How to Set Up A Credit Card Machine For Small Business?

26 minutes read

Setting up a credit card machine for a small business involves a few key steps. Here is a brief overview of the process:

  1. Determine your needs: Evaluate the type of payments you will accept, such as chip cards, contactless payments, or mobile wallets. Consider whether you want a standalone terminal or an integrated system that connects with your point-of-sale (POS) system.
  2. Choose a merchant service provider: Research different providers to find the one that offers affordable rates, reliable customer support, and a suitable range of features for your business.
  3. Apply for a merchant account: Contact your chosen provider and submit an application for a merchant account. This step involves providing necessary information about your business, including your tax ID, bank account details, and processing history. The provider will review your application and approve your account.
  4. Purchase or lease equipment: Once your account is approved, you may need to obtain credit card processing equipment. This can be purchased outright or leased through your merchant service provider. Ensure the equipment is compatible with your chosen provider and meets your specific needs.
  5. Set up the equipment: After acquiring the machine, carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to set it up. You typically need to connect the machine to a power source and an internet connection or phone line.
  6. Configure the settings: Once the machine is set up physically, configure the settings according to your business requirements. This includes entering business details, setting up tax rates, and customizing receipt information.
  7. Test the machine: Before accepting live payments, conduct test transactions to ensure that the machine is functioning correctly. This includes running test payments and printing receipts to verify that everything is in order.
  8. Train your staff: Educate your employees on how to use the credit card machine effectively. Train them on accepting payments, handling different types of cards, navigating the system, troubleshooting common issues, and ensuring security for both customers and the business.
  9. Display signage: Clearly indicate that you accept credit card payments by displaying related signage near the sales counter or entrance. This helps customers know they have the option to pay with their cards.
  10. Maintain and update: Regularly update your software and terminal to benefit from the latest security measures, features, and regulations. Keep your credit card machine clean and functioning properly, and promptly address any technical issues that arise.

Remember, the exact process may vary depending on your specific merchant service provider and the type of credit card machine you choose. It's crucial to consult the detailed instructions provided by the manufacturer and your provider for a smooth setup experience.

Best Credit Card Machine For Small Business in 2024

Shopify POS Go - Mobile Point of Sale Machine & System for Retail, Small Business - All-in-One Credit Card Reader, Terminal, Barcode Scanner, POS Software Device

Rating is 5 out of 5

Shopify POS Go - Mobile Point of Sale Machine & System for Retail, Small Business - All-in-One Credit Card Reader, Terminal, Barcode Scanner, POS Software Device

  • ALL-IN-ONE DEVICE – Designed for efficient, quick, user-friendly in-store transactions, this compact device acts as a complete POS terminal, barcode scanner, and card reader. Accept all payment types including cash, credit or debit cards, and digital wallets.
  • MOBILE CHECKOUTS - Close sales anywhere with this mobile wireless machine. Get everything you need to check out customers in the palm of your hand from the built-in barcode scanner to card reader, WiFi connectivity, and long battery life.
  • USER-FRIENDLY FEATURES - The touchscreen is easy to use and read, with a 5.5" HD display using strong Gorilla Glass 5. The barcode scanner and tap, chip, and swipe card reader functions are intuitive and powerful for quick, smooth operation.
  • SMART BUSINESS MANAGEMENT - Access your entire business from a single device. With this hand-held POS machine you can monitor sales, check inventory levels, update customer profiles, and view analytics.
  • REQUIRES SHOPIFY ACCOUNT - To use the Shopify POS Go, you need to have a Shopify account. New users can sign up for Shopify at Existing Shopify users can start using the Shopify POS Go right away by simply connecting it to your account.
Square Register - Powered by Square POS

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Square Register - Powered by Square POS

  • Start selling right out of the box with payments processing, POS software and powerful hardware designed by Square. No extra tablet, apps or payment terminal required.
  • Accept all major cards at 2.6% + $0.10 per tap, dip, or swipe and get funds in your bank account as fast as the next business day. Plus, with Offline Mode, you can still take payments, even when your Wi-Fi is down.
  • Get expert phone support, protection from eligible chargebacks, and a 2-year limited warranty.
  • Customize your setup with two touchscreen displays: one for you and one for your customers
  • Grow your business with constantly improving point-of-sale software, including the Square Point of Sale app, Square Appointments, Square for Retail, and Square for Restaurants.
  • Plug in optional cash drawers, receipt printers, order ticket printers, or bar code scanners and get up and running instantly.
Square Terminal - Credit Card Machine to Accept All Payments | Mobile POS

