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And The Best Credit Card Reader Is...

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Ryleigh Stangness | June 27, 2022

“Update - A checklist to everything you need from a card reader in 2022.”
5 min read

Looking to find the best credit card reader?

We've got you covered whether you're new to taking payments or looking to retire your legacy terminal along with mullets, perms, parachute pants, and other outdated relics of the past. Here are our top 8 characteristics of the best credit card machine in 2022.

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1. A lean, mean credit card processing machine

Emphasis on lean; gone are the days when a giant two kilogram, curly-corded credit card machine adorned the desks of every retailer. The best credit card readers today are lightweight-and wireless! You want something that feels good in your customer's hands but still looks professional and offers them a familiar experience, but not something that looks like it hasn't been updated since the previous decade.

2. A need for speed

As Bonnie Tyler would say, "he's gotta be strong, and he's gotta be fast."

That is to say, you need a credit card machine with strong and fast connectivity, reliability, software, and hardware.

And let's be honest-we all know what it's like when it's not.

You know the feeling.

When you've tapped your card and are forced to make awkward eye contact with your server as their old terminal does it's darndest to connect to the internet and process your payment"¦ it's the worst. Most credit card machines will connect to Wifi, or you can use a hotspot from your phone if you're on the go and in a pinch. With modern wireless credit card machines, you no longer have to be tethered down by hefty ethernet cables.

When it comes to determining the speed of a credit card machine, find out how well it performs in the real world through customer and third-party reviews like this one from Nerdwallet.

3. Every hero needs a sidekick

Robin to your Batman, a Samwise to your Frodo; If you're setting up your card reader for the first time, troubleshooting, or getting ready for a big event, what goes better with a credit card terminal than a trusty customer service team whenever you need them.

All the best terminals in the world are useless if you can't use them; nothing is worse than waiting on hold or playing email tag when your credit card machine is cutting out.

Reliability comes down to connection and hardware, and the provider that they will be there to help you through any challenges so you can secure the transaction or reboot without missing a beat.

You'll soon appreciate the value of a readily available customer service team with live agents ready to walk you through any problems, questions, or concerns you may have when you have them.

4. Backpocket friendly

Don't forget to look for a mobile credit card reader that you can take with you everywhere- around the store, pop-ups, events, as a plus-one to a wedding, the shower"“ just kidding. But the sky's the limit!

Imagine connecting your card reader via Bluetooth to your computer, tablet, or phone; while fifteen years ago that might have been a dream, that capability is a must in today's world. When you're looking for the best credit card reader for your business, you need to be looking for one that's mobile. Even if you rarely take your reader with you outside the office, the ability to go cordless is essential for ease of use, even on your countertop, so you can save yourself the aggravation of prying apart the tangled cord every time you pass it to a customer.

5. Integrates with Your POS

This one is a little more technical but no less important. Having a card reader that integrates with your POS system makes it easy to keep track of receipts, inventory, and sales. When you've got a powerful cloud-based POS at your fingertips that works with your card reader, you can glean insights into your customer's purchasing habits and even see your most popular ticket items. Your card reader shouldn't require additional software or integrations-instead-it should just make your life easier.

6. Modern tech capabilities

Tap- in 2022, Most of your customers have become accustomed to being able to tap for purchases. Whether for gas, groceries, coffee, parking, or even a food truck pop-up. Unless they prefer the authentication process of Chip and PIN, or the transaction amount is over $100-500 (depending on their limit, of course), your credit card machine should be NFC compatible. Contactless payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay make transactions a breeze when customers can simply tap their card or wave their phone over a card reader.

Chip and PIN- Certain transactions may have a limit (and arguably should) on how much you tap for, so your customers will likely have to insert their card. Methods like Chip and Pin, which use tokenization and encryption to read the chip and communicate the information back and forth, mean less secure methods like Swipe will soon be history textbook references just like those hammer pants.

Not only do EMV enabled credit card machines protect cardholder information, but by asking for a PIN (a secret four-digit code known only to the cardholder), this makes both your transaction and the customer's information more secure, which gives everyone peace of mind and helps protect against fraud and chargebacks.

7. User experience

When looking for the best credit card machine, consider how intuitive it feels from your perspective and the customers. Look for things like:

  • A customizable interface or dashboard
  • Tipping options and recommendations
  • Tax calculations
  • Email or printed receipts
  • Customer tracking
  • Inventory management
  • Analytics
  • Reporting
  • Batch history (easily void transactions before they are settled and save on processing fees for refunds)
  • Card vault

While you can undoubtedly find a clunky legacy terminal with basic functions with many service providers, why settle? The right card reader can do so much more now with POS features like analytics and customer and inventory management. Why, you can even find colored card reader stands to match your store branding and aesthetics.

The Helcim Card Reader

There's a lot to like about Helcim's credit card machines. For starters, they're swift and reliable. That's thanks in part to their EMV and NFC compatibility, which allows them to process payments quickly and securely. But it's not just the tech that makes these machines great. They also boast an excellent user experience. They have plenty of features and an intuitive interface that makes them easy to use. Plus, their customer service team is always on hand to help you out if you need it. In short, Helcim has everything you could want from a credit card machine - and then some. So if you're in the market for a new device, be sure to give them a try. You won't be disappointed.

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