Best Eftpos for Retail: Payments on the shop floor, digital wallets, and sell online

Tyro integrated eftpos is the best eftpos for retail businesses. They nail the in-store experience with mobile eftpos machines, point-of-sale integrations, and digital wallet acceptance. Plus they offer a solid eCommerce solution for merchants who sell online.

Retail store

Our Pick: Tyro Integrated Eftpos

Tyro’s integrated eftpos solution is the best eftpos for retailers. Customers’ purchasing decisions are made on the shop floor, and you can take your Tyro mobile eftpos machine to take payments wherever the customers are in your store. Tyro’s solution also integrates with all of the most popular retail point-of-sale solutions, which ensures that your inventory management is on point.

In addition, Tyro’s solution allows you to accept Alipay in-store and they are currently building Zip Money acceptance. We’d also like to see Afterpay acceptance soon.

Finally, Tyro also offers an eCommerce solution that allows you to quickly start selling online. If you have the right point-of-sale software and eCommerce solution (e.g. Vend and WooCommerce), all of your products, sales, inventory and customer data is synced.

What do customers expect in retail stores?

Gone are the days when a business could go to their nearest bank, rent an ugly grey eftpos machine, install it in their retail store, and call it a day.

Customer expectations have changed. Customers need a meaningful reason to enter a physical store, instead of buying online. And when they are in the store, they expect a tailored experience that allows them to browse, decide and purchase when and how they want.

For retailers, this means that your eftpos solution must cater to the unique needs of your customers. So we put together this guide to the best eftpos machine for retail businesses to ensure that you have the right eftpos solution for your retail business.

How do we determine the best eftpos for retail?

To determine the best eftpos machine for retailers, we studied consumer behaviour and identified a number of key requirements:

  • Point-of-sale integration: The point-of-sale is the heart and soul of your business. For most businesses, it manages in-store payments, inventory, customer loyalty programs, and displays dashboards and analytics. The right eftpos solution should enhance your customer experience at the point-of-sale.
  • Pay anywhere throughout the store: Consumers don’t make their purchasing decisions at the counter, they make their purchasing decisions throughout the store. If your customer is already discussing a purchase with your sales staff, don’t make them walk over to the counter; take the purchase on the shop floor.
  • New payment methods: In-store transactions are rapidly shifting from debit cards and credit cards to new payment methods. Over one-in-ten consumers use buy now, pay later (BNPL) apps like AfterPay and Zip, and usage is growing at over 30% per year.
  • Transaction Fees: Far and away the most important factor for most businesses

Point-of-Sale Integration

Why is this important?

Point-of-sale software is the heart and soul of your business. It’s the place where you keep track of inventory, manage staff, maintain customer loyalty programs, check transactions, and view dashboards.

The best eftpos machines can integrate with your point-of-sale software. This means that you can initiate a transaction on the point-of-sale like normal, and that transaction will automatically be sent to the eftpos machine. And once that purchase is completed, the confirmation is sent back to the point-of-sale and the transaction is closed automatically.

There are a few important benefits of integrated eftpos in the retail environment:

  • Bank statement reconciliation: You no longer have to key-in the purchase price on the eftpos machine, which means there’s no chance of fat-finger errors. This means that you won’t spend hours combing through your eftpos and bank statements to figure out why the numbers don’t reconcile (hint: it’s because you keyed-in a $20.00 transaction as $2.00).
  • Inventory management: If your portable eftpos is not integrated with your point-of-sale, it becomes easy to take the eftpos machine to a customer on the floor and accept a purchase, then forget to go back and ring-up the transactions on the point-of-sale. And this throws your inventory levels out.
  • Faster payments and better customer experience: High volume retail merchants will know how easy queues can form. Queues mean frustrated customers that take their business elsewhere. Integrated eftpos makes purchases faster, helping bust those queues before they form.

What are we looking for?

The point-of-sale software industry is highly fragmented, so retailers can literally choose from hundreds of solutions. The best integrated eftpos solutions will integrate with a wide range of point-of-sale software, especially the most popular retail solutions.

