There is now a wide choice of payment terminals on the market, including online (virtual) payment solutions for companies which do not require a hardwired point of sale (POS) system – or companies which are mobile or cover trade fairs and exhibitions.
Payment terminals are essential to retail and catering businesses, but any company which takes payment for a service or goods will require one or more terminal.
Different Types of Payment Terminals
Before choosing a payment terminal for your business, it is important to consider the sort of actions you require a payment terminal to perform.
Companies which accept debit and credit cards have been shown to increase sales and footfall, so payment terminals should provide for cards payments. Businesses which only accept cash payments may be treated with suspicion by customers.
Most hard-wired payment terminals will consist of the terminal itself, a printer and a Chip and PIN keypad or integrated magnetic swipe.
The most common types of payment terminals are:
- Payment terminals using Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity (ie a business broadband Internet connection) can process a transaction in a few seconds. IP technology also means a company can install multiple payment terminals – as many as business Broadband connectivity will allow
- Payment terminals using solutions like GPRS, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi are suitable for mail order or mobile businesses which accept card payments. Payment terminals using wireless technology or Bluetooth are often used in restaurants, where they are presented to customers at the table
- Payment terminals using dial-up connectivity are still in use and some cash machines still use dial-up if they are situated within a shop, for example. Payment terminals using dial-up tend to process transactions slowly and are as reliable as the dial-up connection is, but may be suitable for sole traders, SOHO (small office/home office) workers or smaller business premises
- Payment terminals using mobile technology (GPRS) are most often used by businesses which have a field workforce or trade at markets, trade fairs and exhibitions. Sole traders such as mobile hairdressers or window cleaners may also find that payment terminals using mobile phone technology are best for their business needs. A card reader swipes the card and is connected to a mobile phone, with a virtual (hosted) merchant solution to process payments securely
- Payment terminals using contactless technology (when a credit or debit card is passed in front of a card reader) are usually used for kiosk sales involving fast, low-value transactions under £15, such as fast food, magazine sales, etc. Over £15 and the transaction usually reverts to Chip and PIN
- Payment terminals which can process transactions quickly are sometimes known as PDQ (Process Data Quickly) terminals and would include payment terminals such as contactless payments, IP, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPRS payment terminals.
EPoS Systems for Taking Payments
Using EPoS (electronic point of sale) technology, payment terminals can also be linked to other business systems to enable data integration.
For example, information logged by payment terminals about customers can be downloaded to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) records, so that your business builds up a profile of its customer-base automatically eg customer contact details, addresses, buying preferences, re-orders etc.
EPoS payment terminals can also be linked to stock control software, which refurbishes stock automatically or checks stock availability for customer enquiries at the till. This can make ordering simple and quick – and can foster good customer relations and re-ordering patterns by providing the information customers want almost instantly, without staff having to leave the till to check in the stockroom.
EPoS systems can represent a larger initial investment, but the functions of an EPoS system can mean fewer staff on site – and a smaller payroll.
EPoS systems can also be linked to Human Resources (HR) data, making managing a business more streamlined – staff cover, holidays and absences can all be linked to shop floor data via EPoS. By integrating CCTV, managers can even monitor customer service at the till, improving security and staff training with real-time video to feed back to checkout assistants and floor staff.
For more information about different payment systems and payment terminals to suit your business needs, complete the online form on our website – free quotes will be sent to you without obligation within 48 hours and our suppliers are nationwide, so you will receive the best advice for your own individual business requirements.No tags for this post.