Learn About Choosing the Best Credit Card Terminals
When signing up for a merchant account, a common merchant concern is whether or not they will need a credit card terminal or which terminal is the best solution for their business. With so many terminals available on the market, it can sometimes be confusing, but finding the right one is actually easy and requires a simple evaluation of your business needs.
The obvious question that is first asked is if the merchant will need a credit card terminal. Businesses such as retail shops, restaurants or storefronts that require face to face contact with customers most often require a terminal. Transactions where the credit card is physically present more than 50 percent of the time means a credit card terminal is needed to process the transactions.
To process a transaction with a credit card terminal, the credit card can be swiped through the machine or the credit card numbers are typed in using the terminal keypad. Once the transaction is submitted and approved, the terminal will usually print 2 receipts, one copy for the customer to sign and the merchant to keep and the other for the customer to keep as proof of the transaction.
Some card not present transactions also use a credit card terminal. Some possible cases include merchants who take mail orders or Internet orders and just type the credit card numbers and expiration dates into the terminal by using the keypad. Merchant account providers will usually advise online businesses to use software or Internet programs, though some merchants still choose to use a terminal.
How Much Credit Card Terminals Should Cost
The price of a terminal depends on the make, model and age. The features offered and if a printer is included or not will also contribute to the cost. The cost of a terminal can be anywhere from $99 to more than $1,000. Some merchant account providers will feature free terminals which is a great way to save money on a machine that is right for your business.
After deciding if you need a terminal, you should research what types of terminals are available and make the most sense for your business. Identify how many merchant accounts you need to set up. If you need more than one merchant account in your terminals, there are terminals that can contain as many as 9 merchant accounts. Terminals that can accommodate this are a great solution for multiple businesses sharing one terminal.
Most credit card terminals use a phone line to dial out each transaction and can take as much as 15 seconds to process. If the line used by the terminal to dial through is shared with other devices like a fax machine or modem, it's important that the line does not have call waiting because it will result in disturbed transactions. Most newer terminals use IP connections instead of traditional phone lines. This type of terminal is the best option if your business has DSL or high-speed internet access, it will help you cut cost and save money on additional phone lines as well as decrease your transaction times to about 2-3 a transaction.
Wireless terminals are suggested terminals where a phone line or Internet connection is not available. Wireless terminals communicate wirelessly like cell phones or PDAs and don't require to be plugged in through a phone line or Internet connection, while allowing merchants to process transactions anywhere at any time. Wireless terminals are great solutions for mobile and service businesses, making it easy for merchants to accept credit cards on location, reduce fraud and processing rates by swiping cards and lower the need to carry cash.
Another solution for businesses where a phone or Internet connection is unavailable is a terminal with store and forward capabilities. This type of terminal will let you enter transactions into the terminal and store the information until a phone line or Internet connection can be accessed. Once a connection is established, the terminal can dial out to authorize the stored information.
If you know you will need to accept ATM cards through your terminal, then you will also need a PIN pad. PIN pads let customers pay for goods and services using their ATM cards. Merchants can still accept debit cards if they don't have a PIN pad, but they will need to process the transactions as check cards.
If you are still unsure which terminal solution is right for your business, try using our processing terminal guide by simply selecting your business type or industry.
All About Internet Merchant Accounts
Important Information About Merchant Account Fees
Learn About Choosing the Right Credit Card Terminal
Picking a Merchant Account Provider
How Internet Payment Gateway Works
Secrets of a Successful e-commerce Business
Tips to Reduce Credit Card Fraud