It’s VITAL that your business is able to process credit cards! More and more people are starting to carry exclusively credit/debit cards, and though you’ll still find a few people who carry cash, that number is dwindling daily. Credit/debit cards tend to offer a safer, more convenient way to pay.
Credit card processing systems allow you to accept credit/debit card payments for your business. But did you know there are actually four different types of credit card processing systems?
Mobile terminals – A mobile terminal is a terminal that is connected to a mobile phone, and thus are able to accept payments without being directly connected to a phone line or internet connection. Credit cards are swiped through the terminal, and the transaction is processed via the mobile phone’s connection to the internet. It’s usually done via a proprietary app. This is a very portable, flexible credit card processing system.
Online processing – This is a system that allows you to input the customer’s information directly into a secure web-based processing system. The web-based system does all the processing without the need for a credit card to be swiped, and everything is done online. This is usually used for online retailers, though it can also be used for physical retail.
Credit card terminals – You’ll find these are just about every supermarket and restaurant! These terminals are connected to the cash register, which has software that handles the credit card processing. Credit cards can be swiped, inserted (for chip cards), or even tapped (for RFID cards) for quick transactions. The transactions are processed via phone or internet line, but they have limited mobility.
Manual – This is a less-common type of credit card processing system. With this system, the transactions are processed using an imprinter: a machine that imprints the credit card’s information on a piece of paper. The information is then manually entered into the system, and the transaction is processed. This is an incredibly tedious option, and not a very secure one. It’s an alternative for those who only need to process occasional payments, but for those who want to handle high volumes of credit card transactions, it’s not a good choice.
Find the processing system that works for you! Online processing can be great for online retailers, while mobile terminals can be good for those who travel a lot. For retailers with a strong bricks-and-mortar presence, the credit card terminal is the smart choice. Each of these credit card processing systems serve a different purpose and allow you to accept credit card payments effectively!