A PDQ Machine Lets You Swipe And Go

10th December 2009

A PDQ machine is a rather generic term used for a machine that

processes credit and debit cards.  The technology using these machines

has grown tremendously over the past few years.  Consumers have

indicated that they prefer paying using their credit or debit card

rather than cash or check.

The thought process is easy to follow when a business decides that they

will accept credit and debit cards.  Some of the major advantages to

accepting these types of transactions are:

• Safe Transactions

• Tracking On All Purchases

• Easy Book Keeping For Businesses

• No Actual Money (Paper) Changing Hands

• Protection of Data on Sales and Purchases

PDQ machines have become increasingly popular because of how easy they

are to use.  Before the machines were invented it was common for credit

card transactions to take place using a slider that implanted the cards

image onto paper.  This method was often messy and inaccurate.

Almost every type of business, especially retail, uses this machine. 

The process with the machine is quite simple for the consumer and

provides them with unrivaled convenience when purchasing products and

services.  It is equally convenient for the business as the major

headaches associated with accepting cash and checks are no longer


The process is very secure.  Often the consumer can swipe their credit

or debit card themselves without ever having to hand the card to the

merchant.  This cuts down dramatically on the amount of stolen card

numbers.  If the card is used as a debit card then usually a 4 digit

PIN code is required meaning that only the authorized user may use the


The PDQ machine is usually very small and located on the counter of the

merchant.  The process begins when the merchant rings up the customer

for the products or services that are being purchased.  After the

amount is tallied the customer will then swipe their credit or debit

card and depending on the terminal and the type of card used

verification of the purchase is issued by a simple “accepted” or

“declined” message.  In the case that a credit card is used a receipt

will be printed asking for the customer’s signature or if a debit card

was used the customer entered their Pin code in alleviating the need

for a signature.

When the credit or debit card is swiped using the machine it is read

and transmitted using the magnetic strip located on the back of the

card.  The machine transmits data to the attached bank account of the

card to verify that funds are available for the purchase of the goods

or services.  It is common for the price to show on the PDQ machines

which the customer is asked to verify and the machine may ask if the

customer would like to receive “cash back” before verifying the final


The machine may also have the numbers of the credit or debit card

entered into it manually for any cards that are not working properly

when scanning.