The NBN and EFTPOS – The real small business NBN struggle

We field a lot of calls from small businesses who are considering upgrading to the NBN, but aren’t sure whether their EFTPOS machines will continue to work after making the switch? For most retail or hospitality businesses, EFTPOS is critical in the era of plastic money.

In short; NBNCo can’t / won’t guarantee that services like EFTPOS, HICAPS, Fax or Alarms that used the fixed telephone network to communicate will continue to work after a small business, and if NBNCo won’t guarantee it, then it’s unlikely any service provider will also guarantee EFTPOS will work too.

What does the NBN and EFTPOS mean for your small business?

Essentially, it means if you’re still using an EFTPOS or HICAPS terminal, Fax Machine or Security/Medical alarm that uses the old fixed line telephone network, it’s likely you’ll need to upgrade your equipment if you haven’t done so in the last few years.

Most newer EFTPOS terminals these days can connect to the Bank’s network in a number of different ways, offering higher reliability over the old terminals which only connected using one method, usually dial-up. New terminals often have at least two, if not more access method for communication with the bank including 3G mobile (data), Broadband internet Ethernet or Wifi (via your NBN connection) and Dial up (over the old phone network).

What happens if I move to the NBN and don’t change my EFTPOS terminal?

If you have an old terminal and you move to the NBN, there’s no guarantee that your terminal will continue to transact reliably over NBN Phone services. You risk some, or possibly all transactions failing which could lead to a loss of business for you.

What do I need to do to make sure I don’t get caught out?

You should first check with you Bank to see if your current EFTPOS terminal needs to be upgraded. Explain to your bank that you are moving across to the NBN and they’ll be able to organise a replacement device for your small business. You should do this as soon as you consider moving to the NBN.

If it takes some time for the bank to sort out a new terminal for you and your NBN service arrives before the new terminal is installed, you risk not being able to make transactions. Do this early to make sure you’re covered. This also gives you time to test using the EFTPOS terminal via Broadband internet to make sure it works before switching to the NBN.

Are there any other things that need to be taken into account when considering moving to the NBN?

Yes! There can be quite a lot of things, but as no two small businesses are the same, have a chat to our friendly team and we can help you identify potential issues and the things you’ll need to consider before making the switch to an NBN broadband plan.