terminals come in three main varieties (with printers
or not): traditional, wireless, and software-based
(virtual). Most of these terminals have similar
functions, as well as basic features.
These are the terminals that are
“plugged in.” They come with a reader
for magnetic stripes, a keypad for necessary information,
and a display. A printer is usually needed, and
some come with printers built in. However, it
is possible to purchase printers separately. Many
business owners prefer the ease of having only
one piece of terminal equipment, but buying separately
will not increase or decrease your cost by a significant
You need to decide how large you
prefer your keypads and displays. If you have
a keypad with more keys, it is possible to have
each function assigned its own keys. Additionally,
a larger keypad can be easier to use. Larger displays
naturally allow you to see more at once. They
are denoted by lines of texts and number of columns:
a display 5x10 shows 5 lines of text, 10 columns
wide. Most newer terminals come with backlit displays
that make it easier to see in conditions of low
All wireless terminals have printers
built in, as the main advantage to them is that
they work without the need for a corded power
source. These terminals are especially helpful
to businesses that do not make use of counter
space: seasonal or traveling businesses with temporary
setups, taxi drivers, and businesses with large
lots. For most permanent location businesses,
however, the expense of wireless terminals is
When choosing wireless terminals
you should consider battery life, weight, durability,
shock resistance (in case of dropping), and range.
All of these factors should answer the individual
needs of your business.
Virtual credit card terminals
are the ultimate expression of our rapidly shrinking
world and expanding business capabilities. This
type of terminal is very convenient for businesses
that do a great deal of business over the Internet
or over the phone. In some cases a bank or acquirer will flag your merchant account as a "High Risk Merchant Service". This means you will need a specialized company or service provider that deals only with high risk merchants. Special terminal software allows
you to type in the account number and purchase
information, and the authorization is handled
by the merchant account provider’s software.
It is possible to combine terminal
types, especially if your business has a permanent
location (use a traditional terminal) and also
sells merchandise online (virtual terminal).
Other features desirable
for credit card terminals
Acceptance of debit cards is one
of the most desirable features of any credit card
terminal. This requires a way for customers to
enter their personal identification numbers (PIN).
You can use a terminal that allows customers to
swipe their own cards and enter their PINs on
the keypad, or you can choose models that come
with separate PIN pads. These separate pads allow
you to keep the terminal behind the counter, but
still give customers the ability to type in their
Many credit card terminals are
also equipped with the ability to accept and issue
gift cards. This is a desirable characteristic
that you should check for if your business makes
use of gift cards (re-loadable or not). Other
alternate forms of payment, such as use of an
ATM card or an electronic bank transfer (EBT)
can also be found on terminals. Not all credit
card terminals offer these options, however, so
you should carefully consider how often these
transactions occur and buy terminals that best
support your customers’ needs.
Address verification is a feature
that cuts down on fraud. Avoiding fraud is important,
as it affects your business as well as the victim.
Customers are not usually held liable for fraudulent
purchases, and this can result in chargebacks
on merchandise bought from your business. Most
terminals are equipped with address verification,
which allows you to compare the customer’s
ID with the credit card’s billing address.
Terminals that run with the help
of internal software (most of them now) can make
use of flash memory. In such terminals, it is
very easy to install updates. This can help increase
your terminal’s operating life.
Finally, reliability is a feature
that most credit card terminals possess. You can
get between two and four million transactions
out of a credit card terminal before it begins
to wear out. Many terminals come with one-year
warranties; though you probably won’t need
it, a warranty is not a bad idea, just in case
you happen to have a faulty unit.
*Note that any credit card terminal
is compatible with any merchant account. Your
account provider may try to push its terminal
on you, but rest assured that if you do not like
the terminals offered by your provider that you
can purchase elsewhere and still have all the
same transaction power.
PLEASE NOTE: Each
credit card terminal we sell at MerchantProducts.com
comes with a FREE merchant account...but only
if you need one. Apply
Now for a free merchant account.
If you choose to process with us. You will be
processing your credit cards and checks through
our partner Applied-Merchant.
They are nationally recognized and have a reputation
for having the lowest rates with the best service
"after the sale". Thats why after searching
for the best processor, we chose Applied-Merchant.
If you decide to buy from us and process through
Applied-Merchant. Your terminal(s) will come pre-programmed
and ready to go. Plus, each terminal will come
with a LIFE TIME SUPPLY of free receipt
paper so you dont have to worry about