Credit Card Machines
For face-to face transactions in a retail setting, it is difficult to overcome point- of sale terminals for safely processing electronic benefits transfers, debit cards, pre-paid cards, checks, charge cards as well as other electronic transactions. Just swipe the customer's card through the terminal. Two examples of retail terminals are the VeriFone VX 520 and the Ingenico iCT250.
Mobile and Wireless
When you need to accept credit cards in the field or at a customer’s home, mobile and wireless terminals are what you'll need. Mobile and wireless terminals are the right choice for merchants who operate outside the traditional retail environment. They are also for service providers who need credit card processing on the road. An example of a mobile terminal is the VeriFone Vx680. Learn More
You can’t process a PIN debit card without a PIN pad. There a choice of models.
When configured with integrated point of sale devices, PIN pads allow the cardholder to enter their personal identification number. This completes the transaction securely.
PIN pads are required equipment for any retail location. An example of a PIN Pad is the VeriFone VX 805. Learn More
The final step in the credit card transaction process is issuing a receipt. So you'll need a printer to do this. Many point-of-sale credit card terminals have a built-in printer. However, some do not and they can be bought separately.
Some of the printer options include thermal ink, laser or ink jet. Generally thermal is the most desired as heat is used to change a special paper into a receipt. The main thing to consider is compatibility with your existing POS system. Another thing to consider is the space on the counter top. Learn more
Credit Card Machines 2017
Once you’ve got your business started you’ll need a way to accept payments from your customers. If you’re in any kind of retail business you’ll need a credit card terminal. This can be a mobile card reader for Square Payments or PayPal Here. It can also be a machine or device that sits on your counter top, kiosk, farmers market stall and other places. We’re going to talk about the devices that sit on the counter top. If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to read.
Credit Card Terminals
Credit card terminals allow you to accept payments from your customers. The machines are largely made by two companies: Verifone and Ingenico. Both are well known and large companies that have been in this space for years. If you look around at any restaurant, gas station, or retail store you’ll likely find an Ingenico or Verifone credit card terminal when you pay your bill. But let’s talk first about what credit card terminals do.
Here is what they all will do for you.
(1) Read the credit card number and the additional information on your customer’s credit card.
(2) Transmit the credit card information to your payment processor in a secure manner.
(3) Connect with your cash register or cash drawer or receipt printer so that you can print a receipt for your customer.
(4) Allow you to accept payments from smartphones with applications such as Apple Pay and others.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to read everything here. Please be sure to save yourself some money by shopping around for your machines. Be sure to shop online. Some times your payment processor will tell you that you must buy from them. This is not true. Generally, most machines are made by Verifone or Ingenico and they can work with almost any payment processor. You should always ask your payment processor first. But you can normally shop online for a deal and ask your payment processor to program or install the software for your machine to work. Most payment processors will do this for free or charge a nominal fee.
What do credit card terminals cost? They can be several hundred dollars. So be sure to shop online.
Read the credit card number and the additional information on your customer’s credit card.
In the old days just a few years ago, the customer swiped their credit card and the machine read the magnetic stripe. That was it. Today this has all changed. The magnetic stripe reader is still there. But there is also EMV chip readers and NFC (near field communication) readers. You’ll need all of that on your machine.
Magnetic Stripe Reader
The mag stripe reader is on the right side of the machine. Your customer will simply slide their card through the slot. The machine reads the credit card number and additional information. The machine encrypts this information nad then transmits it to your payment processor. The transmission happens over a dial-up connection or an internet connection.
EMV Chip and PIN Reader
Chip and Pin credit cards became available a while ago. You probably have these. The customer inserts the chip portion of their card into a slot and waits. The wait is for the machine to communicate with the chip and pull back the card number from the chip. You’ll need this. When you have the EMV chip on your machine and the customer uses it, you can get liability shift. What does this mean? This means that if a fraudulent credit card is used and there is a chargeback, you will not be held responsible by the merchant acquirer. In other words, you will not have to refund the purchase. This is enough reason to put EMV into use in your store. The machines are easy and all payment processors have EMV ready for you to use.