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Square Terminal - Credit Card Machine to Accept All Payments | Mobile POS

  • With Square Terminal, you can ring up sales, accept payments, and print receipts, all with one device. Use it at the counter or ring up customers anywhere in your store.
  • Accept all major credit and debit cards and pay one low rate with no hidden fees and no long-term contracts.
  • Process chip cards in just two seconds.
  • Get your money as soon as the next business day.
  • Use it cordlessly with the built-in battery, designed to last all day.
SumUp Solo + Printer Bundle - Credit Card Payment Card Reader. Full Touch-Screen Interface with Free SIM Card and Mobile Data (SumUp Solo + Printer)

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

SumUp Solo + Printer Bundle - Credit Card Payment Card Reader. Full Touch-Screen Interface with Free SIM Card and Mobile Data (SumUp Solo + Printer)

  • Issue receipts on-the-go with the lightweight pocket-sized device, and benefit from fast and fully thermal inkless printing with 800 receipts on a single charge.
  • Use the printer as a battery pack to kick in when your Solo’s running out of power. Both the reader and the printer stay ready to go with double fast charging and optimal power distribution.
  • Accept all major payment types from chip and contactless to Google Pay and Apple Pay.
  • View your transaction history, issue refunds and enable smart tipping directly on the device
  • Connect to Wi-Fi or use the free, unlimited data service and enjoy automatic software updates to make sure you’re always ready to take payments
Swivel Stand for Pax A35 Credit Card Machine Terminal Pin pad - Complete Kit - Sturdy and Durable - 4.7" Tall, Swivels and Tilts

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Swivel Stand for Pax A35 Credit Card Machine Terminal Pin pad - Complete Kit - Sturdy and Durable - 4.7" Tall, Swivels and Tilts

  • SWIVEL & TILT FLEXIBILITY: The Stand swivels (Left and Right Turns) 330 degree and Tilts (up and down) 50 degree. Swivel gives the cashier flexibility to turn the device towards him/her to help the customers when needed without going to customer side. The tilt feature will adjust the correct angle to hold the Device based on counter height.
  • PACKAGE INCLUDES: This is a complete kit. The package includes the Base Stand with Back Plate to attach the credit card machine (pre assembled), Mounting Screws, Allen Key and Wrench (tools), Adhesive Glue Pad. You can either screw down on counter surface or use Adhesive Glue Pad where Screw is NOT possible, exable - glass counter.
  • PERFECT HEIGHT: The stand if perfect height of 4.7" for all counter level. It has enough clearance for Card Insert from button which can also be adjusted by tilt feature. Once you have the correct tilt position set, you can use the allen Key and Wrench to tight the screw so it won't tilt down anymore.
  • ADHESIVE GLUE PAD: A adhesive Glue Pad is included in each stand as an option to glue down the stand if the surface cannot use the screw (examble glass or marble). The glue pad is very strong to hold the stand as this is made for this purpose. If you ever need to remove the glue pad in the futire, simple slowly heat up the area (with hair dryer) and use a string/thread to workout to remove.
  • DURABILITY: The Stand is made out of robust mild steel with durable powder coated finish. It is very sturdy and durable.
Verifone VX520 Dual Comm Credit Card Machine- with Smart Card Reader

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Verifone VX520 Dual Comm Credit Card Machine- with Smart Card Reader

  • Combines an ergonomic design, small footprint and unique cable management system
  • VX520 DC w/SC 128/32 MB (Dial/ ETH 128 / 32 MB STK) (non contactless) EMV
  • Part Number: M252-753-03-NAA-3
First Data FD150 EMV CTLS Credit Card Terminal with Wells 350 Encryption

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

First Data FD150 EMV CTLS Credit Card Terminal with Wells 350 Encryption

  • Chip Card / EMV / NFC Compatible
VeriFone Vx520 EMV CLTS 32MB Credit Card Terminal

