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Credit Card Terminal Prices
We're all used to seeing credit card machines in places like retail shops, convenience stores and restaurants. Swiping our credit and debit cards to pay for goods is so automatic these days that we don't give it much thought.
Standalone credit card machines work by capturing all of the information needed to process the transaction, including the customer's name and credit card number. The machines use either telephone lines or an Internet connection to contact the network to find out whether the purchase is authorized.
Credit card machines are relatively inexpensive, but they make up just a fraction of the total cost of accepting credit and debit cards. The bulk of the cost comes from the merchant account, which charges per-transaction fees based on the price of goods and the volume of transactions.
About Credit Card Machines
Basic credit card machines have several standard features, including a small display screen, a magnetic strip card reader and a keypad. Some are sold with printers built in, while others require you to purchase a separate printer. You can opt for a debit card pin pad that is built into the machine or a separate pin pad that allows you to keep the credit card machine safely out of the customer's reach.
While most credit card machines plug into an electrical outlet and rely on telephone lines or the Internet to contact the network for approval, you can also opt for a wireless machine. These battery-powered machines are ideal for taxi drivers and temporary or seasonal businesses that want to accept credit cards but don't have access to an Internet connection or electrical outlet. They're more expensive, though, so you should only buy a wireless machine if you absolutely need one.
Credit Card Machine Average Costs
You can purchase a basic credit card machine with a magnetic strip, display screen and keypad for $150 to $300. If you choose a machine with a built-in printer, expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $700. Wireless machines are the most expensive, running $600 to $1,000.
Leasing a credit card machine is also an option, but not always the most cost effective one. You could spend as much as $1,000 on a two-year lease - the same price as buying a top-of-the-line model.
You can buy credit card terminals directly through your merchant account provider, perhaps even for a discounted price. The provider will handle all of the programming and setup. However, if you don't like the terminals your provider is offering, you can purchase the machines separately.