Integrating a credit card processor with your point-of-sale (POS) system lets you expand your customer base to anyone who uses cards. Every credit card reader provider has different equipment and plans with unique strengths. With so many options on the market, you have endless possibilities for a reader that suits your business strategy. This guide will help you consider the factors involved in choosing a card processing company and reader.
What Credit Card Reader Options Do I Have?You have multiple types of credit card reader equipment to consider, as well as payment technologies. Manufacturers offer two primary categories of card processing equipment:
- Card processing machines: Card processing machines work with a point-of-sale (POS) system to accept a variety of payments. Many models have a small screen and PIN pad that lets the customer input their payment information.
- Mobile credit card readers: A mobile credit card reader attaches to a tablet or phone to process card payments. These devices plug into a headphone jack or connect through Bluetooth technology to work with an app.
- Magnetic stripe: Card processors that read magnetic stripes can take cards that you swipe for payment. Many readers still take cards with magnetic stripes, but new cards also include an EMV chip.
- EMV: Many modern stores use a card reader that takes EMV chips because of liability. If a security issue happens to an EMV chip card when you don’t have an EMV reader, you could become responsible. We recommend prioritizing this payment technology to keep your business and customers safe. Check out NRS Petro as an easy, affordable solution.
- Tap pay: Mobile payment apps like Google Pay and Apple Pay use NFC or contactless technology to interact with a card reader. A processor that takes mobile payments must also work with NFC.
Which Factors Should I Consider When Browsing My Options?When choosing a credit card payment reader and processing company, multiple factors should guide your decision:
- Costs and fees: Your processing company can charge you many types of fees for using their service. You may have to pay per transaction or monthly statement. The company can also ask you to pay for the initial setup or early contract cancellation. Whether you buy your equipment from the company or get it on your own, you also have to consider its price.
- Accepted payment forms: In addition to accepting certain payment technologies, a company will also accept specific payment types. For example, a provider might have equipment that uses EMV (technology) but accepts select credit cards (types). A service that takes a wide variety of payment types will open your business to many customers.
- Contract requirements: When you work with a credit card processing company, they will set a contract period. The period will depend on the company and its policies, but some providers offer bonuses for signing the contract. Reading all documents before you sign or agree to anything ensures you know the terms you need to follow.
What Features Should I Look for When I Want to Integrate a Credit Card Processor?The features that benefit you the most out of your potential choices will also vary based on your needs. We consider these aspects of credit card reader services and equipment necessary for business:
- Security: The ideal provider will prioritize you and your customers’ financial safety. As we mentioned earlier, EMV technology can help you prevent fraud and security breaches. You can also look into their fraud resolution services and how they help their customers when something happens. A provider that works with your industry will also know common risks in businesses like yours.
- POS compatibility: If you already have a POS system or plan to get one, you may want to check that a card reader works with it. Some POS solutions include a free card reader and processing services for your convenience. These services make all their equipment compatible with each other. Having compatible hardware and software across your system ensures you have fast, seamless service.
- Customer service: Your card reader company’s customer support will help you understand your service and solve any problems that occur. When you look into reviews of a company, look for information on their customer service. A reliable customer support department can improve the quality of your experience with your reader and processing.
How Do I Choose the Right Credit Card Reader for My Business?You and your business will have unique requirements for the perfect credit card processor. To figure out the features that will make a service better suited to your business, ask yourself questions like:
- What kind of payments do my customers like to use?
- How much can I afford to pay for a processing service every month?
- Will certain features outweigh specific drawbacks?
- How much help will I need with setup and other technical factors?
- Can I make a long-term commitment with a single provider?