Does your business need a card machine to accept card payments? Card payments can be more convenient for customers, having a card machine means customers are likely to spend more with you and you won’t lose customers who don’t have cash.
There are various types of card machine available to accept both credit and debit cards. The 3 main types are counter top, portable and mobile:
- Counter top terminals are the most straightforward. They are connected to the internet or a phone line which is used to verify card and account details when necessary.
- Portable terminals are necessary for some types of business where the terminal has to be taken to the customer for example restaurants, bars and cafes. They transmit a signal to a hub on the premises via bluetooth and require charging docks to recharge their batteries.
- Mobile terminals are needed where payments are taken away from the main premises. The terminal uses a similar system to a mobile phone to verify account info where necessary.
Latest Card Machine Technology
Much is changing in the field of card machines and as a merchant there are some trends and new technologies you should be aware of.
Contactless cards are now available in the UK and major retailers such as ASDA and the Co-operative are running trials to accept contactless payments. With a contactless card the card only needs to be waved near the card machine for a payment to be made, the PIN doesn’t need to be entered. This type of transaction is meant for small purchases, for instance where the total is below £15. The advantage is the speed, the transaction being faster than any other type of card or cash. The card is read through near field communication technology known as NCF.
A type of mobile terminal that works with a mobile phone is available in the UK. The terminal connects to the merchant acquiring bank via a smartphone for payment verification. All card data is encrypted for security.
Mobile payments are the latest way to pay for goods and services. Services such as Google Wallet allow smartphones to be used to make payments. The technology used is NCF, as for the contactless cards.
If you want a card machine for your business you need to set up a merchant account with a merchant acquiring bank or a third party working on behalf of the bank.
Chip and PIN Cards
EMV or chip and PIN type card have been in use in Europe since the ’90s and they are now being introduced in the US. One reason is to prevent in person fraud through making fake copies of credit and debit cards. Copying a chip and PIN card is not possible because of the chip.
In the past the differences in system have often caused problems for American visitors to Europe so the fact that the US is switching to chip and PIN is beneficial to US businesses, tourists and European businesses.