How to Select the Right Credit Card Processing Equipment for Your Business

How to Select the Right Credit Card Processing Equipment for Your Business

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur thinking about purchasing equipment for all card transactions or a seasoned business owner exploring new solutions, the importance of having the right credit card processing equipment cannot be overstated. In a market saturated with a diverse array of devices, each with similar features, understanding the nuances and finding the best fit for your business can seem overwhelming.

Beyond its fundamental function of enabling credit card transactions, the right credit card processing equipment can optimize your operations, enhance the customer experience, and contribute to the growth of your business. Given that debit and credit cards dominate the payments in 2023, with 54% of consumers using physical or virtual debit cards and 36% utilizing physical or virtual credit cards, choosing wisely is essential.

When selecting a credit card machine, prioritize cost, security, and usability, this guide is designed to assist you in deciphering the distinctive features of these devices, enabling you to make an informed decision that aligns with the unique needs of your business.

What Is A Credit Card Processing Equipment?

What Is A Credit Card Processing Equipment?

Credit card processing equipment refers to the hardware employed in accepting payments from customers through debit or credit cards. These devices are commonly known as credit card readers, payment terminals, or POS hardware.

Traditional credit card equipment is easily identifiable by features such as PIN pads, card swiping or insert slots, and the use of a plastic pen to collect signatures.

However, it’s important to note that not all credit card machines incorporate these traditional features. The primary functionality of these machines lies in their ability to read and transmit card information seamlessly during a transaction.

How Do These Payment Equipment Functions?

The journey of a debit or credit card transaction begins with a payment terminal. Customers engage by swiping, tapping, or inserting their cards into the hardware of the payment terminal. During this interaction, the payment terminal acquires the customer’s card information and transmits that data to your payment processor or bank through the Internet.

Your processor initiates a payment request to the customer’s card network, which subsequently verifies if the customer has sufficient funds to cover the transaction. Upon approval, the customer is prompted to sign or input their PIN code, ensuring a secure confirmation of the transaction.

From the customer’s perspective, the transaction is now complete. However, for merchants, the process extends as they await the completion of the submission and the settlement of the transaction stages to receive their funds. This comprehensive procedure spans several days, concluding with the appearance of settled funds in your business’s bank account.

Types Of Credit Card Payment Processing Equipment In 2024

Types Of Credit Card Payment Processing Equipment In 2024

Selecting the optimal credit card equipment hinges on the nature of your business and its location. Below, we see the various types of credit card payment processing equipment, their functionalities, and the types of businesses they are best suited for.

Traditional/Wired Credit Card Equipment

One of the most widely used credit card machines is the traditional or countertop credit card terminal. This type necessitates a wired connection to your phone or the internet for payment processing. Typically stationed on a desk or countertop, these terminals, measuring between 4 to 6 inches in length and 4 inches in width, remain stationary and do not require frequent movement.

Countertop credit card processing equipment often features a PIN pad for secure PIN input. Some models can print receipts, while others can connect to a stand-alone receipt printer. Notably, these terminals support Keyed-in transactions, enabling businesses to enter a customer’s credit card number to complete payments, even in the absence of a physical credit card. These types of credit card terminals typically fall within the $100 to around $400 price range, contingent on the specific model and its featured capabilities.


  • Capable of handling various payment methods.
  • Provides cost-effective solutions for smaller enterprises.
  • Ensures reliable security measures.


  • Lacks mobility within the business premises.
  • Necessitates a wired connection for functionality.    

Who Should Buy Wired Credit Card Equipment?

Wired machines prove most advantageous for businesses with dedicated transaction processing areas. Ideal establishments include retail stores equipped with a checkout counter or cash wrap, restaurants, salons, and medical or dental offices.

Additionally, businesses engaged in CNP transactions, particularly those in the B2B sector, can find traditional credit card machines highly beneficial.

Top Examples Of Wired Credit Card Equipment

  1. Ingenico Desk/5000

The Desk/5000 is a versatile payment device that accommodates a wide range of payment methods, including contactless cards, EMV cards, magstripe, and mobile wallets. With a decent 3.5-inch touchscreen and robust multimedia capabilities, it ensures top-notch customer experiences.

