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Credit Card Machines For Small Businesses

Credit Card Machines for Small Businesses

Credit card machines are a form of PDQ equipment that allows retailers and service providers to take payment via credit or debit card. For small businesses, these machines tend to be simply designed and easily implemented.

If you are a small business owner or manager then it is likely that you will welcome opportunities for increased revenue - a merchant account and credit card machine can go a long way toward achieving this aim.

A survey of two thousand people by Approved Index found that around 50% of people now rely on credit or debit cards as their primary form of payment - without a credit card machine, you are effectively turning away these potential customers. The same survey found that a staggering 90% of customers believed that small businesses were missing sales opportunities when they did not use card payment technology.

If you would like more information about the benefit that a credit card machine may have on your business, then keep reading; otherwise, if you are ready to compare supplier quotes, simply complete the form at the top of this page to save today.

Let Approved Index help you find the best Credit Card Machine for your Small Business


- Credit Card Machine Options - Card Processing - Card Machine Security - Small Business Considerations - Card Machine Providers -

5 Best Small Business Credit Card Machines

Small businesses always need to be careful to choose the best equipment possible - making sure they get top quality equipment first time can save them money and time, and it can help help them to maximise profits as quickly as possible - this is absolutely the case when it comes to credit card machines.

As with so many small business tools, credit card machines come in a range of forms, with plenty of brands and models to choose between; to help you make this decision easier, we have selected 5 of the best and included them in the section below.

Credit Card MachineFeaturesTypeRating
Verifone VX510PCI PED, EMV approved entry-point, high-performance.Countertop????
Ingenico iCT250Magstripe and contactless, with full colour display.Countertop?????
Hypercom T4220IP and Dial Terminal, unrivaled download speeds.Countertop????
Axalto MagIC X1000Exceptional range, integrated pin pad and LED indicators.Portable?????
Ingenico EFT 930Countertop and portable.Mixed?????

We have selected these top 5 small business credit card terminals based on some basic criteria:

  • Cost
  • Features
  • Ease of use
  • Accessibility
  • Durability

Of course, there are a number of other options that might suit you - in the end, finding the perfect small business card machine depends on the business doing the buying.

You will need to think carefully about which machine will be best for you - considering the quality of equipment, ease of use, cost, as well as other factors. Obviously, it is also important to bear in mind how you will be using the terminal. If you own a small retail store, then a countertop machine might be more than acceptable - for a restaurant though, you may need to consider choosing a portable terminal to ensure that your staff can take payments quickly and easily.

Price is, of course, a huge issue for any small business - as much as possible, we have included good value options in the table above; however do not be put off by a higher price, often a higher price does mean a better product.

It is also important to ensure that the terminal you choose can work with the merchant account you open, and with the system that you have in place.

Credit Card Machine Options

Knowing which form of card machine you require will depend on a number of factors; your sector or industry is likely an important factor, along with your customer-base and location.

If your small business requires functionality that allows operation in a variety of locations, then you might find a mobile PDQ machine to be most suitable; likewise, if you intend to operate solely from one location, then a countertop or portable card machine may work better. In any case, the information below should allow you to better understand your own requirements, and also the specifications that you are likely to find in each form of equipment.

Though the information below may help you to make some decisions as to which form of equipment you should opt for, the best way to get definitive ideas of which product to choose is to speak to suppliers; fill in the form at the top of this page to do that today.

The table below includes a selection of top small business options along with a brief overview of the various functions - continue on down the page for more detail on each.

Countertop Card MachineAllows businesses to take payments by card, at a counter or desk - improves efficiency in a range of businesses.
Portable Card MachineAllows businesses to take payments by card, anywhere on their premises - improves efficiency in a range of businesses.
Mobile Card MachineAllows businesses to take payments by card, away from their main premises - especially useful for businesses that visit off-site sales environments.
Contactless PaymentsAllows businesses to take payments by card, without chip-and-pin requirement - useful for businesses with a high volume of customers.

For more information on any of these options, simply continue reading below.

Countertop Credit Card Machines

Countertop Credit Card Machines

Countertop card machines are the most common of the three credit card machines found on this page, and they are also the ones that customers will be most used to seeing.

Countertop card machines are most often used in single-location retail stores and are an excellent way to allow customers to purchase products or services quickly and conveniently. The machines are usually sturdy and durable, and in most cases wired directly into your merchant account system, normally via your phone line.

Normally a small business will only need one of these terminals, however it is possible to add more to your system if required. This form of card machine is available from online suppliers, and is usually combined with a merchant account.

If you have not got a countertop card machine but would like to find the best options, simply complete the form at the top of this page.

Countertop Credit Card Machines Benefits and Features:
Take card payments at the counter
Process payments quickly and easily
Add contactless for even faster payments
Authorise payment immediately
Process telephone orders with ease
Choose a product and plan to suit your business

Portable Credit Card Machines

Portable Credit Card Machines

A portable credit card machine is similar to the countertop terminal in functionality and usability except that, as the name suggests, it does not have to be tethered to one location within your small business premises.

Particularly common and useful in the hospitality industries, portable credit card machines are the favourite choice for restaurants and bars and can help your business to dramatically improve the payment process.

