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Remote Payment Terminals

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  • Remote Payment Terminals


    Looking for suggestions and feedback on the Remote Payment Terminals please. I need to get one for my craft fairs and jewellery parties etc but they seem a lot of money each month. My bank has quoted approx £50 per month for hire etc, but did comment that there are other companies that you can hire ad hoc. I think I would like one permanently in case a party pops up at short notice etc.

    What are other peoples experiences and what do they use?


  • #2
    I did some research on this a while back for one of our newsletters. There is lots to consider as the providers offer different hire options. Some charge hire, some don't. Some cap the number of payments you can process, some don't. Some charge a transaction fee (i.e. 25p per transaction) some charge a % fee per transaction. Some charge an additional fee on top .. sorry but I can't remember what they called the additional fee but I remember being shocked.

    My advice would be to do some research and work out how much you think you will use the machine and then try to roughly calculate what your annual charge will be for each payment option offered. You should be able to work out which deal will suit your business model best. By the way, don't be afraid to push for a deal too.

    To help you with your research, these machines are more commonly known as PDQ machines or wireless chip and pin (debit or credit card) terminals.

    We hired ours for an event from HSBC. It took about a fortnight for the machine to arrive. We took just over £500 on the machine - but it's £500 of sales we wouldn't have had. These machines make the most of "impulsive buying". It was very simple to set up and we had no connection problems.

    Good luck.
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    • #3
      I get my chip & pin terminal through my membership of the Federation of Small Businesses so the charges are lower than many other providers. Streamline (the merchant account provider) is introducing a Minimum Merchant Service Charge (MMSC) at the beginning of August which is likely to affect all accounts who use them to process the payments. When I found this out, I did research changing to a different provider for my machine and whilst some looked cheaper, the reviews were frightening when it came to hidden cancellation charges. It is definitely worth checking out different systems and looking closely at what other users experiences are, especially when it comes to changing/closing their accounts. Whilst you may want to stick with what you have for a long time, you don't want to be tied into a provider due to these excess charges which are not mentioned at the time of signing up, otherwise you may find that your fees go up and you have to pay to get out of it to go with a new company!

      Debit card payments are charged at a flat fee per transaction irrespective of the amount and credit cards are charged at a percentage of the amount of the transaction. Again, these vary from company to company. Mine are reduced from the standard charges thanks to the FSB and I hire through 123send which are a long standing and reputable company. I have had no problems at all with them and the hire works out at around £35 per month. They are excellent at sorting out any issues with the machine and any replacement parts are with you the next day so no long delays without your equipment.

      If you plan to take credit/debit card payments, you must have a business bank account (not a personal one) as you need this to open a Merchant account to process your payments. Again, the FSB sorted this with free business banking with the Cooperative Bank and a dedicated telephone number for FSB members to open a merchant account (which was done really quickly over the phone and the completed paperwork posted to me to check, sign and return). You need to do the process in this order to avoid delays: 1. Business Bank Account 2. Merchant Account 3. Hire Terminal.

      I have looked back and found that the new MMSC will add a little to my annual bill as I don't usually do much in January - March but even with this, it is one of my most essential pieces of equipment and I paid for the first year of hire within a month of using it. With the demise of cheques it is perfect when you are trading out of a town centre where there isn't access to banks and cash machines for customers to get more cash if needed to buy from you.

      Do plenty of research on the different companies as there are lots to choose from and you need to see what is going to work out best for your particular situation.
      Ali x

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      • #4
        I've heard that Cardsave is quite good. My friend pays about £33 per month and you are not tied into a 3 year contract as with other providers. They only have a 1 year contract. So if you're not happy with it, you only have to stick with it for one year. I'm planning on contacting them soon myself to set myself up.


        • #5
          I have a cardsave machine, I couldnt be without one.


          • #6
            Another cardsave customer here too

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            • #7

              I went with Cardsave in the end - by far the better choice for me in terms of price and contract etc, very pleased.

              Thanks for all your suggestions.


              • #8
                I am just upgrading from a fixed terminal to a wireless one, it is only just over £10 a month extra. My provider is Retail Merchant Services and they do have very keen transaction charges, and a low minimum usage per month. The new terminal will cost £38.36 per month including VAT, with an annual charge of £25 for the data transmission using Vodaphone. I do know in their terms and conditions there is a £100 leaving fee if you want to change suppliers. I should be getting the new terminal towards the end of this week.

                There are plenty of card handling firms and generally there is not much between them. The main things to watch for are the flat rate for credit card transactions (about 20 -25p) and the percentages for credit card handling (should be 1.5% to 2%). If you are selling higher value items an extra 0.5% credit card fees can easily add up to a lot.

                Hope this helps some of you.