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credit cards faq/glossary
The most common questions asked about Credits Cards.
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Credit Card Terminals
Credit card terminals or credit card machines are those machines in which the credit card is swiped through when a customer pays for something by credit card. Although we might think that a card is machine is necessary only in ‘card present’ situations, the truth is that even MOTO merchant account holders need a credit card terminal. Of course, this can be different from the ones retail merchant account holders have. Let us talk about the two basic types of credit card terminals.

The first and cheapest category is made by credit card terminals without printers. These machines are relatively cheap, because their usage is somewhat limited due to the lack of the printer. But in some cases these machines are the perfect choice, and the business owner does not have to spend a bigger amount of money on a machine with better performances. As it comes naturally from the name, these machines do not have a printer inside, so they can not print a receipt at the moment of the sale. These machines are most commonly used in mail or telephone orders, because in those cases the customer does not need the receipt right away. But these machines can be used in any other business where a person reads the number of the credit card, and another person (possibly in another building) enters it in the machine. This means that these machine types can be used in almost every situation, except the cases where the customer needs a receipt at the moment of the sale.

The second category of credit card terminals are the machines with incorporated printers. These are mostly used in shops, hotels, restaurants and any other places where the customer needs a receipt when he or she pays by credit card. The procedure is very simple: the cashier swipes the card through the machine and the payment is already done. In case of clients with a credit card the pin code does not have to be entered. Clients can pay with debit cards too in case of these machines, because they usually have a pin pad incorporated. But business owners can choose a credit card terminal where the pin pad is not incorporated in the machine itself. This type is mostly used in supermarkets where the machine is close to the cashier and the pin pad is close to the customer. Credit card machines with incorporated printers are used in the retail market, because this way the customer is given a receipt after the payment has been made.  Another, newer category belongs to this class: wireless credit card terminals. Since they are based on such new technology, only the incorporated printer version is fabricated. As it comes naturally, these wireless machines are the most expensive of all the listed types. Although they are the most expensive, they are widely used, because they have benefits, just like other wireless equipment: you can move them anywhere, within a certain range, of course.

All categories of credit card terminals are good, the type will differ from one business to another because some businesses simply do not need terminals with incorporated printers, but in case of retail market a machine with a printer is a must. Also, most of the businesses do not need a wireless terminal, but it might come handy in case of mobile businesses for instance. The point is that there are many credit card machine manufacturers and brands, each business owner can choose the type and brand of credit card terminal best for him and his business.