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What Equipment do I Need to Accept Credit Cards?

If you are holding back on signing up to accept credit card payments because you believe that you first have to buy specific equipment, whoa! You typically don’t have to buy a thing to sign up to accept credit card payments.  This is because many merchant account providers supply all the necessary equipment at no additional charge once your merchant account is approved and opened.

It’s a simple process:

The first step to accepting credit card payments is opening a merchant account. If you sign up with a reputable merchant service provider, they will guide you through the whole process and explain every step. During the application process, a consultant will discuss your type of business with you to make sure that you will get what you need and what will work best for your business. Once your merchant account is approved, you will be given the best options so that you can choose what equipment you want.

As soon as that done, your business will be set up to start accepting card payments.

What are the options?

If you have a walk-in business and offer sales or services face-to-face, you’ll typically be provided with an electronic terminal at your point of sale. There are two types of credit cards currently being used by cardholders and merchants must be able to accommodate both. The magnetic strip cards still in circulation are swiped through the electronic terminal. The new EMV micro-chipped cards that are being rolled out are inserted into the terminal. EMV micro-chipped cards offer a far greater level of security to cardholders making the sensitive and secure cardholder information less vulnerable to exposure to fraudsters. Either way, you will be equipped with an electronic terminal that can process both types of cards, or transactions will immediately be approved or declined.

If you sell online will need to have software called a “payment gateway” installed on the backend of your website that integrates with your shopping cart option. The software automatically directs customers to a screen where they put in their card details that are immediately encrypted and processed through a complicated network to be approved or declined. If the card payment is approved, you will be prompted that a successful purchase was made online. The great thing is that you don’t have to manage this process, it all happens automatically so you can make sales online 24/7/365.

As an online seller, you’re also given the option of a virtual terminal that allows you to accept card payments by logging in to the payment gateway and inputting customer card details manually. This works well for orders placed over the phone or by email. All transactions are approved or declined immediately. And if you are a merchant who sells your goods from different venues or provides services off-site, you can accept card payments via any mobile device, be it a mobile phone or tablet. Smart devices will have software installed, and other devices will be fitted with a card reader. Card payments may then be processed face-to-face and are also immediately approved or declined.

For more information about the equipment needed to accept credit card payments, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to

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