Choosing the Right Credit Card Machines for Your Business

credit card machines

These days, credit card payments are preferred across all age groups. In particular, the preference for credit card payments for people between ages 25-34 reaches up to 36%

If you want to smoothly accept credit card payments in your business, you should have a card reading machine to use. The right machine will make your job a lot easier and will also help you provide a better customer experience. 

Here’s how to choose the right credit card machines for your business.

Understanding Payment Processing

Before choosing a credit card machine, understand a bit about how payment processing works.

When running a business of any kind, you’ll need to have a way to accept payments from customers. With a credit card machine, you can easily take a customer’s credit card payment as well as other payment methods. 

Payment methods you can accept in your business could include cash, check, credit card, or payments from apps and other types of cashless payments. A credit card machine allows you to accept cashless payments, offering convenience to your customers.

You won’t just need to have a proper machine to accept payments. A payment will also be confirmed by a payment processor and relevant financial institutions.

A payment will be verified by a customer’s bank as well as the bank of the merchant. A payment processor facilitates the flow of information and allows credit card and payment information to flow through the appropriate channels before entering your account.

Types of Credit Card Machines

It’s also important to understand the types of credit card machines that are available. Here’s what you should know.

POS Terminals

An integrated point of sale (POS) terminal does more than just allow you to accept credit card payments. It also ties into existing business software and works as an all-in-one business solution.

A POS system can do more than a simple credit card machine and can be used to manage inventory, time clock information, and more. If you need the most robust capabilities, a POS system is a great choice.

Countertop Terminals

Card readers and payment terminals come in a variety of shapes and sizes and allow you to easily take credit cards and other types of payments. Countertop terminals will sit on a counter at a place of business.

The terminal will be used to process credit cards and debit cards and there will be a PIN pad for entering information. These are hardwired into an internet connection and will usually remain in one place in a retail location.

Although these terminals facilitate payments, they aren’t full POS systems. They don’t offer an all-in-one solution for a business. 

Wireless Terminals

In addition to countertop terminals, some businesses use wireless terminals. This allows them to accept payments throughout a retail location or restaurant. These may be taken to a customer while dining, for example. 

Unlike mobile readers, wireless terminals are full-fledged payment devices that operate independently, just like a countertop terminal. Because of the wireless functionality, however, they offer more flexibility.

Mobile Terminals

Mobile terminals are connected to tablets or smartphones and work well for businesses that need more mobility. These terminals are often favored by very small businesses or businesses that are on the move such as those making deliveries.

Because the card reading machine will connect to a smartphone or tablet, it’s easy to get started with these terminals. They’ll use an existing cellular of wifi connection to process payments and can easily be used to handle transactions with customers.  

Virtual Terminals

In addition to physical payment machines, virtual terminals are also useful. These can be visited from any device with the internet. A virtual terminal allows a small business to process credit card information simply by entering it into a secure website, also known as a payment gateway.

With this type of transaction, a credit card doesn’t need to be physically present, so you can use it when speaking to a client or customer over the phone. This allows for additional mobility and flexibility.

However, there’s less security and accuracy with a virtual terminal, since you’ll be entering the information yourself. You also won’t be able to take other payment options such as debit cards, checks, and cash. 

Choosing the Best Option for Your Needs

There are a few key things to think about when choosing a credit card machine for your business. Here’s what to consider.

Consider the Functionality

Make sure that you choose a payment machine that suits the needs of your business. Consider where you’ll be taking payments.

A restaurant may be better suited for using wireless credit card machines. On the other hand, a business with a stationary checkout counter may be better off with a full POS system or a countertop credit card reader.

Understand Processors and Fees

Not only should you take the cost of the credit card machine itself into consideration, but you also need to understand the fees that you’ll pay. Each credit card processor charges different fees for transactions.

There are also monthly service fees, gateway fees, and other fees to consider as well. Look for transparency and find out what to expect before choosing a payment processor and payment machine.

Find the Right Technology

You should consider the technology behind any credit card machine that you plan on adding to your business. Ensure that the machine you choose offers a level of security that you’re comfortable with.

You should also consider how well the machine you’re purchasing will integrate into any current systems and software that your business is using. 

Buying Credit Card Machines

There are several types of credit card machines that can be valuable for a business. While some businesses prefer the power of a countertop credit card machine, mobile and wireless options can be great for businesses that need a bit more flexibility. 

If you need a reliable payment processor, consider Trinity Payment Solutions. With over 50 years of combined experience in payments, we offer the level of service and transparency you need. 

Ready to learn more? Reach out to us today to learn how we can meet your needs.  

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If you’re in the market for a new payments partner, want to upgrade your systems, or just need to ask a few questions, our dedicated team is here to help. Try us on for size.