7 Best Credit Card Machines and How They Can Help Your Business

James O'Donnell9/30/2021

What is a Credit Card Machine ?

Basically, a credit card machine is a device used to conduct transactions using a credit card, debit card, gift card, or other accepted form of a card. A credit card machine, also known as EFTPOS or EPOS device, consists of a card reader and a keypad to enter PIN passwords and other information. They are a major component of most retailer POS systems.

Introduction to Credit Card Machines

An ever-growing number of consumers are using credit cards as a alternative to cash when making a purchase. Credit card transactions are outpacing cash transactions. That's because consumers prefer the convenience of paying with a card rather than cash.

As a result, it's becoming impossible to run a profitable cash-only retail business. You can't remain competitive without the ability to process credit card transactions. However, in order to accept credit card payments, you have to have a way to process them.

Processing credit card payments doesn't require purchasing a whole new POS system. All you need is a credit card machine. A credit card machine allows you to offer your customers a wide range of payment options.

A credit card is a payment terminal, or point of sale device used to process credit and debit card transactions. Credit card machines consists of a card reader and a PIN pad to enter passwords and other information. It can be a stand alone device or integrated into an existing POS system.

There are a number of credit card machines on the market today. They include countertop terminals, mobile terminals, virtual terminals or integrated POS terminals. Some research is needed to find the best credit card machine for your business's needs.

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The Importance of Credit Card Machines

Credit card machines are becoming as important to retail operations as cash registers. It's hard to imagine a retail establishment without both. Let's take a look at some of the important benefits to retailers provided by credit card machines.

Credit card machines increase sales. By providing your customers with payment options other than cash, you boost their spending ability. There purchasing power is greater than the cash they have on hand.

Credit card machines improve the customer experience. Your customers like using plastic because it's so much easier to use than paying with cash. Not having to deal with the hassles, risks, and limits of cash makes for a better shopping experience.

While cash provides many benefits, it also has a lot of disadvantages. Once cash is lost or stolen, it's pretty much gone for good. This isn't a problem with credit card transaction.

Credit card machines make your business more competitive. You have an edge when you can process credit card payments and you're rivals can't. Just having a sign that you accept credit payments is sometimes enough to attract customers.

Why is that? Mastercard, Visa, and American Express are some of the most trusted brands in America. Customers trust these brands, so they're going to be more willing to trust you.

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Best Credit Card Machine

We've all used PIN pad credit card machines. They're easily the most popular type of credit card payment terminal. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why.

Businesses like PIN pad machines because they reduce check out times and often have lower transaction fees. Customers like them because they're so easy to use. The latest PIN pad credit card machines can be enabled for contactless payments and smart cards.

The PIN in PIN pad stands for Personal Identification Number. Most pins consist of four to six digits. PIN codes are usually kept short so they can be more easily memorized.

A PIN is used to verify an electronic transaction. It takes the place of a signature in an electronic debit or credit card transaction. In addition to credit card transactions, PIN codes can be used to secure devices and access closed websites as well.

Along with a card reader, a PIN pad credit card terminal has a keyboard. The keyboard pad is used to enter the PIN and other information. There are usually three colored buttons at the bottom of the pad - green for enter, red for cancel, and yellow for clear.

In addition to their easy operation, PIN pad credit card terminals provide excellent security. PIN numbers and other financial information are not stored in the PIN pad device. PIN number data is encrypted for transmission and then erased once the transaction is completed.

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Best Credit Card Machine

Contactless payment is a trend that's sweeping the world and changing the POS landscape. Consumers use contactless payment methods because of the safety, ease and convenience. Contactless card readers are becoming a feature in retail POS systems all over the world.

Contactless card readers are designed to be used for contactless payments using smart chip cards. Smart cards contain card chips and integrated circuitry to store and process data. An embedded antenna allows them to communicate with a contactless payment terminal.

The contactless credit card is not swiped or inserted into a slot. Instead, it is placed near a contactless reader that reads the card's information. Most contactless readers are designed to read cards at a distance of up to 10 cm (4 inches).

Contactless chip card readers are what is known as a RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) reader. This means they use radio waves to transmit and receive information. A contactless credit card only needs to be in close proximity of the reader in order for a transaction to be processed.

In addition to smart cards, contactless card readers can be used to process mobile credit card payments as well. Instead of a credit card, a mobile app is used; a mobile device is used instead of a credit card. Contactless readers are also used as security devices to limit access to restricted or secured areas.

