A payment terminal (also called a point of sale (POS) terminal, credit card machine, or PIN pad) is an electronic device that interfaces with payment cards to make electronic funds transfers. A terminal is typically attached to a cash register or other point-of-sale system and uses software to read magnetic strips on credit or debit cards, verify the account balance and transmit payment information.
There are several types of payment terminals available, including traditional countertop and mobile devices. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so consider how you’ll use it before choosing one. If you’re on the go regularly to sell in-person, for example, a portable or mobile terminal might be best. If you take payments over the phone, a virtual terminal that’s compatible with your business’s POS is a good option.
The technology that powers these devices is constantly evolving. For instance, many newer POS systems come with integrated chip-reading capabilities that help protect against fraud and increase security for both customers and merchants. Whether you choose a traditional or mobile POS terminal, make sure it has EMV L1, L2, or L3 certification to ensure it supports the most current form of payment technology.
Another factor to consider is whether you’ll purchase or lease your equipment. Leasing can help you avoid upfront costs but can also add up to a large sum over the life of the equipment. It’s important to research providers and understand their pricing models to ensure you are getting the right solution for your needs. payment terminal