Security is a top priority with compliance to PCI-PTS 5.x and adherence to local regulations, incorporating advanced cryptography for enhanced protection. Tailored for high-volume environments, the Desk/5000 excels in fast-paced business settings. Its compact form factor, sleek PIN keypad design, and seamless connectivity to external devices make it a powerful and efficient addition to your retail or restaurant workflow. With features for tipping and reporting, this device is designed to meet the demands of your business with power and functionality.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
$2992.6% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions
  1. PAX A80 Countertop Terminal

The A80 stands out as a cutting-edge countertop terminal fueled by the Android 6.0 operating system. Crafted to empower payment service providers, this terminal facilitates the creation and management of independent app store marketplaces.

Equipped with a diverse array of communication options, such as Ethernet, Dial, Wi-Fi, and an optional back-up battery, the A80 ensures constant connectivity for optimal performance during business hours. Boasting an integrated camera and featuring a striking high-definition 4-inch touchscreen display, it provides merchants and customers with a graphical user interface that surpasses traditional POS terminals.

The device also includes a backlit physical keyboard, enhancing navigation even in low-light conditions. With the added convenience of an integrated printer, the A80 offers a comprehensive solution for seamless payment experiences.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
$345You have to contact National Bankcard for the charges.

Wireless Credit Card Equipment

Wireless credit card equipment operates by connecting to the internet through Wi-Fi, offering portability as long as they maintain an internet connection. When a Wi-Fi reader is stationed at the checkout counter, the signal travels from the reader to the wireless gateway/router within the store before reaching a landline and accessing the internet. Alternatively, suppose a cellular connection is employed via a tablet or phone. In that case, data is transmitted from the device to the cellular base station and then onto the internet through a landline network.

Despite their wireless communication, some of these devices still require a connection to an electrical socket for power, while others utilize rechargeable batteries. Despite the need for periodic charging, wireless terminals provide merchants with significant flexibility. These readers can be easily moved between different stations or taken off-site, enhancing convenience and adaptability for businesses. Wireless terminals come at a comparable cost to standard countertop terminals, ranging from around $100 to near about $600 based on the chosen model.


  • Not restricted to a fixed counter location.
  • Capable of processing a diverse array of payment methods.
  • Offers robust security features.


  • Requires a strong Wi-Fi signal for optimal functionality.
  • May be relatively bulky to transport.

Who Should Buy Wireless Credit Card Equipment?

Perfect for migrating businesses such as delivery services or food trucks, as well as traditional retail stores with extended checkout queues. Additionally, it’s a valuable tool for in-home service providers aiming to enhance checkout efficiency by bringing mobile readers directly to customers in line.

Top Examples Of Wireless Credit Card Equipment

  1. Clover Flex

The Clover Flex is the best way to streamline your business operations straight out of the box. This intelligent Wireless POS system offers an array of features to assist merchants in efficiently managing daily sales, accepting wireless payments, overseeing inventory, generating customized reports, and more. Designed with versatility in mind, the all-new Clover Flex terminal seamlessly fits next to your register or serves as a handheld POS device.

It empowers you to conduct business, handle inventory, take orders, and process payments effortlessly, whether at the counter or on the sales floor. The device is equipped with a built-in camera and barcode scanner for added functionality. Additionally, if you need to generate receipts, a built-in receipt printer is at your disposal.

With convenience in mind for your clients, it accepts wireless credit card payments. This user-friendly wireless POS device caters to merchants constantly on the move. The Clover Flex retains the flexibility to incorporate optional Clover POS applications, ensuring you can tailor your Clover Flex to suit your specific needs. With features like web-based data storage and more, this countertop and handheld wireless POS system from Clover is the ideal solution for businesses on the go.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
$35 per month or $599 for Payments Plan2.6% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions
$50 per month or $599 for plus $14.95 per month for Essentials Plan2.6% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions
$80 per month or $599 plus $49.95 per month for Register Plan2.3% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions
  1. Card Reader By Helcim

Helcim exclusively offers the Card Reader as its hardware solution. Compatible with Windows 8 and newer, MacOS 10.15 and above for Mac users, Android 7.0 and newer, and iOS 13 and above for tablets and smartphones, this device encompasses a built-in swiper and PIN pad for efficient magnetic strip card payments. The Card Reader not only sends receipts via email but also stores card information to streamline future transactions.

