The POS Software Blog

News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

CategorySocial Responsibility

Retailers wary of the cost of some EFTPOS payments through POS software


Processing credit and credit card payments through POS software can be expensive. Some POS software companies have arrangements that add to the cost.

This is why we say to retailers to take care, to take the time to understand the transactional cost of using the POS software.

In one situation recently a new customer for our Tower Systems POS software was grateful to create, through us, a low cost for EFTPOS transactions since through their other POS solution provider the cost was over 2% per transaction. The saving in their business amounts to a saving of $30,000 a year. That’s right, more than $30,000 in EFTPOS fees saved by switching to Tower Systems.

It is not uncommon to see 2% and higher fees for EFTPOS as plenty of companies operate at the core with this model of a per transaction clip to fund their business.

We think this approach is unfair. It is disappointing that the real details are often not obvious.

We’re a POS software company and charge a fair price for the software. That;s how we make our money. Our customers are free to choose the EFTPOS partner that best suits their need. We can share our insights through which they could save money.

It is frustrating seeing some POS companies make slick marketing pitches and hiding in fine print high operating costs, like we see from some through their EFTPOS fee arrangements. It’s expensive, and unreasonable in our view.

For any retailer reading this and wondering how to tap into the significant saving on EFTPOS fee costs, talk to us. We will share our insights and what we did in our own shops to keep these per transaction EFTPOS fees low and to a level that they are not a pain point in the business. Being retailers ourselves we live these concerns every day and we are grateful for the opportunity to share our knowledge.

If EFTPOS is used regularly in your retail business, consider looking at your arrangements to see if a fee reduction could be achieved. As plenty of Tower Systems customers have found, switching software can unlock financially rewarding benefits.

Church bookshops loving the Tower Systems church bookshop POS software


Tower Systems is grateful for the years of support from a diverse group of church bookstores, at the local church level as well as at the state level and the national level. The christian bookshop marketplace is strong both physically as well as online.

Our POS software for church bookstores has evolved over the years. It offers facilities unique to their operation and respects their role in the broader church life experience.

Our POS software for charity retailers fits in this space, too, serving secular as well as church related charities.

From serving through our POS software single christian bookshops to groups of christian bookshops to shops connected with local churches to shops connected with broader christian organisations, our POS software offers a broad based solution to inventory management, special order management, online sales, imp-store sales, shipping and more.

Church bookshop software is specialty by nature, like the businesses themselves. We work closely with those working in the businesses as well as those tasked with overseeing each business. We are grateful for opportunities to speak at conferences and to engage with church bookshop folk in a range of forums.

Dealing with tax in an appropriate way has been vital as has been the need to integrate with other platforms that are used in some church bookshop situations. Our software is flexible and constantly evolving as we discover other ways we can serve this vital part of church life.

From evangelicals to catholic to independent to Seventh Day Adventist, our church bookshop software is as diverse as the world of faith and we are grateful to what we have learned on this journey.

Christian bookshops are unique in that they are businesses and they are also part of church life, often staffed, at least in part, by volunteers. We understand the need for easy to use yet highly functional software. This is where we are proud to offer Australian developed and supported POS software for Australian church bookshop and christian bookshop needs. We make it easy for volunteers to learn and use our POS software.

From the practical such as pricing, bundling, customer accounts, inventory management and more to the complex such as managing a single online sale across multiple outlets and the proper accounting for freight, our church bookshop and christian bookshop POS software is robust and proven. We appreciate the advice and guidance of so many in getting us here and for supporting our work.

Tower Systems is grateful to offer locally made and supported POS software for local needs.

Tower Systems, our team and working from home


Here at Tower Systems, we are not requiring anyone to return to the office. Our colleagues who want to continue to work from home are welcome to do so.

We’d rather people work from where they are happiest.

We are grateful that for our type of business, a software development and customer service company, we are able to have team members work where it suits them.

Even though our business grew up in the 1980s, 1990s and beyond, when working from an office inquire a formal way was the tradition, we have embraced the opportunity to change. In the first week of Covid we sent everyone home, and have not requested people return since. But, any who do want to return to the office are welcomed.

