Cashless payments have gradually increased in recent years, and the steady increase in business owners owning card machines could be one of the factors that contributed to this change. But what are card machines? Let’s take a deeper look at what these machines are and how they help businesses flourish.
Let’s also try to understand why you might need a card machine for business opportunities in the future.
What are Card Machines?
The card machine is an electronic device, designed with built-in technology to process the information on debit or credit cards. The information processed is what allows the user to make a successful payment transaction. Typically, these machines consist of a display, a set of buttons, and a thin slot to receive the card.
How do these Card Machines work?
These machines are normally connected to the internet, wi-fi, or a phone line, where the received data is sent to the processor.
When the customer is ready to make the payment, the cashier would type in the required amount to be paid on the machine and then hand it to the customer. With the credit or debit card inserted, the customer types in the PIN, and the amount is transferred to the business owner’s account.
To understand this better, let’s take a brief look at the steps involved in this process:
- The amount is entered by the card machine holder and the customer types in their secret PIN into the machine.
- Once the customer’s card information is sent to the merchant account ( a merchant account is what lets a business carry out electronic card payments from all debit or credit cards.), the merchant account provider forwards the card transaction details to the card provider to get the required approval from the customer’s bank.
- The card provider ensures that the card details are legit and will forward the authorization request to the customer’s issuing bank.
- The customer’s issuing bank will verify the customer’s bank details and will ensure that the customer has all the required funds to make the payment.
- After the payment has been verified, the fund transfer process from the customer’s bank to the business owner’s bank begins. It takes only a matter of seconds for the authorization process to be completed. The money transfer might take up to 2-3 days to reach the business bank account.
Benefits of using Card Machines
The term, ‘’card machine’’ is the more commonly used term to refer to these machines, however, it has several other names like POS terminals, PDQs, or card reader machines. With the growing popularity of cashless payments or card payment solutions on the rise, let’s look at a few of the reasons why more and more people are opting for this mode of payment rather than the traditional way of paying with cash.
Gives the buyer a sense of freedom
People tend to keep smaller amounts of cash in their wallets. Each time a customer plans on buying something, looking at their wallets will only discourage them from spending more. However, if the customer possesses a debit or credit card and the cashier is equipped with a card reader machine, it can persuade the customer to make their desired purchase.
Buyers prefer card machines
With the rising number of people selecting this mode of cashless payment, the buyer assumes that every store has a card machine to make their payments. Not having a card machine can discourage the buyer and may even lead to the buyer losing interest in making a purchase. But instead, when the buyer knows that a card payment option is available, an individual shows no hesitation in withdrawing from the purchase.
Card payments are quicker
Card payments are quicker in the sense that customers spend more time checking whether they have cash than they do spending cash. Furthermore, exchanging currency notes, and collecting change takes a significant amount of time from both parties. A card payment machine eliminates all this due to the nature of its speed. Once the PIN is entered by the customer, the payment is transferred to the business owner’s bank immediately.
In smaller stores run by a single individual, drawers filled with cash could risk the lives of both the business and the individual. And It’s good that you save money when running a business. However, with a card machine at the table, cashless payments can increase, leading to less cash stored in drawers, lockers, etc. Not only customers, but small business owners could feel a lot more secure with fewer cash notes lying around them.
What are the different types of card machines?
There are three main types of card machines –
This is one of the most basic forms of card machine technology. Here, the card machine holder has to fix a particular spot for the card machine like a desk, a counter, or even a regular table. The person just needs to connect the card machine to a broadband or phone line.
Like the name suggests, these kinds of card machines would be helpful in a business if the owner needs to move around from one spot to another within the business establishment. Since the technology is lightweight and portable, the card machine holder can easily carry it from the counter to the table. This kind of technology relies on Bluetooth technology to carry out transactions.
Just like the countertop card machine, the portable card machine can either be connected to a broadband or phone line connection or via wireless connection, which could work within a 100-meter range.
Unlike portable card machines, these kinds of card machines give more freedom to the card machine holder. Here, the person can travel long distances or even miles with the card machine and easily allow transactions along the way.
What sort of business needs a card machine?
Almost every business out there could do much better in terms of sales and revenue as long as the owner owns a card machine.
- Shops like beauty parlours, salons, spas, hotel rooms, or other places where the services are provided from a fixed location, the owners can go for a countertop card machine. The customers have to come to these places to utilize the services anyway, so having a fixed card machine is the more feasible option.
- Coffee shops, restaurants, and bars would require portable card machines as the customers can pay for the food and drinks right at their tables. The customer has the freedom to pay at the counter or simply wait at the table for the waiter, who would eventually hand them the bill and a card machine to make their payment.
- For delivery agents, food delivery workers, sales workers, and cab drivers, having a mobile card machine would be a must. Since their jobs would require a whole lot of travelling, it would be better to own a mobile card machine and travel around less with pockets full of cash.
In a world where card payments have become the new form of cash, a card reader machine is essentially your cash drawer. If you’re running a business and still don’t own a card machine, it’s about time you got one. Not only is it going to help you in your business or make your customers happy, it’s where the fruits of your labour are going to stay safe and secure.