New Era of Smart Cards – All that You Need to Know about Secure Payments

How to Choose a Payment Terminal?

A payment terminal is a device which interfaces with payment cards to make electronic funds transfers. It is also known as a POS (Point of Sale) terminal, credit card terminal, EFTPOS terminal or a PDQ (Process Data Quickly) terminal.

The basic functions of POS terminal:

  • allow to insert, swipe, or manually enter the required credit/debit card information;
  • to accept NFC Contactless transactions;
  • to transmit data to the merchant service provider for authorization and finally, to transfer funds to the merchant.

Higher end models, not only process credit and debit cards but also serve as a comprehensive customer engagement screen at the checkout: features include gift cards, cheques, contactless and mobile wallet payments.

Data transferring

The majority of card terminals transmit data over a standard telephone line or an internet connection.

Some have the ability to cache transactional data to be transmitted to the gateway processor when a connection becomes available; the major drawback to this is that immediate authorization is not available at the time the card was processed, which can subsequently result in failed payments. Wireless terminals transmit card data using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular, or even satellite networks in remote areas and onboard airplanes.

Key Vendors

You can always buy a credit card machine from Amazon or eBay, but the machine itself is not enough. It is wiser to purchase a device from a third party, the merchant service provider – with the hardware for processing credit card transactions, and with all the services.

The market is dominated by Ingenico and Verifone, they process 80% of all card machine payments in the world. The companies are very similar and competing fiercely: here you can read the overview.

Other players on the market are Fujian, PAX, BBPOS, Bitel, Castles, Centerm, Dspread, Hangzhou Sunyard, Ne18pxxgo, New POS, et al.

Sources: Wikipedia,,,,,

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