By being flexible in terms of where people work and even how they work has enabled us to expand our team, with six new roles created in the last few months. none of these roles could have been created in the old approach to working from a corporate office.

Saving commute time, saving on incidental expenses and more makes it easier for people to save, and be happier. Again, we are grateful to be in a position to offer this flexibility to our colleagues. For sure, the company benefits, too … and this benefits everyone.

We’ve read of businesses requiring staff to return to the office, demanding even. We’re not doing that and will not do that. Our position on work from home arrangements is here and locked-in. We like it and our colleagues like it. It benefits local communities, too, with more spending being done by our colleagues working from home, in their home locations, that would have been the case had they been office based. This is good for regional economies.

Retaining good people is challenging in any business situation, even more today. By being flexible as to where people work and how they work, we providing a flexibility that makes the company more appealing we’ve been told, and we like that.

We feel for businesses in CBDs. But the interest in work from home should not have shocked them. There was a move under way prior to Covid, although there pandemic amplified it considerably.

We are proud to be helping support the largest thank you card give away in Australia with 10,000 Melbourne-designed, Melbourne-made cards being given away


Yesterday, the newsXpress local retail group launched a national Thank You card give away in many of its member retail locations. If you buy 2 cards in many participating store, you are given a Thank You card (and envelope) valued at $6.99.

The card was designed and printed in Melbourne, using environmentally friendly treatments such as embossing and gold foil. This is a local campaign supporting local retail businesses. It helps people share appreciation, to share thanks. It is perfect card for these times.

We know from research that people tend to keep cards, meaning the appreciation recorded in the card lasts for years, decades. It becomes a keepsake, a wonderful memory, something toward the heart for years to come.

Tower Systems is helping with this campaign in a number of ways, from helping to track engagement to guiding the quantity of cards that could be given away based on store level sales analysis. Using our local retailer POS software, retailers are also able to offer subtle call outs reminding customers of the promotion, to put the opportunity of a free Thank You card in front of those who may not have seen it before.

The heart of the promotion is gratefulness. The giving of the free Thank You card at the counter, without asking for any customer details, makes it easy for people to have a way they can appreciate others, to share gratitude. That we can play even a small role in this makes us feel good.

To us, this free Thank You card promotion is a perfect local retail business promotion, a perfect way local retailers can show their difference.

POS software can feel and sound boring, mundane, when, in reality, it can be a glue helping local retail businesses spread love and good wishes. That’s what our software is being used for here. It really does many us feel good in our hearts.

While there is more we are doing to support this campaign than just what we have shared here, we note that it’s one of a range of social responsibility initiatives we have already engaged with this year. We love helping local retailers reach more people through socially engaged and heartfelt projects and campaigns.

Local small business retailers shine when connecting with their community. Giving a Thank You card to someone who has helped you is a wonderful way to nurture community connection.

Oh, and let’s say again, this free card is Melbourne designed and Melbourne printed. You can’t get more local than that!

Helping do good: Max the Dog for autism support and awareness


We are proud to see how our local retail POS software its used by many local retail businesses to do good in so many different ways, from helping local business thrive to helping them help their local comunuies and more.

Recently, we have been proud to see how our POS software has helped hundreds of local retailers sell Max, a Beanie Boo created to raise funds for autism awareness and support.

Each Max sold raises funds. Max is encouraging other help, too. Max is also playing a part in raising awareness about autism.

We have helped Max reach more people in a few ways: through easy selling online through our Magento and Shopify website connected POS software, through easy finding thanks to Google searches and our online connections and through in-store sale and promotion thanks to platforms for this in our local retail POS software.

In doing this work, we have come, ourselves, to understand why Max was created and the work of a range off charities and organisations involved in supporting those with autism and those who care for them. we are grateful for these learning opportunities cities, to have discovered so much and to be able to help in different ways.

Using our Aussie made POS software, retailers are able to share valuable information when people buy Max, such as the details of local autism support groups and services, and more. Going the extra distance like this is a way local retailers are able to do more for their communities, to help support others and show the value of a genuinely locally owned and run retail business.  We have been able to show retailers how they can do this easily, amplifying the reach of the Max campaign, which was first launched in the US by Ty Inc.

