Credit Card Processing Accessories

Merchant Warehouse |

November 25, 2010

Whatever way you decide process credit card transactions – with standalone terminals, wireless ones or even over the Internet with your PC – there are always a few little things that get forgotten along the way. From extra battery packs for wireless terminals to the printer paper and ink cartridges for some of the larger, all-in-one countertop units, those “little things” can add up quickly if you are unprepared for them. Credit card processing accessories are legitimate business expenses that you should plan and budget for.

Credit card processing accessories might include the magnetic stripe reader, the keypad to enter the sale price and other forms of information, and also an enlarged display, if you have a no-frills unit that you wish to improve upon. Merchants can purchase their receipt printers separately if they did not buy a terminal with one built in, making that an accessory, too. There are many types of printers including dot matrix, thermal and inkjet printers. There are other printer-related accessories that we will return to in a moment.

Old vs. New

The older and more traditional credit card terminals have different types of displays, with the larger displays allowing merchants to see more information at once, naturally. The displays are usually measured in lines and columns. An 8 x 20 display has 8 lines of text in 20 columns. The newer displays often include the backlighting feature, which allows for the merchant to see the terminal even in very dim lighting. If necessary, displays can be upgraded or added later, but it may be less costly just to get another terminal. Your research will give you a timely answer to this question, as prices and availability of parts change constantly.

Some of the newest credit card processing terminals are surprisingly compact machines. This means that some features must be added as accessories, such as integrated smart card readers, plug-in battery chargers, and power cords, which quickly prove themselves to be essential components because of the time savings they can represent (and time is money, after all). With one of these small terminals, a PIN pad becomes an accessory, too. Everything beyond the built-in functions of your terminal can be considered accessories, although they aren’t to the person who bought a larger terminal with all the features included.

The Basics

Card reader cleaners and surge protectors are some of the other accessories that are often required. Printer paper, ribbons and ink cartridges, mounts and stackers, manual imprinters and imprinter slips, power packs and cables are also indispensable credit card processing accessories. Extra battery packs and even carrying cases are available for the new wireless terminals that are becoming very popular. And don’t forget that if the power goes out, you can still take a credit card and run it through a $29 plastic-and-metal imprinter, and hand your customer a receipt. That is, if you have these accessories on hand.

Deals abound in this area too, as there are a large number of manufacturers who provide credit card processing accessories. They supply customers various quality- and quantity-based solutions to suit their growing needs. You can economize with less costly accessories, keep your unit costs down by buying in bulk (ink, paper, etc.) and use any number of strategies to keep the costs in line. Most accessories are warranted against defects in material and workmanship for a reasonable period following the date of purchase, so don’t be shy about returning something that doesn’t work the way you need it to.

Virtual Accessories

For virtual credit card terminals, items such as software, computer needs, extra phone cords, or fax/Internet capability are considered to be accessories as well. Remember, anything that is not included with the terminal you buy, lease or are given by your merchant account provider can be considered an accessory.

When people hear the word “accessories” they often think of things that are not necessary but are, instead, just additional items that are added to what they already have. Some merchants may think that the terminal that they have is good enough the way it is. However, when it comes to keeping your terminal in good shape, there are things you may label “accessories” that, in fact, are necessities if you want your business to function smoothly.

A dirty card reader can stop a sale dead in its tracks, after all. In fact, all of the additional accessories are often quite necessary and at times absolutely required, depending on the type of business you are operating. Choosing your credit card processing accessories wisely can make all the difference in the functionality of your business, as well as the revenue and sales that you acquire – and let’s face it, every merchant wants success. It may sound like something on a Vogue or Cosmopolitan magazine cover, but the fact is, today you just may need to “accessorize for success.”