Portable credit card machines communicate with your small business’s main terminal via Bluetooth and Wifi to ensure that payments are processed. Your system can be modified if you require functionality or payment options to be included in the payment process - if you would like to give customers the option to add gratuity to a bill, for example, then you can easily do so.

If you operate a restaurant or small bar, then this machine can be a real asset to you; rather than turning customers away or forcing them to the bar each time they want to order a drink or food, you can simply create a tab and have the whole bill paid for at once, at the table.

Like countertop card machines, portable PDQ terminals are sometimes included with your merchant account; if you do not have one and need one, however, then the best way to proceed is with quotes from top UK suppliers.

Fill in the form at the top of this page to get an accurate price quote for your business today.

Portable Credit Card Machines Benefits and Features:
Take card payments at the counter, at the bar or table-side
Process bills and tabs quickly and easily
Add contactless for even faster payments
Authorise payment immediately
Choose a product and plan to suit your business
Add gratuity and split bills with modified functionality

Mobile Credit Card Machines

Mobile Small Business Credit Card Machines

A mobile credit card machine could very easily be mistaken for a portable card machine. Both options are wireless, and both contain functionality similar to the countertop option. A mobile credit card machine, however, uses GPS technologies - similar to those found in satnavs and mobile phones - so that payments can be made ‘off-site’.

A huge number of small businesses need to take payments away from their permanent residence; for retailers that often sell products at markets or trade fairs, for example, a mobile credit card machine can allow for quick and easy card payments without being tethered to your permanent system. Likewise, if you provide construction services for example, and want to take payment for work completed on-site, then a mobile credit card machine can allow you to do so without cash.

Like both countertop and portable card machines, mobile terminals can include functionality that you require to customise sales and include specialised elements. Given the nature of this form of payment, mobile credit card machines can be linked to a mobile phone, tablet or laptop.

If you regularly require payment options away from your permanent residence then a mobile credit card machine can be an excellent investment; to find the best product and plan for your business, speak to a supplier.

Fill in the form at the top of this page to speak to a supplier who meets your needs

Mobile Credit Card Machines Benefits and Features:
Take card payments on-site and in various locations
Process payments quickly and easily
Add contactless for quicker, simpler payments
Connect to your devices for processing
Authorise payment immediately
Customise the payment process to include industry-specific features

Contactless Payments

Contactless Credit Card Machines

Contactless functionality is not necessarily required by small businesses, but as PDQ technology continues to evolve it is likely to become more important.

Implementing a card machine into your system that allows for chip-and-pin payments is probably more than sufficient if you want to improve payment convenience but do not require the speed that contactless offers. Of course, contactless payments also come with a few drawbacks; the maximum payment via this form, for example, is £30, meaning that for small businesses that regularly make sales in excess of this figure, implementing this technology will not be that useful.

For a small business - whether you need a countertop, portable or mobile PDQ device - contactless options are not vital; however, it may be something to consider as time goes by. Updating your system to allow for card payments now is a great start, and by being at that stage you are more ready for contactless payment in the future when you do require it.

Find a Merchant Account Provider and Credit Card Machine for your small business.


Card Processing for Small Businesses

Merchant service providers make their money by charging client companies a small fee for each transaction that they handle. Most providers will offer lower fees per transaction to companies that process a higher volume - this fact can be a disadvantage for some small businesses, but it is worth considering the benefits. The survey mentioned at the beginning of this page was concerned with buyer habits, with a particular focus on spending preference. As mentioned, 90% of those customers surveyed believed that retailers are missing sales by not catering to card users; likewise, around 50% of those customers also admitted that they had abandoned a purchase simply because a shop did not offer a card payment option.

Around 50% of those surveyed also identified card payments as their primary purchasing method, whilst 68% of the two thousand said that they could go a whole week without spending cash. These figures alone should offer some insight into the benefits to small businesses of a credit card machine - and these figures are likely to be more favourable to card machine users as time goes by.

All businesses have competition; if you have rivals that offer card payment options where you don’t, then you could automatically be losing a certain number of customers every day, month and year. In this light, a transaction fee seems a small price to pay - especially when the evidence points increasingly to a UK-wide reliance on credit and debit card payment options.

Credit Card Machine Security

Transaction security is likely to be a concern for small business owners that are considering adding PDQ equipment to their payment handling system, and so it is worth taking a look at the sections below to understand the associated risks and factors.

Firstly though, it is important to know that card machine payments are generally considered to be the safest and most secure transaction method available. Without cash, the likelihood of street crime decreases, and even in the event of it, it is unlikely that a burglar will be able to access your electronically catalogued funds.

With card transactions, a retailer or service provider can also worry less about fraudulent activity, with counterfeit currency unlikely to be a concern at all, and with safeguards and systems in place to help both retailers and clients avoid falling victim.


Liability involving debit and credit card payments can be a complicated issue, but merchants and customers can both generally feel safe in the knowledge that they are protected from fraudulent behaviour. On most occasions, banks will provide protection against fraudulent behaviour and merchant accounts will also include certain security and safety measures too.

