It is a new era in the world of Gift and Loyalty Card.
Many businesses have been affected by the expensive transaction swipe fees and the monthly service fees that come with using these card systems. If you would like to have and also control your database of patron information then this article is for you. If you have been searching for how to be in charge of your card system right from your computer then you should keep reading. All you need to know is right here.
Before new technology came on board how was a gift or loyalty card implemented? Merchants who wanted to implement a loyalty card system or execute plastic magstripe gift card had a credit card processor. If they didn’t have, the only available option was to go through a company that had similar credit card based technology.
Till date, merchants still complain that this method is quite expensive when it comes to processing these types of cards.
The price comes in form of the transaction swipe fees. It ranges between $.08 per swipe to about $.35 for each swipe. There is also a monthly charge of about $40 to $100.
About 8 years ago, some technologists decided to search for a fresh way to handle this fee riddled approach. They began to look into the computer based technology that all the merchants had.
Interestingly, about 70% of the U.S based merchants had a computer on that site. Between that time and now, the number has grown significantly with the trend bending towards low prices for both software and hardware.
This method is cost effective and it not only challenges but also eclipses the standard credit card technology.
This new personal computer based technology is cheaper to own and user friendly so you can operate it by yourself. It has given room to merchants to access and manage their database of patron information on their own computers.
Some of the many benefits include
No more monthly payments
No database management fees
No more transaction swipe fees and other charges connected with the traditional credit card based technologies currently in the market.
This new pc computer based technology isn’t constraining in both function and form as the credit card based technology. With this new technology, some processor owns and manages the main data for the merchant.
From this pc computing based approach, the merchant is not constrained to a group of management reports that he or she (the merchant) goes to generate from a website which usually comes with a price.
In the place of this new pc computing technology, there is a report generator that is usually accessible. It allows the merchant to put together and sort out quite a number of reports just by clicking a few buttons.
The report generator is an essential tool that allows management to monitor the efficiency of the card programs and it also allows for the improvement of the card programs.
It provides an instant and accurate feedback that enables proper and informed management decisions.
The local computer based card systems are not constrained to just loyalty cards and gifts cards. There is no boundary to the card-based applications that can be imprinted into software for this.
There is a whole suite of card based features that is accessible. This allows merchants market their businesses in a better way to their clients without all the credit card overhead.
Examples of these features include patron refund cards, employee discount cards, promotional cards, courtesy comp cards and reloadable cash cards.
With the help of a local pc based system a merchant can expand the use of these popular money-making cards to other applications or functions other than gift and loyalty.
One of such functions is using the card as a promotional card.
The merchant already has a record of patron names, addresses and any other important information on their computer and not on any credit card processor’s central server in some other place.
This will make the merchant to easily give out or hand out cards to the customers who are coming into their store so they can swipe their cards to find out if the cards won anything.
This way the customers will be willing to come back since they know that coming to your store to get their card swipe is a form of mystery card promotion.
If I am a customer and I know that I can win anything from $4 to about $100 or if I can get a discount off some of the goods I buy I will go back. There is nothing that draws people back like freebies.
It is a good way to keep your customers loyal. It is also useful when you want to get your old customers back. It can be used to draw potential customers and keep them by simply sending out a mailing list that can be bought at a reasonable and inexpensive price.
While you are evaluating or monitoring pc based card systems, you should work with goals for the future. As your business expands, the database of customers who have cards will also increase.
You will need a commercial strength software product that has a database structure that can efficiently manage a huge amount of data. Merchants usually have serious challenges after some years with their database.
If you have more than one store in different places with different franchise owners or managers, you should select a pc based card system that can connect stores together.
This means your customers or patrons can buy a gift card, loyalty card, promotional card or cash card at a place and use it at another location. You will need high speed internet for this function.