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What is a PDQ Machine?

Image by tomekwalecki from Pixabay

A payment terminal, also known as a Point of Sale terminal, credit card terminal, EFTPOS terminal, is a device which interfaces with payment cards to make electronic funds transfers.

Why you need a PDQ machine?

To accept more payment methods than an ordinary POS machine could accept. Some credit card companies have rules that their cardholders may only use their card in a machine with a secured PIN pad.

To process transactions more quickly. This is primarily so that you can avoid high transaction fees charged by credit card companies. It also provides a better service for customers as well.

If you are in a very competitive market, you may also consider upgrading to a pdq machine to get an edge over your competitors.

How to use a PDQ machine?

First, you need to set up your terminal to cater to customers with various payment preferences. The process to do this is very different depending on your terminal model. Using a manual terminal? Set up the terminal to accept all major payment options as the details are provided for most credit and debit cards. Here are some of the standard options:

  • Debit MasterCard, Visa Card, Solo Card, Maestro
  • Checking account (online debit)
  • ATM/EBT
  • Authorization Number
  • Cash Advance or Cash Back
  • Plus others depending on your terminal model.

Using a self serve pdq machine? If you have a self serve terminal, select the card brand you would like to accept and input a verification value. This determines the number of digits that display on the terminal or the number of digits that you as the cardholder must enter before you can use the card terminal.

Running the transaction and sending the receipt

After the customer has finished the transaction, you’ll need to select the “Transaction Complete” option so that the card terminal will turn off. From there, you can either print a receipt and send it to the customer for them to take. You may also be able to email the customer their receipt.

Managing that credit card terminal

Some credit card terminals are standalone units that you can carry around with you. But more often than not, a credit card terminal is a device that is located behind your counter. To process payments using a credit card terminal, your customer inserts their card into the machine and enters their PIN. The terminal will then read their card information either from the magnetic strip or the chip within the card. It will then check the card’s balance and, assuming the balance is sufficient, make the payment from the card.

However, sometimes credit card terminals are also used for other purposes as well. For instance, you can choose to use the terminal to check a customer’s age if they are under 18 years old and cannot purchase certain items or do not have a valid ID issued by the government. You or your cashier can also use a payment terminal to handle specific tiers of customer care, such as blacklisting certain customers. You also have the option to connect the terminal to a printer, so you can print receipts and other documents afterwards.

Final thoughts

POS terminals are incredibly important and helpful to businesses with a large number of customers. At the small business level, you will have to make do with a manual or a self serve terminal. For larger businesses, one can purchase a much more advanced pdq machine with an attached printer and more useful features.

If you think you want to buy a pdq machine, go explore the market and look at what you have to choose from. Also, do consider what you will do with it. Will you want to go for wireless connectivity? Will you need to print receipts? Then choose your pdq machine accordingly. However, if you are not looking for fancy features, you could actually get by with a self serve terminal.

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