Credit card machines, also known as payment terminals, are critical for in-person purchases. They act as the point of sale and interaction with your customer. Picking the best credit card machine comes down to a few guidelines that we’ll cover here.
Mobile or countertop credit card machine
You first need to determine where your customers are going to pay. If customers will pay at a storefront or office, you’re likely fine with a countertop device. To put it another way, countertop credit card machines are for the times that customers come to you. These are payment terminals that generally plugin and stay in a fixed position.
Mobile credit card machines give you the flexibility to move around. This might be delivery services, at-home payments, pop-up stores, events, or even large warehouses where workers need to roam. Mobile credit card machines are connected by either wifi or wireless connectivity (i.e. Rogers, Telus, etc).
Payment methods that a credit card machine accepts
The payment method is how the credit card information is captured. Different machines support different methods to capture credit card information. The most advanced machines accept all the modern payment methods.
- Contactless or tap payments is a technology where you can tap your credit card or mobile phone against the credit card machine. For these types of transactions, a credit card, smartphone, or smartwatch with an NFC (near field communication) transmitter sends the cardholder data to the credit card machine wirelessly. Contactless supports transactions such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. Contactless methods are also EMV compatible. One thing to keep in mind is that contactless payments frequently have transaction size limits, commonly $100 or $250, depending on the credit card used.
- Swiping is the most traditional method to take payments with credit card machines. However, swiping is starting to lose favour over more secure methods such as chip-and-pin and tap. Magnetic stripes on credit cards are used to store cardholder data, and the magstripe would be read by swiping the card using a credit card machine. As of 2021, some credit cards are phasing out the magnetic strip.
- Chip-and-Pin is an EMV (Eurocard, Mastercard, and Visa) compliant method. EMV is a newer standard that provides higher levels of fraud protection. Chip-and-pin is the method where a credit card holder inserts their card into the machine and enters a pin. The chip in a credit card stores additional data and offers more security against fraud. Most new credit card machines on the market today include both chip-and-pin and magstripe capability.
- Keyed entry is another way you can take credit card payments. This is typically done when you’re taking a customer’s credit card number over the phone or email, then manually entering the credit card information into the credit card machine. It’s important to keep in mind that keyed entry is less secure, therefore higher risk, and therefore generally higher processing fees.
- QR code scanner is a modern way to accept payments. QR codes allow smart functionality to speed up payments and also encourage self serve for customers.
Recommended credit card machine
There are numerous credit card machines available on the market. The credit card machines that we recommend is the Newland N910 & Talech POS. They are secure, reliable, flexible, and simply work.
Best mobile credit card machine with wireless connectivity
The Newland N910 smart payment terminal with the Talech POS is compact with wireless 4G Support, wifi connectivity, fast printing, a large printer paper roll. It’s ideal for retail and restaurants.