Executive Spotlight Series with Justin Guinn from Software Advice

by Justin Guinn 0

Tell me, what role does Software Advice play within the retail or payments industry, and what your focus is.

“Software Advice is a free resource helping retail software buyers select the best systems for their business. Choosing a POS system can be an overwhelming process for business owners, which could explain why we found that 64% of retailers don’t have a POS system in place. By taking into consideration specific aspects of a business, challenges and goals, we’re able to recommend retail software products that meet the specific needs of buyers. They can move away from their manual operations to more efficient, automated processes.

Specifically, I cover the ever-changing software trends and best practices in the retail space. I conduct independent research to access consumer and merchant opinions on highly-pertinent topics impacting our industry today.”

You recently surveyed small business retailers on EMV adoption before the Oct. 1st 2015 deadline. So, how ready are they?

“Our recent analysis of retailers found that only 22% of retailers are currently EMV compliant. It’s shocking that so many retailers aren’t compliant given the October 1 liability shift is upon us. According to our data, over three-quarters of retailers will be liable to cover any fraudulent charges after this deadline.”

With such little time left before the national deadline, it seems surprising that more than three-quarters of merchants aren’t EMV ready. Why do you think that is?

“Retailers are a busy bunch, especially those 64% who don’t have a POS system in place. In fact, 34% of non-compliant retailers we surveyed said they haven’t transitioned to EMV because they don’t have the time to research or implement the new standard. Similarly, 33 percent said the upgrade to EMV is too expensive for them. Though these reasons for non-compliance seem understandable, they don’t seem to take the liability risk or financial threat that non-compliance can and will put on small retailers.”

Did you find that any retailers were saying that EMV is not needed?

“The most surprising finding from our report was that of the non-compliant retailers, 23% find EMV compliance “unnecessary”. This statistic is quite baffling. The potential negative impacts of remaining non-compliant are huge, especially for retailers with larger average ticket sizes. As more and more retailers move to the EMV standard, card criminals will have fewer and fewer places to commit fraudulent charges. So the longer a retailer remains non-compliant, the greater the risk becomes. Thus, the transition to the EMV standard is very necessary.”

Other than being EMV compliant, what other incentives would retailers have to upgrade their system?

“The upcoming EMV deadline is a perfect time for those 64% of retailers operating with manual methods to upgrade to an EMV-compliant POS system. POS systems offer retailers the ability to automate typically tedious manual methods like inventory management, sales reporting, and customer and employee management. We know from a recent report that 76% of POS buyers request sales reporting and analytics. Likewise, 74% of buyers are requesting inventory management, which is understandable given 83% of customers are likely to stop shopping at a store if their desired item is out-of-stock. These features and more are typical of most POS systems, which are far more affordable than many retailers think.”

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