Benefits of New Credit Card Terminal Technology to Your Advantage

By Santa Barbara Merchant Services on Nov 26, 2013 at 03:58 PM in Credit Card Payment Processing

Experienced business owners may associate credit card processing equipment with boxy, bulky terminals that require a phone line for authorizations. However, new technologies have turned credit card terminals into smaller, more feature-packed devices. Some of the capabilities of newer machines make it possible to cut costs in your organization while you improve your cash flow at the same time. Here are some examples of how they do that.

• Wireless Terminals – Companies that make sales offsite can save thousands per year by using wireless credit card terminals that use Wi-Fi or cell phone technology. This is because the cost of processing a “swiped” or “present” credit card (one physically run through the reader) is typically 1 percent lower than card numbers relayed over the phone or written down for processing later. Contractors, delivery companies, and traveling vendors for antique and craft shows can benefit greatly from the use of wireless terminals.

• IP-Enabled Equipment – If your current credit card machine has a phone line all to itself or has to compete with the fax machine, an IP terminal can be a lifesaver. By using the same LAN connection as the rest of your Internet, transactions process faster and more securely. In many cases, you can eliminate the cost of a phone line in the bargain.

• Check Scanning Equipment – Check acceptance is nothing new for retail businesses, but now your business can scan, authorize and deposit checks in real time. Similar to remote deposit capture services where you can photograph a check image with your phone and get paid, these readers save time and prevent bounced checks. This service is ideal for companies that may accept the bulk of their payments by check, or who have a demographic who refuse to use debit and credit cards.

Benefits of New Credit Card Terminal Technology to Your Advantage
Prepare now for EMV chip card technology, which is arriving in the US and making accepting card payments more secure than ever.

• PIN Pads – If your customers pay with debit cards without entering PIN numbers, you are leaving a substantial amount of money on the table. US government regulations limit the cost of debit card transactions where a PIN number is entered. On a $100 sale, you could be paying a couple of dollars in transaction costs with non-PIN debit transactions, while PIN debit transactions will cost you about $0.50. Encouraging customers to process transactions as “debit” is an easy way to increase the margin on every item you sell.

• Contactless Readers – You may have noticed that stores such as McDonald’s and Best Buy have added readers for cards with embedded microchips. You may not know that all businesses with credit card machines are expected to take “smart” cards by April 1, 2013, and that banks are issuing new debit and credit cards with this feature. Fortunately, if you have newer equipment, you may only need to add a USB pin pad that accepts contactless and insertable smart cards.

• Mobile Wallets – Google, Visa, PayPal, and a host of other companies have created apps that allow smartphones to take the place of physical credit cards. Despite the fact that most consumers aren’t jumping onto the mobile wallet bandwagon today, new smartphone technology may make plastic cards obsolete. The ability to accept mobile wallet payments can set you apart from your competitors.

Upgrading your credit card equipment can save time, as well as money. Contractors in the field who use portable credit card machines can authorize transactions on the spot and avoid mistakes from transposed information or illegible handwriting on billing statements. Furthermore, the risk of a declined card plummets when the transaction is authorized in real time. For in-store sales, faster transactions from IP terminals mean that more customers can be handled by fewer cashiers. Additionally, the use of technologies such as debit card PIN pads reduces the risk of a chargeback or card fraud.

From a business standpoint, keeping track of trends at the cash register is essential for efficiency and profitability. Customers who use payment cards are known to spend more than those who pay cash. The ability to cut expenses at the checkout counter, prevent credit card fraud, and conduct transactions quickly will ensure that more dollars are spent in your store. By understanding the purchasing habits of your core customers, and by paying attention to the technology used by your competitors, you can gain insight into how best to modernize your equipment. As always, the best technology is effective when it saves money, time and revenue. Revisiting your current payment processing setup is one way to do all three of these things, while getting your antiquated equipment out of your customers’ sight.

Santa Barbara Merchant Services Inc