If you don’t have an internet connection, you might think you can’t accept card payments for your business. But that’s not the case.
You can process credit card payments offline – so if you have a food truck set up at a festival, you’re a traveling veterinarian and you’re stuck in a field, or you simply lose your Wi-Fi connection on your travels, you can still take card payments from customers.
Being able to accept offline credit card payments removes barriers when doing business on the go. Read on to learn all you need to know about offline credit card processing – from how to accept payments offline to its pros and cons.
How to Accept Offline Payments
Accepting offline payments is quick and simple, just follow these four steps:
1. Get a Payment System
In your point-of-sale system, enable offline mode, which is as simple as flicking a toggle. (Once enabled, the machine can automatically switch to offline mode when no internet connection is available.)
2. Swipe or Dip the Credit Card
Once the customer comes to pay for your product or service, swipe or dip their card into the processing machine.
3. Enter the Payment Amount
Enter the payment amount into the machine. Remember, you can’t obtain bank approval because you’re offline right now. The payment will be stored and cardholder information encrypted, so when you’re back online, it will be sent for approval.
4. Complete the Transaction
Complete the transaction like any other by printing an offline card payment receipt, or email a receipt to the customer once the payment has been processed when you’re back online.
Offline Card Processing: When Is it Useful?
If you visit trade shows, attend outdoor events like food markets, or are a traveling salesperson or tradesperson visiting people’s homes, a payment system that allows you to do offline credit card processing is beneficial. Being able to accept offline payments means a slow or patchy internet connection won’t get in the way of doing business wherever you are.
What Are the Pros And Cons of Offline Card Processing?
By getting a full picture of the advantages and disadvantages of offline credit card processing, you can make an informed decision.
The Advantages of Offline Card Processing
Offline Mode Automatically Activates
Once you’ve switched the toggle on for offline mode in the platform, the machine is smart enough to recognize when there’s no WiFi or internet connection and enables you to accept offline payments automatically. This saves you from worrying about the signal dropping out midway through your trading hours.
Offline Card Processing Is Secure
Devices that offer offline credit card processing are typically encrypted and secure, offering the same level of security as regular credit card terminals. As a merchant, you should use a PCI-compliant payment system. These systems adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This means you have a secure environment to protect both yourself as the merchant and the customer.
Set Transaction Limits in Your Payment System
You can customize your offline card payment limits. Activate merchant approval for all offline transactions, or set transaction dollar limits. You can make offline card processing work for your business needs.
The Disadvantages of Offline Card Processing
Increased Risk for Merchants
Offline credit card processing carries a higher risk of fraud and chargebacks than online payments. You can reduce this risk by comparing signatures to the back of the consumer’s card or checking whether or not their ID matches the credit card used.
If Payments Are Rejected, There’s No Way to Recoup the Money
If your customer’s payment is rejected when you’re back online, there’s no way for you to chase payment with these specific customers. Instead, you have to count that sale as a loss.
Slower Customer Experience
The customer’s credit card balance won’t be updated until you are back online and able to take payment for the product or service, which may be frustrating for them.
So, how do you know if offline credit card processing is right for you?
It depends on the specifics of your business.
If you have a lot to gain by accepting payments on the go and the downside is minimal, you may want to use offline credit card processing.
But if being connected is rarely an issue, and a few rejected payments would inflict serious damage on your business, offline credit card processing may not be right for your business.
Gravity integrates with devices that allow offline credit card processing, allowing you to accept payments wherever you are.