ALTERNATIVE BANKING SOLUTIONS INC.

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Choosing the Right Payment Terminal for Your Business

There are so many different types of payment terminals these days that picking the right machine can streamline your business while picking the wrong one can leave your customers disgruntled. This leaves many merchants wondering which one is right for their business. We have broken done a few pros and cons for the most common payment terminals in the marketplace today.

 

Desktop Payment Terminal 

These terminals stay on your desktop tethered to the point-of-sale (POS) system. The newer ones can process a variety of payments including swipe, chip, and tap. They are great for retail or service based businesses who process payments at a countertop.

Pros:

  • Do not have to charge battery

  • Swipe, chip, and tap capabilities

  • Processes debit and credit cards

  • Only need one for each payment station

 

Cons:

  • Non-mobile

  • Most do not easily integrate with value-add payment apps, such as customer loyalty

  • Higher price tag

 

 

Portable Terminals 

Not to be confused with internet mobile terminals, portable terminals can be portable anywhere within the business. Some are starting to get 3G capabilities, but most still link to a business’s Wi-Fi connection or base. They can process the full range or payment types including swipe, chip, and tap. Portable terminals can be found heavily in the restaurant industry and are great for business who want to bring the payment to the customers. 

Pros:

  • Mobility

  • Swipe, chip, and tap capabilities

  • Processes debit and credit cards

  • Multiple machines can decrease wait time

 

Cons:

  • Have to charge battery

  • Most do not easily integrate with value-add payment apps, such as customer loyalty

  • Might have to “hunt down” the terminal

  • Higher price tag

 

 

Mobile Swiper – Headphone Jack Terminal 

Instead of having to spend hundreds of dollars for a payment terminal, merchants can plug a small device into a phone or tablet headphone jack and start accepting credit cards. By using the data or Wi-Fi from a phone or tablet merchants can process payments anywhere. 

Pros:

  • Completely mobile

  • Lower price tag

  • Quick set-up

  • Can integrate apps depending on point of sale

 

Cons:

  • Only processes credit cards

  • Not suitable for high volume customers

  • Only can read the magnetic stripe on the card

  • Can use cellular data

  • Liability on merchant for fraud without EMV processing capabilities

 

 

Mobile EMV – Bluetooth Terminal 

The popularity of the mobile swiper and recent liability shift created the foundation for the mobile EMV Bluetooth terminal. These smaller payment terminals connect to a mobile phone or tablet that acts as the point-of-sale. Just like their headphone jack predecessor they are completely portable by using data or Wi-Fi from the connected device. These terminals are capable of accepting a range of payment types including swipe, chip and tap. 

Pros:

  • Completely mobile

  • Lower price tag

  • Quick set-up

  • Can integrate apps depending on point of sale

  • Swipe, chip, and tap capabilities

  • Many process both debit and credit cards

 

Cons:

  • Requires an Internet data connection via WiFi or Cellular

  • Have to charge battery

 

 

Picking a device can be cumbersome, and some merchants will stick with their device until they are forced to upgrade. However, this procrastination can lead to dissatisfied customers -- don't make this mistake!

 

Innovation in mobile payment terminals has come a long way. With the future of payments shifting heavily to EMV and NFC, merchants need to ensure they invest in terminals that can process and adapt to new technologies.

 

With the countertop and portable terminals, merchants still need to look into the right point-of-sale system. While many mobile terminals have an integrated point of sale app offered for free that seamlessly connects. 

The right solution for you depends on your business and how you want to handle payments. It pays to work with a professional payment terminal provider, such that your business may be assessed and an optimal solution recommended.

 

Are you a merchant interested in upgrading your payment terminals? Alternative Business Solutions works closely with our clients to ensure for a stress-free, seamless transition. Contact us at +1 (866) 822-7462 or click here for more information.

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Alternative Banking Solutions Inc.

300 – 840 6th Avenue SW

Calgary, Alberta T2P 3E5

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