Card machines are now an essential requirement for businesses that take payments in person. Whether it’s at a shop, pub or cafe, customers now expect to be able to pay with debit and credit cards at any time.
Businesses have a range of card machines available to them. These are generally classified by type of connectivity such as countertop/LAN, mobile and Wi-Fi.
In the UK, mobile card machines (mPOS) provide an ideal way to accept credit and debit cards at your leisure. They’re perfect for small businesses that need to be mobile, like taxi drivers or market stall sellers who tend to be on-the-go.
They can also be used for payments when you’re not connected to a fixed connection (Wi-Fi or phone line), such as on buses, trains and ferries. Many even come equipped with integrated receipt printers to make them as convenient for your customers as possible.
When selecting a mobile card machine for your business, there are plenty of different options to choose from. When researching which option is best suited to you and your requirements, some key features to consider include:
If you need to accept payments from customers at a fixed location, countertop card machines could be the ideal solution. These card machines plug into your mains power source and connect to your internet through an ethernet cable.
Renting mobile card readers can be more cost-effective than leasing mobile card readers for small businesses that don’t require constant mobility of their terminals. Furthermore, these devices tend to be more reliable as they don’t depend on unstable wifi connections or battery power for proper operation.
These devices support chip and pin cards as well as contactless payment methods, enabling them to process transactions faster than a traditional card reader. Furthermore, they feature an LCD screen plus PIN pad for added convenience.
In the UK, we are increasingly becoming a cashless society where customers expect to be able to pay for items in-store using various payment methods. This includes debit and credit cards, contactless payments (like Apple Pay), as well as mobile devices like smartphones or smartwatches.
Card machines, or PDQs as they’re commonly known, allow businesses to accept various electronic payments. There are three primary types: countertop, portable and mobile.
Countertop card machines are often found in retail outlets or petrol forecourts and can be utilized by a variety of businesses such as newsagents, takeaways and barbers. Due to their typically low rental costs, these card machines make ideal choices for those seeking an easy-to-use solution without all the frills.
Traditional card machines that require keypad entry require card entry; mobile card readers like the Square and SumUp Air are contactless devices that let you take payments with a swipe of a customer’s smartphone or tablet. Both have contract-free plans that connect to a mobile network using SIM cards that come pre-installed.
Merchant accounts enable businesses to accept credit and debit card payments, cutting down on operating costs and expediting checkout lines.
Prior to initiating a transaction, the customer’s bank must first approve it. This is done via an encrypted online process that keeps payment information safe and prevents fraudulence.
Once approved, funds are sent directly to your merchant account and deposited into your business bank account; typically this takes one to three working days.
Merchant account providers in the UK offer a range of packages to suit different businesses. Some cater to smaller enterprises while others are best suited to larger establishments with high credit and debit card sales volumes.