Tales From The Vault With Allen | Payment Processing News | B2B Vault Episode 94
Hey everybody, what's up! It's Justin Live from B2B Vault: The Payment Technology Podcast with your host, Allen Kopelman. And we'll be providing you with educational information about business, payments, FinTech, decentralized finance, and the technology businesses use in today's world. And in today's podcast, we'll be having story time with Allen, where he talks about interesting, or maybe not so interesting, but nightmarish scenarios in the payment processing industry. He's been in the industry for over 20 years.
So, there's plenty of stories that he's told to me that. One, you can't really talk about on a podcast, because it's not suitable for everyone's ears. And two, you can't just throw everybody's dirty laundry out there, so a lot of the stuff that he's going to digress today is personal. You know what I mean! So here you go. Hop right into the story times session, buddy. All right. So, we're going to talk about today in story time, and we're going to do this episode once a month. We're going to talk
about the point-of-sale. So, what's interesting is next month, from August 22nd to the 24th, I'll be speaking at the MPC digital commerce event in Atlanta. And I'm going to be talking about point-of-sale. So, I figured why not tell a story about the point-of-sale? So, what's interesting is, I came from the restaurant business, so I remember like the first point of sale, the first time I interacted with the point-of-sale, I worked at this barbecue rib restaurant, and they had a little system, basically the waitresses and waiters pressed the little button. Press down on buttons of the items and then print
magically printed a ticket, Scoot over, please, sir! You're messing with the microphone. Magically printed a ticket in the kitchen. Thank you. And it was very efficient. And then the next time that I experienced point-of-sale was a little more complicated was when I got at a restaurant and started working in hotels. And then we installed a point-of-sale system and, it was one of the very first times that micros installed the point-of-sale in a fine dining restaurant. Micros? The point-of-sale company! Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, they had to have, people ate different courses of food.
So, you would place your order. and you would say, oh, I'm going to have an appetizer. Then I'm going to have the salad, then you're going to have, let's say the fish. You're going to have all that. So, instead of the waiters going and having to remember when to go put in the next course, we created it so that it said, oh, the first course was this, the second course was that.
So, there was a little course line. Got it. That was a workaround, so they had to do it. How did you do that? You had to program that into the machine? They did, micros did! Ah, yeah. They came out to the hotel and then. What was really funny was years later
after that, and I got into this business, I signed up this Italian restaurant in West Palm Beach for credit card processing and they got micros. And the same two women who installed the micros at the hotel were there installing the micros at this Italian restaurant, they recognized me. How many years later was that? Quite a few! It was, that was a really long time because that was probably like seven or eight years later. Wow. It was crazy! But the point-of-sale has definitely
come a long way from a massive workstation, a massive workstation to now these points of sale are in the cloud operating on, an iPad or Android tablet. So, it's pretty amazing how small computers have gotten even like your phone, is powerful enough to run a small point-of-sale program on your phone, even. So, it's pretty crazy, how small computers have gotten. And the cost of point-of-sale has come way down from where it was, years ago. And there are a lot
of options. And now there are a lot of companies coming out. There's even a virtual point-of-sale. Where it's all virtual, it's like, it's operating on your computer, and then it's in an app. Crazy! So, you can just open the app and then the app has all these functions of, let's say like for a field, let's say you have a field business, like a, you're an electrician, a plumber or pool company. You can create! Create a profile for each one of your technicians and put all their appointments in there for the day they can map out which one is first, second, or third, they know what to do at the appointment. They have the address, they can get directions with one push, point-of-sale, it will just come a long way. In the last, I started in this end of the business in 1998, started Nationwide Payment Systems, 2001. Now we're 2022 and
probably, I would say in the last five years is the most innovations with point-of-sale. As a younger person, I'm not that young, I'm 42, but I feel young. I've literally watched, go from paper checks. As a kid I guess I don't even remember that too much. Like I remember cash and then it was paper checks and food stamps. Remember when food stamps were paper. Yeah! That was food stamps were paper. That was not anymore. I remember that even the social security check, they used to mail the checkout.
