How to Choose the Right Credit Card Terminal



In today’s commercial climate, taking credit cards isn’t an option; it’s a necessity. With so many choices on the market, how is a business owner to know which is the best? These suggestions can help you to make the decision that’s right for you.

A Blast from the Past

Not so long ago, countertop terminals were the only game in town. In most respects, they were little more than simple machines that allowed customers to use their credit and debit cards at checkout. Unfortunately, the magnetic stripe cards that customers used at that time were highly vulnerable to fraud, leading to more modern and secure terminals.

Today’s Complete Point-Of-Sale Solutions

Nowadays, the magnetic stripe card has been replaced by the chip or EMV card, resulting in a higher level of security for customers and merchants alike. By the same token, many machines that are used to process EMV payments have gotten a major upgrade. Today, merchants have complete POS systems available to them at an affordable price. More than just payment processors, today’s POS systems are brimming with capabilities that include report generation, accounting, customer relationship management, loyalty, inventory, employee scheduling and more.

The Middle of the Road

What if you fall somewhere between old-school payment terminals and today’s whiz-bang POS systems? What if you want ease of use, modern capabilities and security without all the bells and whistles? A solution like the Verifone VX 520 is available and is a countertop solution that you can rely on for daily use.

One look at the Verifone VX520 quick start guide will give you a good idea of its features. It’s an excellent solution for business owners who want an EMV-ready countertop terminal at a moderate price. Fast and secure, it can connect via dialup, Ethernet, USB or 3G/2G (optional). If you often take your business on the road, you can purchase an optional battery for the VX 520 or move to Verifone’s wireless equivalent, the VX 680, which provides a portable and rugged way to accept your customers’ payments no matter where you may roam.

The VX 520 and VX 680 are flexible and diversified, capable of accepting virtually all types of cards and payments, including traditional magnetic stripe, EMV, gift and loyalty cards and even NFC contactless payments. Your staff can easily process transactions and returns and even accept gratuities. A limited selection of reports is also available.

Your business is unique, and so are its needs. What works best for the store down the street might be inadequate to meet your requirements. On the other hand, a high-end, multi-function POS solution could be overkill. Take time to assess your payment processing priorities, and you are sure to arrive at the solution that is optimal for you. And stay tuned for more solutions from Total Merchant Services and its sister companies as they work to ensure every business has a solution that is the best fit for their current and future needs.