Connectivity Is King!

The BBC has just reported the first case of a pub in London REFUSING to take cash payments. They must be very confident in their broadband connectivity!

Yes it’s true.

The Crown & Anchor, part of the London Village Inns group, got broken into one too many times for the Operations Director’s liking. So did he spend more money on physical  security? No, he cut out the problem at source by going completely cashless…

This struck me as a brave move in some ways, but less so when the article pointed out that in fact only 10-13% of the pub’s revenue was cash anyway, so maybe it’s more logical than you might think.

But it also fair to say that he must be pretty confident that they have the most reliable card payments and EPoS solution in place with a fail-safe backup plan. Connectivity CANNOT be a problem.

I visited a bar in my home town of Maidstone recently, a large sports bar right in the centre turning over what must be 10’s of thousands of pounds every month in card payments, where this clearly is not the case.

After tapping my card on the contactless Ingenico terminal supplied by WorldPay, I walked away with my drinks thinking that the payment had gone through knowing that there was ample funds in my account. But about 5 minutes later the lady working behind the bar came over to me to inform me that the machine had been trying to connect for the previous 5 minutes yet had failed to do so in time to successfully take the payment.

Obviously, a chat ensued where she told me that this problem had been going on for over a year, also during a very busy World Cup, and had caused her a huge headache at busy times. She had got WorldPay out, also BT in their capacity as their broadband provider, but neither had been able to resolve the issue despite several changes of PDQ machine.

From our own experience it is likely that this is being caused by bandwidth being taken up at peak times by customers using their customer-facing WiFi. It’s a problem that that could easily be resolved by the installation of a few bits of hardware to boost wireless signal in the right places and by prioritising the card machines over and above other traffic when bandwidth becomes scarce.

A bit of an outlay maybe but what price not being able to take card payments at peak times? Especially if that is your only method of taking payment!

If connectivity is causing you a headache when taking card payments, please just message via this post or call Richard on 07779 563 678.