There are just a handful of large global card terminal providers, and they are typically global payment device makers or primarily international direct card terminal manufacturers. (Meaning their machines are not locked down to specific processing platforms or processors.) These companies include Visa, MasterCard, Discovery, American Express and JCB, in addition to Discover and Interasso.) The providers normally also supply a host of smaller merchants that use their equipment for personal applications.
There are a few things you should look for when choosing your card terminal providers. Of course, you need a provider with experience. In addition, you need to consider how quickly your terminals will be able to process your card payments, and also what additional facilities and services they offer. Here are some of the key features of merchant terminals that you should consider:
A company with an established name and market position can provide you with a fast, reliable and secure terminal. However, the best deal may be offered by smaller operators with less market influence. For example, American Express is a very large and established company, but it is also one of the most popular merchant account providers. Their credit card terminals can integrate with most existing merchant software, and American Express offers a wide range of other services to their clients. So while American Express might be the ideal merchant account provider for your needs, you may find the following offers more attractive:
VISA and MasterCard both have their own unique range of terminals. They offer their equipment in various forms, including credit card machines. The costs associated with their terminals, however, vary widely. Most VISA and MasterCard machines have several add-ons that can be configured with merchant accounts and other additional services. These include safekeeping service, inventory tracking and other helpful features.
An all-in-one credit card terminal or ATM machine is perfect for accepting Visa and MasterCard. Some merchant account providers offer these machines exclusively, and they include add-on features such as safekeeping or inventory management. You may prefer a machine that accepts both forms of payment, but some of the better all-in-one providers only accept one type. Check out the available features and compare prices between different vendors. If you are going to be using a debit card reader, for example, you will need a machine that can also act as a debit card reader.
If you are in the market for a new smartphone application development or mobile commerce strategy, look for providers that offer merchant services on the go. Many companies, for example, have developed mobile apps that allow customers to pay with their smartphones. Some providers already have complete mobile commerce solutions that integrate with their countertop hardware, while others provide merchant services only to specific devices.
Wireless payment terminals allow customers to make purchases at any location, which may be indoors or outdoors, with no need for additional outlets. Look for a provider that offers Wi-Fi connections for secure connectivity between customer and machine. Some wireless machines are also designed to work with a payment service through your phone. Such terminals can be used to make sales or process checks when the device isn't connected to a computer. Check with your vendor for details about their preferred operating methods.
There are two types of wireless credit card machines: Those that connect to a computer via a wired Ethernet cable and those that connect to phones. Some of the latter can integrate with existing computer networks. Most businesses, however, should opt for the wireless types as they are easier to install and use. Contact your local network providers to find out which ones are available for your business.