This hardware option is particularly attractive to businesses utilizing handheld card readers and smart devices for their POS requirements. However, establishments like restaurants and retailers needing additional equipment such as cash drawers, receipt printers, and barcode scanners will need to explore alternative vendors for these components. The Card Reader operates seamlessly with the free Helcim app, boasting features like customer engagement, reporting, inventory tracking, and the capability to store cards for recurring transactions.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
$99From 0.15% plus an additional $0.6 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions To 0.40% plus an additional $0.8 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions depending on the monthly processing
  1. Dejavoo Z11

This terminal stands out as one of the smallest terminals in the market, yet it packs a punch with its impressive features. This standard terminal, akin to First Data, goes beyond the fundamentals, making it a noteworthy card processor. Equipped with a printer, the Z11 seamlessly handles EMV cards and magnetic stripes cards, with contactless payment support, and enables signatures on the screen.

Connectivity is a breeze with options like Wifi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, and dial-up, ensuring compatibility with various businesses’ connection needs. The Z11 also offers USB ports and RS232 for attaching optional peripherals, adding to its versatility.

Accepted payment methods include popular options like Google Pay, Apple Pay, MasterCard PayPass, Samsung Pay, and Visa payWave. The touchscreen functionality allows for easy customer signature capture. Even in idle mode, the terminal allows you to display images on the screen, offering opportunities for marketing or promotions. The Dejavoo Z11 is not just a standard terminal; it’s a feature-rich solution for businesses seeking more than the basics.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
$4432.5% plus an additional $0.25 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.

Mobile Card Readers

With the era of mobile card readers, revolutionizing the way you accept credit cards on various platforms such as iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and more, Heavy POS terminals are a thing of the past. Today’s encrypted card readers empower you to process payments seamlessly, whether you’re in-store or on the go, turning your smartphone or tablet into a portable point-of-sale terminal.

These sleek devices serve a singular purpose: to efficiently read payment card information, encrypt it if necessary, and transmit the data over a short distance to a more sophisticated piece of hardware, which then relays it to the processor.

Physically attached to a smartphone through a headphone jack or connected via Bluetooth, these card readers leverage a specialized mPOS app, transforming your device into a versatile payment tool. Experience the convenience of having your point of sale terminal right in your hands, making mobile payments a seamless and efficient part of your business operations. The affordability of mobile card readers further enhances their appeal. Prices range from $10 for a basic swipe reader to $50 to around $150 for versatile tap, chip, and swipe credit card readers. Some providers even offer free card readers.


  • Process credit card payments with ease, even on the road.
  • An inexpensive choice suitable for first-time investors.
  • Features a modern, compact style.


  • It has to be to be linked to an internet connection.
  • Possibility of experiencing malfunctions with phone operation.

Who Should Buy Mobile Card Readers?

For entrepreneurs constantly on the move, mobile credit card machines prove indispensable. Whether you operate a trendy food truck, provide services as an independent contractor, or attend events, these terminals offer unparalleled convenience. They are also ideal for handymens and any merchants making house calls.

Top Examples Of Mobile Card Readers

  1. Square Magstripe

Square offers two distinct types of card readers, each catering to different needs: the magstripe reader and the contactless chip reader. The magstripe reader comes in two models, one connecting to a headset jack and another to a lightning connector. This versatile solution empowers you to conduct business and accept credit card payments seamlessly on both Android and Apple mobile devices. Setting up is also breeze – just download the free Square POS app, plug in the Square Reader for magstripe to your device’s headset jack, and you’re ready to swipe cards wherever your business takes you.

This magstripe reader, when paired with the app, handles tipping, payments, reports, and inventory management. Notably, you can even process payments in offline mode, ensuring uninterrupted transactions in case of internet loss. While the magstripe reader is resilient in offline mode, the EMV reader requires a constant connection. After a successful payment, customers can provide private feedback through digital receipts, enhancing the overall experience.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
First reader is free, and an additional Magstripe reader costs $102.6% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
  1.  Walker C2X By AnywhereCommerce

Walker C2X is a compact yet powerful card reader designed to elevate your payment experience. This innovative device supports a range of payment technologies, including EMV Chip & Sign, contactless payments such as Android Pay and Apple Pay, and traditional magstripe payments.

For added convenience, Walker C2X features a removable sticky pad, ensuring a secure attachment to your paired device. The embedded card reader empowers merchants to process card-present transactions effortlessly, whether through a swipe, dip, or tap. Its versatility extends to enterprise applications, seamlessly integrating with fixed tablet POS systems or complementing mobile line-busting and tableside payment solutions.

