A card machine (also known as a point of sale terminal) fulfills an essential business function: it allows businesses to accept credit cards and other forms of payment at checkout. The best card machines are versatile and easy to use, helping keep the checkout line moving for customers. They can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from countertop terminals to handheld devices. Some can also include extra features like barcode scanning or customer-facing screens. Others work with the customer’s own mobile device through integrated payment apps, such as Apple Pay or Android Pay.
Choosing the best card machine starts with understanding your business’s unique needs and requirements. Consider your average transaction volume and the types of payment methods you want to support. You’ll also need to assess your budget and be mindful of transaction fees, which are levied by the credit card processor for each payment. Some providers may charge extra for premium support or monthly maintenance, which is worth bearing in mind when comparing options.
The best card machines vary widely in cost, functionality and usability. Most offer magstripe, EMV chip and NFC contactless payments. Some include a built-in PIN pad for debit card transactions. Others allow businesses to view limited sales reports and void or refund transactions. They can also connect to a receipt printer, which reduces the need for additional equipment.
Many of the best card machines are manufactured by industry-leading companies, including Verifone, Ingenico and FD. Others are offered through integrated payment solutions, such as Clover and Square. best card machines