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Best Credit Card Machine

Looking for an inexpensive credit card machine that performs all the functions you need? Or do you need a card reader that doesn't take up a lot of room and can be used anywhere? You might want to consider getting a mini credit card reader.

A mini card reader is a small, lightweight credit card machine that fits in the palm of your hand. It's also a good choice if you want a machine that you can take on the go. You can get a good mini card reader for under $100 USD, far less than other readers.

The average mini credit card reader has a compact design that plugs directly into a smartphone or tablet. You don't need to buy a laptop, printer, or other expensive equipment. You can take it anywhere you need to process a credit card transaction.

Even smaller than mini credit card readers are mobile credit card readers. Mobile credit card readers plug into a mobile device like a smartphone or iPad. We'll discuss mobile credit card machines below.

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Best Credit Card Machine

Should you get a PIN pad credit card machine? Or a contactless credit card machine? Why not get one that can do both?

Multi-functional credit card machines allow business owners to accept multiple payment methods. These include-

  • EMV chip & PIN
  • EMV chip & sign
  • Magstripe
  • Contactless NFC
  • Mobile wallet
Other features can include touchscreen signature pads and receipt printers.

A multi-function credit card reader's compact size makes it useful in a number of settings, including restaurants, bars, and hotels. They enhance the customer experience since the customer is able to pay anywhere with any payment type. This saves time when it comes to settling their bills.

Multi-function card readers are designed to be able to integrate with an existing POS system. They can support most third-party credit card processing apps. Most are durably constructed and designed for use in a wide range of retail environments.

In addition, multi-functional credit card terminals are protected by the latest security features. Many have PCI-DSS, PCI PTS, and EMV certifications and utilize the latest cryptographic schemes with futureproofed encryption. Additional anti-theft systems, such as Kensington locks, provide further protection.

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Best Credit Card Machine

EMV chip-enabled credit cards are rapidly replacing traditional swipe-and-sign credit cards. They store data on chips rather than magnetic strips. Their fraud-prevention features make them very difficult to clone.

There are two types of chip cards- signature and PIN. Both function pretty much the same; however, one requires a signature to complete a transaction, the other a PIN. Let's take a look at the signature & chip credit card first.

With a signature and chip card, a customer uses a signature pad to sign their names. This verifies that the user agrees to the credit card sale. The problem is, signatures can be forged.

When customers use an EMV chip card, the card, and terminal work together to secure the transaction. They create a unique, encrypted code called a token or cryptogram. Once the transaction is completed, the token code is no longer valid.

The EMV chip along with the signature provides for a two-step verification process. In order to accept signature and chip payments, the merchant needs a credit card machine with a signature pad.

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Best Credit Card Machine

The second type of EMV chip card reader is the PIN and chip credit card reader. In this method, the customer presents their chip card and then enters a personal identification number. PIN and chip is the preferred method of chip credit card payment.

One of the problems with signature and chip cards is authenticating the customer's signature. PIN chip cards use a unique pin number to verify a transaction. PIN chip cards are considered to be more secure than signature chip cards.

While the use of contactless cards is on the rise, chip cards are still used for most credit card transactions. The majority of chip card transactions are made using the PIN and chip method. Many credit card machines can process both signature and PIN chip card purchases.

The adoption of EMV chip technology was a great step forward in credit card security. The combination of unique transaction codes and customer verification has proven to be very effective. Credit card fraud has fallen significantly since EMV chip credit cards were introduced.

Best Credit Card Machine

Mobile credit card machines are small credit card machines that plug into a mobile device. They use credit card processing apps to process card transactions. The big advantage of mobile credit card readers is that they can be taken anywhere.

Another advantage of mobile credit card machines is their price. They're among the least expensive credit card readers. Some processing companies even provide free readers when you sign a contract with them.

Mobile credit card machines are a great way to increase revenue. Mobile credit card machines allow businesses to accept more payment types. They can expand their business and customer base.

They're incredibly useful for businesses and entrepreneurs who do a lot of fieldwork. By being able to accept credit card payments, they don't have to deal with the hassles of checks or cash. Customers can be emailed a receipt once payment has been received.

The mobile payment is processed using an app downloaded onto the device the mobile reader is plugged into. There are many companies offering mobile credit card machines and services. Many are priced to fit the budgets of new and small businesses.

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