If you have a business, it is time to consider whether or not your business needs a credit card terminal. If you deal with customers at a retail location on a face-to-face basis, you need a credit card terminal. Your customers are not going to be comfortable giving you their credit card information in written form, so having a POS terminal will allow them to safely and securely pay with their credit card. If you do not have one, you severely limit your availability to customers, as many consumers choose to only use their credit cards for their purchases.
If you have a business that does not use a retail location, such as an Internet or telephone based business, you have a different set of considerations. You will not use your customer's credit cards directly on your credit card terminal, but this does not mean that you could not benefit from a credit card terminal for your business, because you can use your credit card terminal without a credit card present. The terminal has a keypad that you can use to input credit card information. If you take telephone orders, this is very convenient, because you can input the credit card numbers directly to the credit card terminal while taking the order, giving you instant approval information. The same can be done for an Internet based business, although most retailers prefer to use online credit card processing software rather than a POS terminal.
If you decide that your business needs a credit card terminal, you have many options to choose from, with prices ranging from just more than $100 to over $1000. Since most of these machines work by sending information through a phone line, you will want to consider installing a second line to process credit cards, so you do not miss important phone calls while taking a payment. If you have a line for your fax machine, you can use this one for your POS machine, as well.
You have another option if your business has a DSL or cable Internet connection. Newer, more expensive credit card terminals have the ability to run through an Internet IP connection. This means you do not have to add a phone line to run credit card purchases. Even though the machine is a little more expensive, the cost savings in the long run is substantial, because you do not have to pay for an extra phone line.
Finally, if you do not want to use an extra phone line and your business does not have DSL, you can buy wireless credit card terminals. These work like a cellular phone, communicating wirelessly with the credit card companies. Each of these options gives you the ability to receive immediate conformation about your credit card transactions.