Credit Card Terminals – Choosing the Right One for your Business

 In Equipment

You are just finishing a meal at your favorite restaurant. As usual, you had excellent food, and the server was gregarious and efficient. With a full belly, you hand your credit card to the server. You wait. And wait. And wait. As she struggles to get the terminal to react to your card chip, she grimaces and states how she can’t believe the owners of the restaurant still use this terminal, how it slows every transaction down, how the customers don’t know what buttons to press, the Wi-Fi signal is bad, and on and on. Sound familiar? This, my friends, is a scenario that many of us have experienced at one time or another. So, you may ask, as a business owner/manager, how do I avoid driving my customers away and choose the right credit card terminal for my business? Choosing between credit card terminals can be a daunting task. With the information provided below, you will be equipped with the knowledge to choose the right type of credit card terminal for your organization.

Mobile Terminals:

A mobile terminal is one that relies on a wireless connection to process credit cards. As demonstrated in my story at the beginning of the article, these are often used by restaurants to bring the terminal to the table in order to run the patron’s payment. Ever been to one of those farmer’s markets that has the fresh flowers, and sells your favorite crepes? Most likely, all of these vendors are using mobile terminals to conduct business. The beauty of this type of machine is that it goes where your business goes.

Virtual Terminals:

Suzy has really been wanting that new toaster oven. She peruses the internet for the best option, and decides to give you a call to secure that order and make sure that it arrives on her porch tomorrow. You pick up the phone and tell Suzy that you need her credit card information, open up your handy dandy merchant portal, key in the credit card information, and the order has been processed and the warehouse does its magic. This is an example of a virtual terminal in action.

A virtual terminal is a software application for merchants which allows them to accept payment with a credit card, without requiring the physical presence of the card. No card swipe gadget needed here. This type of transaction is called “card not present” for obvious reasons. Often the banks will charge higher processing rates for these types of transactions due to a much higher percentage of fraud. Shady characters can easily snag credit card information and whisper the magic numbers into the merchant’s ear to make a payment for their new devices. This places the banks at higher risk. Hence, the higher processing rates for virtual terminals.

Countertop Terminals:

Going to your favorite electronics store to buy that new flat screen TV? Chances are you will be checking out on a countertop terminal. As you may have guessed, this type of terminal is stationary, usually sits on a countertop with a cashier, and requires a connection to an internet network or a landline. These types of terminals offer both credit card and debit transactions.

Integrated Point-of-Sale:

As the cashier scans your brand spankin’ new Samsung QN90A you think, “Wow. There are a heck of a lot of items at this electronics store. How do they know what to charge when they scan the bar code on my new treasure? Meet the integrated point-of-sale (POS) terminal.

When your POS is tied to your credit card processing, it makes it extremely efficient to process payments, as your payment information feeds into your POS software, and there is no need to manually key in the sale amounts. End result? Less human error, more efficiency. The downside is that some of the integrated POS systems out there do not allow the merchant to choose their payment processor, or even switch payment processors once they sign a contract. Beware of these types of systems. 365 Glacier Payments works with both Clover and Poynt terminals, which give you the flexibility to shop processors, and do not lock you into a system.

Clover Payments System:

As you have probably noticed, Clover’s payment options are ubiquitous in the world of credit card terminals. 365 Glacier Payments has a full product offering that enables you to customize Clover’s options to meet your customer’s needs. Click here to view their terminal options.

Poynt Point of Sale System:

Another POS player in town is Poynt. Poynt has some amazing features that enables you, as the merchant, to conduct business without banging your head against the wall. Click here to check out their high tech terminal options.

Bottom Line:

There is a plethora of terminals to choose from when deciding what type of equipment is right for you. Working with a reliable payment processor who has access to a wide variety of terminals, so that you can choose which best fits your business needs, is imperative. 365 Glacier Payments provides customized consulting when it comes to choosing the most effective terminal for your business. If you have additional questions on the features of specific terminals or need help setting up a merchant account, you can schedule an appointment here. If you prefer, you can also reach us at 866.857.8766 or email We would love to help!

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