An Overview on Credit Card Machines

Merchant Warehouse |

December 7, 2010

Sometimes we need a good overview of what’s available before we make an important decision and step into the marketplace to support our business with the right equipment. Of the many things required for merchants to support their day-to-day sales activity, one of the most essential is a credit card machine. There’s an enormous array of credit card processing terminals available to merchants today. Virtually all of these credit card machines have the same primary use and functions. These important pieces of business equipment allow merchants to either swipe a credit card or manually enter important credit card information that is then transmitted to a merchant service provider.

The latest models on the market process a sizable variety of payment cards. These include, though are not limited to, traditional credit cards, benefits cards, retail gift cards, debit cards and even smart chip cards, which are the future of payment cards. Almost all credit card terminals send important card and cardholder records over common telephone lines or through broadband Internet connections. On the other hand, wireless terminals can easily transmit payment card data using either cell networks or satellite networks already in place. There are some credit card payment machines that also have the ability to store data that they collect all day and transmit that batch of information at a later time.

“Custom fit” for Your Needs

When thinking about the variety of credit card machines, keep in mind which ones are best for your unique merchant needs. Your merchant service provider can easily help you with this, as well as other third-party equipment dealers and business colleagues who have experience with different machines and may have also upgraded their terminals over the years.

It’s always a good idea to think about your actual business needs when contemplating credit card machines, especially those that you may eventually purchase for your business. If you have a small business with few customers and low yields overall, you may want to buy the inexpensive model that takes a simple card swipe and sends the information through a regular phone lines in order to process.

If you are a merchant who also requires a paper copy of the card used for your records, then you simply need to buy a straightforward imprinter to go along with the no-frills terminal. There may be scenario in which your customers both need to pay entry at your dining or drinking establishment and allow you to check their ID at the door. There are state-of-the-art credit card processing devices for this, such as the VeriFone Vx570 Dual Comm IP.

Hardware and Software

You may want to process sales all day long at your hair salon but wait to send the complete sales batch at the end of the day, as you may need to amend sales totals because of discounts offered by stylists or mistakes made at the register. A modern machine such as the Nurit 2085 allows this operation and several others. It may more expensive than simpler terminals but it is worth it in many cases.

Then there is software that works with your personal computer to act as a fully functioning credit card machine. PC Charge Pro is powerful transaction processing software that allows all merchants to accept credit cards, debit cards and even checks from their customers. Software such as PC Charge Pro can reduce fraud and provide powerful and rapid performance at the checkout counter. PC Charge Pro is effective under many different sales environments including retail stores, direct marketing companies, mail order, telephone order businesses or websites.

Business on the Go

You may work remotely. Let’s say that you sell Fabergé eggs only at tradeshow conventions. To really rack up heavy sales at the exhibition halls, you’ll need a wireless terminal to process all of those credit card sales. A wireless terminal such as the Nurit 8020 solves just such a problem.

A credit card machine such as the LinkPoint AIO is a technologically advanced credit card terminal that will satisfy almost all credit card processing needs.
It supports merchants with a full range of payment capabilities, including multiple merchant applications and identifications. It is also compatible with many industry-standard peripherals, like PIN pads and bar-code wands for direct checkout of coded products.

Decision Time

After you look over the vast array of machines on the market, many of which will be available through your merchant service provider, you need to ask yourself several questions to narrow your selection. Do you process just a few thousand dollars a month or is it closer to a few hundred thousand? Or is it in the millions of dollars, requiring record review and account management from the service provider who also sold your credit card terminal?

Also, how many credit card terminals does your company really need? If you have just one location but many sales representatives, you may need several credit cards transaction terminals. You may also have many branches of your store and therefore may need even more terminals. As a traveling salesperson with a sales force, of course, this also applies to wireless terminals that you may need.

Some of the best deals for equipment depend on your service provider. It may also depend on you. When shopping around for the right credit card terminals be sure to think over all of these considerations. Feel free to contact your merchant service provider to go over the many options available to you and your business.