One company instead of three also leads to better terminals because each company requires its own software downloads. “Now when we reprogram terminals,” Tanzy says, “there is just one solid piece of software, so it’s more stable. It’s like an Abrams tank. It’s much less to support and easy to troubleshoot. It goes down less.”
Dealers who sign up for First Data could also save money on their phone bill. The terminal software used by Tsys supports only dial-up connections. “So if you have four places where people can check out, you’d have to have four separate phone lines,” Tanzy says. “Well, those phone lines cost $50, $60 per month, so you could have $200 in phone lines.”
First Data software, on the other hand, requires only an Internet connection. “If you’ve got Internet access at your dealership, you don’t have to have phone lines,” Tanzy says. “You can just dial through your IP network. That’s a lot quicker to get authorization settlements, and you can trash your phone lines. Anywhere you’ve got Internet access can be a cash register for you.”
The same goes for check processing. All a dealer needs is Internet access and a PC terminal. Dealers don’t have to change their terminals, just their software.
The value of virtual terminals goes well beyond replacing phone lines. Dealers can use them to process their online transactions automatically, as well as to import transactions into their accounting system. More on these two benefits in the next section.
Going Virtual Is All the Rage
Tanzy says that until recently, dealers who wanted virtual terminals had to own a dealer management system (DMS). For example, many DMS providers charge a fee for integrating payment processing with their accounting module. This saves the dealer from having to enter the numbers manually.
“But now First Data has an end-to-end solution,” Tanzy says. “You can export the daily settlement files off the First Data virtual terminal and import them into your accounting system.” Tanzy says all industry-specific software and general software like QuickBooks can import the basic database files. The same goes for data pertaining to checks and gift cards.
“If you don’t own a dealer management system,” Tanzy says, “you can get one huge benefit of a system without buying one.”
Speaking of software providers, some dealers may remember that MIC BankCard and ADP Lightspeed were once partners. The companies amicably parted ways in 2009, Tanzy says. ADP Lightspeed is now marketing its own credit card processing program. (Continued)