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5 Misconceptions About Your Credit Card Machine for Small Business Processing

Chris Allen

As a small business owner, choosing the right credit card machine can seem like a daunting task. Choosing which types of payment types you should accept, the hardware and software you need and the complexity of your new POS terminal are important decisions that should be weighed carefully so you make the best investment for your business. Below we’ve debunked five misconceptions about credit card machines for small business, so you don’t get taken by surprise.

Misconception #1: If I choose a reputable processor and buy the latest terminal, I won’t have to worry about a data breach.

False! While partnering with a reliable payments processor and buying an updated terminal is a great business investment, don’t make the mistake of thinking your business is totally safe from a data breach. Even purchasing an EMV-equipped terminal does not totally safeguard your customers’ data. Particularly for the time being when many customers are still using magnetic stripe cards, you’ll need to take additional security measures to make sure their data is secure. You’ll also need to make sure all of your systems are PCI compliant.

Consider fortifying your defenses against the effects of a data breach and subsequent fraud with the following additional tools:

  • Point-to-point encryption
  • Tokenization
  • Breach assistance program

Misconception #2: If I spend a lot of money on a credit card machine, I won’t need to plan on upgrading it for many, many years.

False! As with all types of technology in our modern word, payments technology is constantly evolving and changing. While choosing a payment processor and system that is leading edge and can help you anticipate your future business needs is important, you may need to upgrade your credit card machine again. As payments technology evolves over the coming years, you’ll need to adapt to keep pace with customer demand and to maintain your market share. For many businesses, the move to an integrated point-of-sale system turns the devices you use into media through which future software updates and upgrades are pushed—making the likely need for constant hardware upgrades less.

Misconception #3: Once my credit card machine is installed and set up, it will work smoothly forever.

False! While reliable systems should work smoothly the vast majority of the time, you’ll still need to run software updates to keep them running smoothly. Many of these can be scheduled and done automatically while you’re not even in the office, such as overnight. It is important, though, that you install all recommended updates to maintain the security and efficacy of your payment system. And be sure to know exactly what type of technical support you can expect over the life of your credit card machine, whether it's a terminal or some other POS device.

Misconception #4: If I choose a top credit card machine, it won't be intuitive for my staff to operate or easy for my customers to use.

False! Most of today’s credit card machines for small businesses are fairly simple to use, both from the employee and customer perspective. In fact, many operate much like smartphone and tablet applications to which so many of us have grown accustomed to using on a daily basis. That said, you’ll still need to train your staff on using the new system either yourself or in conjunction with your processor. Your sales staff should also be fully trained on assisting customers with using the machine, especially if there’s new technology involved such as EMV chip cards or mobile payments. You should expect a learning curve whenever you install a new system component, and a new credit card machine is no exception.

Misconception #5: A credit card machine can’t help me grow my business.

False! A credit card machine can help you grow your business in a variety of ways. For example, you’ll attract a broader range of customers, capture valuable customer data to power your marketing efforts and use detailed reporting to have better visibility into how your business is tracking.

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