It’s one thing for local retailers to offer products as fundraisers and another, one more valuable, for them to go further, amplify the message and encourage more support and engagement by adding the local connections, because, after all, the best retail is local.

In a bg business, Max is a SKU, a barcode, something to sell. In a local retail business, Max is a campaign, for your friend, neighbour or relative. It’s personal. This is the small business difference, the way we can engage to help nurture more valuable and practical outcomes.

Tower Systems features in ABC news report on work from home


I am grateful to Dan Ziffer and the ABC for the opportunity to participate in this story about working from home. I am also thankful to colleague Jennifer for being willing to be interviewed and to Michael and Minh for their live shots and to some other crew members for joining on the Zoom. Here’s a link to the full story:

The story itself is an indicator of changes in reporting. Dan shot the interview with Jennifer at home and myself in our office over 2 days. The content made its way onto radio, TV and online yesterday.

On the topic itself, for us, engagement came about because some people were calling for a return to the city, a return to offices. That didn’t make sense to me so I wrote about it. Dan Ziffer from the ABC noticed that. My view is there is no going back to office blocks full of people. People who can work from home should be able to. People who want to work in an office should be able to.

The supply chain challenge for local retailers


A couple of Tower Systems POS software customers were referenced in a report by the ABC last week looking at supply chain challenges.

Ronald Voukolos, the manager of Fishing and Outdoor World in Darwin, says he has taken a risk and resorted to ordering much more stock than needed, in some cases a year in advance.

“We’ve always been used to being able to buy it as we need it,” he said.

But with the Omicron variant causing crippling staff shortages and transport issues in Australia and the unpredictability of a broken supply chain, Mr Voukolos says the future has become too uncertain.

“Some of the footwear we sell, we placed orders last year in July to get them in 2022.”

But still, he said he is letting people know they could be waiting three or four months on some in-demand items like drinkware, and plastic shoes from Vietnam.

In the bike world, Paul Clancy says customers at Bikes to Fit could be waiting up to two years to buy a particular brand amid a global shortage of parts.

“It’s not just bikes, it’s bike parts, even simple things like tubes and tyres where suppliers are starting to run very low,” he said.

He said that even though the popularity of bike riding skyrocketed during the pandemic, the scarcity of parts has even seen some shops close down.

It’s now “really hard for surviving bike stores”, which are now overloaded with repair jobs, he said.

“We’ve been flat out.”

We are grateful to have been able to continue service of our customers, and to add new customers, all throughout the pandemic. While supply chain interruptions have been challenging, our early stockpiling have ensured we maintained supply throughout.

Australia Day 2022


We acknowledge that today is not a day of celebration for indigenous Australians. We are, nonetheless, grateful.

Small business retail advice: how storytelling can reinforce the narrative of your local retail business


For years we have been sharing stories on social media for our own shops. We started this to reflect on the diversity of shopper situations we engage with. The stories provided context for shopping by customers. Here is an example relating the greeting card purchases. It received over 200 lives in less than 24 hours:

Storytime. The twenty-something guy had been standing looking at cards for ten minutes. He seemed lost. “Hey, mate, you need a hand?” I said, without wanting to intrude. “Yeah”, he said with a sadness uncommon for a young guy looking for a card. “What are you looking for?”, I was careful in my approach. “My best mate’s dad died suddenly”, he paused. “He’s angry and wrecked” he paused again. “I, I want to tell him I’m here for him. I figured a card could be good,” he looked back at the range. “But, they’re too flowery.” He was right, the sympathy cards he was looking at were too flowery. After a while, we found a blank card with a dog on it, because his mate likes dogs. We worked out some words that got across what he wanted to say without being flowery.
Some days in retail we get to help in ways that will stay with us for years.