In addition, we’ll be scouring review sites and forums to find the eftpos solution that has the most stable and reliable integration. Nothing worse than drop-outs and downtime.

The Winner: Tyro

Tyro is our pick for best point-of-sale integration, as it integrates with almost 300 point-of-sale solutions, including the most popular solutions for retail stores, such as Vend and Lightspeed.

Not only does Tyro’s point-of-sale integration enable purchases initiated from the point-of-sale, it includes integrated refunds, cashout, and receipts. In the case of refunds, this ensures that your inventory levels always remain reconciled.

Tyro boasts 99.9% uptime for transactions and terminals can be switched to 3G mode if your store wifi goes down.

It also comes highly recommended by retail point-of-sale companies. Tower POS and Links POS both publically recommend Tyro over competitor PC-EFTPOS. In particular, Tower POS claims that Tyro is easier to set up, transactions are faster, and reconciliation is easier.

Tyro integrates with about 300 point-of-sale solutions in retail, hospitality, and healthcare. Source: Tyro

Pay anywhere throughout the store

Why is this important?

Herding customers into a queue and making them wait to pay for their products is not a good experience for anybody.

We know that queuing is a big reason that customers take their business elsewhere. And retailers hate watching their loyal customers walk out the door as they get frustrated with waiting.

For small businesses, the front counter is often the biggest bottleneck. Customers shop all throughout the store, but they then all converge on a single point to make their purchase.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Modern eftpos solutions are portable and can accept purchases anywhere on the shop floor.

What are we looking for?

A truly mobile eftpos solution like the Square Reader or PayPal Here is overkill for a typical retail store. To take payments throughout a store, you really don’t need a tiny bluetooth tile or dongle, all you need is a reasonably-sized eftpos machine that can be carried around the shop floor.

These days, most eftpos machines are portable and can be taken away from the counter. And, although some do not have a built-in printer (such as the Verifone E355), they can be wirelessly connected to a standalone printer at the counter. They also don’t need a 3G or 4G connection, as you can just connect to your wifi network.

The sweet spot for taking payments throughout a store is an eftpos machine that can be easily carried alongside a tablet, so your shop assistants can both ring-up a transaction and accept payment on the shop floor.

Our winner: Westpac Presto Smart

Westpac’s Presto Smart solution offers the best range of terminals for retail stores that want to take payments on the shop floor: a small Verifone E355 and a larger Verifone VX690.

The E355 is light enough to pair with your tablet point-of-sale using a cradle. Because of the smaller form factor, it does not include a built-in printer or 3G/4G connection. But we don’t consider either of these to be dealbreakers, as you can connect a standalone printer over Bluetooth and use your store’s dedicated wifi.

Even the larger VX690 can be used to accept purchases on the floor. As it’s a full-sized eftpos solution, it will be a little bulky — but unlike competitors like Tyro, it is cordless and completely portable.

Verifone E355

Portable eftpos machines, such as Verifone’s E355, can be attached to a tablet using a cradle. Source: Verifone

Transaction Fees

Why are transaction fees important?

Keeping costs low is an important discipline for any business. And in the world of eftpos machines, transaction fees will be your biggest fees. To put it in perspective, transaction fees will cost you thousands per year, whereas other eftpos fees will most likely be in the hundreds of dollars.

Many merchants don’t quite realise how much they could save by reducing their transaction fees, so let’s take a look at an example.

On average, small retail stores sell about $40,000 worth of products per month. If a business paid 2.30% in transaction fees (which is not unheard of), then they would pay $920 per month or $11,040 per year in fees. And this is before any establishment fees, monthly fees, or other hidden charges.

However, if that same business decided to shop around and found an eftpos machine provider that charged 0.90% in transaction fees, then they would pay $360 per month or $4,320 per year. This is a 61% reduction in fees!

By choosing an eftpos machine with low fees, a retail business can realistically reduce their eftpos costs by 30-60% and save thousands of dollars per year in fees

What are we looking for?

Bespoke pricing

Although many eftpos machine providers will quote transaction fees on their websites, these generally only apply to small businesses. If your business transacts above a specified minimum amount, then the provider will offer cheaper bespoke pricing based on the type of business you are and how much you transact.

