Wondering how credit card readers work? A credit card reader is essential in accepting credit point of sale. They can also read employee cards, customer cards and gift certificates.
In the world where credit cards play important roles in the business world, readers do take part in reading and processing these cards to finish a sale transaction. The information a reader gets from a credit card is essential in passing information and verifying if the credit card has sufficient amount to cover the purchase.
To gain more understanding of how the reader actually works, it would be easier if we understand its foundation first.
How it works:
"Will that be Visa, MasterCard or American Express?" This is the common question asked by merchants to their cardholder customers when a purchase is being made. If you are a credit card user yourself, you may have noticed the shiny black stripe on the back of your credit card. That stripe part is the part that is read when you swipe your card. It stores valuable information, which is important in validating transactions.
The reason why you swipe your credit card is to send the card data embedded in that stripe to the central tracking and billing system that can process functions such as sending the information to the credit card company.
The credit card company confirms after obtaining a confirmation from the issuing bank that the card is legitimate and the amount is below the spending limit or, in other instance, the customer is already in deep debt and he is already way below the credit limit.
Features of a credit card reader:
A simple credit card reader has a magnetic stripe reader, a keypad to enter information and a tiny display. They can be attached via keyboard wedge serial port (RS-232) or USB and can have a printer built-in, or attached as a separate unit.
Displays come in several types, the larger displays, of course, can view more information at once. Having a backlit display is a great advantage since it allows you to use the reader even in low light surroundings.
The keypads differ in number of sizes and keys. Bigger keypads can enhance ease of use. The more keys normally give you the preference to allocate commonly used utilities to their own- key.
If you want to purchase a credit card reader, you may want to consider features such as the following:
- Ability to attach to your computer through a USB or other port if you process online.
- Ability to customize key functions and download data to your PC or other electronic devices.
- Bi-directional reading capacity to save time (it can read data left to right or right to left)
- A tamper- evident design and extra sturdy keyboard if you or your customers enter data frequently.
- Read any other data source you require in your business such as drivers licenses, insurance cards.
- Shock resistance and AC / DC powered
However, before purchasing a credit card reader, know the machine that will match and benefit you from the type of business you posses.
For example, if you have a seasonal business with short-term locations such as say tax business and large lot business, a wireless or cordless credit card reader is more effective to use.
Mobile credit card readers are becoming trendier as it is lightweight and fits effortlessly in a pocket or purse. This type of reader is good for individual who do business as they travel.
The credit card reader can key in comprehensive credit card information. They can also help in screening account applicants to address procedures in check credit and credit loan policies.
After the cards are keyed-in, read and processed, a credit card sales draft is produced, which is signed by a customer. The credit card sales drafts are official transactions between a merchant and a customer. It can be used as basis for screening account of applicants.