Card machines for smaller businesses

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Looking for a card machine for small business?

Having the option to pay via card is an upward trend that customers have come to expect, even when shopping with smaller businesses, stand-alone shops and boutiques. Credit card machines for small businesses within the UK, have developed substantially over the last decade, with introductions such as contactless payments and portable devices. Here we look at your options when it comes to sourcing card machines for a small business and how to make the most from your device.

A guide to card machine for small businesses UK

To process face to face card payments as a small business you will need to secure two different elements, these are often sold by the same company but it’s worth baring this in mind;

Card terminals

Getting a credit card machine for small business can be a minefield and there is a lot of different terminology to understand. It’s important to think about how you want to process the card payments. Below are some initial things to consider to help our advisors find you a machine which suits your small businesses needs;

  • How do you plan to take payments – just face to face or over the phone too?
  • Do you require a portable device to enable you to take payments from anywhere in the premises?
  • Do you want your machine to work with an EPOS system?
  • How will the device connect to your bank – Wi-Fi or GPRS?
  • Once you have thought about these elements of taking credit card payments there will still be things to consider in order to find the ideal solution but the above is a good starting point.

When searching for the best credit card terminal for your small business it’s important to bare in mind the contract length prior to signing on the dotted line. Contracts can vary from short term (12 months) to much longer terms (4-5 years.) The cheapest credit card machines for small business tend to be the longer contract lengths.

Ordinarily, when looking at the cost of credit card machine for small business, you will pay a monthly lease fee, delivery costs and sometimes insurance to cover any damages. Comparing contracts on the full cost for the term is important prior to being accepted as every provider differs in some way.

Most smaller companies prefer a wireless card payment facility, which provides flexibility for when and where you take payments. These work with either Wi-Fi or GPRS and it’s worthwhile considering your connection for each option prior to deciding what type of machine you would prefer. Mobile credit card machines have really reduced in price throughout the UK recently – as they become more popular the providers will have price more competitively.

Merchant accounts

Sourcing the best credit card machine for your small business is only half of the job in hand. You will need a merchant provider to work alongside the machine, making sure payments are authorised from the customer’s bank and sent to yours. For this service they charge money – so it’s worthwhile comparing a few providers.

It’s important when searching for card machines for your business that you shop around when it comes to your merchant account and make sure you get the best deal. To do so you will need the following information; average transaction size, percentage of credit and debit cards taken and monthly card payment turn over – sometimes these will be estimates which most providers can work with.

We’ve put together our tips HERE. Not all machines integrate with all merchant account providers, so if you have a particular card machine in mind make sure you mention this when obtaining quotes.


How do I find the best card machine for my small business?

Searching for your chip and pin machine for a small business doesn’t have to be overly complicated if you follow the following advice;

  • Shop around – compare like for like, take time to read reviews
  • Think of how you wish to process payments now and in the future
  • Do not be tied into length contracts, especially if your business is new

If you remember these three points when looking for the best card terminal for your business, you can’t go far wrong! At Merchant Advice Service, we specialise in card machines for small businesses within the UK. Working with the very best advisors in the industry, we are confident we can help you decide what the best debit card machine is for your small business. Our support team can guide you through the process and help you find the right card machine at the right price for your small business, whether you need a stationary, mobile, portable or wireless card machine.

Whatever you’re looking for, we work with some of the very best advisors in the industry and we’re confident we can help you decide what the best credit card machine is for your small business. Our support team can guide you through the process and our service is completely free to you with no obligation.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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