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16 Sept 2023

How to find the best card payment machine for your business

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist

In today's fast-paced world, cash is no longer king. Consumers prefer the convenience and security of card payments, and businesses that don't accept card payments risk losing out on potential sales. 

To stay competitive and meet customer expectations, it's essential for businesses to invest in the right card payment machine. But when there are so many ePOS systems out there on the market, how do you know which one is the right one for your business? 

Understanding the importance of card payment machines

When sizing up the right card machine for your needs, it’s important to consider factors like ePOS systems, payment options, security, and cost-effectiveness. But before we dive into the essentials of selecting the best card payment machine for your business, let's first understand why these machines are crucial in today's commerce landscape.

Adapt to changing customer preferences

Adapt to changing customer preferences: Consumers increasingly prefer the convenience of card payments over cash. Offering card payment options ensures you cater to a wider customer base and stay relevant in a cashless society.

Increase sales: Card payment machines enable you to make sales quickly and efficiently. When customers don't have to worry about carrying cash, they are more likely to make impulse purchases and larger transactions.

Enhance security: Handling large amounts of cash can be risky and time-consuming. Card payments provide a safer and more secure way to handle transactions, reducing the risk of theft or human error.

Streamline business operations: Integration with ePOS (Electronic Point of Sale) systems simplify inventory management, sales tracking, and financial reporting, making your business more efficient by reducing administrative work.

Now that we've established the importance of card payment machines, let's explore the steps to find the best one for your business.

Step 1: Assess your business needs

The first step in finding the best card payment machine is to assess your specific business needs. Consider the following questions:

What type of business do you operate?

Different businesses have different requirements. Retail stores, restaurants, and online businesses may have distinct needs when it comes to card payment machines.

How do you intend to accept payments?

Will you primarily accept payments in-store, online, or both? Your payment acceptance methods will influence the type of card payment machine you need.

What volume of transactions do you expect?

Consider your daily transaction volume. High-volume businesses may require a more robust card payment machine with faster processing capabilities.

Do you need integration with ePOS systems?

If you use an ePOS system to manage your business operations, ensure that your card payment machine can seamlessly integrate with it for a more streamlined process.

Step 2: Choose the right type of card payment machine

There are several types of card payment machines available in the market, each catering to specific business needs. Let's explore the common options:

Countertop card payment machines

These machines are designed for in-store use and are typically placed on the checkout counter. They are connected via a wired internet connection or telephone line and are suitable for businesses with a fixed location, such as retail stores and restaurants.

Wireless card payment machines

Wireless machines offer more flexibility as they can be used anywhere within the range of a wireless network. They are ideal for businesses that require mobility, such as food trucks, pop-up shops, or businesses that frequently attend trade shows or events.

Mobile card payment machines

These compact devices can turn your smartphone or tablet into a card payment terminal. They are perfect for small businesses, solo entrepreneurs, or those who need a portable solution for occasional card payments.

Online payment gateways

For e-commerce businesses, online payment gateways are essential. They allow customers to make card payments directly on your website. Ensure the chosen payment gateway integrates seamlessly with your e-commerce platform.

Step 3: Consider payment options

The best card payment machine should offer a variety of payment options to accommodate your customers. Look for machines that accept:

Debit and credit cards

Ensure the machine can handle all major card types, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and more.

Contactless payments

With the rise of contactless technology, make sure your machine supports tap-and-go payments for added convenience.

Mobile wallets

Consider whether the machine can accept payments from popular mobile wallet apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Online payments

For online businesses, the ability to accept online payments securely is crucial. Ensure your chosen payment gateway supports a wide range of online payment methods.

Step 4: Prioritise security

Security is paramount when dealing with card payments. A breach in security can lead to financial losses and damage to your reputation. Here are some security features to look for:

EMV Chip and PIN technology

Ensure the card payment machine supports EMV chip and PIN technology, which provides a higher level of security than traditional magnetic stripe cards.

PCI DSS compliance

Verify that the machine and payment gateway comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) to protect sensitive cardholder data.

End-to-end encryption

Data encryption should be in place to safeguard cardholder information throughout the payment process, from the card reader to the payment processor.

Regular software updates

The card payment machine should receive regular software updates to patch vulnerabilities and stay up-to-date with security



Step 5: Assess costs and fees

Understanding the cost of acquiring and using a card payment machine is essential for your business's financial planning. Consider the following cost factors:

Machine purchase or lease

You can either purchase or lease a card payment machine. Leasing may have lower upfront costs, but purchasing can be more cost effective in the long run.

Transaction fees

Most payment processors charge a fee per transaction. Compare these fees among different providers to find the most cost-effective option for your business.

Monthly fees

Some providers may charge monthly service fees for using their card payment machines or payment gateways. Be aware of these ongoing costs.

Contract terms

Review the contract terms, including any cancellation fees, to ensure you have flexibility in case your business needs change.

Additional features

Consider any additional features or services provided by the card payment machine, such as analytics, reporting, or customer support, and evaluate their value for your business.

Step 6: Research providers and read reviews

With a clear understanding of your business needs and budget, it's time to research card payment machine providers. Look for reputable providers with a track record of reliability and customer satisfaction. Reading reviews from other businesses can provide valuable insights into the performance of specific machines and providers.

Step 7: Test the machine

Before making a final decision, it's advisable to test the card payment machine to ensure it meets your expectations. Test the machine's speed, ease of use, and compatibility with your ePOS systems if applicable. This hands-on experience will help you make an informed decision.

Step 8: Evaluate customer support

Excellent customer support is crucial, especially in the event of technical issues or questions. Choose a provider that offers responsive customer support and provides assistance when you need it most.

Step 9: Review terms and agreements

Before signing any contracts or agreements, carefully review all terms and conditions. Ensure you understand all fees, commitments, and the duration of the contract. Seek legal advice if necessary.

Step 10: Implement and train your staff

Once you've selected the best card payment machine for your business, it's time to implement it into your operations. Train your staff on how to use the machine correctly and efficiently to ensure smooth transactions and excellent customer service.

Compare card payment machines for your business with SpotDif

Selecting the best card payment machine for your business is a crucial decision that can impact your revenue, customer satisfaction, and security. By assessing your business needs and choosing the right type of machine, you can make an informed choice that benefits your business in the long run. 

Embracing card payment technology and integrating it with ePOS systems can streamline your operations and enhance the overall customer experience, setting your business up for success in a cashless world.

Elevate your business sales today and invest in the right card machine to suit your needs. Compare suppliers offering ePOS devices with SpotDif and secure the best, most cost-effective deal for your business.

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist
Combining in-depth research with an interest in all things home improvement, I aim to keep SpotDif readers up to date with interior design trends, renewable energy options, and more.
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