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BEST PDQ CARD MACHINES GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES – REVIEWED & UPDATED January 2019
Is your business is looking for the best PDQ card machine solution to take card payments from customers? A PDQ card machine also known as a credit card machine, credit card terminal or a chip and pin machine is what you need. With the right card machine you can take card payments via contactless or chip & pin in-store, on the go, over the telephone or online.
A PDQ Machine is the best solution and the most popular way small businesses take payments today.
Get a merchant account quote today & start accepting card payments.
As more and more businesses become digital – cash payments are on the verge of becoming obsolete. Today everyone wants to pay via debit or credit card. People are less likely to carry money around in 2019 than a decade ago. The impact of debit and credit cards has made payments convenient and safer. With card payments every transaction goes through an authorisation process. As a customer, you are have the security in knowing that the right payment was made and you were not overcharged for the goods or services you have bought. It not only gives you peace of mind but also saves a lot of time.
For businesses having a card machine or a PDQ card machine has become essential. By not having a PDQ machine you are not only limiting payment choices, but you are also losing out on potential customers.
If you have never used a credit card machine before, you might have questions about how it works, what kind of options you have and how much it costs. In this article we will be covering some of the frequent questions people new to card payments have. To begin with lets start with the basics…
What is a PDQ Machine?
What does a PDQ credit card machine stand for?
PDQ stands for and is an abbreviation of Process Data Quickly.
A PDQ Machine is a payment point of sale terminal.
Credit card terminals have been around for a long time now, the current chip and pin machine is a relatively new introduction in the UK market. Before the introduction of chip & pin machines in 2003, customers had to sign for every payment made by card. Retailers had to verify the signatures with those signed at the back of the card. We have come a long way now with the popularity of contactless payments and mobile card readers such as iZettle and Sumup.
A recent survey by YouGov reveals that almost two-thirds of the customers carry less than £20 in cash. In comparison 93% of customers carry a debit or credit card with them always. Not being equipped with a chip and pin machine means you are likely to lose a huge number of customers.
Before the launch of chip and pin technology older card machines would read information on a magnetic strip. This occurred when it was swiped. Swiping credit cards though card machines were very common. The card terminal would then check the customers had enough balance and if the signatures matched with what was on record.
Present day chip and pin technology allow customers to buy securely in a matter of few seconds. Each cardholder has a unique 4-digit PIN code that they input into the card terminal. This PIN code acts similarly to the magnetic strip. The cardholder is no longer required to provide a signature to complete the transaction using a PDQ machine. All the customer needs to do is insert their credit or debit card into the card machine and input their pin. The transaction will then go through if the pin is correct. A receipt is then produced by the credit card machine.
With the emergence of contactless payments most customers now simple tap their bank card (if enabled for contactless payments) into the PDQ machine and the transaction will go through. Contactless payments have a £30 transaction cap. Any transaction over the £30 limit will need the customer to input their pin.
How do I get set up with a PDQ Machine?
As a business, you cannot use a PDQ card machine until you have set up a merchant account. You will need a unique merchant account number to accept payments from customers. Your merchant account number is linked to your PDQ machine. This ensures that all the payments are going to your merchant account. Most banks offer merchant account services. You are only required to buy and install the PDQ machine.
Setting up a PDQ terminal is easy. For example with a mobile PDQ machine once you get your terminal through the post you are giving a merchant ID number. The PDQ Terminal will also come with a power cable and power supply. Before installing the PDQ card terminal you must use the power supply to charge the device. Once fully charged you are prompted to input your unique merchant ID number into the terminal. When entered the terminal will automatically begin to download the latest software the card machine requires to work. Once the updated you will need to set up a unique 4 digit pin pass-code that you will use to authorise certain functions such as refunds. Once this is complete your PDQ machine will display a ready status and is ready to use.
For portable, desktop and WiFi PDQ terminals the process is similar. However, futher steps such as connecting to your WiFi, local network (enternet cable) or telephone line may be required.
What are the different types of PDQ Card Machines
There are three types of card terminals or PDQ card machines: portable, countertop and mobile card terminals. Watch the video below for a quick 45 seconds explanation.
What are the different types of payment card machines?
1. Mobile Card Machines / Wireless Card Machine
The mobile chip and pin machine is ideal for tradesman, delivery business, pop up store owners and anyone business that needs to take payments on the road. Mobile card machines are fast, secure and provide businesses with a flexible ways to accept card payments. They allow businesses to accept payments anywhere with 3G coverage or WiFi.
