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What's a GPRS card terminal?


General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a wireless data

transmission form used in mobile credit card terminals.



Card terminals need some way of transmitting data in order to function. It can be done wirelessly, through a phone line, or an Internet connection. Bluetooth terminals communicate wirelessly to a Bluetooth receiver, so they must remain within range of that receiver to function. GPRS represents the other wireless form.

This technology transmits data by packets over a network. Unlike Bluetooth terminals, they don’t require you to be in range of your receiver in order to take payments; they work anywhere that you would also be able to access a mobile phone network.

GPRS terminals are generally used by those who do a lot of business outside of their own premises. Should extra services be asked for or needed that were not included in the quote, they do not have to worry if their client does not have cash available. For example, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen use them to take payment in the homes and businesses that they visit. Beauticians and hairdressers who visit their clients’ homes also accept payment in this way. Many businesses will use GPRS terminals occasionally, when they visit trade shows or markets.

GPRS advantages

  • Works anywhere you could use a mobile phone 
  • Supports a wide variety of card types, from chip & PIN to foreign cards
  • Long battery life


  • If you cannot get a mobile signal, you cannot use your card terminal
  • More expensive than dial-up or IP based terminal options
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