Any retailer who wants to accept card payments should have a chip and pin machine. However, these devices have to be compatible with a point of sale system. A compatible card reader is one that seamlessly works with payment terminals when processing card transactions. Just because a particular vendor says that their chip & pin units can work with your POS system does not mean they are completely compatible. The best card payment terminal should fully integrate with both hardware and software components of a POS system. With that in mind, here are some of the things you need to look out for when searching for a smart card reader that fully meets your business needs.
All tools at a checkout terminal should work in harmony in order to process fast transactions. If you have to open the cash drawer manually every time you want to issue change after completing a card transaction, this slows checkout speeds. Your till should be able to communicate with the receipt printer and cash drawer without manual intervention. The best chip and pin units are those that fully integrate with your system hardware. This means that every time a customer swipes a card, you can print receipts and open the cash drawer automatically.
Sales Records Processing Compatibility
Many credit and debit card terminals can work with just about any point of sale system. But, these units fall short when it comes to processing cash and card payments. In other words, a semi-compatible chip and pin machine will process EFT (electronic funds transfer) records separately from cash transactions. Now, this can be a major drawback because it means that you have to reconcile EFT records at the end of your trading day. And, if your store processes large card transactions on a daily basis, sorting card payments may force you to hire more staff.
To avoid redundancies between your card payment system and point of sale software, make sure that the chip & pin terminal is capable of merging EFTs with sales records. Alternatively, your POS system should provide an option to import these records if they are processed separately on your merchant account.
Check Vendor Recommendations
While it is wise to know some of the basic features you should expect from a compatible chip and pin machine, software vendors usually point retailers in the right direction. You will find that many POS application vendors usually recommend which chip and pin units are compatible with their systems. It therefore helps to check which card payment terminals your software manufacturer recommends.
If you choose to go for a chip and pin machine that is not recommended by your retail software vendor, ensure that the unit is PCI DSS compliant. In addition, make sure that the card reader is compatible with your point of sale hardware and software. If you fail to do so, you might end up with a card payment terminal that slows down your POS system or makes it a bit difficult to use.
Mariah Stewart is a freelance writer with a background in retail. She loves to write about the latest technology trends affecting the retail industry. Click here to learn about the point of sale solution with a fully integrated chip and pin machine that Mariah recommends to retailers.