Benefits of a mobile card machine
Accept payments on the go
Accepts all payment options
Take Secure payments
3G, GPRS, Bluetooth and WIFI Connectivity
Designed for mobility
Accepts NFC Payments
2. Portable Card Machine
The portable card machine is the perfect solution for pubs, cafes and restaurants. The portable card machine terminal can work within 100 metres of its base. The device connects via Bluetooth and allows business owners to take the terminal to a customers to take payments.
Benefits of a portable card machine for small businesses
Accept payment from a fixed point
Easily connected by phoneline or internet
Accept contactless, Chip & Pin, Apple Pay & Android Pay
Countertop card machines operates from a fixed location so are therefore less flexible than the mobile and portable card machine. It is widely used by retailers, small supermarkets and shopping outlets to take credit card payments. The card machine must be connected to an internet connection or a telephone line to work. It is a cost-effective solution for businesses that take payments from a fixed premise such as a shop counter.
Benefits of Countertop/ Desktop Card Machine
All Payment Options – Chip & Pin, Contactless, NFC
Small & Compact for easy handling and use
All connectivity & communication – modem, Ethernet, GPRS or 3G
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The countertop card machine usually sits next to the till or cashpoint and has a fixed point. It’s connected by broadband and widely used by most traditional retailers.
For businesses such as restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. a portable PDQ card machine is the best option. This machine relies on wireless or Bluetooth technology and will only work within the range of a central wi-fi spot. A portable PDQ machine is ideal for the hospitality industry. It enables payments to be made with a little bit more flexibility when compared to the countertop machine which are fixed to a counter.
A mobile card machine is best suited to sellers who are mobile and are travelling on the road between customers.
The latest versions of PDQ machines have a contactless payment facility. This allows buyers to make a payment of up to £30 by simply tapping their contactless credit card on the machine.
How much does it cost to have a PDQ Machine?
When you have a PDQ machines there will be several cost in your merchant account contract agreement which you should be aware of. These cost may vary depending on whether you buy or lease.
The PDQ card machine is needed for your business to take physical card payments by credit and debit card. The first costs that you will face will likely be setup costs. This will differ depending on several factors such as how many terminals you will need and the length of your contract. As a business depending on the number of PDQ machines you need you may be able to negotiate a discount with the merchant provider.
What are the cost of purchasing a PDQ card machine?
If you decide on buying a PDQ card machine outright the cost will be anything between £150 – £600 depending on the features. When purchasing instead of renting you should note that you will be required to pay maintenance fees. Should anything go wrong with the card machine it is the suppliers responsibility to fix. Usually the card terminal will come with a 12 – 24-month warranty from the manufacturer. If you decide on a mobile card reader solution such as iZettle, Paypal Here or Sumup prices for the card readers range from £25-£100.
What is the rental cost of a PDQ Credit Card Machine?
Credit card machine rental cost can very. If you decide to rent a PDQ credit card machine from a provider you will usually be tied into a 24-month contract. Monthly cost when hiring a PDQ machine is usually between £20-£30. Businesses will usually have to agree to a card terminal hire agreement. Once this agreement comes to an end it will become a rolling contract until the merchant decides to either renew or cancel.
What are the transaction cost fees associated with taking card payments with a chip and pin machine?
Merchant account providers charge a transaction fee everytime you use the PDQ machine to take a credit or debit card payment. The fees are usually defined before you agree to your contract. They can vary depending on the type of business you are. Charges for taking credit card payment can range from between 2.5% – 5% of the purchase. For debit card payments it can range from 5p to 25p per transaction.
What are the cost of a merchant account for high risk businesses?
Merchants such as gambling, software and travel companies have higher transaction fees. This is due to them being compared considered “high risk” compared to other businesses. Factors such as number of charge-backs and order cancellations determine whether a business is classified high risk . Prices vary and can be negotiated with the merchant account provider.
Should I buy or rent a PDQ Machine?
As a business you have the option of buying a PDQ machine outright. You also have an alternative to rent through companies who offer merchant accounts. There is a slight difference between card machines. Some machines will accept debit/credit card and some may only accept certain debit cards. Knowing which cards you want to accept can help you make the right choice of terminal.
Buying the PDQ machine allows you to own it, but it may not be the best option for you. Renting allows you more flexibility since you do not have to pay for its maintenance or repair. If anything goes wrong, your provider is liable to supply you with a new PDQ machine.
