A customer while using his card for a purchase will require a merchant to accept it for the sale to be realized. The via media for both the parties for the sale to be effected is the credit card machine. This machine is a tribute to modern technology.During earlier times merchant establishments took a print of the card and followed up by raising a charge slip which was signed by the user as an acceptance of the liability after proper identification.
However all the manual transactions are now a thing of the past. The process of purchase and settlements are now affected in real time and are almost instantaneous.These machines are portable and very light. They also accept all major credit cards issued by Visa, MasterCard and Discover. In addition these machines also accept debit cards issued by a bank.
The credit card machines do not have any standard shape or design.The machines work on a connection to a master link. They have a slot where the card is swiped. Once the card is swiped it identifies that particular card through a microchip that is embedded in the card. This microchip is read by the computer and after verification authorizes the deal. All this operation hardly takes a few seconds and the card owner has his deal approved in seconds. The important part of the modern machine is a card reader.
Normally credit card machines need a point of sale terminal only
This is linked to a master computer. Many manufacturers like VeriFone, Hyperco, Magtek, Way Systems, Ingenico and Nurit are in the field with their products. All credit card machines have the same basic functions and authorize credit card payments.However machines that are compatible with Visa and MasterCard may not swipe American express cards. You may need a dedicated machine for them.
When a card is swiped the machine sends the data from the card to the credit card company or bank and a printed receipt is made available immediately. This receipt is signed by the card owner and one copy retained by the merchant and one by the card owner. This entire process is over in seconds. Modern credit card machines have features like an LCD display and a distinct alphanumeric keypad that is easy to use. Thermal printers are also part of the set up for prints to be available at once.
The card machines are presently in use at almost all department stores, petrol pumps,restaurants and hotels. They also produce daily reports of sales and amount of credit disbursed. In addition the machines keep track of credit card debt payments and transactions.Machines can also be wireless units. This is the latest technology that has been perfected. Such wireless machines are in vogue during exhibitions, trade shows and carnivals.