Now it just goes right into their banking account, and it was checks like, oh yeah. Cause then the machine you put the check and that's when the check would go, move the check around checking. Yeah, checks went through a whole phase! Where you took a paper check to a business that had taken, you had to take it to a bank. What was that one thing where you had to what was that? We
were in, oh no, that was for the credit card! Yeah, that was for the credit card. But I'm saying for checks, in the beginning, you just got a check, you took it to the bank. It could take up to a week to see if the check was good. Yeah, to be cleared right? You could watch
that movie Catch Me If You Can tell, which explains the whole check thing. But then, you had a check to where it, you put the check in the machine, and it checked to see if it was at a real checking account. Yeah. It didn't really check the balance. And then the next level was it actually took a picture of the check and converted it to a cash deposit for the merchant! Like a digital? Yeah! It was, they called it check imaging. Oh yeah!
And conversion so, it took an image of the check and converted it to cash, and deposit it in the bank account. And then. When did like debit cards come up? What year was that? Debit? No, debit was around for a long time, because I remember when I was young, about 18 or 19, there was a card called the honor card and it was similar to a debit card. So, you would go to the machine at the grocery store and put your honor card in there. And let's say you wanted to write a check for 60 bucks.
You had to guess because you know, oh, I need, it's going to be 60 dollars. So, you would put it in there and it would, okay. You give you a slip saying, you can write a check for 60 bucks. So, it's like a debit card. And then you would give them the check, they would put it in their little machine, and they would match what you did on the other machine. And if there was some change, they would just give you the change. I just don't remember. That was like the first debit card, but I don't remember going from like cash to debit. I don't like around
2001 around 2000, 2001 is when debit cards started to become very popular. Cause like when you, when I would go to the bank, let's say at 15. Right! You're too young to get a debit card! There was no card no, you just went to the bank and you, yeah. You had to stand in line. Yeah. Write your withdrawal slip. Or get your withdrawal slip and get your cash. Yeah, or cash a check.
Yeah. Wow. It was, yeah! Today. Now you can use the cash app, whatever you can possibly imagine to pay for something. Yeah. Now there are apps, and monies move. We talk about it all the time. FinTech. What is it? What is FinTech? Real quick, before we get into that! We want to say thank you to all of our new followers and fans, we appreciate all the love that you guys show us. Keep subscribing to the YouTube channel. We reached 177 subscribers trying to get that up to a thousand. Come on, guys. I know you guys could do it! Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook, please
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Fridays. That's cool. We're going to be releasing episodes every Friday in the afternoon, early afternoon. So, it's not too late, so you can still catch it. Yeah. Also, we love you guys! That's it. All right! So back to the story. So, I've seen the iterations,
right! Of the point-of-sale business and the point-of-sale business. When we first got into this business, we were able to, a lot of companies would buy point-of-sale. And then we would put the processing in it. Today, that's completely changed! Now, the point-of-sale companies are all becoming credit card processors. Right! So, they're their own credit card processor. So, we partnered with quite a few different
types of point-of-sale, point-of-sale for restaurants, and point-of-sale for and they're getting smart. They're very industry specific. Like we have one that's for smoke shops and vape shops, cigar stores you can do is a convenience store with that one! So, it's a very specific, and liquor store. It's very specific to that type of inventory control for those businesses. You mentioned retail too! Yeah. Only re yeah, but just retail. No, I mean like clothing, something. No, we don't do anything with
clothing. Clothing is very difficult because you get into, in the database, you got to get. You could have the same shoe or the same, like this shirt right now, you got this shirt and a men's shirt and a woman's shirt. Then it comes in extra small, medium, large, and extra-large! Pink, gray, yellow! So, that takes a that's an immense inventory program. So, do they have those? Yeah. Oh yeah, there are point-of-sale for that! It's very complicated. Do businesses use them a lot? Yeah, bigger businesses. It's very, it's difficult for like someone that has a small clothing store to use one of those because the inventory is, you got to be on top of your inventory. Yeah.
