Digital options for the small business owner

There’s many digital options for the small business owner looking to expand its gift cards

There are more ways than ever for small businesses to reach a larger audience.

Among those is the potential for small businesses to expand on a growing market: gift cards and loyalty cards. Curtis Vander Heyden, owner of Cardlis Applications, spoke to members of the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce recently to tell them about an application he has developed.

Along with being PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant Cardlis applications provides a variety of service and pricing options for businesses depending on the amenities needed.

Vander Heyden said one of the benefits of this program is it puts gift card and loyalty cards into one application that merchants and customers can access. “Everything’s audited and you can track your GST.”

“Businesses can promote straight to their customers and it prevents fraud,” he added.

For smaller businesses, gift cards and loyalty cards are usually printed out and tracked with hole punches or stamps, but the chances of fraud are greater with customers or employees making copies of the cards and disseminating them. With the Cardlis setup, those risks are removed.

Another benefit of the program is the customization of promotions.

A business can set up its own promotion through the program, said Vander Heyden, adding that it has some allowances for customers. If a person had a gift card for a specific store in Ponoka but they won’t be able to use it, they can transfer it to a family member who could.

Add to that, loyalty points can be shared and earned as a family.

For the most part, businesses should be able to integrate the software into their point of sale system but if that’s not possible, it functions as a standalone app with a tablet or smart phone. Cardlis Applications can also integrate with the Moneris Payment Solution using debit and credit card and much of the tracking legwork is done through the program.

“It’s all collected on a ledger on the back end,” said Vander Heyden.

Another great feature of the merchant register is it can calculate the tax on the sale and allows payment in cash, also calculating the GST and change needed. Vander Heyden pointed out that a business can also create gift card or promotional bar codes that can be scanned on a smart device or from a printed piece of paper. It’s something that gives businesses versatility for their customer base.

He added that the monthly fees, when compared to the cost of labour and printing of coupons, balance out.

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