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

VeriFone Vx520 EMV CLTS 32MB Credit Card Terminal

  • Verifone VX520 terminal with EMV reader, contactless reader, and dual com modem.
Clover Mini POS System for Small Business, Credit Card Reader Anywhere Machine, Built in Printer - Requires Processing Account Through Advantage POS Store

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

Clover Mini POS System for Small Business, Credit Card Reader Anywhere Machine, Built in Printer - Requires Processing Account Through Advantage POS Store

  • A SMALL, POWERFUL POS FOR TIGHT SPACES: Run your business with the sleek and powerful Mini, a POS that fits in any space. Everything you need is right on the device.
  • LARGER TOUCH SCREEN: The upsized 8" touch screen has plenty of room to confirm orders, complete payments, and manage everything to run your business.
  • ACCEPT POPULAR PAYMENT TYPES: The Clover Mini makes it easy for customers to pay with swipe, dip, or tap. Credit or debit. And contactless payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal/Venmo.
  • START SMALL AND EXPAND AS YOU NEED TO: The Clover Mini works with all other Clover devices and can expand with accessories to build a complete system so your system can grow as your business grows.
  • Payments: Accepts chip, swipe, and contactless payments Screen: 8" LCD color touch screen Receipt printer: Built-in thermal dot receipt printer Security: Clover Security end-to-end encryption Connectivity: Wi-Fi, ethernet, and LTE connectivity Cash drawer: Optional add-on
  • READY OUT OF THE BOX: Comes with a receipt printer — all you need to get to work..-(note) Requires new processing account through Advantage POS Store for this package. Rate match guarantee with current credit card payment processor or flat rate of 2.6% and .10 cents a transaction.
symcode New POS PDA Thermal Receipt Printer 5.99" High Resolution and Clear Touch Screen Handheld PDA Printer Mobile POS Machine Terminal Printer Android 8.1 OS Built-in Google Play and NFC

Rating is 4.1 out of 5

symcode New POS PDA Thermal Receipt Printer 5.99" High Resolution and Clear Touch Screen Handheld PDA Printer Mobile POS Machine Terminal Printer Android 8.1 OS Built-in Google Play and NFC

  • Symcode New POS PDA Thermal Receipt Printer,5.99" High Resolution and Clear Touch Screen, 5MP camera and Wifi 5G/4G/3G/2G/GPS connectivity.40MM Diameter Paper Roll Capacity, Support Nano SIM+TF , With NFC card recognition.
  • 58mm POS Thermal Receipt Printer Android 8.1 OS,Usb: Support USB developers to debug and use .Deca-core/10 cores MTK.
  • [ Control of Inventory ] This thermal receipt printer helps you keep better control of inventory, sales and profits, deliver tickets to your customers, create users, discounts, products by name, code or barcode and much more!
  • POS PDA Compatible with 99% of Android Apps, e.g. Loyverse(For Retail/Clothing), iREAP(For Retail/Inventory), CasierStock(For Shopping/Inventory Management), Kyte(For Mobile Sales), Pozool(Restaurant/Coffee Shop), allow accept order and print receipt in one POS.
  • Handheld PDA printer comes with Google Play and supports the following software, Shopify, Google Chrome, PDF, Loyverse, iREAP, and Kyte, Support Google Play software download.No need for secondary development.which allows accepting the order and print receipt in one POS , 90mm/s boosts 20% working efficiency.
  • POS Receipt Printer inside 3200mAh 7.6V battery lasts the whole day even in the most demanding situations.Work with android app, make bill printing, mobile payment, ordering, takeaway, queue control, marketing management, make all-in-one POS.
  • Terminal printer POS is portable, 0.7in body, 0.9lb weight , also with a 5.5-inch touch screen, also can scan 1D/2D.QR barcodes by the camera.(The camera mainly decodes 2D codes.and the ability to decode 1D codes is relatively weak) It is a combination of Bluetooth thermal printer and mobile phone, so that you can save your money and space, Widely used in food trucks, cafes, drink & food, pizza, bakery, restaurant, grocery store, fashion & boutique, convenience store, jewelry, carwash.

What is the process for refunding a credit card payment as a small business?

