When signing up for a new merchant account for your business you have many options when it comes to the merchant account terminal you will need. This article is intended to clarify the various merchant account terminal types to help you identify the terminal that is best for your business.
Merchant account terminal types:
- Retail terminal
- Virtual terminal
- Mobile terminal
- Point of sale terminal (POS)
A retail terminal is the most common type of terminal and the type you see at most retail stores across the country. This is the terminal you will need if you have retail store front that your customer visit and hand their credit card to you for payment. There are numerous manufacturers such as Verifone, Hypercom, Nurit, and Ingenico to name a few. You will want to select a manufacturer and terminal that offers the features you are looking for. Some common items to consider:
- Do you have a phone line for the terminal to communicate on?
- Do you have an Internet connect (IP) for the communication?
- Do you need wireless capabilities?
- What is your budget for the terminal?
A virtual terminal offers the same functionality as a traditional retail terminal however the interface is typically enabled through a computer. This is the terminal you will want to select if you do not perform face-to-face transactions.
A mobile terminal is a merchant account terminal that is enabled through a smart phone. Years ago the only way you could accept credit card payments in a mobile environment was to purchase a costly wireless retail terminal. Not only was this equipment expensive, but you are also required to purchase a wireless data plan from one of the major wireless carriers which added a great deal of costs. Now, with the abundance of smart phones most credit card processors have a mobile credit card processing terminal that can be downloaded to the phone. The application will be accompanied with a small piece of inexpensive equipment that will allow you to swipe your customer’s credit card to complete the sale.
A point of sale (POS) terminal is a merchant account terminal that is integrated or a part of a larger system that is set up to manage the entire business. POS systems are usually comprised of a computer, monitor, bar code scanner, credit card swiper and has lots of functions that stretch beyond payment processing. If you have a POS system you will want to make sure that the system supports the credit card processor you select. Not all processors work with all POS systems.
Comprehensive Point of Sale (POS) and Payment Processing for new Big Frog franchise owners
Maxx Merchants, Big Frog and ReSource Software have partnered to offer integrated POS and payment processing services for Big Frog franchise stores.
Our partnership ensures preferred pricing combined with simplified set up, deployment and customer service.
With any business, the key to success is maintaining a simple business process while, at the same time, keeping business expenses as low as possible.
ReSource and Maxx Merchant's “keep it simple” approach is designed to save Big Frog franchise owners time and money.
ReSource Software is the industry leader in small business POS and multi/unit franchisor solutions. ReSource offers the best of breed solution for Point of Sale, Inventory Management, Marketing, Invoicing, Statement Management, Accounting and Shipping. Resource’s customizable solution provides the entire package, from software and hardware to installation and training.
ReSource’s technology is only part of the story. While their support tools are equal to larger companies, their support staff is unrivaled. Superior customer service, delivered on each and every call, is the attitude ReSource emphasize most. Developing relationships with customers is the most important part of the business.
Maxx Merchant's goal is to deliver cost effective, secure and innovative credit card processing to small and medium sized businesses. By providing personal service and technologically advanced products, Maxx Merchants has become one of the fastest growing payment processors in the country. With over $1.1 Billion of annual processing volume their success is a result of long-term customer relationships, a well-trained sales force, superior processing platforms and a merchant friendly approach to sales.
Maxx Merchants is intent on engaging and inspiring Big Frog franchise owers by practicing the values expected from a premier payment processing company. Maxx is committed to creating an environment where the Big Frog comes first. Maxx Merchants recognize that success is not about numbers, but more importantly about people and relationships.
Integrated payment processing with ReSource Software's POS offers Big Frog franchise owers the best of breed solution:
PRICING: Big Frog has negotiated reduced credit card processing rates to ensure Big Frog franchise overhead stays as low as possible.
SET UP: ReSource Software’s POS system has been pre-integrated with Maxx Merchants payment processing suite to offer turn key credit card payment acceptance.
DEPLOYMENT: All components of the Big Frog POS and credit card processing system have been configured and tested prior to delivery. The Big Frog POS arrives on location ready for business.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: Industry leading customer service and response ensures timely resolution of any system related issues.
What kinds of credit card processing solutions are available?
Determining the right credit card processing solution is easier than you might think. There are quite a few credit card processing solutions available and selecting the right one depends upon how your business is set up to accept payments.
Credit card processing solutions can usually be grouped into one of 4 solution categories.
- Retail Account
- MOTO Account
- Internet Account
- POS Account
A retail account
is reserved for any business that has a physical location at which the customer visits to purchase good and services. This is traditionally thought of as a brick and mortar establishment. The important factor that drives qualification for a retail account is 80%, or more, of the payments accepted by the business need to be swiped through a credit card terminal. The rates for a retail location are the lowest of all the solutions.
A MOTO account (mail order, telephone order) is reserved for businesses that conduct the majority (21% or greater) of the payment processing via the telephone or mail. The rates for a MOTO account will be slightly higher than a retail account. For more information please see - Why are rates higher for Internet, Mail and Telephone order charges?
An internet account is selected for businesses that conduct sales over the internet. An internet credit card processing solution processes payments from the businesses website in real time. An internet account typically comes with a virtual terminal that allow for one-off payments to be transacted from a web-based terminal. There are also a number of other features available through the virtual terminal. The rates for an internet account are usually the same as a MOTO account.
A POS account
(point of sale account) is a credit card processing solution
that works with a POS hardware solution. A POS hardware solution includes a cash drawer, scanner, receipt printer, credit card swipe device and many other options that manage sales and inventory at the business location. A retail merchant account
is typically integrated into the POS system via a middleware solution such as IC Verify or PC Charge (to name a few).
Point of sale credit card processing
A point of sale (POS) is the location as which the sale or transaction occurs and is typically associated with check out. A point of sale system is the hardware and software that is used to complete the check out.
Payment for the transaction is a fundamental piece of the check out process and is usually not included as a function of most the point of sale systems. Most point of sale systems will need a piece of middle ware to sit between the point of sale software and the credit card processing software. The job of the middleware is to translate the payment information into a language that the credit card processing software can understand. Some examples of point of sale payment middle ware include PC Charge and IC Verify.
Now that your business is interested in point of sale credit card processing you will need to determine which middle ware your POS is compatible with. Once you know the vendors that are compatible, you will want to check price and customer service for each vendor. I mention customer service as a few companies out there are notorious for poor customer service and support which will increase your overall costs to set everything up.
Once a middle ware vendor is selected the next step is to determine the payment network the middle ware vendor is compatible with. The bigger payment networks are First Data, Vital and Paymentech. The payment network is important as it will drive the credit card processor you are able to engage to set up your merchant account or credit card processing account.
Once you determine the credit card processors that are compatible, you will want to check the rates and customer service for each. Keep in mind you "get what you pay for" so make sure you are not baited into signing up with a company that offers rates that are considerably lower than all the others. They are hiding the true costs of the service and the customer service will be non-existent.
If you would like help determining the perfect point of sale credit card processing solution for your business please contact us directly at email@example.com.