If you're organized with your vendor, it's easy because of the vendor. You got 10 men's shirts that small, medium, two of each, or whatever. You got 10. But it's easy if they give it to you all like on a spreadsheet. And then it can be uploaded in, but we don't really deal with clothing stores and cheap stores, because it's a huge job to get all the inventory in there. Sounds like I'm sure it will be. People sometimes use like we offer people the Clover system, but it doesn't really handle a large clothing or shoe store, for that kind of inventory.
It's very specialized and that's what we're seeing today. There are a lot of choices if you're a restaurant and for retail, if it's a small retail store. We have a good program for that. What's been the difference between small and large? So, I was laughing when, so like a small program would be somebody let's say they have like maybe 50 or a hundred items. So, there are like small programs for that, maybe it's a food truck. So, there are quite a few little programs then let's say up to 8,000 items. Can you imagine? That's a lot! So, there is point-of-sale for that, when you get over 8,000 items, you need a whole different kind of point-of-sale, because now you're talking about that, that's an immense program.
That's running with a database, and you have to be organized. It's not, the person selling it has to be organized. It's the business that has to be organized to have all that in there. Let's say you're doing a grocery store or a small meat market. You got to really be organized. You got to have all your items, you got to assign your UPC codes. You got to buy a special scale,
that prints out the barcode. So, you can put, like when you go to Publix, you're the meat has like a special thing. It's all coded because they, the butchers, weigh each package. And they have to set up the scale. So, the scale knows oh, the packaging for these weighs, let's say two ounces.
So, they don't charge you for two ounces. It already knows oh, that little tray and the little thing they put in there and the plastic is going to weigh, whatever it weighs. So, it's called tare. Yes, sir. Yeah. I am familiar. Yeah. So, they put that on, there's a tear weight, so they get it. And we have a program, the same one that does the smoke shops will do like a small meat market. Not talking about that. Just, I don't know. Talking about this topic.
It just makes me think about all the little intricacies that go into running a business, that's all. Yeah! Like when you were just saying I can only imagine, someone opening up their shop for the first time and then they get their POS and then they realize that they have to input like, 8,000 products into here. But there are easier ways to do it. I'm just saying manufacturers are organized. Yeah. I'm just saying that it's a, there's a lot into running a business, man! Yeah, there is! And there are just little things that, every day when we're talking and there are just little things that come to mind. Wow! Shout out
to all those small business owners, running shops out there, you guys are killing it, man! Yeah. You got to be like a little bit of a tech wizard today! Right! To get all this stuff going in your store. For sure! You got to be like a tech wizard. And then you got to be willing to learn. For you got to be willing to learn and, different, every best thing has a different kind of want and need. So, let's say, you're a restaurant,
oh, now you need online ordering. And then today, since then the last couple of years, now you need to be linked to like Door Dash, Uber Eats, and things like that. So, the same thing, and then retail stores, they want to be linked in so they can have a shopping cart for everything they're selling. So, their customers can pay online too, and do you know, you have to, we've talked about this before, you got to be able to do in a business today. You need to be, face, do your face-to-face business, have your curbside pickup, have your in-store pick up, and then your delivery. Yep! And no matter what kind of business you have, you got to incorporate all of that into your business.
So that's, the new business model today is incorporating. It doesn't work obviously like liquor stores, you're not going to really, some liquor stores offer curbside pickup. It's a little bit of a pain. They got to go outside, make sure it's not your somebody's teenage kid coming over. Right. Used his dad's credit card, and he's coming over to pick up a case of Budweiser.
