When the pandemic first hit, many businesses were scrambling to adapt their operations to suit the needs of a social-distanced society. The health and hygiene concerns associated with the COVID-19 virus caused many consumers to opt for curbside pickup, contactless transactions, and over-the-phone payments. As part of our longstanding commitment to helping independent retailers not only survive, but thrive, we pursued a new partnership with NMI, a premier provider of payment gateways, and Mastercard to help usher in next-generation payment solutions built for small businesses.
“Our team at Celero knew that we couldn’t just sit back and watch this pandemic--and associated shutdowns, lockdowns, and the like--wreak havoc on our nationwide portfolio of small businesses,” remembered Kevin Jones, the company’s founder and CEO. “Being proactive took on a lot of meanings, from checking in with customers to see what we could do, helping them go digital with integrated websites for online ordering, and much more. Among our proudest achievements during this time was working with NMI, a longtime partner of ours, and Mastercard on revolutionizing contactless payments, something that’ll continue to grow and help our merchants long after the pandemic is gone.”
Glen Ellyn Sweet Shoppe: A Pandemic Success Story
An excellent example of a business adapting its payments to suit the needs of a changing world is Glen Ellyn Sweet Shoppe, a charming candy store nestled in a cozy Chicago suburb. For nearly 40 years, they’ve been putting a smile on their customers’ faces with nostalgic candy that sparks joy, comfort, and happiness. While they specialize in old-fashioned candy that speaks to a simpler time, the current owner, Sue Johanson, knows her customers aren’t old-fashioned when it comes to money. For years, she’s observed an increasing number of customers coming in without cash and choosing to pay via credit card. In response, she chose to remove all minimum charges for card payments.
With the emergence of COVID-19, Sue decided to modernize her shop’s payments in a major way, by delivering tap-and-go checkout and curbside pickup. Thanks to Cloud POS, a tap-on-phone solution developed by Mastercard, this step in the right direction was made simple, easy, and inexpensive. Instead of dropping hundreds of dollars to upgrade her point-of-sale terminals, Cloud POS, powered by NMI and delivered via Celero merchant processing solutions, enabled Sue to unlock contactless payments using a device she already owns: her smartphone. This innovative program turns a smartphone or tablet into a contactless payment acceptance device, which eliminates the need to invest in new hardware terminals or extra features. Sue’s customers love the convenience, safety, and speed that a contactless payment offers.
Because of this timely and efficient response, Glen Ellyn Sweet Shoppe was able to offer their patrons a better way to pay, start offering curbside pickup, and keep both her customers and employees safe. By leveraging technology and embracing change, Sue has successfully pushed her business to new heights, and continued to provide Chicago residents with a sweet, delicious escape during a time when everyone is struggling to stay positive.
Empowering Our Merchants
By partnering with NMI and Mastercard, and gaining access to this cutting-edge technology we’re positioned to help small businesses compete and win. Cloud POS moves key elements of the payments acceptance process to the cloud which allows for tightened security precautions, reduced maintenance costs, and immediate connectivity for participating businesses. It provides an expedient and hygienic way for consumers to support their favorite local shops. As the pandemic continues, this software will play an important role in propelling more small businesses further into the digital space.
“It’s amazing to see the innovations that arise during times of trouble,” Jones reflected. “When talented people from our company, NMI, and Mastercard, and merchants like Glen Ellyn Sweet Shop pull together, great things happen. I’m proud of our team for coming through and setting up our merchants for the brighter days that surely lie ahead.”
If you’re a business owner interested in learning more about how we can help your organization succeed during this pandemic, contact us today. We pride ourselves in being a trusted ally to independent merchants like yourself.