In the middle of the weekend errand rounds, I found myself in a longer than usual line at the butcher. When I finally got to the register, the owner was ringing people up by hand because their computer system that processes credit cards was down.
The butcher is about to expand, building an entire building next door that will nearly triple the space he has (which will be lovely, but will also impact the nature and feel of a small butcher on a weekend morning). Somehow, as they are doing work on the new building, they knocked out the power supply to the credit card processing computers.
This seemed odd to me since the other computers were working to price the food, but not to take your credit card. He and I began to talk as he took my information down by hand and he asked what do I do when my credit card processing machine is down. I told him that I had never encountered that because I have back up systems. If, for some reason, the app on my tablet isn't working, I could use an internet connection to process the payment. If the internet is down, I could use the swipe device that connects to my phone. If all of those are down, well, then nobody's paying anything.
By the time we were finishing up, I had passed along my credit card processor's information to the owner. His processor had no back up system in place for him and clearly it is time for him to upgrade or change processors.
Always hope for the best but plan for the worst (especially when it comes to something as important as accepting payments for your goods and services)...