The process for refunding a credit card payment as a small business typically involves the following steps:

  1. Confirm eligibility: Determine if the transaction is eligible for a refund. Common reasons include customer dissatisfaction, product return, duplicate payment, or billing error.
  2. Review refund policy: Check your refund policy to ensure compliance with any terms and conditions mentioned. If you don't have a policy, consider establishing one to provide clarity to both your business and customers.
  3. Assess available funds: Ensure your business has sufficient funds to cover the refund amount. If not, you may need to plan accordingly or reach out to the payment processor or bank to explore alternative solutions.
  4. Contact the customer: Reach out to the customer via phone, email, or in-person to initiate the refund process. Verify their identity and gather necessary details such as the original transaction information, amount, and reason for the refund. Proper communication is essential to maintain customer satisfaction.
  5. Process the refund: Log in to your payment processing account or contact your payment gateway provider to issue the refund. Depending on your provider, you can often issue a refund directly from their platform using the customer's original payment details. Alternatively, you may need to manually process it through your merchant account or contact customer support for assistance.
  6. Document the refund: Maintain a record of the refund, including the transaction details, date, and refund amount. This documentation will help in bookkeeping, accounting, and reconciling records later.
  7. Notify the customer: Inform the customer that the refund has been initiated, including the expected timeframe for the amount to appear back on their credit card statement. Transparency and timely communication are crucial to maintain a positive customer relationship.
  8. Monitor the refund: Track the refund status to ensure it is successfully processed. Depending on the payment processor, it may take a few business days for the funds to be returned to the customer's credit card.
  9. Update records: Update your business records, financial statements, and accounting system to reflect the refund accurately.
  10. Follow-up: After the refund is completed, follow up with the customer to confirm their satisfaction and address any lingering concerns or questions.

Remember to consult with your specific payment processor or merchant account provider for their specific guidelines and procedures, as each provider may have slight variations in refund processing.

How to add gratuity or tip options to your credit card machine?

To add gratuity or tip options to your credit card machine, you can follow these general steps:

  1. Check your credit card machine: Determine if your current credit card machine has the ability to accept tips or if you need to upgrade to a model that supports this feature.
  2. Contact your credit card processor: Reach out to your payment processor or credit card terminal provider and ask if they offer a tip/gratuity feature. They will guide you through the process or let you know if you need to switch to a different machine.
  3. Enable tip functionality: Once you have the appropriate credit card machine or software, your payment processor will help you configure the tip feature. This may involve adjusting settings, downloading updates, or integrating new software.
  4. Select tip options: Based on your preferences, you can decide how many tip options you want to offer (e.g., 15%, 18%, 20%, custom, etc.). You may also be able to set default percentages or allow customers to enter a custom tip amount.
  5. Test the feature: It's important to test the tip functionality before you begin using it regularly. Run some sample transactions, adjust tip amounts, and ensure that the tips are processed correctly.
  6. Communicate the option to customers: Display signs near the cash register or on your payment terminal letting customers know that tipping is now an option. Train your staff to inform customers of the available tip choices.
  7. Educate your employees: If you have staff members handling payments, make sure they understand the new tip feature and can assist customers in using it accurately.

Note: The steps to add tip options may differ based on your specific credit card machine, payment processor, or point-of-sale system. It's recommended to consult with your payment provider or refer to your machine's user manual for precise instructions.

How to integrate a payment gateway with your credit card machine?

