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What Is the Best Credit Card and Debit Machine?

Alise Bailey, Editor
Square

Whether you’re looking to take payments at your health-care practice or charge clients for a great new head of highlights, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the best credit card and debit machine for your business.

Cost (initial as well as ongoing), security and usability should be top of mind when selecting the best credit card machine for your business. This guide will help you understand what to look for in a credit card and debit machine so you can make the right decision.

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10 features to look for

Choosing the best credit card and debit machine might seem like a pretty easy proposition. It just needs to take payments, right? Well, yes and no. To make sure you’re getting the most reliable and cost-efficient technology that creates a seamless experience for your customers, you need to think about more than just the payment.

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first credit card and debit machine or switch to a new one, here are the 10 most important features to look out for during your decision-making process.

  1. Ease of use: Consider how usable the credit card and debit machine is. Look for a machine that’s easy to use and requires minimal training. If it’s complicated for you, your team and your customers to understand, you’ll hold up your line and frustrate clients.

  2. Simple price input: Whatever your customers are buying, you should be able to easily input the exact amount they’re paying. Look for a credit card and debit machine with custom input, so you never have to compromise.

  3. Payment security and PCI compliance: Violating PCI compliance can lead to major financial penalties and it leaves you and your customers vulnerable to fraudulent charges. Your credit card and debit machine should be PCI compliant to avoid financial and security infringements.

  4. EMV and NFC compatibility: Your credit card and debit machine should be able to accept whatever ways your clients want to pay. Whether they tap with NFC payments, insert their chip, or swipe, get a credit card and debit machine that does it all.

  5. Portability: You’re never in the same place, and your credit card and debit machine shouldn’t have to be, either. Look for a credit card machine that’s portable and easy to shift around, so you can take payments wherever you and your customers are.

  6. Reliability: Getting paid is the lifeblood of your business, so a reliable credit card and debit machine to take payments is key to keeping everything running smoothly. Look for a high-quality machine that is rated well for reliability, so you never have to miss a payment.

  7. Contracts: Often, credit card and debit machines require long-term contracts to begin processing payments with their hardware. You may be required to sign contracts like a merchant account agreement and pay fees for things like applications, chargebacks, compliance, retrieval, hardware leasing and more.

  8. Connectivity: Wherever and whatever you’re doing, it’s important that your credit card and debit machine can actually take payments and stay connected when you move around. Determine if your credit card machine will connect via WiFi or Ethernet at your business, and select a machine that processes accordingly.

  9. Trial period and warranty: Look for a system that you can try out (like with a 30-day trial) and that has a warranty in case issues arise. You should also look for a machine that includes support, so if something goes wrong, you can get help quickly.

  10. Ability to print receipts: If it’s important for your business, printing receipts is a critical attribute of a terminal that’s right for you. Some credit card and debit machines have a built-in printer, while others need to be connected to a separate receipt printer.

How to evaluate the cost

Another thing to keep in mind is the cost. There are two main factors that determine the cost of your credit card and debit machine: hardware costs and processing costs. These costs will in turn reflect the credit card and debit machine price.

Hardware costs

Also referred to as equipment costs, hardware costs include the price to purchase or lease the actual credit card and debit machine and any additional accessories you might need, like a separate receipt printer, scanner or charger. (It’s easy to forget, but be sure to factor accessories into the final price of your machine.)

Processing costs

Whenever your customers swipe, insert or tap, their payment is processed by a number of parties. That costs money, and charges per card type and per transaction can differ, depending on the credit card and debit machine you are using.

Charges may include fees like startup fees, statement fees, monthly fees, refund fees, PCI-compliance fees, or business card fees.

Be sure you know how much you’ll pay for processing, both up front and on an ongoing basis.

The best credit card and debit machine for your business

Every business is different and so what credit card and debit machine is best for your business is something only you can determine.

Square Terminal is the next-generation standalone terminal and receipt printer that enables merchants to accept any form of payment (tap, insert or swipe) all in one device. It’s a modern device optimized for easy, professional and reliable payments that treat you and your money fairly.

Square Terminal users pay just 2.65% per transaction for Visa, Mastercard, American Express and international credit cards, or $0.10 per INTERAC insert or tap. And if you process over $250,000 per year, you may be eligible for a custom rate.

If you try out Square Terminal, you can get started in under ten minutes and try it risk-free for 30 days. Square Terminal also comes with a one-year warranty with next-business-day hardware replacement and 24/7 phone support.

Interested in Square Terminal? Order now.

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Alise is an editor at Square, where she writes about how to start, run, and grow a business, highlighting our sellers around the world.