How to Get a Credit Card Machine

By Matthew Crane

  • Overview

    Purchasing a credit card machine or terminal is important to operating a business. Businesses need paying customers and most customers pay for services or merchandise with a credit card or debit card. Actually over 60 percent of completed sales are with a credit card of some type. A credit card terminal could open up your business to many customers that might otherwise make their purchases elsewhere.
    • Step 1

      Determine what type of credit card machine you will need. A credit card machine can be a magnetic reader attached to a computer connected to the Internet or a totally wireless rechargeable hand-held system that works in remote areas. Determine if you will be sitting behind a register in a quiet bookstore, accepting cards at the busiest restaurant in town, or maybe even accepting payments next to a river in the middle of a forest. Regardless of your business, options exist to make it easy to accept credit cards. The only limiting factor will be your pocketbook; these credit card machines can cost from $100 to $1200 as of 2009.
    • Step 2

      Contact your merchant service provider. This is how you get paid after the card is swiped. Merchant service providers process credit card payments and they will have many options available to assist your business with choosing a credit card machine. If you don't have a merchant service provider, it is easy to locate one that will fit your requirements. Start with your local bank, but be sure to shop around. Fees are negotiable on just about every aspect of a merchant service account. They want your business and you can find some great rates from third party processors through your local shopping club, business association or major national providers.

    • Step 3

      Decide if you want to buy or lease your equipment. Small businesses may not be able to afford the best equipment for their needs but leasing plans are offered through merchant service providers. If you are able, purchasing the equipment up front may save you money on the lease.
    • Step 4

      Lease the credit card machine. For a small monthly fee you can have the credit card machine provided and serviced worry-free for the length of your contract with a merchant service provider. Remember every dollar that goes to your merchant service provider to allow you to accept credit cards is money that doesn't go into your pocket. Leasing is a good option if your business works on a monthly budget and the payments fit into that budget.
    • Step 5

      Purchase a credit card machine. If you are able to purchase the equipment, suppliers can be found online with a search for "credit card machines" or "credit card terminals." You can even purchase the equipment through your merchant service provider. If you are still searching for a service provider, they may give you a good deal on the equipment to secure your long-term business with credit card processing.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Tip: Contact other businesses in your field, but not among your competitors. They can give you information concerning merchant service providers and equipment through their own experience. This is crucial if you are just starting a business.
    • Warning:
    • If you purchase equipment from a supplier other than your merchant service provider, be sure that the service provider accepts the credit card machine you are considering purchasing.

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