Compare card processing machines

The two basic card processing machines available are countertop (fixed) or handheld. Some card processing machines can provide both fixed and mobile capability – and fixed payment terminals can also use mobile technology to enable card readers to be taken to customers, as in restaurants.

The specifications of different models of card processing machine can make a difference not only to the speed with which transactions are completed, but also how the card processing machine is used – for example if the screen or keys are not backlit, using a mobile card processing machine in poor lighting conditions such as clubs or evening markets would be difficult.


Compare Specifications of Card Processing Machines

The factors to take into account when choosing a model of card processing machine for your business include:

  • Portability: Countertop (fixed), portable (works within a radius), mobile (works wherever there is a GPRS signal) or flexible (a combination of fixed and portable or mobile)
  • Display: The better your LCD screen performs, the more flexible your card processing machine will be. A high contrast screen with white backlighting can be used in poor lighting conditions, especially if the keypad is backlit, as well. LCD resolution is measured in pixels like other screens eg 128×64 pixels or 128×128 pixels – the more pixels, the sharper the display screen
  • Memory: The more memory, the more payments card processing machines will get through and the faster they will process transactions. Currently around 3-6 seconds is the average of PDQ (Process Data Quickly) card processors. Memory may range from 6MB to 24MB and will comprise both Flash memory and SRAM memory
  • Modem: Card processing machines now come with a range of connection options, so you will find some machines offer both GPRS and Bluetooth or GPRS and Wi-Fi as standard or as options, meaning your card processing machine can be used in different locations eg indoors and at open air events.

There are many other specifications card processing machines will offer regarding performance and security features – and, in addition, your card processing machine should be PCI PED compliant – and should accept all major cards such as Mastercard, Visa, Amex and debit cards.

It is a good idea to choose a card processing machine which can be adaptable as this will enable your business to grow, especially if you are a start-up or a small SME.
Using mobile payment solutions also enables businesses to add payment terminals when needed or when there is a seasonal peak in trade.


Payment processing machines for SMEs

Small- and medium-sized businesses have their own needs and usually more flexibility is needed in business solutions to allow businesses to grow or adapt for slower periods of business. Some of the most popular models of card processing machines available are:

  • Countertop (Fixed) – The Ingenico ICT250 uses Ethernet connectivity and PSTN lines with optional GPRS and is PCI PED compliant. The ICT200 and ICT250 both have backlit screens and keypads – the ICT200 has a small memory (8MB) compared with its bigger brother the ICT250 (16MB), but both have an SD removable memory option. Card reader options are Smartcard, Magstripe and contactless
  • Mobile – The Hypercom M4230 card processing machine uses GPRS and is suitable for field workers and businesses which take payments in a verity of locations eg sole traders (gardeners, hairdressers, beauticians, gardeners, window cleaners, trades people), SOHO (small office/home office) workers and market stall owners. The Hypercom M4230 is PCI PED compliant and has a powerful longlife battery which can be powered from an optional docking station. Magnetic stripe reader with chip card reader available
  • Portable – The Ingenico EFT 930 series uses GPRS, Bluetooth, Broadband and PSTN, offering completely flexible solutions to payment processing, with Smartcard, Magstripe and contactless card readers. Li-Ion batteries can process up to 300 transactions. The Ingenico EFT 930-G can be charged in a vehicle, offering complete mobility to field workers and market stall holders.

If you would like more advice about the sort of card processing machines that would best suit your business needs, complete our online enquiry form for free quotes without obligation within 48 hours. Our agreed suppliers are experts in SME business solutions and are based nationwide, so you will be receiving the best advice available for your business needs, wherever you are based.

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