Wireless Credit Card Processing: How Does It Work and How Much Does It Cost?

Wireless is everywhere today. From our internet connection to our phones, computers, speakers and even televisions, wireless has penetrated our lives to make things more accessible and give us the freedom to browse the internet, watch our favorite shows and make purchases from wherever we want. It’s removed the restriction we once faced when tethered to cords for power and connectivity.

For merchants, wireless credit card processing has opened up the ability to operate on the move, creating possibilities for those with mobile businesses, or those who simply like to take payments while on the go or on location, such as restauranteurs and cafe owners.

What Is Wireless Credit Card Processing and How Does It Work?

With wireless credit card processing, the payment terminal connects wirelessly to the payment processor. Therefore merchants don’t need a landline connection to complete a transaction. They can simply swipe the credit card at the credit card terminal, and the terminal connects wirelessly to the payment processor to fulfill the payment.

Wireless terminals are set up to communicate between the business, the payment processor, the issuing bank of the cardholder, and the acquiring bank of the business, all in a matter of seconds. Secure transactions are completed in an instant from anywhere with an internet connection. No direct connection to a phone line or network is required. 

Wireless Credit Card Processing for Small Business

Small businesses need to be flexible to meet customer demands and agile enough to scale in response to growth opportunities. Wireless credit card processing allows small businesses to operate on the move, wherever there is network coverage, to meet the needs of their customer base who are rapidly shifting to prefer card transactions above cash. 

Where a retailer outside of a traditional store set-up would have once relied solely on cash, consumer behavior has changed, and more demands are being placed on small operators to accept payment in whichever way the customer deems most convenient. For small businesses, failing to accept credit cards to meet the shifting demands of their customers puts them at risk of becoming runner-up against other companies that have taken steps to give them what they want. 

In today’s competitive market, especially for small businesses that are significantly impacted by dips in sales, falling behind the can have devastating effects.

With the same general process as a traditional credit card terminal, the wireless credit card terminal simply lacks the chains that once tied it to one location and gives the merchant the freedom to do business wherever they please.

Another distinct advantage of wireless credit card processing is that it is an adaptable solution which can grow as the business grows. One terminal may suit a small retailer, restauranteur or a solo operator who offers in-home services, but as the business scales, owners can easily acquire additional terminals, all connected to the same business banking information, allowing for more cashiers, in more places and more opportunities to accept payments.

Wireless credit card processing opens merchants up for business, in whichever way the customer prefers to engage. 

Wireless Credit Card Processing Machines

Wireless credit card terminals come with the same aesthetic look of traditional and mobile terminals – they have a magnetic stripe reader, keypad, and can even come with a receipt printer. Wireless credit card terminals mirror traditional methods so well that customers and merchants both tend to find there is a minimal barrier to picking up the new technology. It’s just a simple elimination of a cord — with numerous added benefits.  

Below we will explore some of the best wireless credit card equipment providers. For most, pricing is not readily available on their website, and they instead encourage merchants to inquire directly for more information. Pricing below is from review and e-commerce sites. We also recommend that merchants inquire directly to check for deals depending on the solution required. 

Verifone

Verifone offers a range of equipment with each designed to meet different business needs. Their portables and transportables range are all wireless machines perfectly suited for busy retail and hospitality environments that need guaranteed full function both on location and on the move. 

The V400m is their entry machine with all in one connectivity — 4G, WiFi, EMV and NFC. For merchants seeking more functionality, their top line solution is the VX680 which delivers wireless connection through GPRS, a WiFi, and Bluetooth combination, or 3G. The V400m starts around $436 online, and the VX680 goes for $470. 

Ingenico

Ingenico offers reliable solutions to merchants with a broad range of products to fit the needs of businesses, no matter how or where they operate. Their terminals meet the latest security standard and support all cashless payment methods. 

Their range of portable terminals includes the APOS A8 with an Android-based software ECR portfolio to support merchants to take advantage of business applications. As well as the Move/5000 which comes with Telium Tetra OS, which includes the best security mechanisms to protect transaction privacy. 

Pax

Pax brings a range of terminals to the market, including some of the most aesthetically stunning payment terminals currently on the market. Their A-series is a range of Android-powered terminals that look great and come packed with app options to help increase customer loyalty and boost sales. 

In the A-series range, the A920, A910, and A930 are perfect for businesses on the move, with full mobility able to process data wirelessly, quickly and securely through 4G, hotspot support, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi (2.4G). These terminals can range between $465 and $558. For those not ready to dive into Android, they also have a wireless Linux option, the S90 for around $400. 

Tip: Want to learn more about credit card machines and terminals? This post gives you the lowdown — plus tips on how to select the right equipment for your business. 

Wireless Credit Card Processing Fees and Costs

The fees and costs associated with wireless credit card processing depending on your merchant services provider. Each payment processor has its own payment structure and rates. 

Payment Depot, for example, implements a tiered pricing model in which we charge a flat monthly fee so we can give merchants access to wholesale rates. Payment Depot’s pricing ranges from $49 a month to $199 a month, depending on your processing volume. 

Wireless Credit Card Processing vs. Traditional and Mobile Processing

Traditional credit card processing can be considered as the original; the basis upon which all credit card processing technologies have developed from. Traditional credit card processing requires a terminal at the business location. It is most typically used for face-to-face transactions and needs to be connected by a cord to a power source and phone line, or to the internet, in order to complete the transaction. 

Many businesses still use traditional credit card processing, and it can meet business needs just fine. But it lacks the flexibility that mobile or wireless credit card processing can offer. 

Mobile credit card processing is often confused with wireless credit card processing as they are both able to operate on the go, without a need to connect to a landline. The difference, however, is that mobile credit card processing is done via a merchants cell phone. Merchants would download the app of their provider, and in some cases, need a particular piece of equipment that attaches to the phone to enable the processing of the transaction. 

To complete the transaction, merchants enter the credit card information via their phone, or with the magnetic stripe reader (if they use a provider that offers this equipment). The data is encrypted and sent for secure authorization, which is processed in just a few seconds.

Mobile credit card processing is an excellent solution for small businesses on the move, particularly solo operations or those with just a few staff. The downsides are that receipts cannot be printed; they would have to be emailed or text to customers. Also, because mobile processing requires a smartphone, it is not appropriate for larger operations that need to have a variety of staff equipped with the equipment to take payments. 

Want more information wireless credit card processing?

Whether you’re shopping around for wireless credit card processing for the first time or you already have a solution but want to see what else is out there, Payment Depot can help. Get in touch today and let’s chat about your credit card processing needs. We’ll provide you with unbiased advice and ensure that you’re not overpaying.