There's a business. Technology for every business now. So, you, there's a very specific technology, for different types of business. That's why that company who does the smoke shop does liquor store because they ID people, so it's a similar business flow, and it's a similar business flow and that you buy cases of stuff and then you might sell one, right? You buy cases and then break them down. So oh, there are 24 candy bars in a box, and you sell them one by
one same thing. The liquor store buys 12 bottles of vodka. So, it's the same kind of inventory type system. That's why it works, but that system's not going to work for a shoe store. So, you don't want, when you buy point-of-sale, you don't want to stick a round hole, a round peg in a square hole. Or a triangle in a round hole, you got to get the point-of-sale that's designed specifically for your business type. So yeah, it's very important that you have a point-of-sale selection, and you select the right type of point-of-sale. And we provide consulting for that, where we meet with a merchant, I say, I need to point-of-sale.
And then we start the conversation. What's your budget? How many I, what kind of business is it? How many items are you going to have in the store? Then there's always the discussion? Are you comfortable with Android and Apple? Or do you want to step it up a little higher to the next, where you're doing a PC? And the same thing in a restaurant, depending on how busy the restaurant is, and how many stations they have? Do you need a back office, computer or not a back-office computer? Or now, like we're working with a company with a hybrid of that! So, they assign one, one of the computers is like the head, and then everything else is in the cloud. So, it's a combination! So, there's all, the cloud became a big thing. So, everything's in the cloud and it's great for running a business because you get this almost, just about every point-of-sale at some kind of cloud option. So, the business owner could be at home login and see everything. And that goes to all types of businesses, your credit card processing, everything that you do, there's a dashboard you go in and you can manage your business right from the dashboard. But it's funny, years ago we put out dashboards and hardly anybody use the dashboards.
Now, I think people are getting a little bit more used to it. They do a lot more, you can run, you have to decide like with your point-of-sale system, what are you going to do? Do you need a loyalty program? How does the loyalty program work? Do and you don't even have to give out cards, you can just do it with a phone number now! And then also use it for, because most of the time, like the ones that come with the phone number, also give the business text messaging. Which is probably one of the best marketing tools. We added text messaging to the podcast now where you can text the word "book" to 9 5 4 8 2 7 9 8 1 8. And we'll send you back the link where you can book us an appointment and we can also have a two-way conversation with you. So even the point-of-sale systems I've developed now, like online chat. So, you need customer service, you have a problem. You can just click on the chat button and get in touch with somebody instead of being on hold. That's very cool! Open up a ticket
and so on and so forth. Technology is growing and getting more complex and then different types of payments, come into the point-of-sale. So soon, what will we see at the point-of-sale? We'll see maybe direct bank transfer, where you can pay with your bank account without using your debit card. Do I think we're going to see that at some point? Maybe! I think time is down the road! Are we going to see crypto? Like you're going to pay, come up and pay for your burger with crypto. Maybe we'll see that, in the near future. You can do it now is just not integrated into a point-of-sale yet!
But it's coming, it's coming, there are all types of stuff! QR codes. So, a few years ago, we were using QR codes when we were making mobile apps. And now, boom, in the last two years, everybody knows what a QR code is. I'm annoyed with the QR code menu thing. I think restaurants, a lot of restaurants are using that because they're having to change their prices on the fly.
I get it! And they can't keep printing menus. Yeah! Yeah. It's getting it's too expensive to print menus. I like the, I went to this restaurant. Last Thursday and they had iPads! For everybody? That's cool! What restaurant was that? That's interesting. Oh, Ali Mexican restaurant. Mexican restaurant. That's cool. Yeah, there's actually, we talked to a company it's expensive to do that though. Unless you went out and you just bought a lot of, like refurbed iPads. I don't know if they had one for every table, I'm sure I.
I'm sure they had, you wouldn't need one for every table, but you probably need one for every two. Probably need 10. There's a pretty big restaurant. So, they need at least 10 50. No. What I'm saying is you need one for at least every two tables. Two, I would think for every table. Yeah. Two for every one or two for every table. That's a
lot. You have 50 tables. You need a hundred iPads that can, it doesn't need to be an iPad either. Oh, okay. It could be an Android tablet. You get a refurbished one for maybe 50 or a hundred bucks. At that point, you probably could find phones. I don't know. Kind, just you'd have a small program it, yeah. It's small. There you go. You could get like an iPad mini or something. It could use older ones. It's going to be a strain on your Wi-Fi too!
