What is a Manual Credit Card Machine, and Why Would You Use One?

11th November 2009

In a day and age when we are used to automation, you may want to

know why you would ever have any need for a manual credit card machine.

In order to understand that, however, you must be fully aware of what

this type of machine is. You might say that there are actually two

different types.

The first type is the credit card imprinter.

These are mostly outdated these days - few businesses use them, and

when a business does use them, it is because they do such a low amount

of card payment business, that this method of accepting payment cards

is the method that makes the most financial sense for them.


course, there is a very good reason that this option is only suitable

for those businesses that only do a little card payment business - the

old manual credit card machine actually requires a little bit of muscle

to use. You place the card where it belongs on top of the device, place

the credit card slip over that, and then you have to push the imprinter

over the top - it's usually very tight and hard to move.


course, this is just one way to manually process a credit card. There

is another form of manual processing, and it is important that you not

only know the difference, but that you also know which type of manual

processing is being discussed when you are talking with your processing

company or your customers.

The second type of manual credit card

machine is a card payment system that allows the business owner or

merchant to run the customers card payment - typically when the

customer or the card are not in the physical presence of the business

owner or merchant. Many processing companies do not allow this, as it

can lead to fraud. However, for certain types of businesses, this type

of processing is absolutely necessary.

For example, if you take

orders over the telephone, or through the mail, you will need to

manually process the credit card. Most processing companies that do

allow this include a software interface with their service, where you

can use the Internet for secure processing. All that is required is the

information from the card in order to process the payment.


credit card machines are also set up for this, where the business owner

punches in the required information - directly into the machine - using

the keypad. Often, manual processing is required when a customer is

present, because the metallic strip on the card is damaged, and no

longer readable by the machine.

Since the equipment is already

set up for this, why couldn't you just process all cards manually? You

really cannot do that without a prior arrangement with the processing

company, because they know how often you are processing manually - and

they will start to wonder why you are doing that.

Again, the main

reason that the processing companies are so strict about manual

processing is because of the high amount of credit card fraud that uses

this method of processing, but there are instances where you do need a Manual Credit Card Machine.