Assessing Your Gateway to Credit Card Processing – Choosing the Right Credit Card Terminal

In a manner of speaking, your credit card terminal is your business’ means to credit card processing. The terminal, after all, is the tool your use to process and verify your “plastic” information. It isn’t the core of the processing per se, but the terminal is an important tool nonetheless, and since it will cost your business, you need to choose the right one for your company properly.

The key to choosing the right terminal for this type of card is to know the options available. Basically, there are three options: the traditional, the wireless and the virtual. The traditional terminal needs to read the actual card, the wireless can be used anywhere since it isn’t hooked up to a computer, and the wireless is computer-based.

So this begs the question that can help you choose: which one out of the three credit card terminal types fits your business?

The answer here will depend on the nature of your business. For example, if you run a taxi company and you need your drivers to be able to process credit card payments, you need a wireless terminal. If you run a diner, however, you need a traditional one.

But more than what can process your transactions, you need to assess what you need-without the needless add-ons. For instance, a diner can still use a wireless terminal, but is the wireless capacity needed in a diner? A diner can also process credit card payments using a virtual “plastic” terminal since its point-of-sale program is computer-based (the merchant can punch in the card information instead). Again, is this needed?

Take note that a wireless terminal is more expensive than a traditional one. Also, swiping a credit card entails lower discount rates and transaction fees than inputting the information in the keypad or the computer-based terminal.

Needless to say, certain merchant accounts can process only select card terminals. For instance, if you have a retail account, you cannot use a virtual terminal.

The actual cost of the credit card terminal is also a consideration, in relation to what the merchant account provider offers. This, of course, already depends on your provider.