Which Credit Card Machine is Best for Your Small Business?
Congratulations! You’ve started your own business, now how do you actually sell your goods and make some profit while you’re at it? In today’s plastic heavy market, having a credit card machine is one of the first things a small business owner needs to consider. With the liability shift that started in October of 2015, almost all credit card machines available are EMV-compliant. Or in other words, accept chip-enabled credit cards, as well as NFC payments which are contactless forms such as Apple Pay. However, there is no magic solution to finding the perfect credit card service to fit your business. Examining your business model can help you decide which service provider and credit card machine are right for your small business.
Square for Versatility
If versatility is important to you, then Square may be one of the top payment solutions to explore. Charging a flat fee of 2.75% per swipe, no contracts, and the ability to accept payments virtually anywhere. Should you need a cash register, the Square Stand can provide that when connected to an iPad. Choosing to use Square and the square app does lock you into using only their software. Additional apps like Square Dashboard can help you manage employees hours, provide sales reporting, and track inventory.
With a lot of attractive features, there are still some less than glamorous sides of using Square. As a new business owner, having a real customer service representative assigned to your business can be extremely helpful. Square does not offer extensive customer service and merchants can be left to problem solve issues on their own. Plus, if you are a high volume business, for example, a coffee shop, the rates offered by Square lose their appeal compared to a more traditional merchant service provider.
Shopify for eCommerce First Merchants
Some small businesses models have both an online and brick-and-mortar store where payments can be accepted. If your business offers these options then Shopify might be a good tool to use. They offer three pricing levels varying from 2.2-2.7% per transaction. As well as a free magstripe reader (for in-person transactions) that plugs into your iPhone or iPad with the Shopify iOS app. Building and customizing your online store is user-friendly with pre-made templates allowing you to accept orders and payments. Plus the sales you make from the online or in-person store will be synced and tracked with Shopify for easy analysis and inventory. Similar to that of the Square, choosing Shopify may leave you high and dry in the customer service department.
ShopKeep for Brick-and-Mortar
Standard brick-and-mortar stores such as small business restaurants and retailers might find the options available with ShopKeep enticing. ShopKeep has a free app that works with iPads but you can also purchase additional devices such as a credit card machine and a cash drawer. The rates with ShopKeep are variable and can be used with a third-party processor. With cloud-based software managing the logistics of running your small business is made simple. Purchasing each device separately can add up and possibly not integrate with one another. Hardware issues and extra expenditures can be disastrous for a new business.
Clover is Customizable
If your small business wants to customize their POS system, then Clover is the all-in-one package for you. This device is EMV compliant and fully customizable. Offering an App Market with loads of free or paid apps to create the type of POS system that best fits your business plan. The Clover runs on its own hardware, offering a solution for pretty much all of your business needs. Choosing from Clover Mini, Clover Mobile, or the Clover Station.
Choosing the Clover system (while potentially pricey at first) may mean that you never have to worry about payment processing solution for your business again. Automatic updates and upgrades will keep your business outfitted with the latest in payment processing technology.
Your Credit Card Machine
Each merchant service provider will have its own preferred credit card equipment and point of sale solutions, and your friendly payment processing specialist can guide you to the credit card machine best matched to your small business.