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Bring Your Company Forward With Credit Card Machines

There are few businesses in the world that do not have credit card machines on the premises. Customers and businesses alike enjoy the convenience, speed and reliability they provide. However, small businesses that have old credit card machines may have to change them to save money as well as improving revenue. For a start, machines that are several years old may not accept debit cards which could lose you business. Older machines also find it harder to read swiped cards with the card’s details having to be punched in manually instead. Not only is this time consuming, it can actually cost a business money because some merchants charge an extra 0.5% per transaction for cards that have their details entered manually.

Types Of Credit Card Machines

There are various credit card machines available including:

  • Traditional
  • Wireless
  • Virtual

Traditional credit card machines are still widely used and consist of a magnetic stripe reader, a display and a keypad. It is wise to have a printer either built-in or as an individual unit. In terms of sales, it does not matter if the machine has a built-in printer or not but it is easier to deal with so may be the best choice.

The display is where you read the requisite information and should be backlit which increases visibility in low light. It is possible to purchase keypads in different shapes and sizes with various features and numbers of keys.

Wireless terminals are much more expensive than their traditional counterpart and may be unnecessary for most businesses. Certainly, retailers have no need to conduct the transaction away from the counter so the wires of credit card machines pose no problem. Businesses that do not have a permanent location or accept payment on the move will benefit from a wireless terminal.

These terminals simply must have a printer built-in because it is extremely inconvenient to carry around two separate pieces of equipment. If you are thinking of purchasing a wireless terminal for your business, make sure it is shock absorbent because there is a strong possibility it will be dropped on occasion when it is being carried around.

A virtual terminal is software that can handle a credit card transaction without the need for the card to be present. Simply type in the customer’s credit card details and the money will be transferred. This type of terminal is necessary for businesses that conduct their business online.

Other Necessary Features

Another important feature of credit card machines is the ability to accept debit cards. To do this, it is necessary to have a separate piece of equipment that asks for PIN numbers. This enables you to keep the terminal out of plain sight while the customer enters his/her debit card code.

Never purchase credit card machines that do not have an address verification system (AVS) as this is a necessity to prevent fraud. The AVS compares the customer’s address on their ID with their credit card’s billing address. This system can quickly identify and stop criminals.

Modern credit card machines are extremely reliable with transaction failures happening very rarely. Nonetheless, most machines come with a 12 month warranty and this should be accepted because you never know if you have the misfortune to have the one faulty machine in a million.

How Much Do Credit Card Machines Cost?

In general, credit card machines are not at all expensive, it is the processing of the cards that causes bills to mount up. Don’t fall for the tricks of some merchant providers who advertise prices of machines that seem like an absolute bargain. There are almost always a raft of hidden terms and conditions that quickly increase the price.

The basic machines outlined above could cost as little as $150 though more advanced versions will cost double that. You really should have a printer however and machines with this feature could cost up to $600. Wireless machines offer transactions on the move but at $1,000, you need to ask yourself if the business would really benefit from having one.

It is possible to lease credit card machines but the terms are usually so poor that you are better off purchasing it outright. For example, you may elect to lease a terminal for 3 years which could end up costing $700 when buying it would have set you back $300. Always look for the best machine rather than the cheapest one. Paying $100 less for an unreliable machine is a disastrous decision because unreliable credit card machines cause havoc.

The most convenient method of purchasing credit card machines is from the merchant account provider whom you usually do business with. This is because they pre-program the machines. They are also likely to give you a better deal because they realize plenty of money will be made from credit card processing so there is no need to charge you too much for the machine.

Basic Tips

A few simple things can prolong the life of credit card machines and ensure no problems occur. For example, buy a container of compressed air to quickly clean the equipment by removing tiny bits of dust and grime which will otherwise clog up the machine. Try and purchase the equipment from a local supplier because they will be able to come around and teach your staff how to correctly use the equipment. If your business is not using a credit card machine or has an old one, it is time to upgrade and bring your company forward.