And then there is this one:

Storytime. Joe is 89 years old. He lives in a nursing home. When he moved there, he was limited as to what he could bring. The old shoebox with the collection of cards he’d received was the first thing he chose.
In that box are cards from his time as a local community Aussie rules coach. Parents and players had written cards over the years and Joe had kept them. “Each card is a memory”, he says with a smile, looking through his collection.
The oldest card Joe has is from 40 years ago from a player grateful for Joe’s help. Here it is so many years on, making Joe’s day.
Greeting cards hold the most wonderful memories.
And this one:
Storytime. Ethan’s school assignment asked that he write about his earliest memory. “That’s easy,” he said, “it was the first letter I ever got. It was a birthday card from grandma. I was 4 and she posted me a birthday card with a tiger on it and it came in the mail. That’s the first memory I have. I still have card, and the envelope. Mum got them framed for me.”
The card created in Ethan an interest in mail and letters more specifically. Now, 6 years on, every couple of weeks Ethan will write to a relative in the hope of receiving a response in the mail. And it all started with that birthday card, which remains his first memory.
Cards give us memories and stories long after they are received.
And this one:
Storytime. “Sorry, it’s just a card, no money for a gift this year.” That’s how Chris signed off the card to Jules, her friend of more than 20 years, since they were in high school together. Swapping birthday gifts with a card and a note were a tradition. Since they lived on opposite sides of the country, they’d usually include a note with the card and gift each year.
Jules wrote back: “your card and note mean the world to me, every year. While I may have, possibly but please don’t judge me, re-gifted the odd gift from you, I have kept every card, every single card from you. I have 23. They the story of us. They are a perfect gift. Thank you.”
The card we send today can provide heart-warming memories for many years to come.

Social media provides us an opportunity to share the narrative of our businesses. Local small business retailers are well placed to have wonderful stories they can share.

Our small business retail advice today is to take a break from shop here or shop local or look at this product and share something of yourself, share stories that speak to those who have shopped with you and yourselves.

Oh, and to answer an expected question for comment about using text and not images? Most social media posts use images. Going with text content could be more easily noticed. Certainly that is my experience in using posts like this over recent weeks.

Small business retail advice on dealing with local community group and charity donation requests


Local small business retailers are asked to support local schools, community groups and charities on an almost daily basis. While community groups and charitable organisations beat a path to the doors of local businesses, so do individuals engaged on personal fundraising of their own for a cause or for an other individual.

It is tough making the call about which organisation to support or not for there is a real fear that declining will hurt the business. Often, small business retailers do not look for an uptick in business from a charity support decision but they do worry about a decline.

So how do you choose which local business you support?

Requests from schools, charities and other community for donations can be a challenge for any size business. If you do not take a structured approach to this you will find yourself giving away plenty for little or no return.

Requests are often loaded with guilt. People can be passive aggressive in their approach. Often, people requesting help leverage pester power. It can be hard to say no. There are too many stories of retailers giving a gift as a prize, receiving the Thank You poster and achieving no benefit for the business.

Our advice is to manage your philanthropy as you would any business activity.


Decide the amount in cash or product value or both that you are prepared to donate in a full year, calendar year or financial year.

Our recommendation is you give away cash, but in the form of a voucher to spend in your business. This ensures that value of the gift or prize is greater than the cost of it to your business.

The best mechanism for giving away cash or an amount to spend in-store is to do it by way of a gift voucher. Use your software to manage this as any manual approach is dangerous and time-consuming.


Get on the front foot and write to local community groups outlining that you budget a year in advance. Seek their submissions. With this advice sheet we have included the text of a suggested letter. Please read the letter as it outlines the approach we suggest and why. It is important you communicate this with all community groups.

On the page after the letter is a suggested notice for use in-store when you are asked for donations.


Focus on community groups that support you. That is, groups with members who support you. The more they support you the better you are able to support the community.

Be prepared to ask where people shop for the items you sell in your business. Ask if they will change in return for your support.

Asking these questions underscores to you the importance of approaching the decision as a business decision.

Be thoughtful and deliberate. Support the groups that support you. This is important as it helps you stay within a budget.


If you run discount vouchers and if customers say they don’t want the voucher, invite them to contribute the voucher to a local group – one of three you setup for in the business. Every month, two months or three months, tote up the vouchers and give the group a parentage of the total voucher value ‘voted’ for them.

This idea could be in addition to any giving program you run in the business. It offers a daily reminder of your commitment to local giving.

Grill’d burgers run a program kind of like this where each shopper is given a bottle cap, which they place in a tub to vote on a group to receive a cash donation for the month. The process of groups submitting to be considered is onerous. You can find out more about that program with this link – it is a good place to research what others do:


In addition to any direct gift, consider an offer whereby anyone who is a member of the group who shops with you accrues an amount you donate to the group. You could manage this through your software. It could be you offer a discount to the shopper as well as accruing a value for the group.