Walker C2X doesn’t just stop at convenience – it’s designed for continuous improvement. Firmware updates and key injections are effortlessly delivered via remote over-the-air (OTA) transmission, guaranteeing that your device remains up-to-date with the latest advancements. Integration with POS and payment apps is a breeze, thanks to intuitive APIs and SDK developer tools, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a tailored mobile payment solution.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
  1. Clover GO

Clover Go offers convenient and secure credit card payment processing tailored for smartphone-ready transactions that circle a broad range of services like secure card dips, contactless payments, and swipes. Seamlessly syncing with other Clover POS hardware, this versatile solution transforms your mobile device into a reliable payment portal, ensuring you can accept payments wherever your business ventures with just your tablet or smartphone.

Among its hundreds of features, Clover Go provides the flexibility to set up custom tips, taxes, and paperless receipts, catering to your specific business needs. It encompasses all the secure processing elements your business requires, ensuring a smooth journey from the start to the finish of each transaction.

What’s more, you can effortlessly configure tax rates and fees directly through your phone, providing a hassle-free experience. The intuitive dashboard offers a comprehensive overview of your transaction history, encompassing both open and pending transactions, including those made with other Clover devices. After successfully processing payments, you have the convenience of sending digital receipts to your customers through email or text, enhancing the overall customer experience. Clover Go puts the power of secure, mobile payment processing right at your fingertips.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
$49 for Payments Plan2.6% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
$49 plus $14.95 for Essentials Plan2.6% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.

Smart Terminals For Credit Card Processing

A smart terminal is not your average credit card machine – it’s a modernized, enhanced device designed to process EMV chip card transactions. While traditional terminals handle swiped and keyed-in card payments, a smart terminal takes it a step further by seamlessly accepting EMV chip card payments. Notably, many smart terminals boast user-friendly touchscreens, adding a contemporary touch to the payment process.

Beyond their advanced payment capabilities, smart terminals often come equipped with business management features that seamlessly integrate payments with various aspects of a merchant’s operations. Think of these terminals as compact business command centers, offering more than just transaction processing. You might draw parallels between smart terminals and POS systems, and you’d be right. The key distinction, however, lies in the presence of physical keys on a smart terminal, allowing for PIN entry – a feature not necessarily found in touchscreen-centric POS terminals. Smart terminals come at a higher price point compared to standard terminals, typically falling within the range of $300 to around $800.


  • These terminals offer a fusion of card processing capabilities and POS tools, making them a versatile solution for businesses.
  • With the option for wireless functionality, they provide flexibility in deployment.
  • The sleek and stylish design enhances the aesthetic appeal


  • It may pose a higher initial cost, especially for new businesses mindful of their budget.

Who Should Buy Wireless Credit Card Equipment?

Smart terminals cater to businesses seeking advanced features beyond basic credit card terminals without the complexity of full-scale enterprise POS solutions.

Top Examples Of Wireless Credit Card Equipment

  1. Square Terminal

Square Terminal, a handheld POS device, enhances your business operations with its versatile features. Equipped with a dip, swipe, and tap card reader, a user-friendly touch-screen POS display, and a thermal receipt printer, it simplifies transactions and more.

This device goes beyond the basics, integrating with various apps to support tasks like appointment booking, rental processes, and ticket sales. Its inherent compatibility with Square Payments eliminates the need for a separate merchant account, allowing you to start processing sales and payments on the day of receipt.

Configure Square Terminal on your countertop for easy touch-screen payments using a wall plug and Ethernet connection. Alternatively, take it to your sales floor for on-the-go transactions with Wi-Fi connectivity. The 24-hour battery life and a five-hour recharge time make it a reliable companion. Moreover, its offline mode ensures continuous payment processing, even in the absence of an internet connection.

Square Terminal, a lightweight and versatile card reader, caters to businesses of all sizes, providing EMV compliance for small, independent ventures. As one of the market’s few tools designed to save time and money for small businesses, Square Terminal stands out as a reliable choice for streamlined transactions.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
$2992.6% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
  1. Shopify POS GO

This terminal redefines the mPOS experience, integrating a card reader, tap device, and barcode scanner into a compact, portable design that fits snugly in your hand. Designed for Shopify merchants, POS Go empowers businesses to extend their selling capabilities beyond physical and online stores. The built-in barcode scanner simplifies product scanning and inventory management, making it a valuable tool for retail businesses.

