Researching credit card terminals for small businesses

If you are thinking about starting to accept card payments or just looking to switch providers, you will need to do some careful research into who offers the best credit card terminals for small businesses. The industry is currently very competitive, which means you can really shop around for great deals. Once you have obtained a good merchant account, the financial agreement which enables you to take card payments, you can research the best terminal for your business.

Different types of credit card terminals for small businesses

Depending on the type and size of business you run and the services you offer, there will be a device that suit your needs. The current most popular credit card terminals for small businesses are:

  • Countertop. These are a very low cost option and accept in store payments, as well as over the phone, fax or by mail. They deliver very fast and reliable transactions and are connected directly to the sales point.
  • Portable. These work in the same way as a countertop device, but with a wireless connection, meaning payments can be taken from customers in more than one place, for example, taking the terminal to a table in a restaurant.
  • Mobile. The newest systems work with mobile phone coverage to take payments almost anywhere, perfect for businesses on the go.

Choosing the right terminal

There are some features which should always be considered when investigating credit card terminals for small businesses;

  • Ensure that the brand and technology works with your current system.
  • The terminal you purchase must be supported by your merchant account.
  • Extra terminals can be added to the system, to work with your business as it expands.
  • Purchase only what you need, not expensive add on features which won’t be used.

What to look for in a supplier

You need a supplier who can offer dedicated 24 hour support services. When a payment terminal stops working, the consequences, especially for small businesses with limited points of sale, can be disastrous. To ensure loses are kept to a minimum if this does happen, your supplier of credit card terminals for small businesses must be able to offer instant repair or replacement cover. You are also looking for a supplier who will not keep you on hold for a long time if you phone with an enquiry or a technical issue. Any potential time away from the customer or loss of a working card payment system will lose your business money, finding a supplier who will minimise these is essential.

Researching credit card terminals for small businesses can be baffling, especially as there is so much information available and so many companies offering the service. Look to using equipment which is proven to work well in your industry and in comparable businesses. If you are still unsure, you can hire the terminals on a short term agreement, with the option of changing to a longer and cheaper contract if you are satisfied with the product.

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