Consumer payment trends are leaning towards cashless transactions. Allowing customers to pay using different methods help in growing the business and improving relationships with customers. Companies should invest in credit card readers to modernize and innovate their payment system. Card readers are beneficial to companies in more ways than one, so it is vital to choose the most suitable device for your business. If you have not started accepting credit card payments for your business, you may be losing customers and revenue.
Tips in Choosing the Best Card Readers for Your Business
It does not matter if you are a small business or a larger, more established company. The ability to accept credit card payments legitimizes your business and expands your client base. Using a card reader not only increases the trust of your clients, but it also simplifies business processes and reduces operating costs. Card readers come in different shapes and sizes, but more than that, you should choose one that suits your business operations the most. Here are important tips to guide you on what card reader to choose for your business:
- Consider the Nature of Your Business
A hotel may have a dedicated payment counter for guests checking in and out, so a standard card terminal will suffice. However, if you run a café, you should invest in a wireless card reader to make credit card payments more convenient for customers. Once the customer is ready to pay the bill, the waiter brings the wireless card reader to process the transaction right then and there.
An artist selling their artworks at a festival, on the other hand, should use mobile credit card readers. If your business or work involves traveling, a card reader with cellular connectivity is your best bet. Freelancers, entrepreneurs operating food truck businesses, on-call personal coaches or trainers, and medical representatives should opt for a mobile card reader.
- The Card Reader’s Key Features Should Benefit Your Business
With the rollout of EMV cards, your card reader must be able to read the EMV chips found in credit cards and debit cards. You can also opt to utilize a credit card reader with a chip-and-swipe function so that you can still accept cards with regular magnetic stripes. There are numerous types of card readers that can benefit your business, such as readers allowing contactless payments. Some card readers enable users to sync the device to their accounting software for easier record management. The most common types of card readers are:
- Credit Card Terminal: Traditional countertop readers have internal modems that connect to your phone line to communicate with the merchant service provider.
- Wireless Credit Card Reader: Wireless and mobile credit card readers utilize GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) or CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) to transmit information from the card reader to the merchant service provider.
- Virtual Credit Card Reader: Virtual card readers use your Internet connection or your mobile phone to process the credit card transaction.
- Don’t Forget to Check the Costs Associated with the Card Reader
There are various costs associated with acquiring a card reader for your business. Understanding how these cost factors in will help you make a better decision.
- Upfront Cost: This cost will include hardware costs, software usage fees, payment processing fees, service fees, and more. Shop around for a provider that can give you the card reader at a reasonable price, or provide the POS software free of charge. There are service providers who use a SaaS model, which means you have to pay fees every month to utilize the program.
- Recurring Costs: Signing up for a service means you have to pay your contract fee every month.
- Transaction Costs: Choose a device with fixed prices to help you plan and reduce monthly overhead expenses.
- Other Costs: A traditional card machine needs a phone line to connect with the payment processor. A wireless card reader, on the other hand, requires Wi-Fi connectivity to communicate with the credit card processor.
A card reader benefits an established company in the same way it will help a startup business trying to conquer the market. Keeping up with the trends in payment transactions is a surefire way to bring in more customers to your door. To be competitive in business, you must learn to leverage technology and innovations. A card reader is a tool that every business owner should invest in and utilize. The ability to accept card payments lets you meet customer expectations and turn them into loyal clients of your business.
Stephen Hart is the former CFO of payment processing company Worldpay. After his role at Worldpay, Stephen founded and now manages the UK’s first card processing comparison site, Cardswitcher.