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Credit Card Machine Options For Your Small Business.
Does your business need credit card processing services to take payments? Are you losing customers because you don’t have a PDQ machine? If the answer is yes – then it is time to put an end to that and make the right decision to start growing your business.
In this guide we cover everything you need to know about face to face card payments. In this guide you will learn:
Different types of PDQ machines
Top credit card processing companies
How a PDQ machine works
Features of a PDQ machine
Top PDQ machine manufacturers
With a card machine you can accept payments in person, on the go or online. Our 2020 PDQ machine guide provides everything you need to know about card payments. Let start us help you find the best small business credit card processing solution for your business today. Okay lets get started…
What is a PDQ Machine?
A PDQ Machine which is also known as PDQ Terminal, Payment Terminal, point of sale (POS) machine, card payment machine, card machine, credit card terminal and card reader allows your business to accept card payments from customers.
What does a PDQ machine stand for?
PDQ simple stands for “Process Data Quickly” or as the cool kids call it “Pretty Damn Quick” (and it is a pretty quick method of accepting credit, debit or contactless payments. It trumps handling cash & counting coins giving to you by customers.)
We live in a cashless society. Businesses need a card payment solution more now than ever.
In August 2019 Britons spent £223 million a day on contactless payments. In total there was 726 million contactless payments made that month in research conducted by UK Finance.With the range of payment options now available to customers this is now the preferred option which makes it important to ensure your business caters for the needs of potential customers. UK Payments forecasts that by 2028 only one in ten payments will be made using cash whilst over half will be made using a credit or debit card.
A recent survey by YouGov revealed that two-thirds of customers carry less than £20 in cash. In comparison 93% of customers always carry a debit or credit card with them. Fun fact. Not accepting card payments will mean you will lose out on customers.
Why you should get a PDQ machine for your business?
Getting a business card machine will enable you to take card payments from all major debit and credit card providers such AMEX, Mastercard and Visa. It will allow you to accept contactless payments quick and efficiently.
What are the different types of Card Machines?
There are three types of card terminals/ card machine: portable, countertop and mobile. (View all the leading UK card machine providers here)
Mobile Card Machines / Wireless Card Machine
The mobile card machine is ideal for tradesman, delivery businesses, 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
Portable Card Machine
The portable card machine is the perfect solution for pubs, cafes and restaurants. Portable card terminals can work within up to 100 metres from its base. The device connects via Bluetooth and allows business owners to take the credit card 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
- Cashback and gratuities options available
- Full PCI Compliance highly secure card machines
Countertop Card Machine
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, restaurants, 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
- High Security
- All Payment Options – Chip & Pin, Contactless, NFC
- Small & Compact for easy handling and use
- All connectivity & communication – modem, Ethernet, GPRS or 3G
- Brand promotion options on the terminal.
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 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 card 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.
Modern card machines have a contactless card payment facility. This allows buyers to make a payment of up to £45 by simply tapping their contactless credit card on the machine.
How does a Card Machine work?
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 a card machine was very common. The card terminal would then check the customer had enough balance in their account 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. A merchant would usually have to go through the following below steps to take a card payment.
1. Merchant keys in payment amount into the card machine terminal.
2. Merchant presents card machine to the customer.
3. Customer confirms the amount and has the option of inserting their card into the card machine or paying by contactless (please be aware the transaction cap has now been increased to £45).
4. If the customer inserted their card they will now be prompted to provide their 4 digit pin and press the Enter key to confirm on the PDQ machine.
5. The card machine will then contact the merchant bank for authorisation for the sale. If it is approved the transaction will go through otherwise an error will be displayed.
6. After a successful transaction the card machine will print two receipt copies. One for the merchant and one to hand to the customer.
Additional Value Added Features of a Card Machine
Mail and Telephone / Customer Not Present Orders is a function that allows business to complete orders when a customer is not present. It can be completed through a payment terminal by manually entering a customers card number when asked to present the card during the purchase process. So instead of inputting the card and entering the pin details a business can enter the card number and security code when prompted into the terminal to complete the purchase.
Gratuity is a feature that allows your customers to leave a tip whilst making a payment on the card machine. As part of the payment process the customer has the option to decide if they want to leave a tip or not.
Pre Authorisation allows businesses to gain access and secure funds from customers without completing the transaction. This is often used by hotels during the booking process or when you are checking in. It is used to ensure funds are available is any charges are incurred during the stay such as room service costs. The transaction is then fully completed at the end of the stay at checkout.
