Offline vs. Online Payments
What’s the difference?
There are actually a few different interpretations of offline vs. online transactions. Whether you have a fully functional POS System, a CRM or accounting system that processes payments, a stand-alone terminal, or some other method of accepting credit cards, your business is probably performing both online and offline transactions. The real question that should be asked is:
Am I being as efficient as I can be?
Let’s break them down and then we can discuss further.
Offline payments include those that are processed outside of a web interface; some would consider these to be the traditional forms of payment.
Traditional payment methods would encompass payments made in person with cash, debit or credit card, or over the phone via credit or debit card.
Online, But Not Processed in Real-Time
Some payments are entered into an online system, but not processed in real-time. This can include scenarios where a system is not connected to the internet, there is an internet outage or the payment is required to be held for processing until a product is shipped.
Is it possible for online pos systems to work offline?
When the power goes out, a POS System may have back up power and can still function to accept the payment from the customer, but the connection to the processor is not active. In this case, the POS will hold transactions for processing later.
How can you accept credit cards offline?
In addition, while many of our clients utilize Bluetooth card processing mobile devices that are 4G or 5G enabled, some just access WiFi. In this case, with field service applications, for example, they allow the use of a tablet but do not require an always active internet connection.
In this case, the credit card is swiped or keyed and held for processing until the device is connected to the internet.
When the tablet finds a secure WiFi connection, (we recommend doing this back at the office) it will download and process the held transactions. This is a convenient option and the WiFi-enabled tablet is typically less expensive, which may allow a business owner to provide one to each field tech.
Truly online payments use an e-commerce integrated app or API. While they may be connected to a POS System, they connect directly to the back end processor in real-time. Cards are not swiped or inserted to read the EMV chip; instead, the numbers are keyed. They do not need to utilize a terminal, CRM, or POS System. Still, many business owners choose to integrate e-commerce methods in order to capture all transactional information about the customer the way they would in person; name, e-mail, phone, and more depending on the type of business, in addition to inventory management or scheduling modules.
What Is Best For My Business?
The answer to that question truly depends on a number of things. There are operational needs as well as economic considerations. No “one size fits all” solution is ever, truly, a solution.
Transact offers consulting services to help make the right decisions and then recommends systems, software, processes, or equipment that can help a business adapt for both online or offline payments.
Whether the business currently only accepts traditional offline payments or has other systems in place, the goal is to better utilize online and e-commerce transactions. TransAct helps to reduce expenses, fees, and labor while reducing risk and staying PCI compliant.
Schedule an appointment at your convenience, or reach out to us via e-mail for more information. We will go through your questions in order to help improve your business and choose what is right for you.