One of the companies I work with for credit card processing is an Allentown Pennsylvania company called Harbortouch. Harbortouch has been in business for more than 20 years and I have worked with them for more than 10. The key reason for going with any merchant services provider today is technology and support. The best technology in the world is useless unless they answer the phone when you have a question and Harbortouch does it well! They also have a wide variety of technology to help your business.
To assist their agents in their sales efforts they offer a once a year conference called Accelerate. They had the last few in Las Vegas but this year they held it in Fort Lauderdale at the W Fort Lauderdale resort. The W is an incredibly beautiful property right on the beach. They even got us a discount for the room at $225 a night and we upgraded to Ocean Front for just a little bit more. We flew in Tuesday on Southwest and it took us about 2 ½ hours to get there from BWI. We grabbed a Lyft to get to the hotel and in no time at all this was our view!
During the summer when you are at the beach you have to get up so early to try to take in a sunrise but in October you have no such trouble. I got this pic around 7:15 am unreal!
They had an opening reception around 7pm in the courtyard of the hotel and it was all you can eat and drink for $FREE. They had a band too. So we chowed down and rocked out! The coolest thing about these shows really is that you get a chance to see people in the business you mostly only see once a year and some you get to hang out with and discuss your challenges. Some you just slap them on the back, grab a handshake, smile and say hey!
Bright and early the next day we got to sit with some of our partners and share a great breakfast. Next, we had some opening comments from our fearless leader Jared Isaacman. He noted some of the Harbortouch’s top agents while also mentioning some of the company’s achievements over the past year.
The next speakers basically talked about future products, products in development and new products that are client ready! The client ready product is Sky Tab.
Sky tab is a mobile point of sale terminal and printer in one that allows servers to take orders from the customer tableside thus speeding the order through our Hospitality POS Harbortouch Elite then directly to the kitchen for prep. Now servers can take orders tableside without the need to write down and then enter the order into the POS System. But wait there’s more. SkyTab can also help with the check. Usually the server has to present the check to the table and then wait for a credit card, go back to the table, collect the check and the credit card and swipe or dip the card at the POS. Then return to the table with the receipt and ultimately wait for the customer to enter a tip and sign the receipt. Now with SkyTab not only can servers take orders at the table but they can leave the SkyTab terminal at the table so the customer can pay their bill, leave a tip, and offer a compliment or concern. They can even leave their email for future offers from the merchant. This has been tried a few times by others in the past but SkyTab truly masters it! This is a game changer for Harbortouch, it’s sales reps in the field and for restauranteurs looking for every advantage in their business!
After lunch we had four breakout trainings to choose from. I chose Selling POS to restaurants. This course offered a foundation and some fresh ideas for selling Touch-screen Point of Sale Systems to restaurants. The second class I attended was how restaurateurs can utilize Doordash to add delivery as an added service for their customers. Currently if your restaurant would like to delivery through Doordash they have to buy or rent a tablet rom Doordash to assist in facilitating each order but once again Harbortouch has added a feature no one else has. When you have a Harbortouch Elite POS then when someone places an order through Doordash for your restaurant’s food, the the order instantly populates in the POS while simultaneously printing in the kitchen for preparation. Once again Harbortouch offers more ways to help your restaurant make more money!
To top it all off our keynote for the day was Ed Viesturs. In an effort to help us reach new heights Ed shared with us how he reached the summit of 14 of the world’s highest peaks without supplementary oxygen! His story was amazing, harrowing, and tragic as he ultimately watched his friends perish by continuing to climb while Ed and company decided to turn around. It was a great speech and I along with many grabbed a copy of his book along with a photo and autograph. Truly Amazing!
They always hold the company party after the first full day, so we had dinner after a 5-minute walk at the Wild Thyme Oceanside Eatery. It was super nice, we had the run of the place, and the conversations were more about the goodness and the good times of this business! We definitely shared a few smiles, a few laughs, and a goodtime was had by all!
On Thursday morning we started by learning more about the Advantage Program. The Advantage Program allows agents to help merchants surcharge customers who feel they need add a fee to cover their credit card acceptance fees. Personally I think it’s a mistake to surcharge customers because they will always have a bug in their ear telling them it cost extra to do business with this merchant. Merchants should instead pad their prices 1 to 3% and your customers will never know the difference but if you feel you need to surcharge your customers for your credit card acceptance we can help!
Next, we learned how to offer business loans to our customers and an overview of Lighthouse. Harbortouch’s online business management system! More to come on that.
We had another great lunch sponsored by American Express and two more classes in the afternoon. Security is now top of mind to many business owners today and Harbortouch is a leading the industry. Whether it’s using a stand-alone credit card terminal like the VX 520 or the Harbortouch Elite POS Harbortouch tokenizes every credit card number swiped or dipped into the system. Then offers Point-to-Point Encryption that keeps the info secure. The PCI-validated P2PE solution prevents cardholder data from entering your payment environment, protecting your customers and your business from the harmful and costly effects of a data breach. Businesses large and small have suffered from the devastating effects of a hack. Today with Harbortouch your transactions can be worry free!
My last class of the trip was focused on Lighthouse. Lighthouse is a great way to get details from your business. From sales and tax information to payroll information about your employees. If you find your needed to make a change to your menu or simply wanting a look at your sales while your out of town then Lighthouse is for you! But wait there’s more. Have you ever wished you had help managing your reputation online, making social media post or email marketing? Well if your accepting credit cards through Harbortouch it’s all a part of a broader plan to assist in your success. Marketing to help get the people in your store or restaurant, a management system for your business, a way to get paid and security in those payments! Harbortouch has it all.
To end the day and the conference Harbortouch gave away 2 cars a BMW and a Lexus. I had 30 entries or so based on deals I have written in the past year, but I wasn’t picked. The first guy who won was all smiles, but the second guy who won was truly tickled, and he let out a few screams. It was Too Cool!
It was impossible to say goodbye to everyone but I a managed to catch a few. That night my fiancé Julie and I ate dinner at the 15th Street Fisheries. We read online that not only did they have the best seafood in town, but you could actually feed the fish dockside! So after looking at the menu and traveling 1200 miles to eat there I ordered the King Crab LOLL, but I can say it was the best ever! Then we did get some bread to feed this fish. It was too Cool!
We hit the beach the next day and the water was so warm compared to Maryland. While I was relaxing, I was able to get some planning in. It’s so tuff to plan for your business while your running your business! Last but not least we hit the Hard Rock Casino for some cards. I have a small fetish for poker, so I sat for about 2 and ½ hours and I dropped $49 but it was fun, and I did hang!
It was a great conference and I definitely learned a few things. I hope you have too!
If you need to accept credit cards for payment or better yet you need to modernize operations at your restaurant Harbortouch has the means. When your ready I can answer your questions and help you get started!
James Darle Jones Sr President, Author, Tax, & Payments Specialist NetPay2K International Corp Answer Tax & Business Services Harbortouch of Maryland http://www.harbortouchposmd.com 301-829-3331