Merchant accounts allow businesses to maximise their ability to take payment for a vast range of options - PDQ machines are one of the most well-recognised tools that help businesses toward achieving this aim.
Generally speaking, businesses that do not make use of merchant services or PDQ terminals are forced to operate using cash - although cheques are also an option. This means that, for these businesses, they are immediately cutting themselves off from being able to provide service or products to the increasing number of people who rely on card transactions instead of cash.
Indeed, in modern times, it has become far less common for any form of business to operate without card functionality, and clients and customers expect to have the option. Whether you work as a retailer or an on-site service provider, investing in PDQ functionality is a great way to provide your customers with a better service.
To find out more about the range of PDQ options available, simply continue reading the content on this page. Otherwise, if you would like to start comparing PDQ suppliers today, just fill in the form at the top of this page. Alternatively, to find out more about the costs and fees associated with this technology, simply visit our PDQ machine costs page.
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What Is A PDQ Machine?
PDQ machines - also called PDQ terminals or chip-and-pin machines - are devices that are used to process credit and debit card transactions. The term PDQ is an abbreviation for Process Data Quickly.
They are designed to provide a secure service that helps customers to complete transactions quickly and easily. In the past, customers mostly used to swipe the magnetic strip on the card. This was a process that also relied on the retailer comparing the signature of the cardholder against that on the card.
Today's PDQ machines collect data from a chip that is embedded in the card and require the customer to enter their PIN -Personal Identification Number. Both sets of information are transmitted to the card processor for verification and, if approved, an approval code is returned to the retailer.
Today PDQ machines mean that secure debit and credit card transactions can be carried out in seconds and have transformed the way that business is done.
How Do PDQ Machines Work?
A PDQ machine allows businesses to automatically check the authenticity of a payment card. In the past, these cards would most often be used primarily as swipe-and-sign payment methods. Once the card has been swiped, the machine checks the account of the holder to ensure that there are enough funds available to purchase the items or services. Once this has been confirmed or not, the machine will then either Approve or Not Approve the transaction.
After this, the customer would need to sign a slip - often a receipt in retail stores - which would then be checked against the signature on the back of the payment card. Of course, although this method is still sometimes used, it has been replaced for the most part by the chip-and-pin system, which means that transactions can be approved in seconds, without the need for signatures.
A modern PDQ machine will support both functions, although the chip-and-pin will be used more often. This system was designed to help reduce the risk of fraud. The cardholder uses their 4-digit PIN to verify their identity. Essentially, this process is the same as it was with swipe-and-sign functionality; chip-and-pin has just helped this process to speed up, and has removed the need for a retailer or service provider to assess a client's authenticity by checking signatures or ID.
Setting Up A PDQ Machine
Before you set up a PDQ terminal, you will need to set up a merchant account with either a bank or reputable provider. Doing so will allow you to accept payments, using your unique business merchant number as a way of ensuring transactions are paid to the right place.
Installation will generally be included as a part of the overall package mentioned above, although it is worth remembering that some forms of PDQ machines can be easily set-up by your own staff - this is especially the case when you are purchasing additional terminals to add to a system, rather than setting a new account from scratch.
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Types of PDQ Machine
There a range of PDQ terminals available that will allow businesses in every sector to operate as efficiently as possible. This means that, whether you are taking transactions in or off-site, there will be a PDQ machine that can offer exactly what you need.
Countertop PDQ Machines
As you might expect based on the heading, these terminals are designed to be used in-house, in specific tethered locations. These options are popular in retail stores, garages and pubs.
Countertop PDQ machines will be housed in a specific location within your business and will be powered by mains electricity. This form of PDQ machine will be connected to your card payment processor by either a landline or by broadband. Although this lack of flexibility may not be perfect for every business, this is the cheapest option so can be an excellent choice.
The table below includes examples of two popular countertop PDQ machines.
|Vega3000 Countertop Terminal||★★★★★|
|Ingenico iCT250 Countertop Terminal||★★★★|
For more countertop options, speak to UK suppliers today.
Portable PDQ Machines
As their name suggests, portable PDQ machines are made to be used more flexibly than countertop options.
Similarly to the options above, portable PDQ machines can only be used inside your business premises although, unlike countertop terminals, they do not need to be tethered to a specific location. Portable PDQ machines are generally used in restaurants and other service environments where it would be impractical for a payment terminal to only exist in one place.
The table below includes a comparison of two top portable PDQ machines.
|Ingenico Bluetooth iWL220||★★★★|
|Ingenico iWL252 Portable Terminal||★★★★|
For more portable PDQ machines to compare, speak to UK suppliers today.
Mobile PDQ Machines
Mobile PDQ machines look similar to both of the options already mentioned; however, as the name suggests again, their functionality is not the same.
Mobile PDQ terminals are battery powered and connect to the card processing terminal using a SIM card, similar to that of a mobile phone. Mobile terminals are best used external to a business premises and are most useful either to businesses that do not take payment on-site, or to businesses that frequently visit trade fairs or markets. Indeed, for market stall owners, a mobile PDQ machine is becoming more and more important.
The table below compares two of the best mobile PDQ terminals.
|Ingenico iWL251 Mobile Terminal||★★★★★|
|Barclaycard Portable Card Machine||★★★★★|
For more mobile PDQ terminal comparisons, get in touch with a UK supplier today.
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The information on this page has been designed to provide businesses with as much information as possible to help them decide on the correct PDQ terminal for their business. Of course, for an even more accurate idea, you should speak to UK suppliers today - Approved Index can help here.
To compare quotes quickly and easily, you just need to complete the form at the top of this page. This process if free and without obligation, and will put you in touch with up to 4 of the best suppliers.
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