As a typical consumer, you may have a fixed idea about credit card devices. You may be most familiar with credit card machines attached to cash registers, or the type you swipe at the gas station or grocery store, whether you’re doing a self-checkout or being served by a cashier. You might also be familiar with portable swipers from restaurants and drive-throughs.
But now that you’re on the other side of the equation, as a business owner seeking credit card machines for your own customers, what are your options? The answer is that it depends upon your business model. The various examples above are available to you, but they only make sense if you’re running a retail store with a physical outlet. They make little sense for online stores with remote payment.
It’s not about the cost
You might worry that the options are too expensive for your small business budget. In reality, a good credit card processor will provide the POS (point of sale) terminal or software that you need for your account at no additional cost. They’ll also program your credit card machines for you at no cost, enabling you to receive payments from multiple credit card networks (Visa, MasterCard, Amex etc.) Additionally, if you choose the right merchant account provider, there will be no application fee and no set-up fee.
But what if you don’t want bulky credit card machines and cash registers? There are other choices. If your store operates online, you can use a virtual shopping cart for digital check-out.
Free Credit Card Machines
Virtual shopping carts may be provided for no additional cost as well. Customers can then pay directly on your website by typing in their card details.
A more mobile option is to install a smartphone app. Your sales teams and delivery guys will have the app on their phones, so when they’re ready to receive a customer payment, they can initiate the payment on their own mobile phones, then the customer can approve and complete the payment. Buyers slide their card into a removable dongle attached to the seller’s phone. Or the client might receive (and approve) a payment notification on their phone screens. These are also ideal for fairs, trade shows, and anyone who does business on the go.
For more information on credit card machine options for your small business, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.