One reason why renting a PDQ machine is a better option than buying is due to advancements in technology. If you bought your machine you face added costs if new changes are introduced to chip and pin technology. Such a cost may be having to purchase a newer model in order to make use of new features. A similar situation happened with businesses when they were forced to switch from swipe to chip and pin. They had to incur the costs of getting a new machine as their swipe machines became more obsolete. If you are renting, you can just switch to an updated version for a small charge.
What are the advantages of a PDQ Machine?
The first thing to consider is that customers today expect to pay by card. Not having a card terminal can lead to huge loss in sales. Any cost that you incur due to acquiring a card terminal/PDQ machine are made up for quickly through new sales opportunities. Customers tend to spend more money when buying on card than they would with physical cash. When paying in cash, customers can physically feel the amount being spent – psychologically this makes us cautious to spend. Whereas with card payments, the customers are not handing out cash and often tend to spend more. For these obvious reasons, as a business, it is advantageous to have a PDQ machine.
Security provided by PDQ machines are also a big benefit for businesses with a credit card processing terminal. No longer do you have the worry about keeping huge sums of cash payments secure. You can be assured that the majority of money your business takes goes straight to your bank. PDQ machines process secure transactions in seconds, with accuracy and safety.
MoneyCharity states £1.2 billion worth of card transactions take place every day. Can you imagine losing out on sales by not offering customers access to a most convenient form of payments? Any business that is starting out would make a wise choice to get hold of a PDQ machine by signing up with an independent payment processor. It is a relatively straightforward process, and you can get started today.
Top 5 PDQ Card Machine Manufacturers
1. Ingenico Card Machine
One of the biggest card terminal providers in the world. Ingenico provides credit card terminals in over 170 countries. They have over 32 million terminals distributed to businesses worldwide currently.
2. Verifone Card Machine
Verifone is the UK’s leader in secure Point of Sale Payments. They are dedicated in enabling merchants to accept card payments without hassle. This in turn enables the merchant to do what they do best – selling their service.
3. Spire Card Machine
An independent provider of point of sale hardware and software solutions. Spire has 30 years of experience in the payments industry and uses this to bring innovative solutions to the market.
4. Hypercom Card Machine
Hypercom provided card payment machines solution. In 2011 they were acquired by Spire Payments.
PAX is a worldwide provider of electronical payment terminal solution. They provide both android and lunix powered payment terminals to merchants.
Why your business needs a card machine today…
Credit card machines are essential to any business that wants to accept card payments. They offer a hassle free, convenient and secure way for companies large or small to take transactions. In our ever present cashless society any business that does not accept card payments is going to end up losing customers. In 2018 customers no longer demand but expect to have the option of paying by card on all purchases they make.
So how does a new business or start-ups ensure they do not lose out on customers? The answer is simple they need to start accepting card payment immediately. There are many card machine providers on the market that will provide your business with a PDQ Machine. Each card machine provider has different fees and charges so it’s a good idea to get quotes from several before committing to any contract. PDQ terminal providers will often charge monthly fees whilst there is also card processing cost associated with taking payments as we’ve discussed earlier.
PDQ Machine Providers (There are many we’ve missed of the list. Get a quote to find the best card payment solution provider for your business)
Paymentsense – One of UK’s largest merchant account providers. They only formed as a company in 2010 but have grown to over 250 employees. They offer mobile, portable and countertop card machines. Their credit card terminal can accept contactless payment, apple pay and android pay.
Retail Merchant Services – Founded by experts in the payment industry in 2007 RMS take a no nonsense approach t payment processing. They only serve the UK and Irish Market and are ideal for small business looking for a payment terminal.
Barclaycard – Customers can easily take payments on the till, on premises or on the road as Barclays has a solution no matter what your payment needs are. For small businesses or start-ups Barclaycard Anywhere offers a pay as you go mobile card machine. In direct competition with iZettle, Sumup and Paypal Here it allow businesses to use smartphone or tablet in conjunction with the card reader to take payments.
First Data – Doesn’t matter if you are a traditional shop or a market store owner First Data believe they can make the running of your business better. For small businesses they offer flexible card machine solutions that are tailored to your needs.
The list of merchant account providers are endless we have just picked a few good ones to feature – we are not saying these are the top 5 providers. Every business is different and many can benefit and save if they pick the right merchant account provider for the business. Here is where we can help. By completing our online quote form our specialist team will connect you to the right provider for your business. This service is free. You will receive comparison quotes from up to four providers most suited to your business allowing you to save time and money.
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12 April, 2018