Monitor sales, oversee employee management, and access detailed reports seamlessly. Fueled by Shopify POS software, POS Go provides comprehensive business management features wherever you go. Choose between POS Lite or Pro for software options tailored to your business needs. It is a powerful tool that puts the management of your business at your fingertips, ensuring you have the tools to thrive in any business environment.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
$399 plus $39 per month (for POS Plan) for Basic Plan2.7% with zero transaction fee for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
$399 plus $105 per month (for POS Plan) for  Shopify Plan2.5% with zero transaction fee for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
$399 plus $399 per month (for POS Plan) for Advanced Plan2.4% with zero transaction fee for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
  1. Clover Mini

Clover Mini stands out as a dedicated POS hardware, exclusively compatible with Clover’s advanced POS software. This compact powerhouse enables you to seamlessly process digital payments, efficiently manage inventory, initiate loyalty programs, and more. With an easy setup and compatibility with other Clover hardware like cash drawers and scanners, Clover Mini is the ideal choice for retail, restaurant, or service businesses seeking a compact countertop POS system.

Designed to maintain a clutter-free checkout counter, Clover Mini serves as an all-in-one solution for POS needs. While it can operate independently, most businesses find it beneficial to integrate it with a cash register. Additionally, Clover Mini can be utilized as a customer-facing screen/PIN pad in conjunction with a larger setup featuring a Clover Station.

Though primarily a countertop POS, the Clover Mini offers a degree of portability. It can be easily relocated within your establishment or used unplugged for short durations. For businesses requiring a handheld device for regular unplugged use, the Clover Flex may be a more suitable option. Elevate your business efficiency with the compact and versatile Clover Mini.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
$799 plus 14.95 for the Essentials Plan2.6% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
$799 plus $49.95 for the Advanced Plan2.6% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
$799 plus $49.95 for Advanced Plan2.3% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.

Virtual Terminal For Credit Card Processing

Virtual terminals emerge as a seamless solution for card-not-present transactions, enabling you to accept credit cards from any internet-connected computer or device. No additional hardware is necessary, making it a versatile option for various business setups. Ideal for those working from home or engaged in MOTO transactions, virtual terminals empower you to manually input credit card details. This can be done within web browsers or dedicated apps, offering flexibility without the need for specific hardware.

Despite their hardware-free nature, virtual terminals fall under the broader category of payment terminals. Using a virtual terminal is straightforward – input the credit card information into your computer’s browser or app, and the transaction is processed. This method is particularly beneficial for online businesses or those accepting payments over the phone. Some virtual terminals even allow customization of payment pages, enabling customers to enter their credit card information for a seamless purchase experience.

For added flexibility and potential cost savings, certain virtual terminals support the integration of card readers. These readers connect to your computer through various means such as headphone jacks, USB, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi, allowing you to leverage the advantageous rates associated with card-present transactions. Streamline your payment processes with the convenience and adaptability of virtual terminals. Most payment processing providers offer a virtual terminal as part of their services. While some providers may include it at no additional cost, others might charge a monthly fee for this feature. Typically, if there’s a fee, it ranges between $10 and $30 per month and often includes access to various other online tools.


  • Virtual terminals eliminate the need for additional hardware, simplifying your setup.
  • You can enjoy the flexibility to process card transactions from any location with an internet connection.
  • Virtual terminals serve as a reliable backup in case your physical card processing machine encounters issues.


  • While convenient, virtual terminals may have slightly higher processing rates compared to traditional methods.
  • The online nature of virtual transactions may pose a slightly higher risk of chargebacks.

Who Should Buy Wireless Credit Card Equipment?

Virtual credit card equipment proves invaluable for businesses conducting remote transactions. Whether you operate an online store, manage an eCommerce site, freelance, handle medical billing, or engage in B2B transactions, these terminals are tailored to meet your needs.

They seamlessly facilitate connections with credit card processing companies, providing a convenient solution for businesses that operate and ring up sales from various remote locations. Elevate your efficiency and broaden your business horizons with the versatility of virtual credit card machines.

Top Examples Of Wireless Credit Card Equipment

  1. Clover Virtual Terminal

Clover, renowned for its POS hardware, extends its capabilities with an independent virtual terminal payment processing feature. Ideal for businesses not requiring a complete POS system but seeking secure transaction processing, this web-based interface allows you to accept payments with ease. Whether you’re a service provider or in need of remote payment acceptance, Clover’s Virtual Terminal delivers the convenience, reliability, and flexibility of a trusted credit card payment solution.

