Listed are some of the most important types and options to make your decision easier.
First off, decide if you really need a credit card processing terminal in the first place. For example, if you run a traditional ‘mail order’ type of business (where you accept checks or cash,) or have an ecommerce store set up on the Internet, then you will not need a physical terminal set up. But, if your business deals with customers, live and in person, then you will definitely want to have a credit card processing system where they can swipe their cards to pay, instead of using cash.
You will need to know and consider the type of connection that your payment terminal will have. Once upon a time, the older credit card processing machines used a phone line to connect to and complete the transaction. This is still a good and popular choice, provided you have a dedicated phone line (a shared phone line with a credit card terminal and the fax machine, is fine as well).
The newer credit card merchant processing terminals uses a dedicated, preferably high speed Internet connection, or even a wireless connection. This may be a better solution for you if your business is already wired with an Internet connection. When you receive the free quotes from the various credit card payment processing companies, determine which transmission type is right for you in terms of cost.
You also need to know exactly what you want your credit card terminal to do. Are you looking for the processor to print out two receipts automatically, or would you rather prefer using carbon paper? Are you looking for a credit card terminal that includes an electronic pad and pen, so that your customers can “sign” directly on the terminal?
There are now also advanced systems such as the ‘Tap and Go’ terminals, where it allows your customers, provided they have the right type of card, to literally just tap their cards on the terminal, and they get instant approval on their purchase. Customers who do not have these cards can still swipe their credit card, and no signature is required.
What About Debit Cards
Accepting debit cards is great as you are not required to pay all the fees associated with them, if you accept debit cards without allowing your customer to enter their PIN number. It is a very secure transaction method and something you definitely should consider.
When thinking about the type of credit card terminal to get, consider all the options and weigh your needs as well as the needs of your customers. Also consider the prices associated with the different terminals your payment processor offers. Some credit card processing companies will even provide their equipment for free, which makes it a lot more attractive to get all the features that you want.