As any business will tell you, making it easy for customers to make a payment is paramount. This is true whether you’re out and about shopping in stores or browsing an e-commerce website.
Most of us no longer think twice about touching our bank or credit card to a reader, tapping in our pin, or holding our phone to an electronic scanner when we want to make a purchase.
So if you don’t have a decent payment system to make it as easy for people to pay, your business is already working at a disadvantage. Why? Because not having an efficient, modern card payment machine means you are likely to be missing out on sales. And which business can afford to do that?
So what’s the answer? Invest in a card terminal. It’s that simple.
How Do GPRS Card Payment Machines Work?
General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a wireless data transmission system for credit card terminals. So it’s ideal for businesses with multiple payment points or who conduct much of their business outside, like a pop-up shop, market stall or on a café or restaurant terrace.
Any card machine needs some way of transmitting data to complete a transaction. This can be completed wirelessly, through a phone line, or an Internet connection. GPRS is the most-trusted form of wireless communication as data is transmitted by packets over a network, connecting to the strongest signal in the area for a fast, streamlined service.
Unlike Bluetooth terminals, GPRS-enabled card terminals do not need to be within range of a receiver to make payments. They can successfully take payments anywhere that’s in range of a mobile network. Not only that, GPRS terminals support a vast range of card types – from chip and pin to foreign bank cards. They also have a long battery life.
Which Is Best to Take to a Market?
Choosing the right terminal for your business can be a mite tricky. The best option depends on your market, the frequency of use, if you have a budget when you buy the terminal, and the nature of your business.
So, with that in mind, let’s have a look at the range of options businesses have.
Mobile GPRS Chip and Pin Terminals
These card terminals are very similar to those that you’d encounter in a normal shop or restaurant – with one difference: they connect to a mobile phone network and not a landline or Wi-Fi.
Typically, customers will rent one or more of these terminals from one company, while another company (like Visa, Mastercard, or one of the big banks) will actually process the payment, using a merchant account. It’s worth noting that before opening a merchant account, a credit check will be performed.
Depending on what kind of account you’ve signed up to, you’ll either receive one bill or two bills each month for both the rental of the device and the payment processing.
There are several advantages to choosing a mobile GPRS card terminal. These include:
- No upfront cost
- Low cost per transaction
- Customer familiarity
- Professional printed receipts
- Better signal because of multiple network coverage
Mobile Smartphone Card Reader
Mobile smartphone card readers offer businesses owners the ability to take payments using just their phone. Like traditional card terminals, smartphone payments are favoured by business owners who operate a remote business, or who spend much of their time travelling. Why? Quick and easy payments, of course.
Using Bluetooth, it’s easy for mobile smartphones to use a network to transmit and receive data. Moreover, card readers can be purchased independently and are then owned by users. All transactions are processed via an app with customers using the card reader to enter their payment details.
The advantages to choosing a mobile smartphone and card reader are as follows:
- No monthly fees. A fee is, however, charged per transaction
- No contracts
- Access to your own terminal
When considering which will be the most useful payment card terminal to use, it very much depends on which is the best for your business. GPRS terminals will automatically connect to the strongest signal in the area, thereby offering a more reliable service. Alternatively, mobile smartphone card readers provide you with access to your own terminal and won’t tie you down to an ongoing contract.
However, one final bit of advice: make sure you read and understand all the terms and conditions before signing a contract. You don’t want to start using your new card machine only to discover that the charges are inappropriate for your business.
To find out how our card machines can help your business grow, visit our Card Machines section here.