This type of program could also be in addition to your core giving program as the value here is driven by sales – hopefully, incremental sales.


Here are things groups you support can do to help your business. You should ask them to do these things:

  1. Tell members to buy from you.
  2. Write about your business on their Facebook page.
  3. Distribute flyers of your offers.
  4. Have you speak at a meeting.


Once you have a decision on which groups you will support, write about this in your newsletter and on Facebook. Not just once but multiple times. Invite them to provide you with content to publish too. Talk about their good works.

Ask them to write about you too.

Your giving has to serve your heart and serve your business. Going about it in a structured way will ensure you meet your objectives.

Today, we are grateful


We are grateful for the small business owners who believe in us here at Tower Systems, those who have been with us for decades and those who have joined us in recent weeks, and all those in between.

Every local small business retailer customer means a lot to us and all who rely on our business for income.

We are also grateful that we can take this moment … to be grateful.

Business is challenging, especially in 2021 and especially in the small business space.

So, thank you … if you are a customer of ours passing by here. If you are not a customer, we hope we can be of service some day.

Helping local small business retailers come out of lockdown


Through Covid, Tower Systems has been helping its POS software customers in a range of ways from establishing easy click and collect to easy access from home to pivoting to new product categories.

Now, with lockdown starting to ease in our two biggest states in Australia, Tower Systems has been helping local small business retailers coming out of lockdown, while at the same time helping businesses that have been open throughout deal with changes flowing from others coming out of lockdown.

The help being provided to POS software customers by Tower Systems ranges from the practical to the high level advice kind. It is based on experience across our retail customer community.

Businesses that have been in lockdown have challenges around inventory – both in-store and due to arrive from suppliers. We have a set of advice and guidance designed to consistently manage these situations.

Take in-store inventory, some of it could be considered old. We help identify it and through this guide business decisions that can be made.

Take pipeline product, product due to come to the business. Using accurate and current data, a business can fine tune their focus on new inventory and pick up on opportunities that are new, as a result of coming out of lockdown.

In some situations, locked down businesses open with click and collect that they may not have offered before. We provide advice and help with this, including making shopping online for click and collect easier.

Coming out of lockdown is an opportunity to recast the business, to reset the offer and provide a new focus not only for customers but for all who work in the business. The foundation of any recasting could be laid using evidence from business data curated through the POS software. We can help with this as well.

Tower Systems has helped many local retail businesses through Covid and coming out of lockdown in the past. The services we provide in terms of practical business advice are free for any of our customers, part of the local small business help we are grateful to provide.

The next few months will be challenging for many. Tower Systems is here to help and support as much as we are able.

How Tower Systems has been helping NSW and ACT businesses through the challenging Covid lockdown


When the lockdowns in NSW and the ACRT were announced, Tower Systems reached to local small business retailers with practical help on how to work on their businesses with minimal cost, to make the businesses more valuable today and, especially, post lockdown.

Through a carefully created offer, we pitched practical help that included free advice with ideas that could be implemented without any outlay through to more commercial engagement that made our specialty retail POS software more affordable.

Tower Systems is an Australian software company. We make POS software for specialty retailers: jewellers, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, gift shops, garden centres, bike shops, bookshops, pet shops, toy shops, fishing & outdoors shops, music shops, sewing shops, mobility scooter businesses.

At our website,, you can see a video for each specialty retail marketplace we serve.

For a personal demonstration, please email or call Tim or Justin on 1300 662 957.

We are grateful to serve 3,500 local specialty retailers with our locally made and supported POS software.

Rent from a few dollars a day.

You can rent our software for a few dollars a day with no extra cost for more computers. Software rental includes:

  • Software updates.
  • Software support, human based support by our own team of retail specialists.
  • Extra training when you need it.

And, in our POS software, you have access to our Xero link, MYOB link, EFTPOS links for major banks, Tyro EFTPOS link, Zip, Humm and Afterpay access for buy now pay later, Shopify integration as well as Woo and Magento.

Plus, we have awesome loyalty tools, smart reporting, easy importing of electronic invoices and a pathway for converting from other software.