If you have done a little bit of research, you will find that majority of the high street banks in the UK provide merchant account. Yet they charge a higher fee as compared to other payment providers or ISO’s.
Top 5 Credit Card Machine Manufacturers
There are literally dozens and dozens of different card machines available on the market today. In the post we look at the leading card machine manufacturers who provide the hardware and technology to make taking payments possible.
1. Ingenico Card Machine
2. Verifone Chip and Pin Machine
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. They serve many sectors ranging from finance, to retail and hospitality. Their product range include countertop, portable and mobile terminals as well as pin pads.
What features do Spire credit card machines have?
Spire credit card machines, which are just one type of equipment that Spire manufactures, include countertop machines, handheld, mobile machines, multi-lane machines which are great with quick and foolproof card swiping and transaction processing, pin pads for merchants to be able to accept debit cards, and networking and related software. All Spire credit card machines include the same basic functionality of being able to process a credit card transaction and produce a simplistic receipt. More expensive models of Spire credit card machines are able to process debit cards, checks and even gift cards, and many can do so wirelessly, and with the use of a few batteries. Spire credit card machines can also do read-outs and print-outs of last transaction, specific transactions, and overall history for X amount of days or even months.
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. They serve over 100 countries and have 25 million terminals in use worldwide.
PDQ Machine Provider Options – Compare rental cost, transaction fees, contract and support.
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. Customers no longer demand but expect you to have a card payment machine.
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 credit card machine suppliers on the market that will provide your business with a card terminal. Each payment processing company has different fees and charges so it’s a good idea to get quotes from several before committing. Card machine providers often charge monthly fees and card processing cost associated with taking payments.
The list of merchant account providers are endless. Every business is different and many can benefit and save if they pick the right merchant account provider. 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 suited to your business allowing you to save time and money.
If you have done a little bit of research, you will find that the majority of high street banks in the UK provide merchant account services. Be careful with banks as they often charge a higher fee in comparison other payment providers or ISO’s.
How do I get set up with a PDQ Machine?
As a business, you cannot use a portable, countertop or mobile 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 credit card terminal. This ensures that all the payments are going to your merchant account. Most banks offer merchant account services. But as a business you will get a better deal shopping around different merchant services providers to find the best one for you. You can buy or rent a PDQ machine.
Setting up a PDQ machine is easy. For example with a mobile machine once you get your terminal through the post you are giving a merchant ID number. The credit card terminal will also come with a power cable and power supply. Before installing the card terminal you must use the power supply to charge the device. Once charged you are prompted to input your unique merchant ID number into the terminal. When entered the card terminal will begin to download the latest software the PDQ machine requires to work. Once updated you will need to setup 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 card terminals the process is similar. However, further steps such as connecting to your WiFi, local network (enthernet cable) or telephone line may be required.
How much does it cost to have a PDQ Machine?
When you have a card payment machine there will be several costs in your merchant account contract agreement which you should be aware of. These costs may vary depending on whether you decide to buy or lease your payment terminal. Monthly rental costs are usually between £20 to £50. The other main cost is the transaction fees a merchant will incur every time they take a credit card payment. Generally you can expect this fee to be between 2%-4% . For debit card payments it can range from 5p to 25p per transaction.
These costs will differ depending on several factors such as how many card terminals you will need and the length of your contract. As a business depending on the number of card machines you need you may be able to negotiate a discount with the merchant accounts provider.
What are the cost of purchasing a PDQ machine?
If you decide on buying a PDQ machine outright the cost will be anything between £150 – £600 depending on features required. 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.
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 considered “high risk” compared to other businesses. Factors such as the number of charge-backs and order cancellations determine whether a business 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. Although most modern PDQ machines accepts all payment types knowing what payment methods you want to accept can help you make the right choice of card terminal.
Buying the card payment 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 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 switch to an updated version for a small charge.
Next Step: Get a PDQ machine for your business.
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 feel the amount being spent – this makes us cautious to spend. Whereas with card payments customers are not handing out cash and often tend to spend more. For these obvious reasons, as a business, it is vital 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 process, and you can get started today.
It is well worth knowing the difference between different independent sales organisations (ISO). Each of them has a different focus and hence a different fee structure. You will need to assess which merchant account provider suits your business requirements and budget.
So now you know a lot about PDQ machines and why as a business you need one to take card payments. Now is time to take the next step. Let us help you get started with a free comparison quote. Simple fill in our quote form and we will let you know the best providers, features and fees for your business.