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Small Talk with Bank of America Merchant Services
News you can use for small business success

October 2018 Edition

Small Talk with Bank of America Merchant Services brings you quarterly insights on the most important payments, eCommerce and security trends. As you face business challenges and opportunities, we’re here to help you navigate it all.

Should you upgrade your Clover® POS software plan?

Sales person inserting card into Clover Station

Think about the current software installed on your point-of-sale (POS) device. Does it offer the functionality you need in areas such as inventory, taxes, order management and item-level analysis? Does it integrate with peripherals that can make your business more efficient, such as a handheld barcode scanner or kitchen printer?

A few questions to help you get started 

  • Would I benefit from being able to modify orders or handle exchanges more easily?
  • Would automatic tax calculations allow me to simplify my checkout process?
  • Could detailed reports help me keep better track of my inventory and analyze item-level profitability?
  • Is there an easier way to schedule and track employee shifts?
  • Can I benefit from integrating with peripherals such as a barcode scanner, kitchen printer or scale?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then a more feature-rich POS software plan may be just what you need.

Options to consider
All Clover payment solutions enable you to accept credit, debit and chip card payments with 24/7 customer service and support.1  Clover Flex, Clover Mini or Clover Mobile* users can choose from three POS software plans that offer a range of functionality and pricing to fit budget and business needs. Here is more detail about each software plan as well as compatible devices:

Payments Plus

  • Accept payments
  • Access real-time sales reports from virtually anywhere
  • Program employee permissions
  • Capture on-screen signature with tips
  • Access to a select number of apps in the Clover App Market2

Offered on Clover Mini, Clover Mobile* and Clover Flex

Register Lite

  • Access to all of the features in Payments Plus
  • Streamline checkout with sales by line item
  • Automatically calculate taxes and discounts
  • Get more detailed reporting and inventory tracking
  • Access to even more apps in the Clover App Market2

Offered on Clover Mini, Clover Mobile* and Clover Flex

Register

  • Access to all of the features in Register Lite
  • The most robust solution
  • Connect all accessories, like a kitchen printer or weight scale
  • Get access to advanced inventory and order management tools
  • Enjoy full access to the Clover App Market2

Offered on Clover Mini, Clover Flex, Clover Mobile* and Clover Station

How to upgrade your current Clover POS software plan
Think a more feature-rich software plan is the right option for your business? If you have a Clover Mini, Clover Mobile* or Clover Flex, upgrading can be done through your Clover Web Dashboard. Follow the steps below or give us a call and we can help. 

  • Log into your Clover Web Dashboard
  • Select the “More Tools” app
  • Go to the “Service Plan” tab
  • Make your selection
  • Once you click “Authorize”, the new software plan will be uploaded promptly to your Clover device

Don’t have a Clover device but you’re interested in learning more? Call us at 800.430.7161 and we can help you determine the best device and POS software plan for your business.


Six tips to help you prepare for the holiday season

Hand holding checklist

The holiday shopping season is almost here. You may be a seasoned pro, or this could be your first holiday season. Either way, the following checklist has some useful reminders and tips to help you prepare your business for the most wonderful time of year:

  1. Run a business report. Run a sales report from Q4 of 2017 to determine what services or products you sell more of during the holiday season. If you have been in business for less than a year, look at recent weeks instead. Running these reports can also help you determine how much seasonal staff your business might need and when you may require more coverage.

  2. Develop a marketing plan. Once you have determined the items you want to promote, develop your marketing plan and social media calendar. Developing a social media calendar can help you keep track of exactly what and when you plan to post across the various social networks you’re active on. Take a look at our Promotional Ideas Calendar for inspiration.

  3. Set up your POS device. Preparing your POS device ahead of time will save you and your employees a lot of headaches once you start getting busy. If your device is capable, set it up to calculate tax and show individual line items. This will also help you expedite the checkout process.

  4. Streamline your checkout. In addition to preparing your POS device, determine if there are other ways you can streamline the checkout process. Perhaps you could arrange for employees to use mobile payment device(s) to help with line busting and create a faster checkout experience.

  5. Know your inventory. Use apps to monitor and track your inventory. The last thing you need is an angry customer because you don’t have an item you’re currently promoting. Also, be sure you have plenty of receipt paper for your POS devices to keep the checkout process running smoothly.

  6. Start promoting. Once you have everything ready to go, start promoting your business and welcoming new and returning customers. Be sure to take note of what worked best for your business and what you can improve on so you’re ready for the following year.

Unsure if your POS device has the functionality to help you complete any of the tasks listed above? Visit the POS Devices for Small Business page to see the ability of each device.

How does your business compare to your competition?

Woman shopping for clothes

The ways customers pay for goods and services has changed dramatically over the years. Did you know…

  • 32 percent of small business customers never make purchases at businesses that do not accept credit and debit cards.3
  • 24 percent of small business customers want to have the ability to pay with a mobile device or digital wallet.4

As customer behaviors and preferences continue to evolve, small businesses must keep pace. Staying up-to-date on payment trends as well as customer expectations can give your business a distinct advantage over your competition, especially when 38 percent of small businesses report they have not changed the types of payments they accept in the past five years.⁵

See how you stack up
Bank of America Merchant Services just released its 2018 Small Business Payments Spotlight, which is based on surveys of more than 500 U.S.-based small businesses and more than 500 customers who frequent them.

The key findings in the report can help you compare your business to other small businesses and see how your shopping and payment options stack up to your competition.

Check out the full 2018 Small Business Payments Spotlight to get a pulse on changing consumer attitudes and pinpoint things you can do to make your business more competitive and successful.

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.

Woman shopping for clothes

In each issue of Small Talk, we answer some frequently asked questions from small business owners like you. Read on… you may learn something new.

Q: What is a 1099-K tax form and when should I receive it?

A: The 1099-K tax form discloses the gross amount of all reportable payment transactions you received in the prior calendar year. You’ll receive a form if your business received payments from payment card transactions, like debit, credit or stored-value cards. You’ll also get the 1099-K form because of other payments, like settlement of third-party payment network transactions above the minimum reporting thresholds. Per Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements, you will receive your 1099-K tax form before January 31 to complete your annual fillings. 

Q: Why do I receive multiple 1099-K tax forms?

A: Your business can receive multiple 1099-K tax forms based on the entitlements, such as Electronic Benefits Transfers (EBT) or other government programs, on your account. If Bank of America Merchant Services deposits a specific card type into your merchant account, we will provide you a 1099-K tax form for that reporting year. If your business receives a direct deposit from a card organization, like American Express or Discover®, this will also generate a 1099-K tax form. An individual 1099-K tax form will be generated for Visa®/Mastercard® (volume is together on the same form), Discover/American Express OptBlue® (volume is together on the same form) and American Express OnePoint (volume is on one form).

Promotional Ideas Calendar

Is your social media feeling a little stale? Download this handy promotional calendar for creative new promotional ideas!

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