Because it is coming from the Wi-Fi. So, everybody is on Wi-Fi at the same time. Yeah. You're going to have to set up some separate networks, I'm sure. For all that. Yeah. I've seen, I just thought it was cool that they had that instead of, I'm like I said, I'm just irritated with the whole, the QR code thing, because sometimes they're depending on their website. I'd rather see the QR code thing than go to a restaurant, where they got stickers on every menu. Oh yeah, and you don't know the price and you don't know the price,
I agree, and, you know that no one else is touching it. No. It's also piled on there, they've changed the price three or four times. And that's just kind of that's just. No, just saying you got to use tech, we always talk about this, put technology to work in your business! Yep. Like you have a salon, there's a point-of-sale for a salon. We have some guy with Ax Throwing and they're going to try to use the salon system for the Ax throwing. And we think it's going to work because instead of the cutters,
they're just going to use the lanes of the ax. That's going to be the cutter. That makes sense said, so it should work, and you'll be able to book online and everything instead of booking Susie to cut your hair, you'll be booking lane one. Exactly. So, it should work and they're spending way too much money on what they're using now. And this is going to be about 20%
of the cost. And then they're going to get a point-of-sale and the reservations all linked into one system! That's here in Fort Lauderdale? No, it's actually in Hawaii! Oh, which is crazy! That guy's killing it out there. Yeah! We have one sales rep and he's he relocated during the pandemic from Las Vegas to Hawaii. Because he's from Hawaii. Yeah. He told me to start. So, he ended up moving there, we serve as businesses in all 50 states. That's it. We cannot do Guam, or we can do a little bit in Puerto Rico. But we can't do the Virgin Islands and
over there yet, it's all, it's a different Visa, MasterCard region. Got it! This is crazy, you would think are US territories, it should be part of the US, but it's not! Same thing with Guam. Like why not? We should be able to do that. Shout out to Guam! It's not how it's set up. We got; we've gotten inquiries from there before. If it's an internet business, we probably can do it because there are ways to get a, because they probably have a US bank account. And a US Federal Tax ID number. So, there's a way to get around that kind of stuff. But with a physical, you need a physical machine in your business. We can't do that.
So, it's good though because, we have, there's a variety of things you can do with point-of-sale. Like, I said, it's, it comes down to, how feature-rich do you need the product and how robust, do you need it to be? Because, when people look like we talked about micros. Right? You can't compare micros to the Clover system, someone who goes from micros and then they start using a Clover. They're going to be very upset because it's not going to be. not going to have the same experience, right? So, you got to have, you got to make sure that you have the features and the features and the robustness that you want for what you're going to be tracking in your business. The same thing with inventory, as we talked about clothing, is very difficult,
you're tracking, you're tracking styles, sizes, and colors. It could get complicated. Darren Skippy. Yep. Complicated and expensive! So, if you're interested in going to the show, you'll see, that we'll be doing a few more posts about the MPC 22 digital commerce event. We'll tag it in the podcast. You'll see it come out. I'm speaking at the
event. And on the last day of the event, they're having alternative products. Cannabis! Expo featuring cannabis, CBD, and other alternative products. So that's going to be pretty interesting and I'm going to be at the booth there. So, we'll see, hopefully, we'll see some merchants there in need. We'll help you out, there is a
point-of-sale for that too. All right. So, thank you for listening today. Storytime, talking about point-of-sale, the evolution of point-of-sale, where it was, and where it is now! And everybody Have a great day! Carpe Diem! Enter the contest and win the Oculus and other cool prizes. Win the OCULUS! Rocky likes the Oculus. He wants it. He doesn't want anyone to win. That's why he growled! He wants to wear the goggles and go to the doggy Metaverse!