3 simple steps when choosing a card machine...
As cash payments decline and card payments continue to increase in popularity, every business should consider the benefits of using a card payment machine. These hand-held devices allow businesses to accept debit and credit card payments using Chip and PIN, as well as contactless and mobile payments such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.
The best credit card machine for your business will be dependent on several factors such as the size of your business, the number of card payments you will be processing, your internet connection and how your customers are likely to pay. Whether you own a restaurant, shop or courier business, there are a variety of credit card machines which could provide the perfect solution for your business.
Perfect for serving your
customers at the till.
Take the card machine to
Accept payments when
you're on the go.
There are a wide range of possible credit card machines to choose from, with many designed to offer flexible, contract-free, low cost solutions for small businesses. The following are some of the best credit card machines, which are great for businesses looking for portable machines, flexible contracts and app-based services.
PDQ machines are designed to connect to the payment card provider via an internet or landline connection. Generally, these are countertop machines which provide a single physical point to process card transactions.
These machines use WiFi or Bluetooth to establish a mobile connection, which allows them to be portable. These are ideal for businesses within the hospitality industry as it makes it possible to take payments directly from a customers table.
Electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) terminals are usually located close to point of sale terminals, as a physical connection is required to the machines base station. The machines are capable of accepting debit cards, credit cards and EFTPOS cards, although they are not very popular here in the UK.
It is possible to use an electronic Point of Sale (ePOS) system which syncs with the card machine. This is great for businesses which are looking to save time, as reports can be created automatically, stock levels can be monitored, and sales are accurately recorded.
Many credit card machines are designed to process Chip and PIN payments, which require the customer to insert their payment card into the credit card machine. When the payment card is inserted the machine will ask the customer to enter their 4-digit personal identification number, if correct, the transaction will be processed. These machines are available in countertop, portable and mobile options.
Point of Sale (POS) terminals allow businesses to accept a variety of payments, with built in security features designed for use with Chip and PIN, swipe and contactless payments.. The credit card machine is part of a POS system, which includes the hardware and software needed to process transactions, monitor inventory and track sales.
To take card payments you will need a merchant account and either a card payment terminal, a payment gateway, a mobile card payment solution, or an integrated payment service. If you are taking payments in person, you will need a physical card payment terminal, however if your business is mainly online, a payment gateway or mobile card payment solution is possible. There are some providers which offer an integrated payment service, including a merchant account, credit card machine and a payment processing solution.
In most situations you will need an internet connection to use a credit card machine, as most transactions will require a mobile network connection or landline WiFi. However, not all connections are reliable and there are some traditional credit card machines which offer offline functionality. These machines will hold transactions in a pending state until the machine is connected to the merchant bank account via an internet connection.
Yes, you can switch providers. Whether you are looking for a better service, improved features or a lower price, it is quick and straightforward to switch. There are a variety of factors which you will need to consider, such as contract end dates and early exit fees. However, many credit card machines are offered on a pay-as-you-go basis, so you may be free to switch without any charges. Alternatively, a more competitive deal may outweigh the cost of switching.
In general, the main differences between a PDQ, ePOS, EFTPOS and Chip and PIN card machine will be how they process card payments. For example, a traditional PDQ machine is likely to be situated next to a till point and will be connected via an ethernet cable. In contrast, a modern ePOS linked machine may be portable and offer useful integration features.
Card machines are designed to be secure, with strict PCI DSS regulations governing the payment card industry to ensure both businesses and their customers are protected from data theft and fraud. As a business you will be potentially handling sensitive financial data, so you should ensure that you implement the latest security features.
Card machines themselves feature technology designed to combat card payment fraud, such as Chip and PIN payment codes and encrypted data transfer. In addition, if you plan to use a virtual terminal to take payments when a customer is not physically present, you can use security checks such as an address verification system and the card verification value. These are designed to ensure that the cardholder is in fact the legitimate owner of the card.
Yes, it is possible to process both credit and debit cards. The majority of credit card machines are designed to accept both card types, with some also accepting contactless mobile app payments. There are some card machine providers which charge different rates for processing either debit or credit cards, so it is always worth comparing these fees before choosing the ideal provider. In most situations, if the rate differs the credit card transactions are likely to cost more than debit card payments.
Yes, you can get a card machine for a small business and there are many options to choose from. There are many card machine providers which specialise in offering flexible, low-cost solutions to small businesses, such as PayPal, Worldpay, Barclaycard, Elavon, Square, SumUp and iZettle.
The cheapest card machines are those which include a low-cost credit card machine and also low ongoing card payment processing fees. Generally, the cheapest credit card machine is the SumUp reader, although other providers will often offer discounts or free machines for certain plans. The cheapest payment processing fee is charged by PayPal, however the charge will vary depending on the transaction type and your volume of transactions. The average fee charged by the various card machine providers is between 1.5% and 1.75%.
Every business is different and the ideal card machine for one business may not be the best option for another. Here at BusinessComparison, our team can help you compare the best professional and modern options, so that you can find the most suitable credit card machine available. To compare options and find the best deal, please contact our team today.