Choosing the Best Credit Card Terminals for Your Business

Many merchants face the trouble of sifting through numerous credit card machine options, looking for a terminal that fits with their business. There are many different types of credit card terminals to choose from, and you need one that’s going to help your business operate the most efficiently. Selecting the right payment processing terminal will not only help reduce your processing costs, but it’ll also increase your profits. Here are some credit card terminals and the types of businesses that best match their features.

Card-Present Transactions → Countertop Point-of-Sale
Card Not Present Transactions → Virtual Terminals
On-the-Go Merchants → Mobile & Wireless Terminals
Online & eCommerce → Shopping Carts


Traditional Retail Terminals

Businesses such as retail shops or restaurants involve face-to-face contact with your customers, therefore your credit card transactions with them are exclusively in-person. This is referred to as “card-present” transactions, which basically just means the cardholder and credit card are physically present at the time of sale. For this type of transaction, your best payment terminal option would be a countertop point-of-sale model. 

Countertop credit card terminals allow you to swipe your customers’ credit cards through a card reader to process the transaction. If you want to add a PIN pad, you’re enabling greater security, and in that case you can also process debit cards and EBT cards as well.

You also have the option to add a printer to a countertop terminal. You can then print out a receipt that the customer signs and that you retain for your records, and a copy is printed for the customer as well.

While card-present transactions are standard, it’s also possible to use a countertop terminal in a “card-not-present” (CNP) situation. Merchants who accept mail, telephone/fax, or Internet orders can key in the credit card information to the terminal in order to process the sale. However, there may be much better terminal options out there if that’s your deal (see virtual terminals below).

For traditional retail terminals Fattmerchant offers:

  • VeriFone® Vx520

  • Ingenico® ICT 220

Mobile and Wireless Terminals

Outside of traditional retail are mobile and wireless terminals. These usually work best for merchants with service professionals who operate in the field and need payments collected right there at the customer’s home. Mobile and wireless credit card terminals are a great solution if you’re an on-the-spot merchant. These terminals also offer a better alternative if you’re tired of billing your customers and waiting for the payments to come through.

Fattmerchant offers NPC mobile readers for small to mid-sized merchants looking to accept mobile payments anywhere they conduct business. With absolutely no additional equipment to purchase, all a merchant has to do is download the app on their mobile device, activate the application, and right then they have a handheld terminal at their fingertips. This mobile payment processing solution is compatible with iPhone, Android, and RIM operating systems, and it’s supported by all major wireless providers.

Wireless terminals could also be the processing solution your business needs. These are compact and portable, and they allow you to keep up with sales in the field with more secure processing.

Mobile and wireless terminals enable merchants to go beyond traditional point-of-sale and cash-only operations. They both provide a new, updated and innovative way to accept credit cards from customers.

Virtual Terminals/eCommerce

Today’s customers rely heavily on the Internet to find services and shop for products. And that brings them to you! Merchants who accept “card-not-present” transactions, either online or over the phone, would benefit from a virtual terminal. Because there’s no need for a physical and traditional credit card terminal, a virtual terminal uses software to process transactions.

At Fattmerchant, we use NPC Secure as a virtual terminal for our Internet-based merchants who process and manage telephone, and even face-to-face transactions. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can process payments directly through your website.

At Fattmerchant, we have three different subscription-based pricing plans that each offer a FREE credit card terminal. We also give merchants access to direct cost processing with no contract, no markup, and no hidden fees. Contact us today to try direct cost subscription-based credit card processing risk-free!


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