The Merchant Processing Guru Tip#12: Credit Card Processing with Mobile Solutions continued – wireless terminals. I do not suggest buying a used system or even a new one from anyone other than the processor you intend to use for the service as they will be the one to program your terminal and if anything is different at all with the machine from what they are used to then you could have warranty issues to deal with. This is one area where it is always better to pay a little more than to save a buck today and have potential issues that could end up costing you in the long run.
Does it make sense to use a wireless terminal in your business you ask? Great question! Here is my general rule of thumb:
You must process at least $3-5,000 a month to even consider a wireless terminal. (more is preferable)
Your transactions must almost all be swiped to take advantage of the system.
The higher the volume of sales the more this will make sense. Let me explain: If your business is lower ticket items but high volume of sales like a food vendor at a farmers market where you have people standing in line for your products, you will want the speed of a terminal that gives you quick transaction & approval times. If you have high ticket items and process a high dollar volume throughout the month, you may want to consider this option because the swiped rate could make the additional wireless fees worthwhile and to have peace of mind that your transactions are approved and that you have a customer signature on the receipt.
The costs associated with owning a wireless terminal:
First of all the purchase of a wireless terminal may disqualify many and make it cost prohibitive. A wireless terminal will generally cost anywhere from $600.00 – $1,800.00 and up. You should not need to spend more than $1,000.00 on the right terminal.
You will typically find that there is always a wireless set up fee, generally around $50.00. This is a one-time fee to set up the account with a wireless service provider. Then you will have a monthly wireless service fee of approximately $20-$25.00 per month.
With the additional monthly fee you may not save enough money with retail rates to make the additional cost worthwhile. You would need to process approximately $5,000.00 per month or 500 transactions to just break even. This is approximate but a good rule of thumb. Tune in next time when I will talk about the “Dial Pay” option.