Swipers & Scanners

Most popular terminal accessories and add-ons

The vast majority of mom-and-pop stores out there today might have a credit card machine and a USB cord that attaches it to the cash register. On the upper end, there are POS systems with integrated card readers, swipers, and reporting mechanisms that can add a lot of detail to the transaction in order to save money. If you are an antiquarian, you may have one of the knuckle-busting card embossing machines and some paper receipts, but a recent survey found that most people just don't have one of these or would confuse it with a shoe-sizing device.

Specialty equipment for credit card acceptance is generally used by people who don't plan on taking cards at the cash register. For example, contractors and delivery services will save on each authorization if they bring a wireless credit card terminal with them, swipe the card, and collect a receipt. Vending machine operators like integrated card swipers for people who no longer seem to carry much change. Some stores use WiFi credit card machines so they can bring spare terminals to temporary pay stations or charge a credit card at the table as if they were making guacamole. Whatever devices, swipers, and dongles you use for processing, it is important to use the best security at all times. Debit card swipers and PIN pads should be using 3DES security so that even if PIN data is stolen it is still encrypted and useless. Terminals can use tokenization to mask card numbers and render them useless to data thieves. Routers should never use default passwords or weak encryption. Your most important piece of equipment may in fact be the cashier, who can stop fraud through proper training and alertness.

Free Equipment From Your Processor

Credit Card Processing EquipmentYour credit card processing company may be able to offer you free or discounted equipment and accessories, as well as professional setup, depending on the number of cards you process. Higher end card processing firms will want to install terminals and devices while simultaneously doing a PCI audit on your network, routers, and firewall in order to make sure that you aren't a target for a data breach.

Credit Card Terminal Accessories

For most people, the only equipment they will ever need is the credit card machine, phone cord, and maybe a LAN cable. More complex setups require dedicated firewalls, POS terminals, power supplies, servers, switches, and routers which are all PCI compliant and not accessible from other computers on the network. As a rule of thumb, adding equipment neccessitates adding more security and oversight to ensure that no electronic devices are hacked. All the equipment you need for virtual terminals would be a computer and some software, and in fact your web browser might work for some virtual solutions, but if you don't have a swiper (and you can get a USB swiper for your POS or virtual terminal program) then you are paying an extra 1%. By far the most popular accessory would be a PIN pad, and many newer models also have slots for Chip and PIN cards and an NFC chip for wireless transactions.