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What are the components of a card processing solution?

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Card payment terminals are small, handheld devices combining software and hardware and available as either fixed or mobile units.

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They include the following components:

  • Printer - Prints transaction and batch receipts. Can be thermal, impact, or ink.
  • Printer Paper - Specifically made for the type of printer the credit card machine is using. Heat is used to produce the receipt image on thermal paper. Impact paper uses carbon to create the receipt image. An ink printer uses ink ribbons or cartridges like a computer.
  • Display - Shows user information about the transaction or function they are currently operating.
  • Keypad - Allows manual keying of transaction, and aids in completing some functions.
  • Soft Keys - Programmed keys to perform specific functions including programming, batching, returning, voiding, etc.
  • Magnetic Card Reader - Magnetically captures information contained on the credit card. Type 1, 2, and 3 card readers are available, and each reads a different portion of the magnetic strip.
  • Ports - RS232 and other peripheral ports allow printers, pinpads, smart card readers and other peripherals to be attached.
  • Power Plug - Provides power to the terminal via an AC adapter. Some terminals are able to operate from battery power.
  • Phone Jack - Connects the terminal to a phone line, allowing the terminal to dial the processing network and process a transaction.


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