With Clover’s Virtual Terminal, you can enjoy the benefit of processing payments and refunds wherever you find yourself. Particularly beneficial for managing E-commerce store payments on the move, this application ensures PCI compliance and transaction security. The Clover POS virtual terminal eliminates additional monthly fees, charging transactions at the standard keyed-in payment rate. Beyond payment processing, the virtual terminal excels in real-time reporting and refund management, offering compatibility with various devices and seamless integration with other Clover solutions.

Monthly PlanTransaction Cost
14.95 per month3.5% plus an additional $0.10 for Keyed-in transactions
  1. Helcim Virtual Terminal

The Helcim Virtual Terminal empowers merchants to process credit cards and bank payments remotely conveniently. Whether manually entering information over a call or accepting payments from existing customers with securely stored methods, this versatile system eliminates the need for expensive equipment. Payments can be processed online using an existing workstation, tablet, or the Helcim Payment App. Beyond client and customer payments, the virtual terminal accommodates transactions with vendors and other businesses facilitated by its invoicing feature.

Enhancing efficiency, the client management feature allows you to store customer details, facilitating easy retrieval for necessary charges. Helcim’s interchange rate plus pricing ensures an affordable and secure virtual terminal solution accessible from any internet-connected device. Supporting EFT and ACH transactions alongside credit card processing, Helcim caters to businesses offering diverse payment methods.

In addition to card-not-present transactions, Helcim’s virtual terminal accepts keyed-in card payments, serving as a reliable backup in case of main POS system failures. Businesses benefit from volume-based discounts, which are particularly advantageous for those processing a high volume of daily transactions. For comprehensive payment processing needs, including eCommerce, Helcim offers an integrated merchant account option, streamlining your system for optimal functionality.

Monthly PlanTransaction Cost
$0From 0.15% plus an additional $0.20 for Keyed in transactions To 0.50% plus an additional $0.25 for Keyed in transactions
  1. PayPal Virtual Terminal

PayPal provides a robust virtual terminal solution as part of its PayPal Payment Pros bundle, accessible through a secure app. PayPal Payments Pro serves as both a credit card processor and payment gateway, allowing merchants to seamlessly accept payments directly on their websites without redirecting customers to third-party payment pages. This versatile platform supports transactions in multiple currencies and accepts various payment options.

Ideal for new businesses and merchants already utilizing PayPal features like invoicing, PayPal’s globally recognized payment processing solution requires an active PayPal business account for virtual terminal access. The virtual terminal is user-friendly, ready to use, and demands minimal setup efforts. However, it’s important to be aware of additional fees for chargebacks and refunds, in addition to the platform’s higher monthly cost.

Monthly PlanTransaction Cost
$353.49% plus an additional $0.49 for checkout

Integrated Terminals For Credit Card Processing

Integrated card equipment offers comprehensive solutions for merchants to process payments seamlessly. These systems come equipped with both hardware and software, typically incorporating advanced POS software. With features such as a cash drawer, large display, PIN pad, customer-facing display, handheld scanner, and receipt printer, these terminals provide a complete and sophisticated payment processing experience.

Moreover, integrated credit card machines encompass virtual terminals and payment gateways. This integration enables smooth transactions within applications or software without unnecessary steps or inconvenience. Unlike alternative platforms that require repetitive entry of personal information, an integrated payments system securely stores your data, reducing the need for repeated inputs. It also facilitates convenient updates to payment details and provides a comprehensive transaction and receipt history.

While the price of these systems may be higher compared to other terminals, they include fully functional POS software, which may entail an additional monthly fee. This software enhances business operations, simplifying various aspects of managing and running your business effectively.  Fully integrated POS systems can range from several hundred to $1,800 or even more in cost.


  • These systems streamline operations, making processes more efficient and convenient.
  • Customers benefit from a smoother and more sophisticated transaction process.
  • Integrated systems provide robust security measures, safeguarding transactions against potential fraud.
  • Businesses experience cost savings and a reduction in human error with the integrated hardware and software bundle.
  • The latest systems boast sleek and modern designs, contributing to a visually appealing setup.


  • The initial investment can be challenging for new businesses with budget constraints.
  • Despite such high upfront costs, businesses may incur additional expenses for ongoing maintenance and support.

Who Should Buy Wireless Credit Card Equipment?

Integrated POS terminals offer significant flexibility, catering to diverse business needs. Providers typically offer solutions suitable for various types of businesses. If your company is satisfied with its current point-of-sale system or credit card processor, exploring POS-integrated machines is a prudent choice.

Consider leveraging the familiarity and compatibility offered by POS-integrated terminals for a seamless and effective payment solution.

