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Choosing the right card machine for your business.

Now more than ever, it’s vital for businesses to revolutionise their payments. With new digital technologies such as Apple and Google Pay usage soaring in 2021 and set to continue at a rapid pace, it’s clear that consumers are opting to ditch cash for efficient and secure card payments. 

Small businesses, then, can’t afford to not accept contactless card payments. As ATMs slowly decline from high streets in the UK, consumers are less likely to be carrying around cash, and you’ll likely lose your business to a competitor if you can’t accept card payments in your business. 

So with 7.4 million people living an almost cashless life, find out why your business needs to start taking digital payments today and which card machine is best suited to your needs.

What is a card machine? 

Also known as PDQ machines, card readers or card terminals, a card machine is a piece of hardware that allows you to process credit and debit card payments from your customers. 

Most card machines, including Dojo’s, accept chip and PIN payments – where a customer inserts their card into the machine then is prompted to enter their unique PIN, and contactless payments. 

Contactless payments use near-field communication (NFC), which allows cardholders to tap or even hover their card over the machine to process the payment. 

As the cardholder does not need to enter their PIN, a transaction limit is currently set to £45. But with more people adopting contactless technology, the FCA announced the limit would soon increase to £100. This will not impact the security risks for consumers. 

Which businesses need a card machine?

It’s a common myth that only retailers or restaurants need card machines. As we edge closer and closer to a cashless future, all businesses must prepare for digital payments, including contactless and digital wallet payments such as Apple and Google Pay

Cash payments are rapidly declining. 

It’s predicted that by 2028 payments with physical money will dwindle to less than 10%. This figure may even come sooner in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has drastically altered our cash usage to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

In 2021 Dojo researched the decline of cash ATMs, showing that consumers had very little need for cash machines up and down the country with the rise of contactless payments. This resulted in an average of over 340 atm closures from high streets each month. 

So no matter what business you’re in, if you need to get paid, you’ll need to start accepting card payments in line with your customers’ preferences. So if you’re a corner shop owner, mechanic, plumber or hairdresser, that’s always relied on cash sales, now’s the time to make the shift.  

What are the different types of card machine?

There are three main types of card machine

  1. Countertop
  2. Portable
  3. Mobile

Different types of businesses will require different machines. For example, a restaurant or cafe will need to take payments from customers at their table with a portable card machine. This allows for good customer service and makes waiting staff’s life a lot easier – no more pacing back to the till. 

Retailers that only take payments at their till may only want a countertop card machine that uses an ethernet cable for speedy transactions. 

Taxi drivers, beauticians, food market stall owners, plumbers, whatever your trade, if it requires payments on the move, you’ll want a card machine with mobile connectivity, so you’ll never have to rely on Wi-Fi again.

Countertop card machines. 

Countertop card machines, sometimes also called till-side card machines or desktop card machines, are ideal for any retailer that only takes payments in one fixed location – for example, a clothing store, florist or gym. 

Because they’re designed to be used in one place, usually on a counter next to a till or EPOS, they use an Ethernet cable to connect to your internet connection. This often means simple, speedy transactions. 

Countertop card machines rely on wires for their connectivity. This means that you can’t move the card machine to other locations around your business – e.g. a pub garden. They’re best suited for till-side payments only.

All Dojo countertop card machines integrate with your EPOS – for faster transactions and shorter queues. Our Pay at Counter technology connects your till to your card machine in the cloud seamlessly. So when you process a sale on your EPOS, the transaction total is automatically displayed on your Dojo countertop card machine. No more double-keying – fewer mistakes – faster transaction times. 

Portable card machines. 

The clue’s in the name when it comes to portable card machines. They differ from the countertop machines in that they are wireless to move around your business premises with you. 

They use your Wi-Fi connection to process transactions. This means you can accept card payments from your customers at their table if you’re a restaurant owner, outside in a cafe or pub garden – or if you’re a hairdresser or beautician, at the salon chair. 

