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How to get a card machine for your small business?

In today’s competitive business landscape, merchants are continuously seeking ways to attract clients and stay ahead of the curve. This challenge is particularly pronounced for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

As card transactions become increasingly prevalent and consumers favour quick alternatives to cash payments, having a card payment machine is a must. The broader range of payment methods you can offer, the better. Customers like options and want assurance that you cater to their preferences.

But are you curious about how to get a card machine? Especially when you don’t want to invest in extensive hardware systems, go through cumbersome procedures and commit to long-term contracts.

Whether you’re thinking of accepting digital payments for the first time or looking to upgrade your existing payment terminal, keep reading for expert insights on how to get a card machine for your business.

Can anyone have a card machine?

Nowadays, obtaining a card machine is easier than ever before. Any business, regardless of its size, can acquire one. Typically, financial institutions such as banks or payment services processors provide these point-of-sale (POS) machines, and numerous companies are offering them at highly affordable prices, often without the need for long-term contracts.

To begin accepting debit and credit card payments with a card machine, you’ll need to open a business bank account or a merchant account with your chosen payment provider. 

This process usually entails completing some paperwork, verifying your business and identity, and agreeing to terms and conditions. To obtain a card reader for your business, you must be registered as a sole trader, company, partnership, charity or organisation.

Once your merchant account is approved, you can obtain a card machine to process payments via credit and debit cards. However, keep in mind that there may be specific eligibility criteria for some businesses.

Buying a card machine: What you need to know

When it comes to accepting digital payments for your business, having the right card machine is essential. Choosing the optimal device depends on factors such as the nature of your business, transaction volume, mobility requirements and budget. By keeping in mind those considerations, you can select a card machine that optimally supports your business operations.

Types of card machines

With advancements in technology, various types of card machines are available, each catering to different business needs and preferences. Let’s explore the common types of card machines.

Portable card machine

Portable or mobile card machines are compact devices that connect to the Internet either through Wi-Fi or a data SIM card. They enable businesses to accept card payments on the go without requiring a fixed counter connection or additional hardware. Mobile card readers also boast long-lasting battery life for extended usage.

Ideal for: Food trucks, market stalls, events, delivery services, mobile professional services and businesses with large premises.

Countertop card machine

Countertop card machines are stationary payment terminals typically placed near a checkout counter. They can sometimes be a bit bulkier, come with a charging and printing dock station and are suitable for businesses with high customer volumes.

Ideal for: Retail stores, hotels and businesses with fixed checkout points

Unattended POS solution

Unattended payment terminals are card machines designed for self-service environments. These unstaffed devices enable customers to make card transactions independently, such as buying tickets, accessing parking facilities or purchasing drinks and snacks. 

Ideal for: Kiosks, vending machines, petrol forecourts, electric car charging stations, parking lots, transit and ticketing systems and public laundries

Additionally, there are also softPOS apps, which can turn compatible Android and iOS mobile devices into a payment terminal. This card payment solution is suitable for those who don’t want to invest in a card machine and would prefer the convenience of accepting card transactions on their mobile phone.

Additional features of card machines

Additional features available

When evaluating card machines, it’s essential to consider some additional features that will not only help you meet industry standards but also resonate with your business objectives.

Here’s a breakdown of key features to look out for:

  • EMV Chip Compatibility: Ensure your card machine is compatible with EMV chip technology to uphold security standards and avoid the risk of fraudulent transactions.
  • PCI DSS Compliance: Adhere to industry regulations by selecting a card machine that complies with PCI DSS standards and safeguarding card details.
  • NFC Support: With the rising demand for contactless payments, opt for a device that accepts popular payment methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
  • Receipt Printing Feature: If you need to print receipts, choose a device with an integrated receipt printer or connected to an external one.
  • Multi-Currency Support: If you cater to an international clientele, your device will have to be able to accept transactions in various currencies.
  • Reporting Capabilities: Gain valuable insights into your business performance by tracking sales trends and monitoring your transaction volumes.
  • Personalisation Options: Some card machine providers offer customisation of the paper receipts with your logo and branding elements or colourful, branded cases for the device.

By considering these additional features, you can select a card machine that not only meets your business’s operational requirements but also enhances customer engagement and satisfaction.

Choosing the payment provider 

With the variety of payment service providers out there, you can feel overwhelmed making the right decision for your business.

Here are a few factors you need to consider when evaluating a payment provider and how suitable they are for you:

  • Ensure the payment provider supports a wide range of payment methods, including major credit and debit cards, phone payments and mobile wallets. Catering to diverse customer preferences will help you maximise your sales opportunities.
  • One of the most important aspects is for the payment provider to adhere to industry security standards, such as compliance with PCI DSS, to safeguard sensitive customer data. Verify their track record in handling security breaches and their protocols for fraud prevention.
  • If you have an existing POS system or e-commerce platform, choose a payment provider that can smoothly integrate with your current setup. This compatibility will streamline operations and minimise disruptions to your business.
  • Consider your future growth plans when selecting a payment provider. Choose a provider that can scale with your business, offering additional features and services as your needs evolve.
  • Research testimonials from other businesses to see what the reputation of your potential payment provider is. Pay attention to feedback regarding reliability, ease of use and overall customer satisfaction.

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose a payment provider that meets your business requirements and supports your long-term success. Remember to prioritise reliability, security and flexibility in your decision-making process.

A business accepting card payment

Costs associated with a credit card machine 

When it comes to selecting a card payment solution for your business, financial considerations take centre stage. It’s essential to understand what are the associated costs first in order to make a cost-effective decision.

