Credit Card Terminals
A credit card terminal is a machine that helps in the verification of the validity of plastic money at the counter. The device scans, verifies and identifies any expired, stolen, invalid, or damaged card. It is also called an electronic data capture terminal (EDCT) or point of sale machine. The machine helps the merchant to avoid scammers.
The system also helps track and print receipts and track plastic money (credit & debit card) payments. Today, credit and debit cards are the most commonly used methods of payment in the USA. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Francisco, plastic money accounted for more than half of the payment instruments used in 2018. Therefore, a business does not stand a chance without a credit card terminal.
You can buy or lease a credit card processing terminal for your business. The price of the machine is approximately a hundred dollars. The lease varies from tens of dollars to the cost of buying the electronic data capture terminal. Therefore, you should consider the leasing and purchase cost before settling for any of the options.
Different Types of Point of Sale Machines
The differences between the credit card machines are more software-based than hardware. You should go for a device that meets both your software and hardware requirements because they are all important. Here are the types of credit card processing terminals:
- Traditional, conventional or physical credit card machines
- Integrated POS payment terminals
- Portable or wireless credit card terminals
- Virtual credit card terminals
Traditional Credit Card Machines
The standard credit machines are a good example of the traditional credit card terminal. The distinct characteristic is the connection to the internet through cables and simple gadget features. Some of the machines have a keypad for the PIN, while others require just a swipe.
Although they might not have many features, their security protocol has been improved through modern technology. Some physical credit card machines have a built-in printer and point of sale system to ease the payment process.
Integrated Point of Sale Terminal
This system is the most comprehensive because it includes all the software you need to run a business. However, these features come at an extra cost. Integrated credit card machines have a point of sale, receipt printers, hand scanners, large display monitors, and PIN pads.
The integrated credit card terminal communicates with other systems in your business. It is the most advanced version, even in technology. The system has more features and also allows you to perform different activities in a single software. However, they are complicated compared to traditional credit card terminals.
Wireless Credit Card Machine
As the name suggests, the terminal is not connected to any wires, making it portable. The machine uses WiFi to transmit data from the hardware to the software (internet). After scanning a credit or debit card, the information is sent to the internet through a landline network.
The portable credit card terminal offers flexibility. The machines use rechargeable batteries, but some are dual, meaning they can still be plugged in when near a charging point. They are ideal for merchants who keep shifting locations or for regular trade campaigns. You should have a strong internet connection to use the terminals flawlessly.
Virtual Credit Card Terminals
Unlike the other types, virtual credit card terminals have no physical device. The system allows merchants to receive payment through virtual swiping. It is ideal for businesses where there are no points of sale.
The credit card machine provider offers software that can help you to receive credit and debit card payments. You can use a computer or smartphone to receive plastic money payment. You should key in the holder’s details and the amount; then, the amount is deducted.
How Credit Card Terminal Works
- The customer provides their credit card to the merchant.
- The merchant swipes the credit or debit card’s magnetic chip through the slot of the ATM card reader.
- After that, the device captures the customer’s information and transmits data for verification.
- Then, the customer is requested to key in the PIN.
- The credit card machine accepts or rejects the request.
- The order is processed if the request is successful.