Card Payment Solutions For Small Businesses
Card Payment Solutions For Small Businesses – Today’s credit card processing machines do more than just make a payment; they can also provide you with real-time reporting, analytics and more.
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Card Payment Solutions For Small Businesses
Credit card machines have evolved from little more than simple transaction processing capabilities to today’s high-tech devices with color touch screens, multiple displays, and the ability to install additional software applications to help you run your business. If you want your business to accept credit cards (and you do), you need a high-quality credit card terminal to process your customers’ cards.
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This article will explain how much you can expect to pay for a credit card machine and what features to look for. We will also give you some recommendations for the best terminals on the market today.
The credit card processing hardware market today includes a bewildering variety of manufacturers and devices—all of which essentially do the same thing. Choices range from basic mobile card readers that require a smartphone or tablet to operate all the way to full POS systems that can accept payments and handle most aspects of your business. Costs are similar across the board, with larger units and additional features increasing the price.
Here’s an overview of the features and typical costs of each type of credit card machine on the market today:
Starting in 2022, all new terminals include support for EMV payments. Most new terminals also support NFC-based payment methods (eg Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.) and should be included due to the increasing popularity of this feature.
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A built-in printer adds to the cost of the machine, but it’s important to have so you can provide paper receipts to your customers. Wireless terminals, while very important to some businesses, are bulky and significantly more expensive than wired models. You must also pay monthly wireless data plan fees. Smart terminals with color touch screens and installable applications are becoming more common, but they also cost more.
The easiest way to pay for your credit card terminals – and the one we strongly recommend – is to buy them directly from your service provider. They come pre-programmed and ready to use right out of the box, and you’ll own them. A universal model can often be reprogrammed to work with a different processor network if you later decide to change vendors. While buying your equipment outright is the best option, it can also be expensive – especially if you need more than one. Taking out a small business loan may be your best option if you don’t have the cash you need to make a large one-time purchase.
Whatever you do, don’t agree to lease your credit card terminals. These seemingly low monthly payments will add up to several times the actual value of the machine over the life of your non-cancellable lease. Leasing has become so unpopular with merchants that some providers now allow you to rent your terminals on a month-to-month basis. While this can also be a very expensive option in the long run, it may save you money when you get started.
Be very careful with offers for “free” credit card terminals. Many providers will now basically lend you a terminal that matches your trading account. However, you will not own it and must return it immediately if you close your account. Also, these terminals are usually not really “free”. You may expect some concession on your part, usually either a faster processing speed, a higher monthly account fee, or you must agree to a long-term contract.
Best Credit Card Processing For Small Business In 2023
A word of caution regarding the cost of credit card machines: Don’t spend more than you have to. Salespeople are quick to sell you on a more complete (and more expensive) device than you really need. A machine that meets all your current needs will be a better choice than a more expensive device that comes with features you will never use.
To give you more insight on this topic, we have articles on the best credit card readers for small businesses and how to choose a credit card machine for you to check out.
The best credit card machines for small businesses support EMV, NFC and magstripe payment methods. In addition to being robust and reliable, they are more likely to connect to your processor through a payment gateway, giving you real-time reporting and advanced analytics.
Our top picks for a payment terminal for your small business are Square Terminal, Square Register, Clover Mini, Clover Flex and Dejavoo Z11.
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Business owners who use Square for credit card processing and want something more advanced than a mobile card reader will find what they’re looking for with Square Terminal. This versatile device offers the following key features:
Square Terminal is a great choice for small businesses that just need a secure terminal to accept credit and debit card transactions at their physical location. It also adds a few features you don’t normally find at this price point, including a stripped-down version of the Square for Restaurants app. Although there is no support for Bluetooth peripherals, you can use an optional USB hub to connect various accessories, including some third-party devices. It’s one of the most affordable units we’ve found that can function as a mobile or benchtop terminal, although it’s a bit small for mobile use. Square Terminal comes pre-installed with the Square payment app and can be purchased at full price or in interest-free installments.
If you’re having trouble deciding between this device and Square Register (see below), check out our Square POS Readers & Bundles guide for a side-by-side comparison of every product Square currently offers.
Although it only works with Square’s payment processing service, Square Register is a great choice for businesses that need the power and added functionality of a full point-of-sale (POS).
Accepting Credit Card Payments For Small Business
Square Register combines the power of a full-featured POS system with Square’s affordable credit card processing service. At $799, this is one of the most affordable counter POS systems you’ll find anywhere—especially if you don’t need any of the company’s paid optional services. You will likely need to purchase some accessories, including a receipt printer and a cash drawer. However, Square offers Square Register bundles that can save you money over buying each product individually.
Unlike most POS system vendors, Square uses the same billing model regardless of the hardware product you use. Although you may need to add some additional payment services, Square Terminal’s built-in software list is very impressive and includes support for inventory management, human resources management, loyalty/gift card programs, appointment scheduling, reporting, and sales. – trade. Special functions for restaurants are also available.
There are no additional fees or long-term contracts. However, keep in mind that Square’s flat-rate pricing can be more expensive than a full-service merchant account if your monthly processing volume is greater than about $5,000.
Clover’s line of terminals and POS systems have been very popular with merchants due to their ease of use and extensibility through the Clover App Market. The Clover Mini combines the expandability of larger Clover POS systems with the form factor of a standard benchtop terminal and includes the following key features:
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The Clover Mini offers almost all the selling points of the larger Clover Station Solo/Duo, but in a smaller (and cheaper) form factor. It includes most of the “extra” features you’ll actually need out of the box, with a cash drawer pretty much the only accessory you might need to buy. Like other Clover devices, you can expand the Clover Mini’s functionality by installing additional apps from the Clover App Market. Most of them are free, but some require additional monthly subscriptions.
The Clover Mini is a great choice for businesses that don’t need the features of a full POS system, but want something more than just a simple credit card terminal. However, it’s not the most affordable option, costing about twice as much as similar products from competitors and requiring a monthly software fee. The Clover Mini is available directly from Clover or through one of several reputable Clover resellers.
Clover Flex bridges the gap between mobile and traditional desktop terminals and works equally well in both environments. Like other Clover devices, it comes with a host of features and can be expanded even further with apps from the Clover App Marketplace.
If you like the Clover point of sale but need a mobile device, the Clover Flex might be a good choice. With eight hours of battery life, it’s ideal for businesses that need to process transactions in the field. The Flex’s 5-inch screen is comparable to many smartphones, and you can run any of Clover’s many additional apps. Wireless connectivity is of course built into the device. But if you want, it can also function perfectly as a bench terminal. For true mobile use i
How To Choose Credit Card Processing For Your Small Business
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