This guide to debit card machines will explain what a debit card machine is, how it works, and why a small business would/wouldn’t benefit from having one.

What is a debit card machine?

A debit card machine is simply a device that allows a customer to make a card payment, by using thier debit or credit card to authorise the payment.  All of them connect to the internet in some way to process the card transaction.

Debit card machines come in multiple types.  There are debit card machines that taka a mobile sim for communcating, ones that are wifi only.  There are machines that use traditional swipe/chip and pin, and newer ones that offer contactless payments and some that even take Apple Pay.

Naturally you will want to choose a debit card machine that suits your business, and meets your business needs.

How does a debit card machine work?

A debit card machine needs two things.  First, a power source to charge the battery, and then a connection to the internet.  This can be via a mobile data sim like in your phone, or a wifi connection.  Which one you choose will depend on where your business is done.  If you’re in a fixed location it can be wifi only, if you’re on the move you might want a mobile data sim.

If your card machine links to an EPOS (Electronic Point Of Sale) device, then it will likely have the payment amount displayed.  If not, you might need to enter this.  The customer then inputs their credit/debit card and follows the on-screen instructions.  This is typically inputting their pin number and confirming the transaction.

The debit card machine then connects to the internet to process the transaction and then displays a message indicating success, or indicating that the payment has failed.

Why would a small business benefit from a debit card machine?

There are many reasons why a credit or debit card machine would be a wise choice for your small business.

If you want to be able to take payments over the phone, then you will need a way to process this.  This means payments can be done instantly instead of by cheque or the customer visiting you with cash.  Likewise if you want to start taking payments online.

Another reason would be that customers tend not to carry a lot of cash with them, so they spend less when they are forced to use cash.  You may even get customers who would rather walk away and not purchase anything than go out of the shop to take money at an ATM and come back.  These dropped sales would lessen if you had a debit card machine.

Lastly, it makes your business look more professional which can attract customers.

Is there any reason why a small business wouldn’t benefit from a debit card machine?

Some businesses might not benefit from having a credit or debit card machine.  Those businesses that don’t take a lot of payments may not see the need.  Also, debit card machines come at an expense, not only in transaction fees but in the purchase or rental of the unit and a monthly cost for a merchant account.

Hopefully this short guide gives you a good explanation of what a debit card machine is, how it works and why your business should or should not get one.  Why not contact us if you have any further questions?