The 8 most important eftpos features that all businesses must know

Eftpos terminology can sound like another language. But we’ve translated the jargon and identified the best eftpos features for saving money, offering a better customer experience, and reducing your admin burden.

Integrated Eftpos

Integrated eftpos, also known as POS integration, is a technology that connects your point-of-sale software to your eftpos machine. This allows you to ring up transactions on your point-of-sale and then send the purchase price to the eftpos machine.

This results in faster transactions and short queues, less risk of eftpos keying errors, and easier reconciliation at the end of the day (because your eftpos total and point-of-sale totals always line up).

The best integrated eftpos solutions, such as Tyro’s solution, do more than just make purchases easier. They include:

  • Wireless POS integrations. Untether your terminal from the counter by connecting your point-of-sale and eftpos machine over WiFi or bluetooth, no wires required.
  • Integrated pay@table. Take the eftpos machine to the table, press a button to retrieve the total bill from the point-of-sale, and allow the customer to pay for their orders without trekking to the counter.
  • Integrated tipping and split payments. Allow customers to pay for their bill however they want, such as splitting payments among friends and enabling them to tip different amounts. Everything reconciles perfectly within your point-of-sale.
  • Integrated bar tab mode. Allow customers to open up a bar tab and set a maximum spending amount. From then on, the customer can make additional orders without using their card. And at the end of the night, their card is only charged for what they used up, not the total bar tab amount.

Same-Day Settlement

As all business owners know, cash flow is king. It’s important to always have enough cash to pay your employees’ paychecks and pay your supplier invoices.

Many new business owners might be surprised to find out that their eftpos machine funds don’t necessarily land in their account right away. In fact, with some solutions, merchants must wait up to 5 days to receive their funds.

Same-day settlement enables a merchant to take eftpos machine payments and for those funds to land in their settlement account on the same day. This feature is currently only available if you have a bank account with the same financial institution. For example, if you have both your eftpos machine with Westpac and your business bank account with Westpac too. The best providers will enable merchants to settle once per day at the time of their choice.

Least Cost Routing

If you open up your wallet and take a look at your debit cards, you will notice that it has both an eftpos logo on the back and another logo on the front (e.g. Visa or Mastercard). This is what’s known as a dual network card.

Dual network cards can process transactions through either the eftpos network or the Visa/Mastercard networks. As a merchant, there is a difference between these networks: usually the eftpos network has lower transaction fees.

However, when a customer taps their card their transactions are automatically processed through the expensive Visa/Mastercard networks — unless you have least cost routing.

Least-cost routing automatically processes customer transactions through the cheapest card network. According to Tyro, least-cost routing saves merchants an average of 8.1% on their transaction fees.

Dynamic Surcharging

Dynamic surcharging allows a business to set a different eftpos surcharge for each card type (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, American Express). This helps merchants recoup their eftpos fees.

However, you should be aware that you now cannot surcharge above your cost of card acceptance. Gone are the days where airlines charged $10 to pay for a flight with a credit card.

To help manage this, some eftpos machine providers have built dynamic surcharging systems that automatically calculate your average fees and apply them to each transaction. This ensures that merchants can recoup the maximum amount of fees whilst remaining compliant.

Multi-Currency

Multi-currency, also known as dynamic currency conversion, automatically identifies that a customer is using a foreign card and presents the purchase price in their home currency.

This allows merchants to provide foreign visitors with a better purchasing experience and reduces that likelihood that a customer is surprised with the transaction price on their bank statement and initiates a chargeback. Dynamic currency conversion is usually free for the merchant.

Dynamic currency conversion

Dynamic currency conversion enables your eftpos machine to show the purchase price in your customers home currency. Source: Loyalty Lobby

MOTO Transactions (Mail Order/Telephone Order)

MOTO transactions allow a business to accept a payment from a customer when the customer is not physically in the store (for example, over the phone). These are one example of card-not-present transactions, as the business is processing a credit card payments without actually seeing credit card.

Instead of swiping the card, the merchant will type the card number, expiry date and CVC into the eftpos terminal. The eftpos terminal will then process the transaction.

Card-not-present transactions are riskier because it is difficult for the business to verify the card and cardholder. To cover themselves for this risk, the eftpos provider will usually card higher fees for MOTO transactions.

For example, Tyro will charge an additional 0.15% for MOTO transactions. And PayPal Here will charge 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, compared to 1.95% for normal card transactions.

But despite the cost, this is a very important eftpos feature for businesses like restaurants, which often want to accept payment before they start cooking orders.

Pre-Authorisation

Pre-authorisation allows a business to check that a customer has sufficient funds on their card and puts a hold on those funds for a future transaction.

This functionality is very important for hotels and rental businesses, and it ensures that the customer can cover future costs (e.g. using the mini-bar or scratching the rental car). It is also commonly used to allow customers to set up bar tabs.

Health Claiming

Health claiming, sometimes incorrectly called HICAPS, allows a patient to make a Medicare or private health insurance claim through the eftpos machine at the clinician’s practice. This is great for patients, as they don’t have to remember to make a claim after they leave the practice, and they aren’t stuck out of pocket.

The best eftpos health claiming solutions will integrate with practice management software, allow multiple practitioners to use the machine under their own provider number, and display the patient’s remaining health insurance benefit.

It’s important to know that some practices require both Medicare and private health insurance claiming (e.g. Dentists), some only need private health claiming (e.g. Remedial Masseuses), and some only need Medicare claiming (e.g. General Practitioners).

Healthcare providers can choose from four eftpos healthcare claiming options: HICAPS (owned by NAB), Tyro, ANZ and Suncorp.

HICAPS eftpos machine

Health claiming is a must-have eftpos feature for health practitioners