Point-of-sale safety is always a concern for retailers and consumers alike. In the era of COVID-19, safety is more important than ever before. Find out how to optimize the safety of your grocery store POS system while minimizing the unique health risks of doing business during a pandemic.
Physical Safety for Grocery Store Point of Sale in the Time of the Pandemic
Grocery stores are a primary food source during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a time when restaurants are closed or limiting their hours, people depend more than ever on their favorite grocer. As a grocery retailer, you need to take special precautions during this health crisis to help protect your customers and your employees.
According to OSHA guidelines, grocery employees who work at checkout counters have a higher than normal risk of getting COVID-19. They come into frequent contact with the public and each other. You, as the employer, can take steps in the following categories to reduce that risk:
- Engineering measures, including Plexiglas barriers between employees and customers
- Administrative measures, like offering self-checkout stations to limit interaction and frequent disinfecting of all touchpoints at the point-of-sale area
- Safe work protocols, including mandatory PPE, frequent hand-washing, and hand sanitizer use
Consider putting additional FDA-recommended controls in place to lower the health risks to your employees and the public. For example, create safe traffic patterns and use signs, barriers, and rope and stanchions to help people follow them.
Encourage safe social distancing with signage and/or floor stickers. During your store’s busiest times, you might even have to limit the number of customers who are inside, only letting them in as others leave.
In the absence of clear federal regulations for the grocery store industry during the pandemic, it is ultimately up to you to set the standards for your workplace. By making face coverings and disposable gloves readily available to your workers, you are providing powerful tools against infection. You should also supply soap for washing and hand sanitizer when frequent washing is not practical, such as at the cash register.
ABCs for Grocery Store POS Financial Security
When you think about safety and your grocery POS system, you need to view it from both sides of the counter. As a retailer, you want the money you take in to be secure from theft. You also want to protect your credit card receipts and sensitive financial information from data breaches.
Your customers also have a stake in keeping their financial information like credit card numbers and personal data private. When they purchase something, they need to know that returns are easy and straightforward as well.
The answer to both necessities is a customized POS system with safe and secure EMV chip technology. It incorporates the best, most up-to-date security practices for keeping credit card data safe and transactions trouble-free. Your business will run more smoothly with the right POS system. You will also earn your customers’ trust.
No matter how your customers want to pay, whether with credit, debit, or EBT/SNAP, our POS system expedites each sale. You can move the purchaser efficiently through checkout. Your busy customers will appreciate a fast, seamless experience, which helps everyone avoid COVID-19 risk, too.
As an electronic benefits transfer merchant, you can accept EBT cards as easily as other electronic payments. This is a critical service during a time when more people are experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 job losses. With growing numbers of customers relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a grocery POS system that can process SNAP payments electronically is essential.
As a Retail Merchant
One of the most important things you can do in terms of safety as a retail merchant is to password-protect your POS system with strong, unique passwords. Be sure to change them often, too. That makes it much more difficult for hackers to break in.
Additional protective measures you can practice include:
- Keeping the antivirus software on your credit card processor updated
- Installing any patches as soon as they come out
- Ensuring your POS network is separate from your public Wi-Fi
- Never browsing online via your POS network
- Making sure any techs who work on your system have appropriate credentials
For Your Customers
By building and maintaining a strong, secure POS system, you can do your utmost to keep your customers safe during the checkout process. With regular updates and patch installation on your antivirus software, you can shut down emergent security threats as cybercriminals invent new methods for breaching your system.
When you make sure to maintain separation between your POS system and your store’s public Wi-Fi, you block easy access to customer financial data. No one who taps into your public connection will be able to access your proprietary transaction information.
Also, if you make it a point to avoid using your POS network to browse or shop online, you won’t leave any breadcrumbs that hackers might use to follow your trail. Your POS system is far less vulnerable to viruses if you and your employees avoid using it as a casual web connection.
All of these measures are easy and relatively inexpensive to carry out. When you consider the added value of avoiding the virus, you see how they pay for themselves.
Velocity Merchant Services Can Help With Your Grocery Store POS Needs
VMS has partnered with small businesses for more than two decades with custom POS systems keyed to a number of industries such as grocery, entertainment, and personal care. We will work closely with you to design a customized POS system with the latest EMV chip technology. When you know your transactions are secure and trouble-free, you can focus more on reducing the risks of COVID-19. Explore VMS point-of-sale systems today.