How To Turn Hardware Revenue Opportunities Into MRR

Great sales professionals pay attention to the details. When surveying a prospective client’s workplace environment, they look high and low to assess areas of concern and invest some of their time visually exploring the premises for new opportunities. MSPs can benefit greatly by honing their observation skills.

Opportunity is literally everywhere if you know where to look. For example, if you notice a prospect’s employees have their application credentials written on sticky notes next to their computers, pitching a company-wide password management solution would make perfect sense. An old physical security sticker in the front window may suggest the business is due for an upgrade to an IP-connected system.

Of course, not every indicator is as obvious as a Windows XP logo plastered on your supermarket’s check-out monitor. Many of the credit card readers that sit prominently next to a cash register or on the counter of local businesses tend to look fairly modern.

However, the technologies inside those devices may be significantly different as companies adapt to new PCI compliance standards.

Security is not the only risk

To be clear, there is no current law requiring organizations to use chip-card readers to accept credit and bank cards. However, since 2015, the evolution of these payment technologies, otherwise known as the EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) Liability Shift, is making them an essential standard for businesses.

Companies not employing the latest readers in their transaction process are putting their organizations and livelihoods at risk. Chip-enabled cards make it extremely difficult for criminals to duplicate, unlike magnetic stripe cards, which virtually allow anyone to copy and use credit or ATM data. Employees may disappear with the latter type of card or use a skimming device to steal the data and make a usable copy for their own use.

EMV greatly reduces those concerns since the chips send unique (dynamically changes) information to the card readers. Copying these cards (especially the chip) is incredibly complex, basically eliminating the counterfeiting problem. Like traditional readers, the latest devices require cardholders to enter their personal identification numbers (PINs) or signatures to complete a transaction.

Chip-card technologies not only ensure greater privacy protection for the cardholder but limit merchants’ (your clients) financial exposure to cybercrime and fraud. If your clients are not set up to accept EMV cards − many small businesses have yet to adopt the technologies – they may incur significant financial losses from some of the most common sales schemes.

Companies without compliance systems may lose out on disputes where customers charge products or consume services and then ask their card issuer to reverse those transactions. Businesses that require the use of chip-cards for all onsite transactions (online is a different issue) will shift some if not all of that financial liability back to the issuers’ banks. The payment card industry is more supportive of those organizations that follow their guidelines, including adopting EMV-enabled readers and adherence to PCI Security Standards.

Hardware brings new opportunities

When you notice a business client or prospect using an outdated credit/ bank card reader, it is a great opportunity to have a conversation on upgrading that device and selling them complementary offerings. Savvy MSPs understand the value of selling complementary services, including network assessments, cybersecurity reviews, and secure payment options.

Offering hardware is even something your business doesn’t have to take on the sole financial responsibility, through companies like GreatAmerica is national and provides businesses with affordable commercial equipment and technology finance services. This allows your business to offer hardware, benefit from the lease, while not taking on the financial risk of buying and maintaining the equipment.

Payment cards replace cash

While many businesses still accept checks and traditional forms of money, more people are not just asking but demanding to pay for goods and services via credit and bank cards. Many organizations are increasingly replacing cash with a cleaner (a key point during a pandemic) and easier-to-track payment method, including plastic cards, mobile apps, and online portals.

Chances are, many of your clients could use help in that critical area of their business (getting paid is important), and some may not make the connection between IT and processing systems. More companies than ever are accepting payment cards today, and that growth is not just with retailers.

From doctors and dentists’ offices to attorneys and veterinarians. How many contractors, plumbers, small manufacturers, fabrication, and autobody shops are using payment card readers more than six-years-old? Those businesses rarely replace their technology, and the chances are good that many of their processors pre-date the 2015 chip-card initiative.

Those old magnetic strip machines present an easily corrected risk. Those clients could lose transaction disputes with clients, and it’s likely not the only outdated technology in their business. Big opportunities can come from replacing those machines, addressing their PCI compliance, and offering those companies a secure payment portal and processing service.

Final thoughts

Diversifying your portfolio of services is one of the best ways of retaining and attracting new customers. The best part of this is if you take time and do your research, your business can profit from leasing hardware. Each can provide MSPs with incremental recurring revenue streams and a chance to strengthen their relationships with marginal or new clients.

But what about other revenue streams? Many MSPs don’t just add MMR through leasing hardware, but also offer solutions that help them empower their cash flow. Curious? See how your business can offer additional services that impact your customers’ ability to scale and collect payment.


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