by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 6 March 2013
There is a revolution happening the payment industry. From card readers to mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems, the industry has become cheaper and more accessible for small businesses.
This week, we will do a full ZingCheckout review. A solution that helps users in their bid to democratize the small business industry.
Depending on the complexity required, an average POS system can set you back from anywhere between $1500 to $20,000. There are several drawbacks that come bundled at those price points. For example, you are locked into the purchased hardware (and ancillary costs of servicing). Then, there is the difficulty of integrating it with your backend and the web. Finally, legacy POS systems are not mobile.
In terms of value-for-money, it is difficult to justify such an investment. ZingCheckout aims to be the alternative for expensive POS. According to their website, Zing Checkout aims to be the company that makes disruption happen in the payment industry.
Considering the price points and the value for money that you get, that might not be such a bad idea. The application integrates the benefits of a POS system with an integrated web and mobile backend. Thus, it goes beyond being merely a card reader to a comprehensive system that tracks and tallies your products and inventory.
Before you begin working with Zing Checkout, you must configure details related to your POS system. In addition, you should configure details related to your credit card gateway to process cards received by your small business.
The basic workflow for Zing Checkout begins with addition of customers and inventory. Because it is mobile-enabled, you can configure the system to send texts and emails to customers after adding their details. In addition, the inventory addition process enables you to include complexities related to your products. Thus, you can add and categorize products. In addition, you can add options related to products (such as product size) and attributes (such as sample colors).
Once you have configured the details, the system tracks and tallies your sales and orders. At any given point of time, you can view your order status and summary. Similarly, the solution has a full and comprehensive reporting mechanism that users to see statistics related to their business. For example, you can view a daily summary of discounts and refunds ordered by your business. Similarly, you can also check available cash and drawer timelines for your business using the same option.
One of the more interesting features in the solution is its integration with social media. The Social Listing option within Zing Checkout enables you to aggregate your social web presence in one place. Thus, your accounts on Facebook or Twitter can be collated together at one place for customer commenting. Think of it as your "gateway to the social web."
Zing Checkout capitalizes on the current disruption zeitgeist in a nice and affordable way. It is platform-agnostic, which means you can use it with pretty much any piece of hardware. It has an excellent and easy-to-use interface that enables, even, non-technical users to navigate the solution easily. In addition, unlike mobile card readers that deal only with a frontend and are prevalent in the market today, Zing Checkout integrates a web- and mobile-enabled backend with the solution. This enables you to manage inventory, track products, and, also, products interesting and useful reports to tally inventory and sales. Finally, the solution's innovative integration of social media enables you to create an online presence without expending much cost.
While small businesses can avail several benefits on using the solution, Zing Checkout could also do with some improvements. For example, the interface, which is already HTML5-based, could be improved further. As an example, the solution could integrate a visually attractive approach to reporting.
Perhaps, the greatest benefit of Zing Checkout is its pricing model. As I mentioned earlier, investing in a POS system is expensive and involves tradeoffs. Zing Checkout slashes those prices to make feature-rich POS systems affordable for small businesses. To make things simple, they have two plans: free and premium. The free plan consists of a 14-day trial period, during which you can test the system. Once you are satisfied with the system, you can upgrade to the paid version. Zing Checkout also has you covered, if you are a brand new small business. The solution has three plans that bundle the SaaS solution with modern POS hardware such as iPads, thermal receipt printers, electronic cash drawers, and barcode scanners.
Zing Checkout is a great solution for small businesses for two very important reasons. First, it simplifies the complexity of POS and makes it intuitive (and, thus, saves you time). Second, it saves money and enables you to do more with less.