Get hardware smart: how to choose the best credit card reader and terminal

When it comes to credit card terminals available to process payments, there is seemingly endless choice. But which one is right for your business? Spending a few minutes to understand the landscape of the major types of card readers will arm savvy business owners with the intelligence needed to make informed choices best-suited to your business needs.

From legacy card readers to fully integrated point-of-sale (POS) systems, from smartphones to tablets, and everything in between, all roads lead to one destination: ringing-up sales. How you take credit cards and other payments is entirely up to you. Thankfully, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, take a special class, or hire a high-priced consultant. When considering what card payment terminals and devices are best for your business, start with these simple questions:

  • How does my business operate? Where do I want and need to transact payments?
  • What types of payment options do my customers want?
  • Will accepting payments for my business be centralized, or decentralized?
  • Will the payments hardware be compatible with other systems I use?
  • Is it easy to update the credit card reader’s system software?
  • Am I ready to configure all of this myself? Or is it time to call a payments specialist?

All roads lead to checkout: credit card readers for businesses


Credit card machines and basic payment terminals

Credit card swipers and desktop terminals have been the standard for years. Workhorses of the past, “dummy terminals” were a fixture of retail for decades. In the modern age of EMV chip cards this technology continues to evolve.


Smart terminals to POS - Connect to any payments

These modern advanced systems support the full range of secure payment options including EMV chip cards and contactless technology to support mobile wallets. Smart terminals and integrated POS systems allow for sophisticated software integrations such as inventory management, accounting, and reporting.


Other payment processing hardware options

Your smartphone or tablet can easily become a checkout device with today’s mobile acceptance offerings. Solutions such as virtual terminal and dongle extensions can turn any internet-connected device into a point of sale device. Meet your customers where they shop with payment acceptance that moves with you.

Be smart about scale and service

As your business grows, your payments requirements will grow, too. The hardware that you use must be able to expand with you. You’ll need to know how scalable it is—can it connect to services that you don’t need today, but may need tomorrow? Whatever hardware and software you may choose, you’ll need to know that it comes with world-class support.

From the day-to-day of today’s payments to tackling challenges as your business grows, will your business have lock-down service that you know you can you rely on? When it’s time to take your business to the next level, you’ll need a payments partner you can trust to help you get there.  

Why Vantiv?

Because when you work with Vantiv, now Worldpay, you get a payments company designed from the ground-up for the digital age—synthesizing the very best in people, processes, and technology. It's time to pick a processor that's hands-on to help your business enjoy a seamless and secure payments experience.