Deciding whether or not to offer credit card processing is only the first decision you have to make as a business. Once you’ve opted to begin offering card processing, you next have an even bigger decision to make: what type of equipment will you use?
There is a huge variety in the type of credit card processing equipment that’s available. There are traditional pin pads, card readers, and terminals that sit atop your front counter or behind the register. Then there are also more unique types of equipment, like point-of-sale devices, card processing keyboards, and mobile computers. You can even turn your cell phone, laptop, or tablet into credit card processing equipment with just a simple piece of software. The options for processing equipment are endless.
Traditional In-store Credit Card Processing Equipment
The first option you have for processing credit and debit card payments is the traditional stuff. This includes countertop card terminals, pin pads, and card readers. With these devices, customers will simply approach your front counter or cash register, swipe their card, input a pin number or signature, and their purchase will be processed.
This type of equipment is usually available for purchase or for lease, depending on your needs, and if you have a static, brick-and-mortar location, they can be the perfect solution to your card processing needs.
Other In-store Credit Card Processing Equipment
In addition to the traditional countertop processing terminals, there are also a number of other pieces of processing equipment that may allow you to better serve customers in your store, restaurant, or retail location. One of these is the keyboard processor, a unique two-in-one keyboard that attaches to your cash register system. To use it, your cashier simply needs to ring up the transaction, and then run the customer’s card through a swiping area atop the keyboard. There’s no need for additional card terminal or equipment – all you need is the convenient and multi-purpose keyboard, and you’re ready to go.
There’s also what’s called a mobile computer. A mobile computer allows you to essentially take your checkout process directly to the customer. Using it, your employees can approach customers throughout the store or restaurant, type in their purchase total, and run the card directly on a handheld device. The customer isn’t forced to wait in line, and your team can process more orders in a shorter amount of time.
You can also opt for point-of-sale systems. Ideal for restaurants, a point-of-sale system serves as a central point of processing for your entire location. Your employees simply type in the customer’s total, slide their card through the device, and then bring the receipt back to the table. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s hassle-free. You can even turn an iPad or tablet into a point-of-sale system; that way, you can bring the checkout process tableside, resulting in an even faster transaction process than normal.
Mobile and Web Credit Card Processing Equipment
Offering card processing via mobile phones and websites is the latest trend in commerce. Each affords you a unique flexibility in your sales process and allows you to expand your reach to customers you normally wouldn’t have been able to serve.
With mobile processing, you simply need an Android, iPhone, or Blackberry, a simple piece of software, and a processing provider, and you can turn your phone into a traveling credit card processor. Type in a customer’s transaction total and card number into the phone’s software, and in a matter of minutes, their purchase is processed digitally and securely. If you choose to, you can even get a convenient card swiping device that hooks into your phone. Then, all you need to do is simply swipe the customer’s card, type in the purchase total, and the transaction is complete.
This type of processing offers unprecedented mobility. Instead of being locked down to static countertop processing terminals, you can process customer transactions literally anywhere in the world you get phone service. You could be on vacation, at lunch, or just taking a walk; as long as you have your cell phone, you can make a sale and process a transaction.
Your website can easily be turned into a card processor as well. Simply offer your products in an online store format, enabling your customers to browse, select, and check out all from the comfort of their own home. Offering online shopping and web payment processing helps improve the satisfaction of your existing customers – making it easier and more convenient for them to keep shopping with you – and it also helps you expand your business to new, previously untapped customers. With web credit card processing equipment, you can sell to anyone in the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Selecting the Right Credit Card Processing Equipment
The first step in selecting the right credit card processing equipment for your business is to decide what your needs are. Do you simply need to process cards in-store, or would it benefit you to be able to process transactions on the go? Do your products lend themselves to an online store, or would it be more effective to use a mobile computer or point-of-sale device in your retail location or restaurant? Once you’ve decided on the type of processing you need and how your customers will best be served, you can then begin to shop for credit card processing equipment.
Some things to think about:
- Consider the pricing of the processing before you choose equipment. Mobile and web processing is going to have much lower costs (both overhead and in processing rates) than typical card processing terminals will. Be sure to choose an option that is cost-effective for your business.
- Compare leasing and purchasing prices. Often, in the long run, it may be less expensive to purchase a device than it is to lease it.
- Shop around. Buying or leasing equipment directly from your merchant account provider isn’t always the most affordable option. Always do comparison shopping, and when in doubt, call Total Apps.
For more information on credit card processing equipment or for help in purchasing the right options for your business, contact Total Apps today at 949-274-8975.