The Dojo Go is a fully portable card machine that’s lightweight and powerful. Its sleek 5-inch touchscreen interface makes it easy to use in dim-lit areas such as bars and restaurants. And with 10 hours battery life, it’s with you for the night shift. 

Portable payments also enhance the customer experience. For example, if you’re a restaurant owner, you’re able to serve your customers at the table and take payments from diners from the comfort of their seats. No faffing around or moving diners indoors to take payment.

And best of all, all Dojo portable machines can be integrated into your EPOS, too, with Pay at Table functionality. This means that when you’re serving customers in your cafe, bar or restaurant, diners can pay by card at their seat and serving staff can settle tables with the custom split bill functionality – there’s also the option to add gratuity. 

So if you’re a business owner that wants the freedom to take payments in different ways and places in your premises, you’ll need a flexible solution like the Dojo Go. 

Mobile card machines. 

Similar to portable, mobile card machines are entirely wireless to suit businesses that need flexible payments on the move. For example, taxi drivers, pop-up shop owners, tradespeople on callouts – basically anyone that needs payments and can’t rely on Wi-Fi. 

With the Dojo Go, you have the option to go fully mobile whenever you want. It comes with an activated SIM card for 3G/4G connectivity for no extra cost. If your Wi-Fi is weak or drops out your card machine will automatically switch to mobile connectivity. 

So if you’re in a remote field selling coffee or on the road selling musical instruments – or if a Wi-Fi connection fails you on a bank holiday – you’ll always have the peace of mind to know you can take card payments with a backup mobile connection. 

Even if you’re only taking payments in one place, mobile card machines such as the Dojo Go provide you and your customers with the security of dual-connectivity, so you’ve got access to an internet connection as a backup if your Wi-Fi fails. 

All Dojo mobile card machines are also fully integrated with over 600 EPOS providers so that you can enjoy frictionless payments with simplicity in mind. 

Other factors to consider when choosing your card machine. 

The size of your business 

You’ll want to find the best rates for your business, especially if you’re starting out. If you suspect you’ll take a lot of transactions by card, it’s essential that your processing rates don’t eat into your profits.

At Dojo, we support small to medium-sized businesses and realise that no business is the same. That’s why we offer tailored rates to suit your needs, rather than out-the-box prices. 

Transaction speeds 

Slow card transaction speeds are bad for business. They put off customers, and they make your life harder. Contactless card payments were designed for speedy, effortless payments that save both parties time. But if your card machine is slow, it keeps customers waiting, and queues start to form.

Dojo Go card machines process transactions 80% faster than the industry standard. So no more waiting around to get paid. 

Your cash flow 

Often small businesses are put off taking card payments as they’re rightly worried about how it will impact their cash flow. 

With suppliers and staff to pay, access to your daily funds quickly and efficiently is non-negotiable. That’s why we transfer our customers their daily takings at 10am the next working day

Ease of use 

There’s no point in having the latest technology if it’s not built to suit your needs. We make solutions for customers, not the tech industry. That’s why although our card machines are robust and innovative, they’re simple to use for everyone, whether that’s clued-up cashiers or new-starters on the job. 

And if there’s a glitch, our 24/7 tech support will get you back up and running. 

Customer service 

We don’t just supply card machines; we support small businesses. Whether that’s becoming PCI compliant, getting accessories to make your card machine easier to use or help with your setup or card machine, we’re just a call away. 

Our customer service advisors are on hand Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays, 9am to 1pm

Access to business insights 

Keeping track of your takings used to be tricky. But not with the Dojo dashboard. It’s our intuitive web or mobile app that lets you manage your payments from the palm of your hand. 

Getting started with Dojo. 

Now you’ve learned about the different types of card machine best suited for your small business, find out how Dojo can get you taking card payments efficiently with rates that work for you. Completely new to card payments? Check out our guide to merchant accounts.  

Get your online quote today. 

Businesses processed payments 80% faster with Dojo compared to competitor acquirers. This finding was based on 10 live transaction tests on-site at different companies, which compared a Dojo and a competitor transaction.