Today’s world is based on the use of wireless technology. This form of technology is used in almost everything we do or use daily. Wireless credit card terminals are found in shopping, conducting business, paying for goods and services, communicating with others, and accessing entertainment.

Merchants are no different, wireless technology has allowed businesses to expand their capabilities to accept payments from any location through wireless credit card terminals. In this guide, you will learn what wireless processing is, the way it works, how it differs from other types of processing, how to set a business up, and the best options on the market.

How Does Wireless Processing Work?

Wireless processing uses Wi-Fi connection and/or cellular data to process payments while on the go. This eliminates the need for a landline to process credit or debit card payments and can be completed instantly and securely with wireless credit card terminals. When a customer is paying for goods or services they swipe their card using the wireless terminal, and the transaction is processed using a wireless internet connection. 

These wireless terminals allow the merchant to send a request for payment, the payment processor then sends the request to the issuing card company or bank, the authorization is either approved or denied, and the information is transmitted back to the merchant. This takes place in a matter of seconds when a wireless credit card terminal is used.

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Setting a Business up With Wireless Processing

A business that wants to move away from traditional credit card machines and use wireless credit card terminals can do so with ease. The first thing a business would need to do is to locate a credit card payment processor that will help the business determine the best plan and machine to fit their needs. You will need to discuss your current needs, your future goals, and what you want to achieve. This will help determine the best equipment or machines that will offer the solutions that you are looking for based on the industry of your business.

You will need to fill out an application to find out if the payment processor is able to suit your needs. Usually, you will hear from a representative of the processing company within 24 hours to discuss what options are available to you if you are approved. The company will discuss the terms and conditions of their services, the different payment plans that they offer, and what services are available with each plan.

Comparing Wireless Terminals With Other Terminals

When you speak with a credit card payment processor, you will need to decide what type of terminals you wish to use for your business. Not all terminals and machines are the same, so it’s best to understand the differences between the types of machines and terminals there are to understand what works best for your business needs.


  • Wireless vs Traditional

Traditional credit card processing terminals require that you have a terminal in your business location. These machines do not have the portable feature that is available in other types of credit card terminals. This can only be used for business transactions conducted face-to-face using a corded connection to not only a power source but the phone line or internet connection.

Wireless terminals use the same concept except you have more freedom because you don’t need the cord. A wireless credit card terminal has the same features as a traditional machine such as the receipt printer and card reader with a keypad or magnetic stripe to swipe the card.

  • Wireless vs Mobile

Wireless processing uses the same technology that a mobile card reader uses, however, the setup is different. With a mobile card reader, merchants conduct business transactions using a downloaded app on their cell phones. While mobile card readers are able to use wireless technology they are unable to print receipts because transactions are completed with a smartphone. In some cases, merchants would need an attachment through their phones to process transactions.

  • Wireless vs Virtual

A virtual credit card processing setup is similar to a wireless setup however, there is no machine that swipes the card. Instead, merchants are required to manually enter the information through a device that has an internet connection.

  • Wireless vs Contactless

Contactless and wireless credit card processing have a large number of similarities, however contactless is a touch and go setup. There is no swiping of the card, signing for the transaction, or entering a PIN. Instead, the card is placed close to the terminal and the card is read using Near Field Communication(NFC) or Radio Frequency Identification(RFID). You can also use your smartphone’s mobile wallet to complete the transaction.

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The Best Options for Wireless Terminals

When searching for the best options there are other features aside from the aesthetics of the machine that you need to look at. The most important is the compatibility with your payment processor.

Verifone and Ingenico- There are a large number of options for wireless terminals, however, the best options on the market are the Verifone and the Ingenico. Both of these options offer a number of products that are versatile, high-rated, durable, user-friendly, and range from basic readers to POS to mobile or desktop integrated products. The Verifone and the Ingenico offer affordable models that can swipe, chip, or tap for $200-$300. These two credit card machine companies are compatible with any POS system.

Pax- If you are looking for an alternative solution that can offer some of the features found with the two leading companies, Pax is an option that can deliver contactless processing and handle a variety of payment types. Pax terminals are more costly than Verifone or Ingenico, and they aren’t as widely known, however, these terminals offer the ability to complete transactions using Bluetooth or WiFi technology through Android App options.


Final Thought

If you are a merchant that needs to handle business transactions on the go, using a wireless credit card processing terminal will help you with that. If you are unsure of what you need, you need to speak with a credit card payment processor to discuss the features of the terminals and how they can benefit you.


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