Top Examples Of Wireless Credit Card Equipment

  1. Clover Station

The Clover Station, available in Solo and Duo systems, offers an all-in-one payment processing solution designed to streamline payment acceptance, simplify operations, and enhance customer engagement through a single device. Both Station Solo and Station Duo share almost identical features, with the key distinction being that Station Duo includes a customer-facing display for contactless payment acceptance. Empowered by advanced software and seamless integration with all Clover devices, the Clover Station facilitates efficient business management.

Clover Station Solo boasts a rapid, upgraded processor, an integrated chip card reader, a fingerprint reader for swift login processes, and a user-friendly touchscreen display. Additional peripherals, such as a high-resolution printer, barcode scanner, cash drawer, and more can be acquired or leased for an extra cost. The specific features available depend on your business type and chosen plan, but common functionalities include real-time reporting, remote ordering, bill splitting, and online ordering.

The system allows effective staff management, enabling reward distribution for tips. Integration with an existing online store or the creation of a new one is possible. While the registers serve as comprehensive standalone solutions, they seamlessly complement other Clover devices for a cohesive business management experience.

Hardware Cost for SoloTransaction Cost
$1,699 plus $49.95 per month for Register2.3% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
$1,699 plus $84.95 per month for Table Service2.3% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
Hardware Cost for DuoTransaction Cost
$1,799 plus $49.95 per month for Register2.3% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
$1,799 plus $54.95 per month for Counter Service2.3% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
  1. Square Register

Square Register presents a sleek and well-designed countertop register that seamlessly integrates into your space. As a comprehensive POS system, it eliminates the need for additional devices and applications, though it remains compatible with other Square products.

Designed entirely by Square, the Square Register offers a purpose-built, all-in-one POS solution. Its features include a 13.25-inch screen running Square Point of Sale and a 7-inch customer-facing display that supports chip cards, magstripe, and NFC contactless transactions. This dedicated customer display empowers customers to track items, complete transactions, and update contact information independently.

With its aesthetic appeal, the Square Register enhances the ambiance of retail spaces. The addition of a customer-facing display, along with support for various hardware, positions the Register as a competitive option among traditional countertop POS systems. The dedicated customer display ensures intuitive payment experiences, and the swift card processing speed keeps checkout lines moving smoothly.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
$7992.6% plus an additional $0.10 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
  1. Toast Flex

The Toast Flex stands out as a touchscreen terminal operating on the Android system, providing a seamless experience for handling keyed-in and contactless transactions. Its user-friendly interface accommodates servers and operators, complemented by a conveniently placed card reader. Equipped with a practical receipt printer, the Toast Flex offers versatility with a swivel and tilt feature for effortless operation. Setting up in under 30 minutes, it boasts flexibility not only in software but also in hardware. The screen can be flipped and height adjusted for ergonomic countertop use or wall-mounted according to preference.

Specifically designed for restaurant optimization, the hardware is durable and waterproof, ensuring resilience against spills. Beyond card payments, Toast Flex caters to diverse needs, facilitating online orders, integration with third-party delivery services, and handling phone orders and online invoices—particularly advantageous for food businesses. A unique feature of the terminal is that it enables payment receipt from customers and suppliers.

Included in the pricing plans are the hardware options available for your selection. You have the flexibility to choose your preferred hardware irrespective of the plan you opt for, except the Starter Kit.

Hardware CostTransaction Cost
$0 for the Quick Start PlanFrom 2.49% plus an additional $0.15 for dip, tap, and swipe transactions To 2.99% plus additional $0.15 for for dip, tap, and swipe transactions.
$69 per month for the Core Plan
$165 per month for the Growth
Custom Plan

Choosing the Right Credit Card Equipment: Key Considerations

Selecting the best credit card machine may seem straightforward—after all, it’s just about processing payments, right? Well, yes and no. To ensure you acquire the most dependable and cost-effective technology, creating a seamless experience for your customers, you need to consider more than just the payment aspect.

Choosing the Right Credit Card Equipment: Key Considerations

Whether you’re making your initial credit card machine purchase or contemplating a switch, here are the crucial features to keep in mind during your decision-making process:

  • Ease of Use:

Evaluate the user-friendliness of the credit card machine. Opt for a machine that is straightforward and requires minimal training. If the system is too complex for you, your team, and your customers to comprehend, it could lead to delays and client frustration.

