A guide to chip and pin terminals

Mobile chip and pin terminals are an increasingly popular way of taking secure electronic payment from customers. More and more transactions are carried out on debit and credit cards, with less people paying by cash or cheque.

This microchip system has largely replaced the magnetic strip or mechanical imprint card payment schemes and is much more secure. Payment is now easily made by imputing the card and a personal identification number into chip and pin terminals. To run, these devices need a power supply and a means of wireless communication between handset and base unit.

Where can chip and pin terminals be used

There are an ever growing range of businesses utilising the benefits of chip and pin terminals. Because the devices are mobile, they are particularly well suited to businesses who do not take payment from one static location, such as table serviced bars and restaurants or companies which take services to the client, such as repair contractors.

Buying or renting chip and pin terminals

A good provider of chip and pin terminals will offer you the choice of renting the devices for short term, long term or purchasing the product outright. If your business is looking to accept credit card payments for the first time, for example, a long term contract may not be the best solution. Instead, finding a competitively priced 6 month short term contract with the flexibility to upgrade will offer peace of mind and allow your business to decide whether chip and pin terminals are the right choice for you. However, a business with well established payment systems will want a longer contract or to own the devices, offering greater stability, planning and control. If purchasing outright, remember that there will still be a small monthly charge for the SIM card in the terminal.

Features to look out for

When choosing chip and pin terminals, the following features are important to consider;

  • It is very important that your chip and pin terminals work with all the major acquiring banks, so that you can accept virtually all forms of card payment. Being approved by all of the major credit card providers also means that you can shop around for the best banking transaction rates.
  • A choice of telecom networks are available to run the device from, meaning that your chip and pin terminals will always be in range of a network to take payment and offer a fast, reliable service.
  • Well lit screen ensuring operator and customer can clearly see the information displayed, even in low light, bright sunlight or night time.
  • Fast receipt printer speed.
  • Fast charging battery back with good battery life in between charges.
  • Lightweight and easy to transport.
  • Durable exterior for use in a wide range of temperatures and humilities.
  • In-built real time clock to ensure accuracy of all transaction times.
  • Fast reliable processor and large memory.
  • Unlimited transaction limits.
  • All chip and pin terminals should come with a servicing and repair package, including fast replacement of faulty machines.
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