We’ve put together a quick guide on credit card hardware and software systems to help you find the right solution for your credit card processing needs.
Credit Card Terminals
A credit card terminal is typically used by businesses to process the in-store purchases that their customers make. The main purpose of a credit card terminal is to gather information needed to approve funds being transferred from the customer’s account to your business account.
There are many different brands on the market and they all look slightly different. However, most credit card terminals are easily identified as they have common features including a keypad or a slot where you can swipe your credit card.
To use a credit card terminal a customer will swipe the card credit card through the machine slot which will then transfer information from the credit card to the terminal. Credit card information is typically stored via the magnetic strip on the back of the card. The customer may also be asked to use the keypad to enter any passwords or codes associated with the card before the terminal will process the payment.
A credit card terminal offers some of the best protection to a retailer when processing credit cards. When a customer swipes the credit card through the machine, the terminal has a variety of security features that will check whether the card has been stolen, expired or is invalid for any reason. The credit card terminal will not allow approval of payment if an error is found during processing. This can help ensure that your business will not lose money or product to fraudulent charges.
Card Readers – are a specific “type” of terminal that processes credit cards. They can also be referred to as an MSR, a mag stripe or a swipe reader. They are generally used to read any card with a magnetic strip, including some driver’s licenses, gift cards, and other IDs.
Pin Pads – are another common “type” of terminal that can be identified as a large keypad with a small screen that will allow you to watch the credit or debit card transaction being processed.
IP Terminals – can look similar to card readers and pin pads. However, they specifically connect to an Ethernet cable to process a credit card transaction.
Wireless Terminals – Wireless credit card machines offer businesses the ability to process credit and debit cards at virtually any location with or without an internet connection. You simply attach the wireless terminal hardware to a phone, tablet or computer to process the credit card.
Mobile Devices – Mobile Devices offer businesses the ability to process credit and debit cards at virtually any location with or without an internet connection. You simply attach the wireless terminal hardware to a phone, tablet or computer to process the credit card.
ATM Machines – also known as an automated teller machine is another “type” of credit card terminal. This machine allows customers to transfer money into their bank account without having to interact with the teller at a bank. Customers can also withdraw money using their debit card and pin code.
Contactless Payment Reader – This exciting new technology does not actually look like a standard credit card terminal. There is typically no keypad, but there is a slot to swipe your card, if needed. This technology makes it possible for you to simply “tap” a contactless credit card terminal and the information on your card will be transferred to a merchant account for processing.
Credit Card Processing Hardware Brands We Use:
VX 680:GPRS-Class A
VX520 IP and Dial- Class-A
IWL/Igenico 250 GPRS-Class-A
ICT/Igenico 220 IP and Dial-Class A
ICT/Igenico 250 IP and Dial Class A
Exadigm NX 1200 Wifi STICK , IP and Dial- Class B
Exadigm NX 2200 CDMA-Class-B
Processing Software will allow you to turn your computer or laptop into a fully functional Point of Sale Payment Processing System. The needed software usually is downloaded on your machine and permanently resides on your operating system. A credit/debit card software solution will run all the standard functions of accepting payments as well as many other business related functionalities including database administration and management, report generation, invoicing as well as customer notifications. The right Processing Software Solution will free up your time as well as streamline your business operations so you can spend more quality time with your customers.
To have access to a virtual terminal, you will set up a merchant account with a payment gateway and have access to the internet. Most virtual terminals require that you log into a Virtual Terminal online to enter credit card information. Virtual Terminals run the transactions through a secured payment gateway. This browser based credit card processing solution allows you to accept credit cards from virtually any computer that is able to access the internet.
To make use of a virtual terminal, you will log into a portal page through a standard web browser. This will take you to the virtual terminal dashboard. You will then follow the prompts available to enter the credit card information manually.
With a virtual terminal you should be able to validate a credit card quickly. Through the dashboard, you will be able to access reporting tools so that you can view your business status. You can also set up recurring transactions. This is a great option if you do most of your business over the phone without a card present.
Software for Mobile Devices
Mobile processing is the ability to accept credit card payments with your cell phone, tablet or laptop. No matter where you are, a customer can hand you their credit card and you can simply swipe or insert the credit card through your mobile card reader. You will simply need to download an app approved by your Merchant Account Provider and you can begin processing. Funds will be available in your business account within 24-48 hours.
Point of Sale Solutions
A point of sale system is a complete hardware and software credit card processing package. This system includes a cash register (which in recent times comprises a computer, monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, customer display and a barcode scanner). Many POS systems also include a debit/credit card/gift card reader. All of this is used to process credit/debit/gift cards, track orders, track inventory and integrate all orders with your businesses accounting software.
Which Credit Card Processing Option Is Best for Me?
To try and figure out which option will work best we recommend asking the following questions.
To process credit cards, will your customers hand you an actual credit card for every purchase?
This is typically the best option as it usually gives businesses the most protection against credit card fraud. We highly recommend that you look for hardware that allows you to quickly swipe the card rather than typing in numbers to save you time.
Will you have access to a decent internet connection?
It can be more difficult to process credit cards if you do not have a decent internet connection. There are some options available on the market, but these can sometimes be pricey. Please give us a call today and we can go over the best options for your business.
Do you need to process credit cards for an annual event, or are you looking for long term credit card processing solutions?
As you may guess, you can spend a lot of money on hardware or software that you don’t need. There are so many different solutions on the market. We recommend you sit down with a representative and describe exactly what your processing volume will look like.
Do you need to store credit card numbers?
If at all possible, we highly recommend that you do not store credit card numbers on a device that is not PCI Complaint or not truncating the information properly. There are strict guidelines and rules that you must comply with in order to store credit card numbers. It’s extremely important to understand this as you could be liable. Please ask your SGP representative about the many different secure solutions available to help figure out which one best suits your needs.
Is your system something your customers will feel comfortable with?
Many customers are wisely sensitive about how their credit card is processed. Most customers do not want to see you “write down their credit card number” to process later. We recommend that you choose a system that will make your customers feel like that they can trust you to securely process their cards.
SecureGlobalPay has so many solutions available for your credit card processing needs. Please call us today and we can help you get the right equipment for your needs.