One-off costs

Purchasing a card machine entails upfront expenditures, such as the device’s price, setup fees and any installation costs that may occur. While numerous budget-friendly options exist, it’s crucial to perceive the card machine as a strategic, long-term investment rather than merely a one-time expense.

Regular fees

Beyond initial expenses, card machines come with ongoing monthly fees and payment processing costs. Transaction fees can vary significantly, so make sure to thoroughly research the fee structures beforehand.

Some machines charge a fixed percentage fee per transaction, while others offer tiered fees that decrease with higher transaction volumes or vary based on the card type used. Watch out for monthly or annual fees, which remain constant irrespective of transaction volume. Fortunately, some providers, like myPOS, offer payment devices without monthly fees.

How to get a card machine

Obtaining a card machine is usually an easy process involving just a few simple stages. In this section, we’ll walk you through the key steps of how to get a card machine for your business, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Step 1: Choose your payment provider

After comparing offerings, including device prices, transaction fees and contract terms, select a provider that best suits your business needs and budget.

Step 2: Apply for a merchant account

Next, you’ll need to open a merchant account with your chosen provider. This involves completing an application process, providing necessary documentation and undergoing identity verification.

Step 3: Select the card machine 

Decide on the type of card machine that fits your business needs. Depending on your mobility requirements, budget and the necessity for additional features, you can opt for a countertop or a mobile card machine.

Step 4: Installation and setup 

Once your account is approved and you have the card machine with you, follow the instructions provided to set up and activate the device. Conduct several test transactions to ensure that you are confident working on the payment terminal.

Step 5: Start processing payments

With your card payment machine up and running, you can now accept debit and credit card payments from your customers hassle-free.

By following these steps, you can easily obtain a card machine and streamline the payment process for your business, enhancing convenience for both you and your customers.

How much does a card machine cost to buy?

Nowadays, there are plenty of affordable options for card payment machines. However, bear in mind that you’ll also need to factor in the merchant account charges, card transaction fees and other fixed monthly costs that we already mentioned. Therefore, even if you choose the cheapest card payment machine available, this decision might not prove so cost-effective in the long run. 

For example, myPOS Go 2, the cheapest card machine at myPOS, is a budget-friendly solution for small businesses. Operating as a fully standalone payment terminal, it doesn’t require merchants to connect it to a mobile phone or external system to accept credit and debit card payments, thus alleviating concerns about investing in extra hardware.

Additionally, all myPOS devices employ a pay-as-you-go model, meaning merchants are only charged when they accept card payments without being burdened by setup or monthly fees.

Small business card payment using a card machine

Benefits of card machines for small businesses

In today’s fast-paced and digitally driven marketplace, card machines stand out as a crucial asset for enhancing operations and customer service. Embracing debit and credit card payments is not just advantageous—it’s essential for staying competitive and meeting the evolving needs of your customer base.

And here’s why: 

  • Many buyers prefer the convenience and security of card transactions over cash, so if you accept card payments, you will attract more customers;
  • Card transactions are typically processed faster, resulting in quicker access to funds and improved cash flow for your business;
  • Offering multiple payment options enhances the overall shopping experience, leading to increased satisfaction and recurring customers;
  • With fewer cash payments, there’s a lower risk of theft or loss from your premises, helping safeguard your finances;
  • Card machines allow for smooth in-store and on-the-go transactions, providing convenience for you and your customers;
  • Many card payment machines come with reporting features that provide valuable insights into your sales data, helping you identify trends;
  • Accepting contactless card payments positions your business as modern and customer-focused, giving you a competitive edge in the marketplace.

By leveraging the benefits of payment terminals, your business can not only streamline operations but also enhance customer satisfaction and drive growth in today’s competitive landscape.

Key takeaways

Knowing how to get a card machine is crucial for businesses looking to streamline their payment processes. Obtaining a payment device has become easier than ever, with payment service providers offering them at affordable prices and without long-term contracts

The process to acquire a card machine is straightforward: choose your payment provider and preferred device, open a merchant account and follow the setup instructions for the machine.

Various card payment machines are available, including portable, countertop and unattended. When selecting the right payment device for your business, consider additional features like NFC support, multi-currency acceptance, reporting and receipt printing. Also, you will need to consider any associated costs.

In today’s fast-paced market, card machines are essential for enhancing operations and customer service, meeting the preferences of digital consumers. By embracing card payments, businesses can attract more clients, speed up transactions, improve security and gain valuable sales insights, ultimately driving growth and competitiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Modern card machines are very intuitive and require minimal setup. Here’s how to use a myPOS card machine:

  1. Turn on the device and ensure it’s connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi or the integrated data SIM card.
  2. Enter the payment amount and present the device to your customer.
  3. Customers can pay using their contactless, chip and PIN or magstripe card.

For unattended POS terminals, once installed into the self-service machine, no further steps are required from you. Customers simply select their desired product or service and then pay with their card on the device.

The card machine that will best suit your business depends on your individual requirements. For a small business, the most important thing is to offer clients their preferred payment method and accept all types of cards and NFC-enabled devices.

myPOS can help you do just that. Additionally, with its compact size, mobility and affordable price, it effectively meets the payment acceptance needs of most small-scale merchants.

Card payment machines are designed with security features, such as EMV chips and PCI DSS compliance, to protect sensitive cardholder data and prevent fraud.

In fact, card transactions are believed to be the most secure payment method. That is because the devices encrypt payment data during transmission, making it unreadable to unauthorised parties. This encryption ensures that sensitive information remains secure throughout the transaction process.

With myPOS, funds from all card payments received through myPOS card machines or online solutions are instantly deposited into the merchant’s account. It takes up to 3 seconds, and on top of that, this benefit comes free of extra fees.

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