A credit card machine or terminal is a payment gateway that has the fundamentals to process credit cards. Also known as an EDC terminal, i.e., Electronic Data Capture Terminal, it allows merchants to obtain credit card or debit payments.
Some credit card devices may have unique features, such as processing loyalty cards, gift cards, and a check reader connection; however, most of these devices simply allow the tapping or swiping of credit or debit cards. These terminals are considered a highly cost-effective method.
There are several types of credit card machines. Some are handheld ones that are, of course, smaller to carry. Also, most of them have a magnetic stripe reader, a screen, a keypad, an EMV-chip reader, and a signature pen. Some even have a printer to print payment receipts.
Types of Credit Card Terminals
As previously mentioned, there are different types of these devices. The three basic types are:
- Conventional or Traditional Terminals: Also known as physical terminals, these machines usually come with a magnetic stripe reader, a small display screen, and a keypad.
- Virtual Terminals: These terminals are most suitable for merchants who use the internet, phone, fax, or internet to conduct their daily business operations. Some merchant account providers also offer software so that merchants can oversee their everyday credit card transactions.
- Wireless Credit Card Terminals: A wireless credit card machine that is more suitable for mobile businesses for more efficiency. Merchants at temporary locations can benefit from these machines as well. Some of these types of terminals also have inbuilt printers for quicker transactions at checkouts.
A POS System
A POS system (Point-of-Sale system) similarly processes debit or credit cards. However, this system usually has more innovative functionalities and additional features. The POS system processes cards and assists merchants in managing their businesses by providing fully integrated tools and features. Most POS systems generally offer the following:
- Credit card processing
- Receipt printing
- Cash-drawer management, designed especially for enhancing cash sales
- Barcode scanning
- Inventory system to assist merchants in tracking their merchandise and track stocks
- Real-time analytics and business reporting
- Time clocks of the employees
Businesses must select the POS system that will specifically meet their specific preferences and requirements. Also, the POS system’s advanced features enable merchants to maintain other core business areas as well.
The Right Solution for Your Business
To decide whether to opt for a POS system or a credit card machine, you must consider which device is more beneficial and profitable for your business. So, ask yourself the following questions:
- Where and how your business accepts your customers’ payments
- Which device is more cost-effective and will cater to your needs most efficiently?
- What additional services or features would you receive from the brand/manufacturer’s device, and how will it help business success?
Credit card machines and POS systems are necessary for businesses, so choosing the best device for your business is imperative.