Each eftpos provider will set their minimum for bespoke pricing differently. It ranges from about $12,000 for CBA’s Essential Lite solution to $30,000 for NAB’s Eftpos Mobile solution. Irrespective of the minimum threshold, bespoke pricing is a good indicator of cheaper eftpos fees.

Least-cost routing

Many providers will also charge different fees for each card type. Most commonly, you’ll be charged a lower cents-per-transaction fee for eftpos transactions (CHQ and SAV buttons), and a higher percentage-based fee for debit and credit cards (CR button).

We won’t get into the nuts and bolts of how eftpos providers are charged by Visa and Mastercard but suffice to say that eftpos transactions cost less for the provider and that saving is often passed onto the business. So you would rather have more eftpos transactions instead of Visa/Mastercard card transactions.

Some eftpos machine providers offer a solution called least cost routing (or merchant choice routing) that can process more transactions through the eftpos network and reduce transaction fees.

Most debit cards are dual network cards, which means they can transact through both the eftpos network and the Visa/Mastercard network. Annoyingly, most providers will process tap-and-go transactions through Visa/Mastercard and not through eftpos. But providers with least-cost routing will automatically identify dual network cards and process them through the eftpos network.

By automatically processing eligible tap-and-go transactions as eftpos transactions, least-cost routing can save retail businesses up to 7.3% in transaction fees.

Dynamic Surcharging

If retail businesses aren’t able to reduce their fees to a level they are comfortable with, they can choose to pass them into their customers in the form of a surcharge.

Recent regulations have mandated that surcharges must reflect the cost of card acceptance and cannot be used to generate additional revenue. In response, a number of eftpos providers have developed a dynamic surcharging feature that automatically calculates and surcharges transaction fees.

By surcharging your merchants, you can effectively reduce your transaction fees.

Our winner: Tyro

Given that transaction fees are generally calculated based on the unique characteristics of a business, we can only offer general pricing guidance.

Tyro offers the lowest quoted eftpos pricing at 1.10% per transaction, as well as both least cost routing and dynamic surcharging. Similar solutions, such as those from traditional banks, generally work out to be between 1.35-1.55% per transaction based on their quoted price.

However, as mentioned earlier, both Tyro and many of their competitors will offer bespoke pricing. You should consider contacting each eftpos provider for a quote that’s tailored to your business.

Tyro terminals

Tyro offers both counter top and mobile eftpos machines

Accept new payment types

Why is this important?

Cash is on a slow painful march to obsolescence. The Reserve Bank reports that cash was used in only 27% of consumer payments in 2019, down from 69% in 2007.

Instead of paying with cash, consumers are more commonly paying with cards and digital wallets. Cards remain the most commonly used payment method, making up 63% of consumer payments.

But the most interesting trend in payments is the rise of digital wallets. We’ve had PayPal available for online payments for a long time but more recently we’ve seen digital wallets appear in-store in the form of buy now pay later (BNPL) wallets and international apps, such as Alipay.

Although digital wallets only account for 6% of transactions in-store, they are growing at over 150% per year. Within a few years, it is likely that consumers will expect the option to pay using digital wallets in store. And retailers will need to ensure they are offering consumers the option of paying using whichever digital wallet they prefer.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for modern eftpos machines that can be used to accept digital wallet payments in store.

The way this works is: The purchase value appears on the eftpos machine, then the customer can press the Afterpay or Zip button and key-in their unique code on the eftpos machine. The transaction is then processed as normal.

We give the highest weighting to BNPL wallet acceptance, such as Afterpay and Zip, as these are the most commonly requested payments types. We also consider other digital wallet acceptance, such as Beem It, Alipay, and Zip Money.

The winner: Tappr.io

There is only one solution in the market that offers both BNPL acceptance and international digital wallet acceptance, and you’ve probably never heard of them.

Tappr.io integrates with Afterpay, Zip, Humm, Alipay, WeChat Pay, JD Pay, and Beem It. Transaction fees for Afterpay, Zip, and Humm range between 3-6%, and transaction fees for Alipay, WeChat Pay and JD Pay range between 1.2-2.2%.