Each credit card swiper on market performs the same basic function.
It reads the card’s information when you swipe the card through. A swiper is one way to enable your business to accept payments by credit or debit card.
If you wish to stay competitive in the 21st century you need to have a swiper.
If you aren’t familiar with credit card swipers, not to worry. They are very easy to explain and their functions are pretty basic.
If you have a credit card yourself, then you have more than likely used a credit card swiper at least once in your life.
Traditional credit cards all have a magnetic stripe on the back of them which stores our personal account information. In order to purchase an item with your credit card, the terminal needs to read the information to authorize the purchase and deduct the amount from your bank account.
A credit card swiper is the portion of the terminal where customers place their card in and “swipe” through.
The credit card terminal swiper has a reader built into it which picks up the user’s account information from the magnetic stripe on the credit card. It uses this information to connect to the user’s account for verification and authorization of the purchase.
The process is quite simple. Once the credit card swiper reads the information, it connects to their financial institution via the Internet and checks with it to make sure the funds are available.
The swiper is connected to the Internet through either a direct Ethernet port on the swiper, or wirelessly.
The three major types of swipers are fixed, mobile, and payment terminals.
Fixed swipers are basically a barcode reader which is attached to a POS system and it has a direct line attached to it for approving payments when a card is swiped through the reader.
Mobile, or wireless, credit card swipers are more common now and a lot of small, newer businesses use them because they can attach them to their phones or tablets. They use POS software installed on their devices to conduct the transaction.
These swipers are easy to come by and are usually much cheaper than stationary terminals. In fact, your merchant services / processing company will usually give you one for free.
These come as a separate attachment for iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and various other tablets. As we already talked about, this is the cheapest swiper out there and is a great place to start if you are a new business and are looking at keeping start up costs down. This is your best option!
Credit card payment terminals are the biggest swiper out there and usually the most capable, too. They can usually accept any type of card payment with a credit card logo on them.
They also have a built in keypad so customers using a debit card can enter their PIN for authorization. Newer credit card swiper terminals also have a chip card reader built in for embedded chip and pin card authorizations.
In fact, as of October 1st, 2015, all businesses in the US are required to have the ability to accept chip cards.
Ultimately, as a merchant, you need to provide your guests with the best means for purchasing items or services at your business. The best way to do this is by purchasing one of the credit card swipers mentioned above.
Whichever type works best for your business is the one you should consider. Whatever the costs involved are, it is worth it in the end to be able to accommodate all of your customers.
Consider the loss of money if you you’re unable to accept credit cards…
Sure, not everyone pays with a credit card every time they purchase something or go out to dinner with their family or friends. But nearly every person does have a credit card or bank card (which are used the same way) which they often use to purchase items and do special things like go out to dinner.
While some areas of the country may still have businesses who only accept cash, those businesses are usually in much less populated areas outside of big cities. Before long, they won’t be able to keep up; they’ll have to adapt to the world of credit card transactions.
They don’t lose out on customers like a business in a big city would because their guests already pay with cash most of the time.
Even these small businesses have a chance of losing out on potential customers if they have someone visit their shop or restaurant that is only in the area temporarily and doesn’t carry cash on them. While these may be few and far between, a lost sale is still a lost sale.
If you aren’t one of those small town businesses and you see a lot of foot traffic come through your business’ doors, you really should invest in a credit card swiper. Your bottom dollar will thank you.
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