3rd December 2009
A credit card terminal or Point of Sale (POS) terminal is the preferred way to process credit cards in a merchant environment. The transactions take place with personal interaction between the merchant and the consumer. With the amount of security that has been added recently consumers seem to feel the safest about utilizing this type of purchase option.
When a merchant decides they will start accepting credit cards there are several steps in the process. First the merchant has to set up a merchant account, and then they have to purchase or rent the terminal. After setting up the equipment the merchant is then responsible for utilizing the terminal correctly in a retail environment.
A merchant will have many options when deciding on what type of equipment to purchase and this will vary according to each merchant’s personal needs. Some common factors/questions to look for/ask when purchasing or renting a credit card terminal are:
• What Type of Machine Do I need?
• How Much Does The Machine Cost?
• Ease of Use
• Is The Terminal Non-Proprietary?
• Can The Terminal Be Updated?
• How Much Does The Update Cost?
Companies will do their best to push their highest priced terminals onto a merchant however the merchant needs to pay close attention to what each terminal offers. The options seem endless but in the end it is important that the merchant gets exactly what they want for the best possible price.
A card terminal can be vital in the growth of a company as the merchant can provide customers with a growing number of purchasing options. The terminal will often come with a merchant package from the company that provides the terminal. These packages are just as important as the terminal itself.
Each one of these packages offer a variety of options and only the merchant knows exactly what they need. However when thinking of purchasing or renting a terminal the merchant may want to ask the advice of the company as they will have figures present to point the merchant in the right direction.
Some important things to look for when considering a credit card terminal are:
• Should The Merchant Rent or Purchase?
• If Renting, The Rental Agreement (Is it standard or customized?)
• What Type of Machine Will The Merchant Need/Receive?
• Is The Machine Interchangeable?
• How Much Are The Deposit and Fees Going To Be For The Machine?
• How Much Will It Cost Me To Purchase and/or Upgrade To A New Machine?
• Is Maintenance Included?
A merchant consultant can be found at most companies that provide these services and they are more than happy to answer all of your questions. As a merchant you should always look at each of the PDQ machines options carefully especially when it comes to processing transactions as the smallest thing can make the biggest difference.
A Credit card terminal will make life easier for both the merchant and the customer. Many consumers will not do business with old-fashioned “cash only” merchants as they need to keep records of their purchases and a terminal will do that for you!