Limited time offer: $1,000 off training and setup package.

We charge for the two and a half days of training, setup and tailoring of software settings for your specific business. Right now, for NSW and ACT retailers we offer $1,000 off. This limited offer is put to respect the challenges you’re facing right now.

To find out more, please email or call 1300 662 957.

This Covid lockdown offer was embraced by plenty of business owners keen to work on their businesses. We re grateful to be able to help.

Helping local small business retailers navigate the vaxxed versus unvaxxaxed shopper debate


There has been considerable noise on social media recently when some retailers said they would welcome anyone to their business, vaxxed or unvaxxed. It became heated with plenty of yelling and abuse.

Vaccination is a vexed (sorry) issue. You’re damned if you speak up and damned if you do not. We became drawn into it with retailers asking what we thought, given or reach across a diverse group of retail settings.

We so understand retailers say they welcome anyone as it presents as inclusive. We can also understand retailers saying they prefer shoppers to be vaccinated, especially if they have family and loved-ones who for some reason cannot currently be vaccinated.

While we are keen on fence-sitting, we think with this issue retailers, especially local small business retailers are better off saying nothing because saying something will attract fringe-dwellers and these folks can be demanding, nasty and distracting. We know a retailer who said anyone is welcome and then found tribes of fringe dwellers on their social media doorstep.

By all means have a view for yourself and those who work in the business as it is your workplace and you have obligations. However, we don’t see how that can extend to customers when the government itself does not have a view.

For sure we want everyone who can to be vaccinated, and urgently. If we were in government with the authority, we would try and find a way to force that, for the health and safety of the community. We’d tie it to some funding or benefit, as happens already in child care. But, we are not in government and owning a shop does not give me the right to dictate what my customers believe, no matter how much we see our shop as our little kingdom.

So, for us here in our POS software company, we will have our wish and hope that everyone who can gets vaccinated while, at the same time, serving anyone who comes here for service. And, while doing this, our shops and business locations will remain clean, happy and as Covid safe as possible with masks, hand sanitiser, free face masks and the other steps in place that have kept us safe and trading so far.

Covid has a long long way to go we think. This vaxxed and unvaxxed can shop here pitch is another pot-hole on the road that, when we look back on it, will be a small distraction.

Tower Systems supports op. shops and charity shops and community enterprises with tailored POS software


Local op. shops are part of the retail landscape across Australia. Run by churches, community groups and charities, these shops serve the vulnerable in our community while raising funds for vital local community projects.

Op. shops have unique needs when to comes to managing them. The needs are similar to those in charity shops and other community enterprise retail businesses.

Tower Systems is grateful to offer low-cost POS software for charity shops, op. shops and community enterprise businesses. This is software made for these retail situations, designed to help these community-focussed shops serve their goals, to fulfil their missions.

Charity and op. shops are unique and loved businesses, providing valuable service to the local community and to those supported by the charity. Here is some of what you can expect from the Tower Systems POS software for op. shops / charity shops / community enterprises:

  1. Easy shopper loyalty.  While the software offers a loyalty points system, we have found the cash-off approach in our loyalty tools works better in local retail. People understand money. A receipt showing an amount they can save on their next purchase gets, usually, at least 20% of people spending more that visit.
  2. Manage inventory your way. You can sell by barcode, products code, department, category within department, price point. You can sell, measure and report at the level point appropriate to your needs.
  3. Easy to learn. We have found that in community enterprises easy to learn / easy to use really does matter. Volunteer turnover makes this essential. We can record training specific to your needs and make these videos available for future volunteers.
  4. Secure. You can lock down parts of the software to secure them for management access only.
  5. Check and balances. This software guides processes. It also provides hidden tracking so you can investigate should the need arise.
  6. Club / group marketing and support. Leverage clubs and community groups with offers and pricing just for them.

This Australian made and supported charity / op. shop POS software does much more than what’s on this list. See it for yourself, live and obligation free, to see if it could serve you and your business. We’d be glad to show it to all involved in the operation.

We started din this space many years ago with our first church shop software and it’s evolved since for bigger businesses in this space as well as for much smaller businesses. We are grateful to help these organisations in their commitment to community service.