Card machines - what you need to know

Find out everything you need to know about card machines.

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What to know about card machines

​​We all have seen those hungry machines swallow our cards and take our money. But what are card machines, and how do they work? Of course, you won't know which card machine to buy or how to work it if you have no idea, right? 

Are you looking to buy a card machine?

Find out more about Yoco’s card machines here and how to choose the right Yoco card machine here.

Maybe you do you need support for your Yoco card machine?

You can get help or support for your Yoco card machine here if needed.

Read on to find out more, like first-hand experiences, about card machines.

We had a good chat with Jen, Cyrus Farm Health Store owner to bring you her thoughts on card machines.

Take a look at Jen's answers to popular questions about card machines.

How do you use a card machine?

"In our business, we use card machines in two different ways. First, some customers prefer to pay with a card, and often they're too far away to actually physically pay with a card. So I send them a payment request so they can pay with a card.

"The other way is mobile purchases when bank cards are inserted into the card machine or the card is tapped onto the card machines. Also, we use our mobile card machine if we sell our food at a market or when we do deliveries. Customers love to have the freedom to pay with a card and not have to carry cash."

How do you set up a card machine?

“It was really easy. Once you have your card machine, you basically follow all the prompts on the website. They tell you exactly what to do. For example, how to switch your card machine. It took like four minutes, and we were ready to go.”

How do you insert a bank card into a card machine? 

“You have to make sure that the little gold or silver block is facing up and slide the card into the card machine.”

What is a good mobile card machine for small businesses? 

“It depends on your small business. Find a card machine that works for you." 

How do you save costs with a card machine?

"Card machine companies that process card payments take a percentage. They'll take a specific tiny amount of that purchase as a fee. So it's definitely worth it. You don't have to stress about cash and petty cash. 

“Also, you make more money that way because it's more convenient for people to pay with a card."

How often do you charge your mobile card machine?

“It depends. I think once a month, the battery life is unbelievable. I don't think our card machine has died once. We have had our machine for three and a half years. So your battery life is really, really awesome."

Where are card machines for sale?

“I looked for card machines online with Google. I decided based on the pros and cons of each card machine.” 

What exactly does a card machine do?

“It captures your customer payments without having to deal with cash. It makes a business a lot tidier and less risky, especially if you are busy collecting payments. 

"If you like, you can also set up a shop on your card machine, so you just highlight the product you've already pre-saved. 

“Then, you would have had to allocate a price for each item. It is really easy. Follow the prompts on the machine. Usually, tap or insert a customer's card, and then when the card machine asks for the PIN, hand the machine over to your customer, giving your customer privacy. 

“Next, your customer will hand the device back to you, the payment should be processed, and return the card to your customer. Don't over-complicate it. A card machine sale is usually quick.”

What type of card machine is the best?

“It depends on what you need. I prefer a mobile card machine.”

Can you encourage customers to pay with cards instead of cash?

“I think you don't have to encourage your customers to pay with their cards. They usually automatically pay with bank cards as they don't have a limit based on the cash they are carrying.” 

It was great to chat to Jen about her experiences with her card machine.

Keep reading if you still want to know more.

Learn more about card machines

Customers paying your small business with their cards is straightforward. So let’s start by having a look at a card machine.

How does a card machine work?

A business owner uses a card machine to receive payments made by a customer via a debit or credit card. Card machines connect to the internet or even a phone line to transmit data to a processor. The machine transfers the customer’s funds to your small business account from his banking account.

What types of card machines are there?

As you can imagine, there are several kinds, but the most common ones are mobile, countertop, virtual and integrated point-of-sale (POS) systems. Out of these, the countertop terminal is the most common.

The countertop terminal

This card machine connects to your internet or landline and is usually available on a counter or tabletop. It’s most useful in stores or offices, but unfortunately, the machine is large and fixed.

The mobile card machine

The mobile is the best for a small business owner operating at, for instance, a market. If you are a plumber or electrician, you help the customer by coming to him with a card machine. The mobile card machine has an internet connection via Wifi, a phone or a tablet and makes payments wherever there’s a connection. These card machines are smaller and look cool to make your small business a fancy one. The security challenge is that information is sent wirelessly. But don’t worry - some training on your side will make it safe.

What are virtual terminals?

Here, you process credit or debit card transactions by submitting the payment information to a secure website – all without cards, like Yoco’s Payment Gateway.


Although you save on not needing a card machine, the cost of using virtual terminals is high. The disadvantage is that you need to type in the credit card’s details with every transaction – a time-consuming process and more prone to making mistakes. 

Integrated POS terminals

These terminals connect a card processing hardware to a point-of-sale (POS) system. The word ‘integrated’ refers to integrating the charging process with the payment process. Using integrated POS terminals is less human error, and customers check out quickly. With purchases connecting directly with your POS, you can see sales trends, stock levels and total sales of each product. However, costs are higher when using the POS system.

Yoco’s POS integration option

Yoco’s POS integration option is available if you wish to integrate your card machines into a POS. The Yoco Neo card machine integrates with Lightspeed, Vend, Loyverse or SalonBridge.

Make it happen

So you know a lot about card machines now. Next, it's time to make your small business a household name. Now, go make it happen with Yoco. Get in touch with us today.


Source: Credit Card Machines: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Yoco Card Machines and Online Payments

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