At some point a customer with Apple Pay or another payment type will want to pay you. You’ll need NFC or near field communications for this. Your customer will waive their phone near your machine. This makes the machine and phone talk to each other. Your credit card reader will read the customers credit card. After that the credit card number is sent to your payment processor. When will everyone be using NFC? We don’t know. But there are some customers trickling through your store now for sure. This will grow into a flood as it more customers realize how easy it is to use a smartphone. It’s easier than whipping out a credit card. So you want to be ready and make sure this is part of your credit card reader. It’s not difficult to get this feature as all the manufacturers have made it available.
Make sure the credit card machine you get can accept payments from NFC or smartphones. You may not see many of these types of purchase now. But it's only a matter of time.
Transmit the credit card information to your payment processor in a secure manner.
There are four things the credit card reader needs to do to send the credit card information. Your payment processor will provide you with software and instructions to configure your machine to do these things. Many processors will do this for you at a small charge or no charge. The software and configuration from your payment processor allows your machine to connect with the payment processor. Here are the four things below.
- Encrypt the credit card number of your customer’s credit card
- Send or transmit the credit card number over the internet or a dial-up connection
- Detect if the internet is available or not. If not, the machine will dial-up to the payment processor and send the information over a telephone line.
- Receive a response from your payment processor as to whether the credit card is good or not.
Connect with your cash register
You’ll generally have a cash register or a cash drawer. If you don’t have that you’ll at least have a receipt printer. Your machine will connect to both of these. The purpose of the connection is to send a response from your payment processor when the purchase is complete.
If you have a cash register you’ll want to make sure that you contact your provider. You’ll need to ask them for what credit card terminals work with their register. Typically this is not a problem. Your cash register manufacturer may want to sell you credit card readers. You can buy from them. But generally there is a markup involved. So if you want to save money shop online for your machine. Almost all machines are made by either Verifone or Ingenico. These are very large and reputable companies. They know and service the retail marketplace around the world. They know cash register companies and work closely with them. Both Verifone and Ingenico sell their products online. So it’s pretty straight forward to get the right credit card reader for your cash register.
Cash Drawers have come about in the last few years. A full blown cash register is no longer needed by many retailers. Specifially if the retailer is using Square or some electronic Point of Sale System. A cash drawer keeps cash, checks, coupons and other items secure. It opens when there is a successful response from the payment processor about the credit card. Cash drawers can be purchase online as well. Sometimes you will have customers who pay in cash and in credit card for the same transaction. This is less frequent these days. But you will want to consider being ready for this. Because your job is to make a sale and accept payment from your customer.
A printer for a receipt is a must have in our opinion. This is whether you are using Square Payments or any other payment provider. A receipt is something tangible you can give your customer. Older customers will want a piece of paper as they are often not satisfied with just an email receipt. A receipt printer is also a place where you can advertise your company. Receipt printers are widely available online. So be sure to shop online and look at prices. They will run several hundred dollars. They are easy to setup and readily connect to your credit card reader.
Allow you to accept payments from smartphones
Smartphone payments are only going to get bigger and more popular. Why? Because everyone has a phone. And it’s easier to whip out a phone than a wallet and a credit card. You must make sure that whatever machine you get, you can accept payments from smartphone. Generally, the maker of the machine will say “NFC enabled” on the product specifications. What is NFC? NFC is near field communications. It means a smartphone can communicate with a machine when the two things are close together and the customer has authorized the communication. You may not see many NFC transactions now. But you will. It’s easy for customers to use and easy for you. When two parties see something as convenient it’s big bang. So be sure you’re ready for this. Most of the credit card reader manufacturers have already prepared for this so you don’t have to worry. Just make sure you get this feature when you make your purchase of a machine.