Card machines have been revolutionary to both customers and businesses, easing the process of transactions being carried out, whether it’s at the supermarket or at the cinema. Chip and PIN technology was first introduced in the UK in 2003 and since then there has been a surge in its popularity with over 21% of purchases being made contactless in 2019.
This technology has also brought many advantages: the most notable being the decrease in levels of counterfeit and stolen card fraud. In the UK, annual losses have reduced significantly by £81.9 million between 2004 and 2014.
Payment cards have a chip placed inside them, which holds financial information about the cardholder. When a customer is ready to make a payment, the card is placed into the Chip and PIN machine and the customer is required to enter their unique 4-digit PIN. This is not very surprising considering the name Chip and PIN!
The rest of the work is done by the machine. If the correct PIN has been inputted, the machine communicates with the chip to process the transaction. An encrypted data packet is transferred to the business merchant account, from which the payment is authorised and approved. As with most bank processes, the funds will be cleared and transferred into a business merchant account within 3 to 5 working days automatically.
There are three main types of Chip and PIN machines: countertop, portable and mobile. The best device for your business would vary depending on your needs, therefore we have elaborated on each type to help you make an informed decision.
A countertop machine is the most popular choice in retail stores and requires a connection to broadband or the mobile line. They are always connected directly to a power supply, meaning they are placed at a fixed point and require no charging. This type of device is ideal for small businesses, such as convenience stores, salons, and hairdressers.
The perfect solution for hospitality businesses like restaurants and pubs: these devices are the machines you see at a restaurant when you have asked for a bill. A portable machine consists of a base and a Chip and PIN reader, which utilises Bluetooth for transactions to be completed. The range for a portable device to work is 50 metres, so if the card reader is 50 metres from the base, the transaction is processed.
Unlike the other two types of devices, the mobile device requires a SIM card to process transactions, using GPRS and 3G connectivity. This means that no wires are required, and you can use the machine anywhere in the UK. So, if your business is always on the move, a mobile Chip and PIN reader is the best choice.
Costs of a Chip and PIN machine vary on several factors: from the provider to the type of machine you choose. If you want to take contactless payments, there is no extra fee to get this on your machine, as these are included on all our card machines.
Are you interested in getting a Chip and PIN machine? Our consultants will learn more about your business needs and functionality to help you choose the best machine for your needs, with the best pricing contract.