Point Of Sale Technology Used To Take Payments

What exactly is point of sale technology?  I like to think of it as the technology required to put money onto a prepaid wireless account. Sounds simple enough, but this can be quite a task to make it work smoothly and seamlessly.  Here I will go over the high level detail that should both help you during your payment experience, as well as provide some additional information that prepaid wireless consumers may actually find interesting.  For stores and dealers that sell airtime (also known as topup or replenishment), this section provides a pretty detailed discussion of the various terminal technology that you will encounter.  So from both a customer and store/distributor perspective, knowledge of this topic will really help you with your prepaid wireless payment experience.

There are really two main sides to payment technology as I see it.  The first is the side that you, the customer will see. The second is the back end technology that is invisible to you, but if it doesn't work properly can most certainly cause you (and the store) tremendous heartache.  And there's no doubt that one's payment experience in a store can have a huge impact on our opinion of a wireless carrier, and even affect whether or not we decide to leave and try another provider.  Here I'll focus on making payments using terminal technology as opposed to direct payment technology.  Head over to the Adding Money section to review the details behind making cash payments as well as  direct (i.e. virtual - credit card, debit card, eCheck) payment options.

Note that point of sale technology specifically refers to technology that a clerk, employee, or manager uses to accept a payment in a particular store location.  Believe it or not, there is a lot of complexity around payment technology.  After all, if it doesn't work properly, and a payment is not posted to a customer's wireless account, service could be shut off, penalties accrued, and at the very least, the customer wastes a lot of time trying to figure out what happened to their money.  Not to mention that wireless carriers and dealers spend money taking calls from confused, and even angry customers.  Also, try not to let the simplicity of what you, the customer, see during a payment transaction fool you.  The real-time technology that validates the account and posts the payment can really get complex.

I would even say with confidence that prepaid wireless technology is even more complex than postpaid payment processing.  I say that because with a postpaid wireless plan the carrier has a month to figure out your usage and to bill you.  On the other hand, for a no contract, prepaid wireless plan, the technology must deduct money from your account in real time as you're making a call, downloading something, sending a text message, etc.  Being balance aware in real time, as well as updating the usage on the billing system, and then disabling services in real time as funds are unavailable, really is no easy accomplishment.  And when your phone service isn't working because you missed a payment, you definitely want it to be reactivated immediately once you are able to add funds to your account.  Having worked in this field for over a decade, I can honestly tell you that at times it really does seem more complex than rocket science!

Below you'll find the categories that I feel are the most important to understand as you review point of sale technology.

Three of the main technologies include:
  1. POS Terminals
  2. Web Terminals
  3. Payment Kiosks

Point Of Sale Technology

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