Factors to Consider When Choosing a Card Machine: Tips for Smart Selection

Card payments are so common today that we can’t even imagine life without them. They’re convenient and reduce the need to bring cash around with you.

On the other hand, vendors can also experience many benefits by offering card payments. Most customers prefer just to tap their card or smartphone and complete the transaction without messing around with their wallets and ATMs.

As a result, businesses won’t lose sales, especially when serving customers who hate using cash. But another challenge appears! How do you choose the best card machine? According to UTP Group, these machines must offer reliable contactless payments that work with every card in the world.

These are the obvious things, but you, and all entrepreneurs you know, should consider these tips and factors, too:

1. Understand and Estimate Your Business Needs

Understand and Estimate Your Business Needs

Before investing in a new card machine, you need to understand what exactly you need. Each business has unique requirements that cover aspects like transaction volume, technical requirements, mobility needs, etc.

Let’s explain each:

  • Transaction Volume – How many transactions you process in a given period, like day, week, or month. The more transactions you have, the more convenient solution you need.
  • Transaction Types – Do you accept each type of card, or are you focused on specific types like contactless cards, credit cards, or debit cards? Ideally, you should cover them all, but if you have a specific set of transaction types you accept, ensure you match the features with it.
  • Mobility Requirements – If you need to bring the machine around with you, consider a wireless terminal or mobile card reader. That way, you won’t need to make the customers get inside the store and complete the transaction.
  • Technical Challenges – How comfortable you are using technology? What kind of user interface fits your preferences? Explore all the options to make sure you’re comfortable using the card machine.

This way, you can narrow down the choices and make informed decisions, especially when you deal with a specific industry.

2. Card Machines With Extended Features

As we mentioned the basic features of each card machine, it’s now time to find out more about the extended features they provide. While not all advanced card machines necessarily have them, some of the beyond-basic features are:

  • Inventory Management – Sometimes, it’s practical to integrate the machine with your inventory system to efficiently streamline sales while reducing order errors.
  • Reporting Features – Most of the commercial card machines already have it. However, some reports can be more detailed than others. Make sure you map your business needs and spot the features you need.
  • Customer Management – Some machines allow you to store information on customers, so you can effectively build customer relationships.

Surely, you will need only a machine that will process the transactions efficiently, with no fancy features that will increase the price.

3. The Card Machine Options Breakdown

The Card Machine Options Breakdown (1)

Knowing the basic and extended features, it gets easier for you to choose between different types of card machines.

You may be familiar with most of them, but let’s cover all the options:

Traditional POS Terminals (Point of Sale)

These are the ones you’re already familiar with. Established businesses, no matter their size, usually use them to process cashless transactions. These machines can handle large transaction volumes.

You can find them easily integrated with cash registers and inventory systems. They’re the most convenient but also the most expensive option.

Mobile Card Readers

These are small, compact, and smartphone-connected devices. They’re great for markets, food trucks, coffee stations, and delivery services. As mobile cards are limited to only a few transaction types, they’re more affordable, too.

Surely, they aren’t suitable for a high volume of transactions daily, but for occasional ones. Small businesses with no mass production and bulk sales can benefit most from them.

Smart Terminals

These combine more features and go beyond basic card processing. Usually, they look fancier than the usual POS terminals, with extended features like touchscreens, tools, and inventory management options. They’re great for businesses in need of a comprehensive solution.

4. Finding the Machine that Fits Your Budget

We all know that card machines come with a price and additional fees. Before committing to one of them, you must understand the fees, like:

  • Per-Transaction Fee – A fixed amount for each transaction, no matter the bill. It’s effective for low-volume businesses with limited inventory.
  • Monthly Fees – Pay a fixed monthly fee, no matter the number of transactions or the amount processed. It’s great for businesses with predictable transaction volumes.
  • Combination Fees – A monthly rental fee with an additional low fee for each transaction. It’s a great choice for businesses with moderate transaction volume.

These factors can help you make the most convenient decision. Based on your needs, you can choose the card machine that matches your business, profit, and revenue. Considering it, you won’t have to spend on rent and maintenance, especially if you’re still in your early business stages.

5. Security Features to Consider

Security Features to Consider (3)

Finally, the most important aspect is security, which builds trust between you and your customers. So, consider choosing a card machine that prioritizes these security features:

  • PCI Compliance – Ensuring the card machine provider is compliant with the payment card industry and follows specific industry standards and security protocols.
  • Encryption – It ensures data protection for both cardholders and business owners.
  • Fraud Protection – PIN verification and CVV are minimizing the risk of fraudulent transactions.

As a result, you build lifelong trust with your customers, who feel convenient using the card to pay for your products and services.

Final Thoughts

Use the knowledge you gained through this article to understand the unique aspects of different types of card machines. By assessing the features, business needs, prices, and security standards, you can ensure you run your business smoothly. As a result, the customers become more trustworthy, and they’ll gladly return to buy from you again.

Equipped with the knowledge and information we provided, we’re sure you’ll make the right choice.

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