabling retailers, service providers and consumers to maintain their consumer habits throughout the pandemic. In this respect, the pandemic became a driving force behind digitalization in payments as a whole: since the dawn of the pandemic, payment processes have been converted to digital systems more and more quickly across the board. What’s more, consumers are increasingly learning to appreciate the benefits of contactless payments.
Payment Terminals and POS Systems Represent a Medium-Term Growth Market
Although many solution providers of payment solutions and POS systems can look back on two extremely challenging years, the industry nevertheless has every reason to be positive about the future. According to analysts, the global point-of-sale (POS) market is projected to achieve double-digit annual growth rates in both Europe and the USA by the end of this decade. The main drivers of this development are considered to be the boom in mobile payment systems (mPOS) and the declared intention of various governments across the globe to promote cashless payments, which will ultimately lead to further investment in local payment infrastructure.
In order to get as large a slice as possible of this growing pie, providers of payment terminals and POS systems as well as network operators and acquirers will have to do more than simply offer innovative hardware and software solutions and position themselves well in sales in the coming years. In the long term, the most successful competitors in the payment systems market will be those that also develop a post-sales strategy that is optimally tailored to the needs of their customers. The strategic challenge here is to set up your post-sales area so that it really does meet these needs in a comprehensive manner.
Payment Systems are Part of Critical Infrastructure
In this context, it’s crucial to grasp the importance of point-of-sale payment systems for customers in the payment terminal market. Nowadays, end customers place an increasing focus on digital, customer-friendly services, while competitive pressure has risen enormously for almost every business area as a result of digitalization. That’s why all market players – from large retailers, hotel chains and small brick-and-mortar businesses to restaurants on the street corner, concert halls in the town and local hair salons – must be able to rely 100% on the system they use to work seamlessly at all times and under all circumstances. After all, payment systems are now part and parcel of the critical infrastructure for any business operation.
This also increases the demands on organizing the post-sales area on the part of solution providers for the payment market. These heightened requirements are particularly evident in the following three areas: customer service, maintenance and repair, and logistics. Against the backdrop of the challenging global supply chain situation new devices are rare. Hence, proper refurbishment and replenishment solutions are crucial to fulfill the enormous demand of the market.
Comprehensive customer service from a single source
Good service is not only crucial for consumers. Especially in the B2B sector, customers now demand products that they can trust to provide competent, quick and seamless support when they use them in their day-to-day business – for ordering processes, technical problems, questions about usage, or the selection of useful additional services.
This means that customer service must be thought of as an end-to-end solution, covering all essential aspects even after the sale while also acting as a single point of contact for customers.
Professional maintenance and rapid repairs
When it comes to critical systems, the quality of technical service and its responsiveness are crucial selling points. To enjoy high customer satisfaction in the long run, it’s important that providers can actually deliver on this point in practice. To achieve this, a functioning service network must be established throughout the country or region, which not only has the infrastructure, but also the personnel capabilities and know-how to truly live up to this claim.
In practice, this means POS system providers must be able to operate advanced swap and fulfillment services, enabling POS and dedicated terminal devices to be inspected, tested, repaired or refurbished on-site or at central depots.
Intelligent, flexible logistics
In order to distribute their hardware, POS and payment terminal device providers need to build robust logistics that meet the demands of the market. In other words, logistics must both be ready for the rollout of new products and provide long-term logistics solutions to support the devices throughout their entire product life cycle.
This includes the possibility of configuring, assembling and distributing devices according to customer requirements as well as the complete handling of returns management with testing and possible refurbishment of the devices. A particular logistical challenge here is to provide both hardware and software support for these devices during these processes.
Local regulations often impose considerable requirements for logistics and exchange services. In order to meet those, existing service capabilities have to be extended or leveraged. B2X has developed concepts to support these extra requirements in close alignment with the existing service infrastructure of customers. For example, in order to support the high demand of exchange service related to the German TA 7.2 regulation, B2X has developed a solution for network operators to exchange devices to be phased out with new devices. The solution includes warehousing, staging, logistics and onsite exchange capabilities.
Recognize Challenges in Good Time and Identify Solutions
Talk is cheap: having a plan is simply not enough; a good strategy also includes the way to best implement a plan. Like all manufacturing companies, providers of payment terminals and POS systems have to think extensively about how to use their precious resources in the most profitable manner. For decision-makers, this quickly poses the question of the extent to which their company is even capable of investing in a holistic post-sales strategy in general or in each relevant market.
An integrated post-sales operation that works to a high standard cannot be financed out of petty cash. After all, suitable staff must be found, recruited and trained, space must be rented at a logistically reasonable price, equipment must be purchased and the appropriate processes for the post-sales area must be set up. All of this consumes administrative resources, time and of course, money. From a strategic perspective, the question also arises as to how sustainable these investments are in the long term. At the end of the day, the post-sales area holds little potential for most providers in terms of scalability.
Enjoy Success Together
Alternatively, you can implement your vision of perfect post-sales together with us as a professional partner. As a long-standing provider of a service and logistics platform for payment terminals and point-of-sales systems, we can offer competent advice on how to set up and implement your post-sales strategy and provide you with operational infrastructure in the shortest possible time.