As a merchant, you can take on some liability in cases where a transaction takes place using a stolen card; the risk of this issue is greatest with contactless payments, as in these transactions there is no pin-code or verification required. As mentioned above, contactless payments are not available over £30, and many small business will not require this functionality anyway, so this may not be a huge concern.

In a transaction where a PDQ machine wrongfully accepts payment you are not liable as a merchant, as this is the responsibility of the provider. In some cases, a customer may be required to provide a signature instead of a pin - this is at the discretion of the retailer, but a signature also provides a decent level of security for you as a merchant.

Small Business Risk

A number of reasons determine the risk of merchant accounts to small businesses; for an account more suited to these 'higher risk' industries, visit our High Risk Merchant Account Providers page.

The risks to small businesses vary by industry; if you take face-to-face credit card payments in your hairdressing salon, for example, you will be at less risk than an online gambling or dating website.

Your personal credit-worthiness, as well as the rating of your business, is also important; in most cases it will not stop you from getting a merchant account, but you may need to do more work to provide your eligibility if your credit rating is less attractive than it could be. In this case, it is often possible to reduce risk by offering a personal guarantee.

If you would like to speak to a supplier about the security features included in merchant accounts and with PDQ machines, you just need to complete the form at the top of this page.

Approved Index’s quote comparison is free, without obligation, and it takes under a minute to complete the form.

Find a Small Business Credit Card Machine and Merchant Account Provider today.


Credit Card Machine Considerations for Small Businesses

If you are a small business owner and have never used a merchant account, then you are likely to have a number of questions; in this section, we have answered common industry queries.


Some of the advantages have already been mentioned throughout this page, but there are other benefits that small business owners should bear in mind when looking into merchant accounts and credit card machines.

Some sectors are more inclined to reap the rewards of implementing card payment processes. Hospitality businesses, for example, bars and restaurants, gain a massive benefit from being able to quickly and efficiently process payments. This ability to speed up the payment process has a knock-on effect on that business's chance to accept new customers; and it also helps to bring in customers that might otherwise have been put off by the lack of payment options.

The knock-on effect of having more efficient payment processes could also allow for small businesses to downscale their outgoing payments; more efficient payment could mean fewer staff hours needed - and could also mean less time spent on cash handling and the other activities that come with this form of payment.

The Importance of Small Business Merchant Accounts

Although it is nowhere near redundant as a form of payment, cash is fast losing relevance. As technology evolves, this trend will continue; adopting a merchant account as early as possible is the best way to ensure your small business’s continued success.

In the past, businesses may not have moved to card payments because they were worried about the security risks involved; as we have mentioned above though, these risks are largely a thing of the past. The security measures involved in card machine payments, and in merchant accounts themselves, have become incredibly sophisticated, and they improve all the time. Card payments are now widely considered to be the most convenient and safest form of payment.

On a customer-to-customer basis, the benefits of a card machine are just as clear; without this payment option, your business could easily be losing those clients or paying customers who prefer to pay by card. Likewise, without this payment method, you could be wasting valuable staff-hours on payment processing, which can be automatically handled with a merchant account.

Small Business Credit Card Machine Providers

Whilst there are a variety of suppliers to choose from, the difference in service, technology and suitability can vary. It is important to choose the right supplier for your industry and business model, which is why Approved Index always recommends comparing quotes and suppliers.

The most well-known merchant account suppliers are:

  • Sage Pay
  • Worldpay
  • WTS

Sage Pay

Sage Pay have been providing payment solutions since 2001 and have grown steadily since their inception. Now available across Europe, employing 300 staff and with 50,000 customers, they are currently one of the market leaders in the UK.

Sage provide countertop and portable devices and, as prices start from under £15 a month, there is a service to suit all sizes of businesses.


A world leading provider, Worldpay are a highly trusted and well renowned company that has been at the top of the industry in the UK since 1994. Catering for some of the largest companies in the country, Worldpay are also well equipped for small businesses.

Worldpay offer the full range of card machines: portable, countertop and mobile. Setting up credit card machines is usually a simple process but as with all things electronic, issues can occur. To this end, Worldpay provide 24/7 support and endeavour to replace faulty machines within 24 hours.


One of the largest providers in the UK, WTS is one of the most popular re-sellers and manufacturers of payment devices. The sheer amount of options, from short to long term hire, or new or second hand terminals and devices, makes them perfect for smaller to medium sized businesses.

Offering the full range of options: portable, countertop and mobile, there is a solution for almost any scenario.

Compare Small Business Credit Card Machines

As a small business owner, improving revenue and profit streams is a huge priority - a merchant account is an excellent way to facilitate this priority.

This page can provide you with a lot of information that can help you to understand your card machine requirements, but speaking to a supplier is the best way to get definitive guidelines and quotes. This is where Approved Index can help.

Our quote comparison service puts you in contact with up to 4 top UK Merchant Account Suppliers.

The process is free and there is no obligation on you. To speak to suppliers and find the best deal for your business, simply complete the form at the top of this page - you could save as much as 40% by doing so.

Find a Small Business Credit Card Machine and Merchant Account Provider today.