Card payment machines are a must-have for businesses wanting to accept debit, credit and contactless payments in the UK as we move towards a cashless society. There are lots of options to choose from, ranging from simple swipe and chip and PIN terminals through to advanced mobile contactless payment machines that can also support popular e-wallets such as Apple Pay. Costs vary depending on the model and features selected, with upfront costs, monthly fees and transaction rates to consider.
Generally, card payment machines are slightly larger than a card reader as they have additional functionality and can connect wirelessly. They’re typically supplied by merchant providers, which can offer a wide range of competitive transaction processing rates. They can be purchased outright or rented, often with zero monthly costs and higher transaction fees per card payment.
When a customer swipes or taps their card, the machine sends the details to the bank’s payment processor to verify the transaction. This step verifies that the customer has sufficient funds or credit, and performs other security checks. The card machine then receives an authorization response from the issuing bank and confirms the payment, typically by displaying a message or printing a receipt. The transaction is then ‘batched together’ at the end of the day or at a predetermined time for actual transfer to the business’s bank account.
Some card payment machines can also be used for ‘card-not-present’ transactions, in which case you key in the card details given to you by customers online or over the phone. This can be helpful for taking orders outside of the shop or in remote locations where you don’t have a mobile connection. card payment machines