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    How independent retailers can embrace technology to level the playing field 

    It’s a difficult time for independent retailers and convenience stores across the UK, and business owners are feeling the squeeze as footfall declines.Their attention is now firmly focused on improving profit margins and becoming as efficient as possible as they go toe-to-toe with larger retailers.  

    While the majority of independent retailers are aware of the benefits that digital technology can bring to their business, many don’t know where to start with so much choice and confusion. The key to success here is finding simple, cost-effective, solutions that work for their business.  

    Simplifying business operations through innovative cloud-based payment checkout journeys 

    Cloud-based payment systems are becoming increasingly popular, offering several advantages over traditional payment solutions.  

    • Firstly, they provide a greater level of accessibility and convenience, helping retailers access payment services from any location.  
    • Secondly, they offer scalability, allowing any independent retail business the power to change its payment infrastructure based on evolving needs. 
    • Thidly, cloud-based solutions can be much more cost-efficient than traditional payment technology, while also offering unrivalled security, including encryption, multi-factor authentication and regular security updates.  
    • And finally, cloud-based payment solutions can offer faster transaction processing times, fully automated updates, eliminating downtime due to hardware failures while meeting strict compliance standards. 

    Viva.com® has been leading the movement to a cloud-based payment future. Through its entirely cloud-based tech infrastructure and revolutionary Tap-on-any-Device technology, which turns any smartphone or corporate device into a card terminal, it is helping businesses across Britain thrive. Recently this Tap-on-any-Device technology has become popular with small and medium businesses by removing the need for complex and costly POS systems, while simultaneously helping business owners control their finances better.  

    The Viva.com® Terminal app is available on iOS and Android, with over 985 different types of devices supported – allowing businesses of all shapes and sizes to simplify operations, while also helping them optimise their customer experience. At a time where merchants are facing staffing shortages, these cloud-based solutions are helping to reduce queues, as digital transactions become quicker than taking cash. The software can also be used to seamlessly manage offline and online payments, offering a combined approach for convenience stores. 

    Managing cash flow with Real-Time Settlement 

    Effective cash flow management is important for any retailer to ensure they can purchase inventory, settle bills, pay staff, and ultimately, survive. But this can be harder for smaller merchants. One of the challenges that independent retailers and convenience stores are facing when accepting card payments is the time between the transaction and the time that the funds will be available for them to access. Sometimes this can take as long as 5 working days. 

    However, innovation in the past few years has been able to reduce settlement time to within an hour. Viva.com® offers real-time settlement, providing customers with near-instant access to funds in up to 60 minutes, including on weekends.  

    Using electonic point of sale (EPOS) systems with the latest technology to maximise profit 

    For convenience store retailers in particular, having an integrated payments solution within an EPOS system is critical. In fact, research shows that convenience stores that use an EPOS system have benefitted from a profit increase of at least 3%. For example, Mpos by Mhouse Business Solutions, which utliseses Viva.com®’s technology, connects supplier data links with major wholesalers. This allows businesses to efficiently control their stock management whilst the integrated payments solution minimises potential losses to variables such as human error, connecting all the key components vital to the day-to-day management of businesses. 

    Daniall Nadeem, an MHouse Retailer, and owner of SPAR Motherwell Road explains: “Making the switch to Viva.com® was undoubtedly one of the best business decisions we’ve made. The benefits we’ve experienced have been nothing short of transformative – from significantly lower processing charges, to settlements arriving in our account by half past midnight, and lightning-fast transaction times that have helped us avoid queues and build-ups in-store.   

    Making the most out of cashback  

     
    As well as taking advantage of advanced EPOS systems and cloud-based checkout solutions, convenience store owners should also be benefitting from cashback offers. For example, merchants that use the Viva.com® business debit card for their business expenses can receive cashback on their transaction fees. The more businesses use it, the more the acceptance fees are lowered, which can reduce fees down to 0%. 

    Embracing technology as a competitive advantage 

    Innovation in payments continues to move at pace, and technology should be seen as a tool to achieve growth rather than a barrier. Thanks to the latest payments software, merchants can save money, time, and resources using their existing corporate devices or just their smartphone to accept payments. No additional costly and cumbersome hardware needed. This technology allows merchants to embrace new payment experiences.  

    It’s essential that independent retailers and convenience stores find simple ways to adopt new technologies to run their business in a more efficient way and remain competitive. One of the issues for small businesses is that they traditionally have too many vendors involved in payments. Viva.com® believes that businesses should focus on simplicity, efficiency, and security. That’s why Viva.com® offers a one-stop shop that is entirely built in the cloud, bringing downtime to zero. This allows businesses to focus on servicing their customers and delivering a personalised experience that differentiates them from the larger retailer ecosystem.  

    To find out how Viva.com® could help elevate the way you run your business, visit viva.com  

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