How to choose a card machine that helps your business develop effortlessly
Tips / 20.04.2021
With cash on the decline and card usage on the rise, it doesn’t matter whether you run a hairdressing or beauty salon, you’re a plumber or tradesman, a takeaway business, or something else. Having a card reader is crucial for your business.
They come in all shapes and sizes and fulfil a variety of functions, but the main and most crucial one is the fact that they accept debit, credit, prepaid, and gift cards. If you’re wondering how to choose a card machine for your business, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll walk you through the things you need to keep in mind before getting a card terminal as well as what factors you should consider when getting your first credit card machine.
Table of Contents
4 things to consider before choosing a card machine
Choosing a card machine involves the consideration of several important factors. We discuss some of these below to help you figure out how to choose a card reader. Let’s take a look.
A merchant account for your card payment machine
One of the first things you’ll need to know is that getting a card machine is not as simple as walking into a shop and purchasing it off the shelf. You also need a merchant account to go with it. This account is where all your received funds will go, and it requires an evaluation of the third-party financial institutions behind the so-called card payment machines. Most processors charge a monthly or an annual fee for their service, so look out for those.
There are some PDQ machine providers which offer zero sign-up or monthly/annual fees – you just need to do your research carefully. Also, be sure to find out whether your provider will offer you a business card with which you can transact and make payments or even ATM withdrawals. After all, what’s the point of having a merchant account if you can’t access your funds seamlessly and whenever you want to?
Transaction rates when using credit card machines
There are also the transaction rates you need to keep in mind. A transaction rate is a percentage that your provider takes off each card payment you receive on your machine.
Sometimes, these rates are tiered, which means the higher the transaction amount, the higher the percentage charged. Other times, you’re charged a flat fee irrespective of the payment amount. Again, research is crucial here.
How does fund settlement work with card payment machines?
Many credit card terminal providers on the market today boast a lot of value-added features and benefits. But the critical element for a business is its liquidity. If you can’t access the funds you’ve just received from a customer, what’s the point of waiting 2-5 business days for these funds to clear?
Some Fintech companies offer an instant settlement of funds, so if you’re a taxi driver who has just received a payment, and you’d like to fill up with fuel, you can do so instantly with the instant settlement of funds offering.
You’d be surprised at how many other features can come along with credit card readers! Here are a few of them:
GiftCards are an excellent brand awareness tool, and they can also create customer loyalty while increasing sales. Therefore, when looking for a card provider, you should consider whether they offer personalised, custom-made GiftCards to suit your business needs.
It’s an important part of our lives – invoicing. We need it to keep track of sales and incoming payments. Luckily, with the right provider, you will be able to issue invoices straight out of your merchant account.
Top-up is another value-added feature that you might be able to use from your card machine. For example, your customer would like to purchase airtime for their phones from you. You can help them do this straight from your POS device.
How to choose a card machine for your business
Now that we’ve covered some of the key aspects of getting a credit card device, it’s time to look at the actual thing itself. How large do you need yours to be? Do you need it to be portable so that you can take your business with you wherever you go?
Here are some aspects to consider:
Traditional or Smart
Payment terminals can come as traditional or smart devices. Traditional ones, as the name implies, are not Android-powered devices, but smart devices, on the other hand, are.
The latter usually come with a whole range of apps such as a cash register app that can seamlessly help your business. Remember to choose the device that will help your business grow.
Make sure that your card reader can accept all types of payments. Contactless payments are becoming one of the most popular means for consumers to make purchases. Therefore, it is a must that your card reader accepts contactless payments.
Make sure your card machine accepts magstripe and Chip&PIN payments, too. As an added bonus, check that it can offer you payment acceptance from mobile wallets.
Check that your card reader is portable or mobile. This means that it requires no additional hardware such as cables and plugs to operate. You can charge some card devices with a special charging dock, keeping them on and ready for use for the duration of the business day.
Devices which require cables, dongles, or other hardware may be quite limiting, especially if your business is on the go.
The point about mobility leads us to the element of connectivity. You need to ensure that your device is connected to the internet. Whether through GPRS, Wi-Fi, or 4G connectivity, check that your device comes with a DATA card. In some cases, this DATA card comes for free as a bonus.
If you require a device that needs to print receipts, make sure you choose this device. Sometimes, especially where a receipt is required, you can send this to your customer via SMS or email, but this will depend on the device you’ve chosen.
This is an industry standard, and it’s vital that your card reader is PCI-compliant. Double-check this before making the final purchase.
Another factor to consider is the price you’re willing to pay for a card payment machine in terms of your budget. The traditional and versatile myPOS Go device goes for as little as 29 EUR. It might be small, yet it packs a punch when it comes to payment acceptance.
There are other devices available in the colourful myPOS menu which you can choose from, too. It all depends on your business needs and what you will ultimately need your device to do for you.
Many devices on the market these days come with some form of warranty to ensure that your device can be replaced or repaired within a certain period of time. Usually, one year is the norm but you can also avail of an extended warranty for a further two to three years, ensuring your partner in business, a.k.a. your card reader, is always ready for the next payment.
You can also outfit your POS device nicely with some additional accessories. For example, you can get a charging dock for it to keep its battery going, a silicone case to wrap it up in, and enable it to withstand shocks and bumps that naturally happen along the way.
What is the best card machine for small business?
As an owner of a small business, you would generally not require an expensive card reader. With lower revenue, the investment in a high-powered card reader may not be warranted. So, you might opt for the small but versatile myPOS Go device as it offers all the perks of a card reader minus the hassle. With the myPOS Go you’ll get a free merchant account with IBAN, a free business card, enjoy instant settlement of funds and you’ll also be able to issue digital receipts, making it eco-friendly and paper-free.
On the other hand, why not opt for the softPOS solution myPOS Glass? It’s an app that turns your Android smartphone into a POS terminal enabling you to accept seamless payments on the go, anywhere, anytime. It comes in two affordable pricing plans and it requires no further dongles, cables, or hardware to connect it to accept payments. Perfect for your business with a low investment value.
Choosing card payment machines may seem like a daunting task at first, especially since there are so many factors to consider – from a merchant account to instant settlement of funds and so much more. Luckily, with myPOS this is easy since we offer an all-in-one business-in-a-box solution.
You get instant settlement of funds together with a free business card in order to deal with your received payments immediately and in any way you wish. You also get a free merchant account with a host of value-added benefits. Not to mention the traditional and smart payment terminals we have on offer, which suit the Nano and SME merchant to a “T”. If you still have doubts about what device to get and need some help, reach out to us.
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