POS Systems vs. Credit Card Terminals
POS systems vs. credit card terminals—which solution is right for you?
- Point-of-sale systems can tackle a range of tasks. They allow small businesses to accept credit and debit cards, print customer receipts, track inventory, and more.
- A POS system could include several hardware components, such as computer terminals, keyboards, and touchscreen monitors, or it can be designed for on-the-go use.
- A credit card terminal is a small, lightweight machine with a screen, keypad, magstripe card reader, and signature pen. Yet unlike the versatile POS systems, credit card terminals have one main function: to process payments. Terminals do come in a variety of styles and setups—some work best for payment systems at fixed business locations while others are built with mobility in mind.
Here The Facts!
More and more merchants are investing in the advanced technology of chip card readers to protect against fraudulent activity. Although not all credit and debit cards are chip ready, the trend has shifted significantly. In fact, Visa, the largest credit card network in the US, has issued nearly 450 million chip cards as of June 2017—an increase of 182% since October in 2015.6
If you’d rather have something simple without too many bells and whistles, a credit card terminal may be a better fit for you. But if you’re interested in having extra features and programs for running your business efficiently—all in one place, mind you—start looking into POS systems.
No matter what you choose, you should consider purchasing a device that accommodates Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) rather than just a basic card reader. An EMV chip card has an embedded microchip that deters fraud more effectively than its magstripe counterpart. The chip makes it difficult for thieves to steal usable card information, putting a stop to potential card fraud.
Do Your Research
With all of the different POS systems on the market, from basic setups to more advanced systems with a variety of tools and features, you might be focused on features and tech specs. But don’t forget to do your research when it comes to cost.
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