An Ethernet credit card terminal makes it possible for virtually anyone to take credit cards from your local flea market stand to major retailers and everyone in between. The Internet connects your terminal to your online credit card processor.
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There is a cost for the credit card terminal that can vary between $100 to a whopping $2,200, depending upon the type of terminal that is purchased. There are several models to choose from, including wireless types.
Are Ethernet credit card terminals safe to use?
Well, Ethernet credit card terminals can be very safe to use, but it really depends on the company that is offering the terminal. You see, as with any device that connects to a network, you are only as safe as the safety features used by the merchant offering an Ethernet terminal.
If you are using an Ethernet credit card terminal at your local flea market, you may want to ask what security protocols are in place. The reason for this is that someone who is an individual and not a larger business may not have invested the several hundred extra dollars for security software.
Of course, even the most heavily protected systems can be hacked, but this is also true of any information that is saved on a computer that acts as server. Choosing a credit or debit card that offers you zero fraud liability will help to protect you even more.
What kind of credit cards does an Ethernet credit card terminal use?
An Ethernet credit card terminal can take any type of credit card imaginable, but they don’t always. What this means is that a merchant makes the decision about what type of cards they want to accept.
What many people don’t realize is that the banks used by merchants to process credit card payments charge fees to the merchant for the ability to accept credit cards. In addition, the credit card companies charge fees to the banks to process the credit cards and some credit card companies charge more than others do.
If you have ever been to a merchant that doesn’t accept Discover or American Express it is because in the past they charged more to accept their credit cards. This has changed dramatically recently and with amendments to credit card laws such as the Durban Amendment, a summary of which can be found at the Library of Congress site noted; merchant fees are lower, which means that more merchants are accepting credit cards and a wider variety of credit cards.
Of course, merchant fees had their purpose and banks and credit card companies charged those fees, according to Financial Edge’s article The Truth About Credit Card Swipe Fees, because that money is used to offset the cost of fraud to the credit card companies and banks.
Should I only swipe my credit card with a merchant that uses a phone line credit card terminal?
There is no reason why you should limit your use of credit cards to companies that use phone lines to process their credit cards. In fact, the process of the phone line is much slower, but the information still lands in the same place it would if the company were using an Ethernet terminal.
The information is as equally protected no matter what type of terminal the company uses. The biggest concern should be the safety of the actual device at which you are swiping your card and the server that the information is processed through.
As a business owner, should I be using an Ethernet credit card terminal?
While this is a personal decision for your business, if you have a physical address by which clients or customers come to you for service, then you will probably want to accept credit cards. If you have an online business, you can choose online options and you don’t need an actual credit card terminal to process credit card requests.
The cost of a phone line versus an Ethernet connection is essentially the same, so it simply boils down to preference. There is a bit more flexibility with an analog option as you can assign multiple accounts this way, so it really depends upon what it is that you need.
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