Which is the best card payment machine for my business?

Published: 04/ 10/ 2019

Gone are the days you had to be glued to your till to take card payments, the landscape’s constantly evolving and with that comes more and more choice. But with choice comes decisions and with decisions can come uncertainty.

By the end of this read through, hopefully, all that ambiguity will be put to bed.

What types of card machines are there?

Here at takepayments we have three types of card machines: countertop, mobile and portable. Each is unique in one way or another and which is most suited to you will depend on how you do business. For example:

  • Do you only ever take payments from a fixed point?
  • Do you need to take payments at both ends of your store?
  • Do you accept card payments when you’re out, about and away from your store?

We’ll go into each in more detail next, but those are the kinds of questions that’ll shape your decision.

You might have noticed we didn’t mention contactless in our list and we did that for a reason, because all our card machines accept contactless payments as standard.

Countertop card machines

If you only ever take payments from one set place - like your till, counter or reception, a countertop card machine’s a very valid solution. However, if you want to take payments from your till, while you’re visiting a client’s site and when you’re attending a trade show, this one’s not for you because it can’t be moved around.

Some examples of businesses countertop machines might be most suited to include:

  • Convenience stores
  • Sandwich shops
  • Salon owners
  • Retail stores
  • Fastfood joints.

How does it work?

The machine plugs straight into your broadband or phone line (which is why it can’t be transported) and uses that connection to process payments. It’s worth noting though, if your broadband or phone line goes down, so will your card machine.

Find out more about our countertop card machines here.

Mobile card machines

If you’re constantly on the go and WiFi isn’t a sure thing then a mobile card machine could be the workaround you’re after.

How does it work?

Like a mobile phone, it uses 3G to connect to the strongest GPRS signal around (out of Vodaphone, O2 and T Mobile) through a SIM card, so you can use it in-store, on a field or in your car. 

Mobile card machines do have a good battery life and they can go all day without being powered up, however, it’s not infinite, so they do need charging up after a full days’ use.

This option might be for you if you’re a:

  • Mobile hairdresser
  • Taxi driver
  • Window cleaner
  • Plumber
  • Takeaway restaurant
  • Freelance accountant
  • Ice cream van operator.

Basically, if you do anything that involves travelling around to see your customers.

Find out more about our mobile card machines here.

Portable card machines

As the name suggests, portable card machines can move around with you. Although it won’t work away from your premises like a mobile machine, it will work anywhere in or around it - for example, if you own a restaurant, it would work at the bar, by tables and out in the beer garden. 

How does it work?

It uses wireless Bluetooth technology, so, as long as you stay within a 50-metre radius of the machine’s charging base, you’ll be set to take card payments anywhere within your business.

There are two different types of portable card machines:

Type #1: connects via WiFi

Type #2: plugs directly into your phone line or broadband

Both use Bluetooth so it’s just about deciding which option suits you best - our payment consultants can help you with that if you’re not sure.

Businesses who most commonly use portable card machines include:

  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Bars.

Find out more about our portable card machines here >

Still not sure which one’s for you?

Choosing the right card machine can be tricky and after all, you don’t want to go with one and realise two months’ down the line you should have picked another. We get that. Which is why we always send one of our payment consultants to speak with you first. 

They’ll take the time to really get to know your business and what it needs not only now but in the future too. That way, you can be confident you’re picking a card machine that meets your needs for the foreseeable.

To book your appointment today just give us a call on 0808 274 2017.

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