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Choosing the Right Card Machine for Your Business

5 min read
Dive into the world of card machines for your business and unravel the complexities! Explore the types, costs, and benefits in our comprehensive guide.

In this article we’ll cover:

How often do you see cash changing hands in your business these days?

With cash transactions predicted to dwindle to a mere 6% in the next decade, having a card machine is no longer just an option—it’s a necessity for businesses, big or small. But for many small business owners, the idea of diving into the world of card machines might stir up concerns about costs, fees, paperwork, and tangled contracts. It’s a maze out there when it comes to picking the right one for your business.

That’s why we, at Yetipay, have put together this article—aiming to address all your worries about card machines and payment collection, aiming to make life a tad simpler for you and your business.

What Exactly is a Card Machine?

A card machine, also known as a PDQ machine, card reader, or card machine, does the nifty job of accepting card payments. It talks to your customers' credit or debit cards, ensures the right amount gets deducted, and transfers it to the retailer.

These machines offer payment methods that are leagues ahead of shuffling cash around. Even the classic chip and pin method is taking a backseat, with most businesses adopting card machines that support contactless payments. Fun fact: Last year alone, the UK saw a whopping 17 billion contactless payments. Personally, I've ditched my wallet; all I need is my trusty phone.

Types of Card Machines

So, there are three main types: Countertop, Portable, and Mobile.

Countertop card machines are connected physically to the internet or a phone line and are suitable for businesses that have a fixed payment point, for example, shops, supermarkets, or hair salons. Some businesses choose to have a countertop machine as a backup alongside a portable or mobile machine as they are fast, reliable and can be used if connection fails on one of these machines. 

Portable card machines can be used on the go without having to be tethered physically to a phone line or the internet. They can connect wirelessly to broadband or a phone line, with a reach of up to 100 metres, and can be the ideal choice for businesses that require the ability to take payments in various locations around a premises, for example restaurants or bars.

Mobile card machines are similar to portable but allow for further portability as they utilise a mobile SIM card to connect to mobile networks using GPRS. This makes the mobile card machine ideal for businesses and employees that travel, host events, or need to accept payments at various locations.

How do I choose a card machine for my business?

Choosing a card machine is a bit like finding the perfect pair of shoes—there's a lot to consider. Here are some points:

Security - Every card machine should dance with tokenisation and encryption to protect transaction and cardholder data. They also help with PCI (that's Payment Card Industry) compliance, keeping you safe from fraudsters.

Data - With data integration, businesses can make smarter decisions. Imagine using payment data to shoot out targeted messages or offers. Our Yetipay platform even gives you live reporting, keeping you financially savvy.

Reliability & Ease of Use - Your machine should be a no-brainer to use and reliable, right? Yetipay backs that up with 24/7 live support and onboarding that’s done in the time it takes to brew your morning coffee.

Why Should You Bother with a Card Machine?

Because it's all about pleasing your customers! Studies show they're likely to splash out 83% more when paying with a card. Plus, card machines can save you time and slash the risk of theft in your business.

Who Needs a Card Machine Anyway?

A card machine is essential for businesses that frequently engage in face-to-face transactions with customers, this includes a wide range of enterprises including:

Retail Stores: Companies that sell products to customers directly, such as supermarkets, electronics stores, and clothes stores, frequently utilise card machines to handle payments.

Restaurants and cafes: As cash transactions grow less frequent, businesses in the food and beverage sector frequently employ card machines for the convenience of their customers.

Service Providers: Companies that offer services, such as spas, fitness centres, hair salons, and vehicle repair shops, may take payments with card readers.

Events and Exhibitions: Since guests may not have cash on hand, vendors at events, fairs, or exhibitions sometimes use card machines to expedite sales.

Healthcare Providers: Card machines are frequently used by clinics, medical offices, and other healthcare facilities to process payments from patients.

Professional Services: Card machines can be used by independent contractors, consultants, and professionals who provide services (such as marketing, accountancy, or law) to collect payments from customers.

Hotels and Lodging: Card machines are frequently used in the hospitality sector to make reservations, pay for lodging, and obtain extra services.

Transportation Services: Card machines are frequently used by drivers for ridesharing services, taxis, and other transportation providers to take electronic payments from customers.

Online Companies with a Physical Presence: Card machines can be helpful in physical locations like pop-up shops and showrooms, where even companies that operate exclusively online may have a physical presence.

Charities & Nonprofits: Card machines can be used by organisations who accept payments or donations for charity causes at events or on the street in order to streamline contributions.

These are only a few situations in which card machines can be utilised by businesses of all calibres to provide clients with convenient and adaptable payment choices. By employing TableYeti to handle your payment processes, you can streamline your business operations and free up time to focus on growing your business.

What Does It Cost?

There are a number of factors to consider surrounding the cost of a card machine. The first step to make when considering costs is to decide whether to rent or buy a card machine

The costs of renting a card machine can be divided into fixed and variable costs. If you decide that buying a card machine is more suitable for your business then you need to consider not only the upfront cost, but also factors such as additional costs, the future scalability of your card machine, and the customer support available from your chosen provider. 

Once you have decided between buying or renting a card machine, there are additional factors to consider such as: fee structures, the cost of running a card machine, which card machine is best and cheapest for your business, and processing fees.

Card Machine vs. Card Reader?

Most likely, a card machine comes to mind when you consider using your card to make a purchase at a store. These are the standard chip and PIN machines found all around the world in bakeries, supermarkets, barbershops, and other establishments.

Credit and debit card swipe slots, a number pad for entering PINs, and a screen are all features of card machines. These are available without internet access and can be fixed (for usage behind a till), portable(for table service), or mobile-integrated (for roaming enterprises, like private hair salons).

Card readers are similar to the PINsentry type machines you could have at home for online banking, but they are lighter and smaller than card machines and can be used on a mobile network, which make them better equipped for portable use. 

Similar to a mobile terminal, a card reader operates on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model rather than a contract. Instead of charging you a monthly fee, they take a percentage of the payments you receive, which can save you money if you don't generate as many sales. However, if you generate a lot of sales, this may wind up costing more in the long term. Another downside is that for these payment devices to work, they need a strong, consistent phone signal as well as an app on a smartphone or tablet.

Ready to Get Your Hands on a Card Machine?

We've got your back! Head to Yetipay.me and book a call. Let's get your business booming while we handle the payment side of things.