Simply defined, a credit card reader is a device that will allow you to accept and process payments through your point-of-sale system or smart device; whether your phone or tablet. For a business owner, it is essential that you can accept payments wherever you are, but there are certain things you need to consider before getting a reader for your credit cards.
What should you take into account when buying a reader for credit cards?
What is the pricing structure like
Different readers have different pricing. Look for one that gives the best rate no matter what kind of transaction you’re doing.
The transactions include person-to-person payments, low or high-volume transactions among others. You should also consider whether you want to take on a monthly fee.
How easy is it to use
Most readers are not challenging to use but do not assume anything, when you are acquiring one, establish that you will not have any difficulties when using it. Also, take note of the point of sale software that will come with the reader and the account.
How fast can you make bank deposits
You have two options when buying a card reader; one option requires that you set up a merchant account which will hold your money for you. Any sales you make using the credit card will be held in this account before the transfer to your business bank account. The money transfer process can take up to a week.
The second option is to link your card reader directly to your bank account so that you can get deposits as soon as the next business day.
What type do you want
There are many types of readers available in the market. The options include; magstripe or those that are for swiping. You can also get one that will allow you to accept chip cards (EMV) at a small fee. You also have the option of getting one with the smartphone card reader (NFC) so that you can accept payments from Google Play, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay among others.
Compatibility with other devices
Look for a reader that can connect to Bluetooth and can use Android and iOS platforms. Note, most readers accept iOS platforms only, thus limiting their usage.
How secure is it
Many consumers and business owners grapple with the issue of credit card security. When you’re buying a reader for your business, look for one that is PCI compliant, has end-to-end encryption, and does not store information from the card on your device.
Your card reader should come with additional features like point-of-sale, inventory management, and data analysis; so that you can manage your business and payments easily.
How good is the customer support?
Buy a Card reader from a company that will give you 24/7 support. Some companies will only provide you with support during the regular working hours, which could be a disadvantage if you transact at night or during the weekends.
Just like any other product, card readers are different and will vary in the features, cost and business benefits. It is therefore vital that you have a good understanding before you buy one.
Do not be afraid of consulting professionals for advice on the best card reader to buy; they have the relevant knowledge and will help you avoid making a mistake when acquiring the card readers.
We will touch on some of the things you need to avoid when buying a reader for your credit cards, because they are an investment that requires careful consideration.
Do not buy one without EMV certification
Many credit cards now have EMV chips, and your reader should allow you to get payment from search credit cards. The reality is that many readers still come without this certification. Not only do you lose out on the business that you’d get from customers who have EMV credit cards, but you also lose a lot of money due to the chargeback’s applied by the banks.
Be wary of middleware and native software
Avoid POS systems that require middleware or run on native software, which will subject your business to PCI audits. Such audits are expensive and will be an expenditure that could impact on the bottom line.
Check the speed of EMV processing
If the EMV processing is slow, you will have an issue with processing payments. Check the type of software that the reader has before you decide on the one to buy. Also, make sure that you get information on the processing speed so that you do not deal with costly lags in your business.
Avoid those with limited acceptance
We have already talked about EMV acceptance, but you should also consider whether the reader can process NFC mobile payments. Also remember to check that you can use devices like apple watches, iPhone among others. Your customers will have the option of using a wide range of devices, to make payments. Inasmuch as the uptake of NFC mobile payments is presently not very high, experts are projecting that mobile payments will increase, and may surpass in-store payments.
Do not be very strict on the signature options
With advancements in technology and EMV, it is now not a strict requirement for anyone to sign their credit cards. However, as a business owner look for a reader that is not very strict on the signature options,
You may still require the signature in certain transactions.
Buying a reader for your credit card requires quite a bit of research from your end. There are specific considerations you need to take, and we have highlighted this in detail above.
Remember, consulting an expert to help you with the process may be a good idea because they will be able to give you good advice on the best kind of reader to buy. Think of it as an investment and be ready to spend a little money if it can assure you of the right product.
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