Understanding the Features of Credit Terminals

11th November 2009

When you look at credit terminals, you may be a bit bewildered when

you read about features, or when a sales person starts telling you

about the various features of various terminals. Before you get through

the features of one, you've already forgotten the features of the last

product that you looked at. You need a clearer understanding of the

features before you begin your search.

Most terminals have the

same physical characteristics. These include a display screen, a

printer, a keypad, and a magnetic reader for swiping credit cards.

Naturally, you wouldn't select a terminal that was missing any of these

physical features, and those features are fairly self explanatory. It

is the hidden features that you need to know more about.


just because credit terminals have keypads, this is not the same as an

external PIN pad. An external PIN pad allows your customers to enter

their PIN numbers if they are required - such as when debit cards are

used. Your business may be a type that does not require this external

component, but if it does, it needs to be a part of the system.


cards are another issue that you need to be aware of. Not all terminals

have the ability to handle debit cards, and not all merchant accounts

allow the use of debit cards. Many customers these days will use debit

cards instead of credit cards or checks, and you need the ability to

accept them.

It is vital that credit terminals these days offer

AVS. AVS stands for Address Verification System, and it is this system

that allows us to avoid and cut down on a great deal of credit card

fraud, resulting in fewer charge backs. Make absolutely sure that you

ask about AVS when you purchase or lease your equipment, and if AVS

isn't used in the system, look for a different solution that does

include it.

Memory will be a big issue for you. There are three

things to consider when it comes to memory - the actual memory of the

terminal, the flash memory, and a store and forward feature, which also

uses memory. The more terminal memory there is, the more transactions

you can store and forward. Be sure to ask how much terminal memory

there is, and how many transactions that memory can hold - and that

there is a store and forward feature included.

The flash memory

may not seem overly important to you, but it really is. The flash

memory is used to store the software that the terminal requires for

operation. This should include features that allow the terminal to

automatically download, install, and store updates to the systems

software as they become available as well.

As you can see, there

are many different features that you must consider when purchasing Credit Terminals and you want to make sure that you get the features

that you require for your business transactions. Of course, the

features listed here are just a few of many, and there may be other

features available that are more specific to your needs.