Portable or wireless credit card terminals can add a degree of flexibility to your business that wired models can have a hard time delivering. First, a little clarification: now that some mobile phones have the ability to perform credit card processing transactions, the term “wireless” might cause some confusion, so for the purposes of this article we will refer to wireless hand-held credit card terminals as “portable”. Here we will take a brief look at some considerations to make when selecting portable merchant credit card processing terminals.
Since the data for credit card processing is sent over a wireless connection, it is important that your device incorporates strong encryption to foil any attempts to hack the signal from the device and otherwise provides security to be compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI), and PIN Entry Device (PED) standards; either triple DES encryption or 128 bit SSL can provide adequate security for the wireless signal. To keep your terminal devices usable in a variety of conditions, you may want the ability to connect by either wired or wireless methods, consider if you will need to connect by WiFi, cellular, Ethernet, RS-232, or modem. You will also want to make sure that the portable terminals will be able to hold a charge for at least an entire shift. You do not want to lose a sale because a terminal has to be removed from your floor in order to charge, so you may also want to consider different charging options including vehicle charging. And not all portable terminals have the ability to read smart cards, so you will want to specify this feature if you know you will need the ability to do so.
Once you have taken these few factors into consideration it should be easier for you to narrow your selection of terminals for your portable merchant credit card processing needs.