Although franchises do an incredible amount to help their franchisees, one area that has traditionally been lacking has been payments technology, particularly as the field becomes more complicated as new systems like online acceptance are introduced.
The recent pandemic saw many quick service restaurants, which are very often franchises, adopt a hybrid model in which they are partly fulfilling orders for customers visiting the restaurant in person and partly for orders placed online through delivery apps. Even before the pandemic, there was a growth in the use of cashier-less terminals in QSRs, and these and online ordering systems both need to be tied in to a cohesive, consistent payment experience that doesn’t burden customers with extra time spent inputting payment details or franchisees with extra fees.
Having worked with one of the world’s largest QSR chains on their payment systems, at Worldline we now have extensive experience of the challenges that franchises face at both a brand and franchisee level. Let’s look at a few key points and how they can be addressed:
Modernising payments for franchisees
Although there is some standardisation when it comes to payment processes, and most large franchise brands will be able to mandate things like eWallet acceptance to their franchisees, franchises tend to have a patchwork of payment systems, usually put in place by the franchisee rather than the brand.
Franchisees are tasked with incorporating and installing “Plug & Play” solutions, incorporating a reliable omnichannel approach, and making sure that all customer journeys mirror their parent brand, as well as adding value-added services to answer consumer needs.
Problem: High cost per transaction
One of the key problems with the franchise model is that transactions are not processed en masse. Every franchisee will have their payments processed as an individual company, cutting into their profits – even more so if they their online and offline payments are processed differently. This is not a problem that other, centralised retailers will face.
Solution: Massification of transaction flows generally enabling better price per transaction
By processing every payment from a country’s franchises at once both franchise and franchisees benefit from economies of scale.
Problem: Non-standard payments technology
Franchisees may have to source their own payment terminals, POS systems and other vital pieces of technology, particularly if they are part of a smaller franchise. This means not only do franchisees pay full retail prices for items that they can’t do without, but that there is no quality-control from the brand and no ability for the brand to offer support with technology – if a system goes down the franchisee will have to contact the technology provider directly, which might not always be possible.
Solution: Standardised technology
Once again, franchisees can benefit from economies of scale and improve customer experience by having technology like payment terminals set at franchise level. This means not only that the technology itself will be cheaper to source because of bulk discounts, but technical support and training will be easier.
Problem: No cohesive online and offline experience
With so many transactions taking place digitally, franchises need to make sure that the customer journey is cohesive, online and off and between the different franchise outlets. No matter how or where they pay, customers should have an experience that it is fast and in fitting with the franchise’s brand.
Solution: An omnichannel approach
Instead of having systems broken up between online, offline and different parts of the franchise, a brand-down omnichannel approach means that any time a customer interacts with a brand they get the same experience.
Problem: No single onboarding experience
With payment technology spread between multiple providers it is up to each franchise to onboard themselves and then their staff. With no standardised training experience, a staff member to move to another franchise location and find that they need to be re-trained on vital systems. The training they get may also be informal or low-quality.
Solution: A single onboarding experience across the franchise
Worldline has experience of getting all kinds of companies’ payment systems up and running and has developed an online portal to ensure that franchisees can get the equipment they need alongside training for themselves and their staff. There are dedicated content, onboarding, reporting, and support teams tasked with making the entire process as smooth as possible and updating the onboarding process as it changes.
You can see how the solutions are very similar: they often involve having a brand standardise and centralise their technology, whether it is the hardware in their stores or the cloud-based software backing it up. This could be a costly, difficult process, but the right payments partner can make it far easier.
Levelling up franchises together
For thousands of small business owners, franchises provide a perfect business opportunity: the freedom and rewards of running your own business within a structure that has been proven to work. Since so many franchise businesses were impacted by the pandemic their franchises have an opportunity to help them get back on their feet in the best way possible by giving them the very best support when it comes to a vital part of running a business: making money.
The Worldline franchise offer that will be rolling out across several European territories in the coming months will be a key way in which franchises deepen the support they give to their franchisees and allow them both to keep on being successful together.
To learn more, visit: https://worldline.com/en/home/solutions/omnichannel-commerce.html