Payment-Terminal-Diagnostics---Picking-The-One-For-You

Payment Terminal Diagnostics – Picking The One For You

One of my mom’s favorite complaints is “Why can’t all payment terminals be the same?” It is easy to understand my mom’s frustration with paper sticky notes taped to machines giving directions on how to use them correctly: which way to swipe, or if you should insert a chip.

There are so many different types of payment terminals these days that picking the right machine can streamline your business while picking the wrong one can leave your customers disgruntled. This leaves many merchants wondering which one is right for their business. We have broken done a few pros and cons for the most common payment terminals in the marketplace today.

Desktop Payment Terminal

You guess it, these terminals stay on your desktop tethered to the point of sale system. The newer ones can process a variety of payments including swipe, chip, and tap. They are great for retail or service based businesses who process payments at a countertop.

Pros:
  • Do not have to charge battery
  • Swipe, chip, and tap capabilities
  • Processes debit and credit cards
  • Only need one for each payment station
Cons:
  • Non-mobile
  • Most do not easily integrate with value-add payment apps, such as customer loyalty
  • Higher price tag
Portable Terminals

Not to be confused with Internet mobile terminals, portable terminals can be portable anywhere within the business. Some are starting to get 3G capabilities, but most still link to a business’s Wi-Fi connection or base. They can process the full range or payment types including swipe, chip, and tap. The portable terminals can be found heavily in the restaurant industry. Great for business who want to bring the payment to the customers.

Pros:
  • Mobility
  • Swipe, chip, and tap capabilities
  • Processes debit and credit cards
  • Multiple machines can decrease wait time
Cons:
  • Have to charge battery
  • Most do not easily integrate with value-add payment apps, such as customer loyalty
  • Might have to “hunt down” the terminal
  • Higher price tag.
Mobile Swiper – Headphone Jack Terminal

Instead of having to shell out hundreds of dollars for a payment terminal, merchants can plug a small device into a phone or tablet headphone jack and start accepting credit cards. By using the data or Wi-Fi off of a phone or tablet merchants can process payments anywhere.

Pros:
  • Completely mobile
  • Lower price tag
  • Quick set-up
  • Can integrate apps depending on point of sale
Cons:
  • Only processes credit cards
  • Not suitable for high volume customers
  • Only can read the magnetic stripe on the card
  • Can use cellular data
  • Liability on merchant for fraud without EMV processing capabilities
Mobile EMV – Bluetooth Terminal

The popularity of the mobile swiper and the recent liability shift created the foundation for the mobile EMV Bluetooth terminal. These smaller payment terminals connect to a mobile phone or tablet that acts as the point of sale. Just like their headphone jack predecessor they are completely portable by using data or Wi-Fi off of the connected device. These terminals are capable of accepting a range of payment types including swipe, chip and tap.

Pros
  • Completely mobile
  • Lower price tag
  • Quick set-up
  • Can integrate apps depending on point of sale
  • Swipe, chip, and tap capabilities
  • Many process both debit and credit cards
Cons
  • Requires an Internet data connection via WiFi or Cellular
  • Have to charge battery
Picking a device can be cumbersome, and most merchants will stick with their device until they are forced to upgrade. With the countertop and portable terminals, merchants still need to look into the right point of sale system. While many mobile terminals have an integrated point of sale app offered for free that seamlessly connects.

The right solution for you depends on your business and how you want to handle payments. If you are looking for a Mobile EMV Bluetooth terminal, Beanstream has developed sproutPOS.

Innovation in mobile payment terminals has come a long way. With the future of payments shifting heavily to EMV and NFC, merchants need to ensure they invest in terminals that can process and adapt to new technologies.
Nicole Stright

Nicole Stright

Nicole is our coffee dependent content specialist. With a quick-witted way with words, she could make you enjoy reading an instruction manual. She was born American, raised Canadian and has lived briefly in Poland. A quintessential west coastian she can be found running the seawall, practicing savasana in yoga or enjoying an over-hopped I.P.A. Nicole is responsible for all of the bean puns as well as creating compelling copy driven by analytics that converts. She strives to simplify the complicated and wants readers to easily understand the often convoluted industry of payments.
Nicole Stright