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For merchants, choosing the right credit card terminal is essential to completing transactions successfully. A credit card terminal provides convenient point-of-sale completion without going through tedious payment processing. Credit cards represent the ultimate convenience in retail sales and purchasing methods. For this reason, merchants would be foolish not to accept them as payment methods. Let's examine five different types of credit card machines and observe how they are similar and different from one another.

1) Dial-Up Terminal

This is the most common type of terminal since it can be connected using a phone line. It will likely remain popular for years to come, since it is still ubiquitous among local businesses.

2) Internet-based Terminal

An Internet-based terminal connects to the merchant's bank account using an Internet connection, usually broadband. It is similar to the dial-up terminal in that it uses an Internet connection, but a specifically Internet-based terminal uses a high-speed connection instead of the regular fifty-six kilobytes per second that dial-up users receive.

3) Wireless Terminal

Similar to dial-up and Internet-based terminals, wireless terminals process payments by means of a wireless network connection. Since a wireless network is easier to set up and maintain than a wired network, many merchants utilize this kind of terminal. There is one disadvantage: wireless networks are expensive to set up, since the routers and high-speed service has to be installed and configured before any service can actually be used.

4) Wireless Way Systems Terminal

These terminals use a cell phone to connect to merchants' bank accounts. This is an unusual design to consider when faced with the option of a wireless terminal or even an Internet-based terminal. They are similar to wireless terminals, but cell phones can represent a unique advantage over wireless terminals in terms of costs, so this type of scheme is not unheard of but it is not very well-known either.

5) Computer Terminal

The last and final type to be discussed here is the terminal that connects directly to the computer system itself. Special software is needed to interface between the computer and the terminal in order to ensure a successful transaction. Next to dial-up terminals, this is the most common set-up to be used because there is a minimal cost in configuring credit card machines when connecting them to computers. Most large stores use this option because of the cost factor, but also because of the convenience of having the same system perform two different tasks.

Posted in Credit Cards on Apr 22, 2010