Several criteria can be used to select the best credit card machine for a given business. And the number one criterion is to know in as many details as possible what the specific needs of the business are!
Indeed, how to choose the best card machine largely depends on the usage scenarios which may be observed or forecasted by the retailer:
- Any countertop, wired card payment machine will do for a shop where payments are made at a single point of payment, just in front of the till. Among these countertop models, one discriminating factor will be to know whether the machine is a standalone device, or a wired combination of keypad, reader, display and printer,
- Wireless machines using Bluetooth or Wifi connections will be the best card machines for small businesses in the food and beverages industry like large restaurants or pubs, where customers are more and more expecting to be able to pay from the place where they have been eating and not at the till.
- Mobile card machines are perfect for travelling salesmen or for delivery/logistics businesses. For mobile as well as wireless machines, the battery life criterion is a key one.
Whatever the machine considered, an essential criterion is to know what payment methods will need to be accepted: chip-and-PIN, swipe payments contactless payments...
Compatibility with the rest of the Point of Sale equipment is also a key question.
Besides these hardware considerations, it’s also essential to have a vision of the necessary services related to the card machines for small businesses. UK’s high-street banks, as well as specialised card terminal providers, offer merchant services packages together with the actual machine. And picking the right services is as important as selecting the best credit card machine that goes with them.
It’s therefore very important to evaluate all aspects of the contract:
- Accepted payment methods and types of credit or debit cards,
- Merchant account features, such as the time needed to transfer funds to the regular business account,
- Included support and customer service capabilities,
- Total budget needed, including monthly fees and all credit card fees related to transaction processing.
- For what type of business does it make sense to use a card terminal?
- What’s the difference between countertop and mobile card payment terminals?
- Which credit card machine is right for a small business?
- Is it possible to hire a credit card terminal for a short time?
- When should I consider a card terminal from a supplier other than my merchant bank?