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Accepting card payments is rapidly becoming an essential part or running a business in Australia — and to do that you’re going to need an eftpos machine. Research shows that the number of payments made with cash over the last decade has almost halved and that cash could disappear altogether by 2026.
Whether you’re new to accepting card, or looking to update your payments provider, our guide provides everything you need to know about getting setup with an eftpos machine.
What is eftpos and what does it stand for?
EFTPOS stands for ‘electronic funds transfer at point of sale’. EFTPOS is a payments network that facilitates the transfer of funds electronically when debit or credit payments cards are used at the point-of-sale.
What is an eftpos machine?
An eftpos machine, or card reader, is a device that allows your to accept credit and debit card payments from your customers. As more and more payments are made using tap and go, a good card reader will allow you to accept contactless and chip cards, and even mobile wallets like Apple or Google Pay.
How much does an eftpos machine cost?
Traditionally eftpos terminals have been an expensive investment, especially for small businesses, but that is rapidly changing. Banks and traditional providers often charge rental fees, ongoing subscription rates and have additional costs for accepting corporate and international cards.
With Square, you can purchase a card reader for as little as $65 and start taking payments right away. There are no ongoing hardware fees, you simply 1.9% per payment for all major cards — including American Express.
How do I use an eftpos machine?
That will depend entirely on the hardware you purchase for your business. Square’s card reader is linked to our free point-of-sale app meaning you can take payments anywhere that you have mobile data or wifi access.
Some eftpos machines will work independently from your point-of-sale setup, meaning you manually need to enter the transaction amount each time you take a payment.
What should I look for when purchasing an eftpos machine?
There are many things to consider when investing in a payment provider for your business. Here are some of the key things to look out for:
- Hardware costs
Different providers will have different pricing models. Some will rent hardware to their customers, others (like Square) allow you to buy it outright with no ongoing costs.
- Processing fees
When you take a card payment your payment provider will charge a percentage on each transaction to cover processing fees. Look for a provider that has simple fees and doesn’t charge more to process international or premium credit cards as these costs can really add up. Square charges one flat fee for all major cards, including American Express.
If you’re running a retail or brick and mortar business having a point-of-sale system can be a great way to keep track of sales, inventory and more. Square provides a free point-of-sale app that allows you to do all that and more.
- Invoicing and Virtual Terminal
You may need to send customers invoices that to be paid by card or take a payment over the phone without the customer’s card being present. Look for a provider that will allow you send digital invoices or take payments over the phone.
- Mobile eftpos machines
If you ever sell at events or temporary locations like pop-ups it can be very useful to have a mobile card reader so you can take payments on the go. Square Reader is compact and portable, and because you can manage it using our free mobile app you can take payments wherever you are.
Where can I buy an eftpos machine?
Square Reader is available online for $65. It allows you to accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, and eftpos chip cards for one flat fee.
Square Reader is also stocked in 1,500 retail locations across Australia, including:
- JB Hi-Fi
- Harvey Norman