A payment terminal is a device used to accept credit and debit cards and other forms of electronic payment. The devices, which are also known as point of sale (POS) terminals, PDQ machines or card readers, communicate with a merchant’s bank to process the transaction. POS terminals are available in stationary and mobile varieties, and can be integrated into point of sale (POS) systems. They vary in price, capability and performance, and the right choice depends on your business and its needs.
A POS terminal has traditionally been what most customers see in the checkout lines at stores, but a variety of portable solutions are becoming more popular. In addition, a number of vendors offer all-in-one terminal and POS-integrated solutions for businesses that want to streamline their operations.
Most POS terminals are connected to the internet by a cellular connection, which allows them to communicate with the bank that processes the payments. Once the transaction is keyed in, it is sent to the payment processor for immediate verification. The processor contacts the card-issuing bank, which performs a few quick checks and returns an approval or decline response. The POS terminal and software then displays the approval to the customer.
Some POS terminals can handle a range of other methods of payment, including ACH/eCheck and mobile payments (like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay). They are especially useful for businesses that deal with a lot of card-not-present transactions, such as phone, email and mail orders. payment terminal