  • Connection Options for Card Processing

When selecting the appropriate credit card processing terminal, it’s crucial to consider the available methods for the terminal to communicate with your processor. While credit card terminals still come equipped with modems capable of using an analog phone line for transmitting transaction information, this is no longer the preferred method. Nowadays, a hardwired internet connection is recommended due to the speed and reliability it offers.

Alternatively, terminals with wireless capabilities, such as WiFi and cellular service, also function effectively and should be considered, especially in situations where a hardwired internet connection is not available.

  • No Hidden Fees:

Many credit card machines come with contractual obligations to initiate payment processing with their hardware. Be cautious of signing agreements like a merchant account agreement and be aware of fees for applications, chargebacks, compliance, retrieval, hardware leasing, and more.

  • Realiability And Portability

Your business moves, and so should your credit card machine. Opt for a portable and easily transportable credit card machine that adapts to your dynamic needs, allowing you to accept payments wherever both you and your customers are located.

In the heartbeat of your business lies the vitality of getting paid. Therefore, investing in a dependable credit card machine is paramount to ensuring the smooth flow of operations. Seek out a top-tier credit card machine with a strong reliability rating, ensuring you never miss a payment and maintaining the uninterrupted rhythm of your business transactions.

  • Signature Capture Feature

The Signature Capture feature enables the cardholder to sign directly on the terminal’s screen. This electronic signature is then captured and stored by the machine. This functionality serves to minimize the risk of misplacing receipts, reduces reliance on paper records, and aligns with eco-friendly practices.

It’s essential to note that major card brands no longer mandate signatures for credit card transactions. While not strictly necessary, some businesses may still prefer to request signatures, and this feature remains available on many machines for those who choose to utilize it.

  • Compatibility with Any POS:

Regardless of the POS system you use, seek a terminal that seamlessly syncs wirelessly with any POS. This eliminates the need for manual bookkeeping, allowing you to focus on your business without connectivity hassles.

  • NFC and EMV Compatibility

Ensure that your credit card equipment is versatile and accommodates various payment methods to meet your clients’ preferences. Whether they prefer tapping with NFC payments, dipping their EMV chip, or swiping, choose a credit card machine that caters to all these options. EMV technology enhances information security, while NFC facilitates contactless payments.

Both play a role when using a chip-and-pin card, whether your customers choose to dip or tap. It’s important to note that mobile payments exclusively utilize NFC, and these transactions are subject to different security protocols, typically integrated into the device.

  • Expanded Payment Options

Apart from handling credit transactions, terminals should offer versatility by accommodating various additional payment methods that businesses may find beneficial. These include:

(a) EBT: EBT refers to the electronic transfer of state-issued benefits, such as SNAP or food stamps. Commonly accepted in grocery stores, it broadens payment accessibility for a diverse customer base.

(b) Gift Cards: Electronic stored-value cards with predetermined values, Gift Cards are an effective tool for building customer loyalty and introducing a brand to new clients.

(c) eChecks: Electronic check programs convert paper checks into an electronic format for seamless transfer to your banking institution. Most electronic check programs also provide protection against bounced checks, enhancing financial security for your business.

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Determining the best credit card machine for your business is a individual decision, as each business has its own specific needs. In our articles, we highlighted various credit card machines, each chosen for its suitability in specific sections or variants. These machines are known for their security, reliability, flexibility, and overall performance.

While the choice of terminal is essential, the credit card processor is equally crucial, enabling your business to accept credit card payments efficiently. Thankfully, there are numerous reputable credit card payment processing companies offering extensive support for various credit card machine types. They cater to different budget ranges and provide options for POS integration, ensuring you find the right fit for your business needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: How much does a credit card machine for business cost?

    The cost of credit card machines can vary, ranging from $200 to $1,000. The final price depends on the features you need and the company you’re purchasing from. At a basic level, expect features like a magnetic strip, display screen, keypad, and chip card capabilities.

  2. Q: What are the different types of credit card machines?

    There are various types of credit card terminals, including countertop, mobile, virtual, and integrated point-of-sale (POS) systems. Each type serves different business needs. Learn more about them at

  3. Q: Do card machines require Wi-Fi?

    Yes, for effective communication, card machines need a stable internet connection. While some machines use mobile data networks, many rely on a Wi-Fi connection to function seamlessly.

  4. Q: How much is the monthly cost for a credit card machine?

    The monthly cost for a credit card machine can vary based on factors like interchange-plus scenarios, assessment fees, and additional charges. Monthly fees typically range from $10 to over $120 for some systems, depending on the features and services provided.

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