To integrate a payment gateway with your credit card machine, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a payment gateway provider: Research and select a payment gateway provider that suits your business needs. Some well-known providers include PayPal, Stripe,, Square, etc.
  2. Sign up for an account: Create an account with your chosen payment gateway provider. This typically involves completing an online registration form and providing necessary business and banking details.
  3. Obtain necessary credentials: Once your account is set up, the payment gateway provider will provide you with specific integration credentials such as API keys, authentication tokens, or other required information. These credentials are crucial for establishing a secure connection between your credit card machine and the payment gateway.
  4. Check compatibility: Ensure that your credit card machine is compatible with the payment gateway provider you've chosen. Check the manufacturer's specifications or contact their customer support to confirm compatibility.
  5. Connect the credit card machine: Connect your credit card machine to your computer or terminal using the appropriate interface or cables provided by the manufacturer. This could be via USB, Ethernet, or another connection method.
  6. Install necessary software/drivers: Install any necessary software or drivers provided by the credit card machine manufacturer. These software/driver installations help the machine communicate with your computer or terminal.
  7. Set up the payment gateway on your machine: Access the settings or configuration options on your credit card machine's interface or software. Look for the section related to payment gateway integration, and enter the required credentials provided by your payment gateway provider.
  8. Test the integration: Process a few test transactions to ensure that the payment gateway integration is working correctly. Do this using a test mode or sandbox environment provided by the payment gateway to ensure you're not processing live transactions during testing.
  9. Verify transaction functionality: Check that your credit card machine can properly authorize and process payments through the payment gateway. Validate if you can accept various payment methods, such as credit/debit cards, mobile wallets, or other supported forms of payment.
  10. Implement security measures: Ensure you have proper security protocols in place to protect customer data, comply with PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), and prevent potential breaches. Keep your credit card machine, software, and systems updated with the latest security patches.
  11. Go live: Once you've successfully tested the integration and are confident in its functionality, switch from the test mode to live mode on your credit card machine and start accepting real transactions.

It's important to note that this process may vary depending on the specific credit card machine and payment gateway provider you choose. Therefore, always refer to the documentation or support resources provided by the manufacturer and payment gateway for detailed integration instructions.

How to set up an e-commerce website to accept credit card payments?

To set up an e-commerce website to accept credit card payments, follow these steps:

  1. Research and Choose a Payment Gateway: A payment gateway is a service that authorizes and processes credit card transactions for online businesses. Research different payment gateways and choose one that fits your needs, considering factors like transaction fees, security, supported currencies, and integration options. Some popular payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, and Braintree.
  2. Register for a Merchant Account: A merchant account is required to handle the funds you receive from credit card transactions. Research and select a merchant account provider that is compatible with your chosen payment gateway. This account will act as a holding account before the funds are transferred to your business bank account.
  3. Install and Configure the Payment Gateway: Follow the instructions provided by your chosen payment gateway to integrate it with your e-commerce website. This usually involves installing a plugin or embedding a code snippet provided by the payment gateway provider. Ensure that the integration is secure and compatible with your website platform.
  4. Set Up SSL Certificate: To ensure secure transmission of sensitive information (credit card details), you need to install an SSL certificate on your website. This creates an encrypted connection between your website and the customer's browser, protecting their data. SSL certificates can be obtained from various Certificate Authorities (CAs).
  5. Create a Checkout Page: Design a user-friendly and intuitive checkout page where customers can enter their credit card information and complete their purchase. This page should include fields for card number, expiration date, CVV code, and other necessary information.
  6. Test the Payment Process: Before launching your e-commerce website, thoroughly test the payment process to ensure everything is working correctly. Make sample purchases using different credit cards to verify that transactions are being processed successfully, funds are being transferred to your merchant account, and customers receive appropriate confirmation emails.
  7. Ensure Compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): To protect cardholder data and ensure secure transactions, comply with the PCI DSS requirements. This includes following security best practices, performing regular security scans, and adhering to specific rules set by your payment gateway.
  8. Implement Fraud Prevention Measures: Use fraud detection tools provided by your payment gateway or integrate third-party fraud prevention services to protect yourself and your customers from fraudulent activities. These tools analyze transaction data and detect suspicious patterns or activities, reducing the risk of chargebacks.
  9. Develop Policies and Legal Documents: Create clear refund and return policies, as well as terms of service and a privacy policy, to establish trust and provide transparency to your customers. Consult with legal experts to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations governing e-commerce.
  10. Stay Updated with Payment Industry Changes: Keep up to date with changes in the payment industry, such as new regulations or security requirements. Regularly review and update your payment processes and security measures to ensure continued compliance and prevent any potential issues.

Remember, setting up credit card payments on your e-commerce website involves handling sensitive customer data. Prioritize security and do thorough research to select reliable and secure payment gateway providers.

What is the average approval rate for credit card transactions?

The average approval rate for credit card transactions can vary but generally, it is around 85% to 95%. However, approval rates can be influenced by factors such as the creditworthiness of the customer, transaction amount, merchant category, and fraud detection systems.

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