Integrated Credit Card Processing: Does Your Restaurant Need It?

Chris Rumpf

Founder and CEO, 15+ Years of Restaurant Technology Innovation

Integrated Credit Card Processing: Does Your Restaurant Need It?

Managing a budget, handling credit card receipts, and monitoring the flow of cash can be a daunting prospect for even a well-seasoned restaurateur. Even though it may seem overwhelming, there is a way for these processes to work together to create a more productive system. Integrated credit card processing can help you streamline your business so you can focus on what matters most.

What is Integrated Credit Card Processing?

Manual accounting can be time-consuming and frustrating, which can lead to costly mistakes. Integrated credit card processing pairs with an accounting software, allowing businesses to align digital service and information processes through a POS (Point-of-Sale) to streamline payment processing, business administration, and customer experience. Through this service, these systems work together to create a seamless and automatic experience for your restaurant.

When running a restaurant, your time is valuable. An integrated credit card processor creates a network where all your systems communicate effortlessly, cutting down on time, money, and aggravation.

Semi-Integrated vs. Fully-Integrated

There are two types of integrated credit card processing systems: semi-integrated and fully-integrated. A semi-integrated processor has a separation between payments and back-end software, meaning your POS is not involved in any transaction and does not touch a customer’s credit card. Instead, the transaction is processed by a third party app before being sent back to your system. This allows semi-integrated systems to be less complex, but it also means that it falls somewhat outside of the PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance scope—which equates to less security for you and your customers.

A fully-integrated processor is connected to all of your systems and creates a network that communicates with each branch. This means when a credit card transaction occurs, your processor handles it from start to finish, with the payment running through your POS. When payments are run through your POS, point-to-point encryption is often used in conjunction with PCI compliance to enhance security measures and prevent your customer’s information from being compromised. This system also allows you to automate more of your processes and provides more piece of mind and safety for you and your customers.

Why Does Your Restaurant Need an Integrated Credit Card Processing System?

With a fully-integrated credit card processing system, you can save hours each week that would normally be dedicated to sorting receipts and invest it in your growing business instead. Transactions will transfer straight into your accounting software, allowing you to spend more of your time focusing on customer experience, building your brand, and generating revenue for your growing business. This will also reduce labor expenses by automating certain tasks as well as giving your employees a more streamlined and easy-to-learn system.

Processes will be automated through this payment system, resulting in an improved workflow and increased cash flow. This allows for better money management while also ensuring bills are paid on time and employees receive their checks regularly. Human error—along with several unnecessary steps—is also taken out of the equation, meaning no more time wasted fixing costly mistakes. Double entries are a thing of the past.

Fully-integrated systems also securely capture customer data, which can provide insight into consumer behavior. This data can then be used to better understand your clientele and create targeted marketing campaigns as well as notify employees of frequent visitors. All this is managed by one single support system, which makes it much easier to maintain vendors, customers, and more should an issue arise.

Your information also becomes easily accessible because your fully-integrated processor provides the ability to use cloud-based accounting so you can access your data from anywhere on the internet. Most cloud databases are PCI compliant and are run from data centers which offer multiple levels of security and encryption to protect your software, date, and customer information.