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How does that thing work? Wireless credit card machines

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Ryleigh Stangness | June 3, 2022

“Ever wondered what a wireless credit card is or how it works? In this blog we explain it all PLUS we list the benefits of wireless credit card machines.”
5 min read

    You've heard of it! Even seen it.. So what is it?

    Wireless card processing is a convenient way to accept in-person payments on the go. Using a wireless credit card reader, businesses can swipe credit cards and process transactions without being tethered to a computer or phone line.

    This can be especially helpful for businesses that operate in outdoor or mobile settings such as mobile vendors, contractors, outdoor event planners, and home-based businesses.

    Whether online, in-person, over-the-phone / keyed-in, or invoicing - you need a variety of payment tools in your toolbox from Virtual Terminals to wireless credit card processing.

    You might have heard of some of these, but are still unclear on terms like wireless credit card processing and how it works.

    In fact, you've probably even seen wireless credit card processing at work from tapping your credit card for a taxi, to paying the tab at lunch when the waitress asks if you will need her to bring a machine around.

    It's time to feel good about your payments

    So, what is wireless card processing and how does it work?

    The key is in the name: wireless. And it refers specifically to the terminal or card reader the business is using to process payments whether contactless (like Apple or Google Pay) using Tap, Chip and Pin, or Swipe. Wireless transactions refer specifically to in-person payments only.

    For context: In-person payments can be made on a mobile POS system such as an Ipad or tablet, a phone, a wireless card reader, or even a traditional desktop register.

    Wireless processors use either Bluetooth or radio frequency (RF) technology to transmit data wirelessly. When using Bluetooth, the device must be within range of the card reader, typically around 30 feet. RF devices, on the other hand, can transmit data over longer distances, making them a good choice for businesses that move around frequently. Once the information reaches the terminal, it travels through the payment processor much the same way as other credit card processing systems work.

    To get started with wireless credit card processing, businesses will need to sign up with a merchant account provider and purchase a compatible device. There are many merchant account service providers who offer wireless processing solutions, so it's important to compare features, pricing models, and prices before making a decision. Once everything is set up, businesses can start accepting payments anywhere, anytime.

    Read: How to Choose a Merchant Service Provider in 2022

    Mobile vs. Wireless payment processing

    Both of these methods allow your business to take payments without being plugged into a register at the counter, so in that sense they are both technically mobile. However, they are really referring to the POS terminal whether it be a phone, tablet, computer, or a wireless card reader.

    Mobile POS systems are often synched with an app to process payments through WIFI. Wireless credit card terminals look just like any other card reader and can sync up to a POS system or process transactions on their own without any other POS equipment or WIFI. They can even print receipts on the spot, so they are perfect for taxi drivers or pizza delivery personnel.

    The benefits of using a wireless card processing system

    According to a statistic concluded by Retail Consulting Partner in 2020, 46% of retailers don't utilize mobile POS to process their transactions. That's nearly half of retailers still relying on desktop or stationary POS terminals and missing out on all the benefits of wireless credit card processing.

    1. Increased mobility and flexibility

    When we think about industries like restaurants with lots of foot traffic and multiple POS interactions with each waitress and multiple tables, it becomes clear how vital mobile checkouts become. Bringing the bill to the table, skipping lines at the register, and sealing a 20% gratuity tip with a genuine smile and thank you is made possible with a mobile POS system and wireless credit card processing.

    2. Easier and faster transactions

    Another company that makes the most of wireless card processing? Apple. Each sales associate is armed and ready for the sale at every genius bar appointment with a wireless card reader so they can process any payments that come their way- no need for a long line on top of long store lines and elusive appointments. They nip this extra step right in the bud and keep traffic flowing in and out without additional points of contact.

    3. Improved security

    Wireless credit card processing is a secure way to process payments, and it offers a number of security benefits over traditional methods. For one thing, wireless systems are not susceptible to the same kinds of eavesdropping that can occur with wired systems. Wireless credit card processors typically have security features that protect against fraud and skimming, such as encryption and tokenization. This means that even if a criminal were to obtain your credit card information, they would not be able to use it to make unauthorized purchases. Wireless credit card processing can therefore give you peace of mind knowing that your payments are being processed securely.

    Furthermore, most wireless credit card processors still offer users the option to enter a PIN to authenticate transactions adding an extra layer of security. Overall, wireless credit card processing is a very secure way to accept payments, and it offers significant advantages over other methods.

    4. Increased customer satisfaction

    What's not to like about shorter lines (or skipping checkout lines altogether?), mobile checkouts that allow your favorite businesses to operate remotely wherever you are, and overall a more flexible, fluid checkout experience?

    Not only do wireless credit card processing systems make the checkout experience more fluid for your customers, but it allows you to reach your customers wherever they are, and reshape your business model to reach new customers, places, events, and more.

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    Why not go wireless?

    If you haven't already, it's time to start accepting wireless credit card processing at your business. There are just too many benefits for you and your customers to pass up. With increased mobility and flexibility, faster and easier transactions, improved security, and more satisfied customers, what's not to love? Contact us today to get started!

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