Finding the correct credit card processing equipment for your business can prove to be almost as tricky as finding the correct merchant account. There are a lot of different credit card processing options available and there are pros and cons to each method of processing.
Important Pointers about Credit Card Processing Equipment
Avoid proprietary equipment – Certain types of credit card terminals and processing equipment will only work with a single (or very few) credit card processors. This type of equipment is called proprietary equipment. If you purchase a proprietary piece of equipment you will be married to the processor that the system is compatible with.
If you ever want to switch merchant account providers you will need to purchase a new piece of equipment instead of reprogramming your existing equipment. Credit card processing equipment and software made by major manufacturers such as Hypercom, Verifone, and Lipman Nurit are compatible with most processors. Most of the machines made by each of these three companies can be reprogrammed if you ever need to switch credit card processors.
Purchase equipment from a reliable source – The best place to purchase credit card equipment is from your provider when you setup your merchant account. Many providers will offer an equipment discount to merchants when they set up a merchant account. If you do find a better deal elsewhere, be sure that you are getting what you pay for. Many merchants find that purchasing credit card machines from unverifiable third parties, like those found on eBay, can be an expensive headache. Credit card processing machines and equipment can be very different even if they have the same name and appearance. Like any electronic device, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Credit card terminals require a certain amount of memory in order to operate on a processor’s systems. Terminals that are sold second-hand may not have enough memory to meet the demands of the new programs that processors are building. Also, it’s always a good idea to get some kind of warranty or price protection on equipment. If you purchase your equipment through your provider they should be happy to assist you with terminal issues if they should arise.
Use surge protectors – Credit card machines and terminals are very sensitive to power fluctuations. Their circuitry is very delicate and even a small power surge can disrupt a terminal’s function. If the circuitry of a terminal is damaged the current batch and transaction information may be lost as well. Unfortunately, in a situation like this a $400 credit card machine may be the least of your worries. To avoid having your terminal fried in a thunderstorm or by a random power surge, you should never plug your terminal directly into a wall outlet. Instead, plug your credit card terminal into a quality surge protector.
Avoid leasing equipment unless necessary – The option to lease credit card terminals and machines has been around since before the advent of the Internet and the subsequent fierce competition among merchant service providers. This competition has brought the price of equipment down to a point where it can costs as much as 5 times the original purchase price of a piece of equipment to buy out a lease agreement. Lease agreements are typically contractually bound for a four-year period or longer.
For more information or to find out if you are getting the best rate on your merchant, account, click here for a FREE RATE ANALYSIS today.