What to Know Before Buying a Credit Card Reader

Money is going paperless. And to most businesses, the ability to accept credit card payments draws the line between closing and losing a sale. About four in every five people in America prefer paperless shopping over paying in cash. No wonder the sales for magnetic scanners and credit card readers have soared with time.

Perhaps you could be among the few business people who are still on the verge of choosing an ideal credit card reader. So, what features do you want in a perfect credit card reader? How should you conduct the process of securing a new reader? Here are a few guidelines to enable you to pick the correct choice of a reader from the onset.

Credit Card Reader Considerations

Every business is different. You could be a freelancer who accepts credit cards occasionally, an artist, or a retailer. In such cases, your needs, that is: your frequency and preference of a credit card reader could be highly varied.

Here are some of the essential features to consider:

1. The ease of setting it up

Some credit card readers are easy to set up. They do not require much verification, and you could set them up with almost the same steps as those of setting magnetic card readers. On the other hand, other card readers might push you through a few rounds before being fully established.

Some might demand a whole load of credit and background checks. But will you be patient enough to wait for all the tests? How urgently do you need a credit card reader? It is, therefore, essential to think about the ease of setting up a credit card reader before buying it.

2. Does it support EMV?

The EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) is a globally recognized standard for interoperation of IC cards. This standard allows for authentication of credit and debit cards. An ideal IC reader machine ought to accept transactions from the new chip-and-pin credit and debit cards.

An ideal credit card reader should have at least two specialized slots: one to act as a magnetic stripe scanner and the other to accept EMV cards.

3. Speed of depositing money into the bank

Some credit card readers might require you to open a merchant account that temporarily stores money from the credit card transactions. The saved money in your merchant account is then held and transferred to your local bank account on a daily or a weekly basis.

On other credit cards, however, your card reader is linked directly to your bank account. It then means that all transactions done on your credit card reader will reflect immediately or on the preceding business day.

For businesses that require a quick flow of money, you might consider taking a credit card reader that will be linked directly to your bank account.

4. Ease of integrating with accounting software applications

Most credit cards do offer application programming interfaces to link accounting software apps like Xero and QuickBooks. If you have a fairly established business, you might find it challenging to record all transactions manually.

With the help of integrated accounting software linked to your credit card reader, you will be able to keep track of all transactions and finances.

5. Pricing Considerations

The pricing structure of credit card payments is not usually dependent on the readers; it is a plan of the mobile processing dealer. The pricing of credit card payments in most credit card readers is a relatively confusing topic.

Different dealers offer different plans. These plans may vary significantly from one mobile credit card processing dealer to the other. Among the most popular ones are these three:

  • The Processing Costs: These are costs that are charged on every transaction.
  • Monthly fees: Some mobile credit card processing dealers may charge you a monthly fee for using the credit card readers. If you handle a few transactions monthly, such options could be very costly.
  • Keyed-in Card Fees. These are additional charges that may be charged if you opt to manually key in credit card details rather than letting the card reader access the information.

With these tips, you’re ready to continue to install a smart card reader.

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