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Isn't it time you took payments by card?

Since 2018, more daily purchases are made by card rather than cash in the UK.

Pricing from 1.5% per transaction
Terminals from £15 per month


What is a Chip & PIN card?

A Chip and PIN card is a debit or credit card that contains the card data stored in a microchip and requires customers to enter a personal identification number (PIN) to authorize the amount of the transaction. You can also use the card to withdraw cash from an ATM by entering the PIN.

How does a Chip & PIN work?

With Chip and PIN cards the card data is stored on a chip in the card instead of the magnetic stripe, so the card must be inserted or tapped instead of swiped. Instead of signing on a screen or receipt the customer must enter a four-digit PIN to authorize the transaction.

When did Chip & PIN start in UK?

Chip and PIN was launched to combat fraud on lost, stolen and counterfeit cards. The technology for the payment system was rolled out gradually by banks and retailers in the months leading up to the changeover in February 2006.

How long does Chip & PIN take?

Once the transaction is being authorized by the customer at the point of sale, the payment will be sent from the customer's bank into your business bank account, which can take up to 3 to 5 days.

What is a contactless payment?

Contactless is a payment technology that allows easier and quicker transactions without having to insert your card.

How much can you pay with a contactless card?

There is no daily cap on the number of individual transactions you can make (each up to £30), but you will be asked to enter your PIN to verify that you are the legitimate cardholder occasionally due to security reasons. A PIN is required for transactions over £30.

How does a contactless payment work?

Contactless debit and credit cards have a microchip embedded on the card that emits radio waves. Near field communication (NFC) is the technology that is being used to make contactless payments, which is based on a radio frequency field. To pay for something with a contactless debit or credit card, you hold the card near a payment terminal, and it picks up the signal, communicates with the card and processes the payment.

How safe are contactless payments?

Contactless payments use a secure encryption technology and are as safe as Chip & PIN transactions. You can't make an accidental payment - your card must be very close to the reader (within 4 cm), which must be ready to take your payment with the amount keyed in.

Where can I use contactless payment?

You can use your contactless card or enabled device to pay at all point of sales that has a card terminal with a contactless reader. Over 40 million point of sale devices accept contactless payments around the world, including fast food restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, and more.

How can I accept contactless payments?

All our card terminals come with a contactless reader as standard Contactless technology is now widely used in places such as restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets,

What is mobile payment?

Mobile payments are regulated transactions that take place through your mobile device. Instead of paying for goods and services with cash, cheques, or physical debit and credit cards, you can use your mobile device to pay.

How does mobile payment work?

You need to hold your mobile device close to the NFC-enabled POS terminal (approximately within 4cm) which will initiate the transaction. Both devices use RFID technology (NFC is a subset of this technology) to pass encrypted information back and forth to process the payment. And the whole payment process happens in seconds.

What are mobile wallets?

A mobile wallet is a smart device app that stores the user's debit or credit details so that consumers can pay for their transactions with that device. Popular mobile wallets include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

What is the difference between debit and credit cards?

The main difference between the two cards is where the money is drawn from when a purchase is made. When a consumer uses a debit card, the money comes directly from his or her bank account. When he or she uses a credit card, the purchase is charged to a line of credit for which he or she is billed later.

How do debit cards work?

When you open a bank account at a bank, you usually get a debit card. A debit card lets you spend money from your bank account and your account will be charged immediately.

Why should I accept credit cards?

By accepting credit cards, you are automatically accepting mobile payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. It allows customers from all over the world to pay at your business.

What is a payment terminal?

A payment terminal, also known as a Point of Sale (POS) terminal, card terminal, EFTPOS terminal (or by the older term as PDQ terminal which stands for "Process Data Quickly"), is a device which interacts with customers cards and devices in order for them to pay for the goods and services.

How do payment terminals work?

A payment terminal allows a merchant to capture required credit and debit card information from their customer and to transmit this data to their acquirer for authorization, clearing and settlement. Most card terminals transmit transaction and card data through Wi-Fi, GPRS, LTE, 4G, 3G etc.

How much does a card terminal cost?

The card terminal price range spans between £30 and £300. The price depends on whether you’re looking for an affordable and basic payment terminal or for a state-of-the-art PDQ machine with all the bells and whistles.

What is the difference between payment terminal, card terminal and PDQ machines?

There is no difference! There are just a lot of different names for a Point of Sale (POS) terminal. They all take cards.

What type of card terminals are available?

There are three main types of card terminals, each is designed for a specific use case. Countertop terminals are for taking payments at a fixed location where the terminal is usually connected via cable. Portable terminals are best suited for businesses at a fixed location with the possibility to walk around and bring the card machine to your customers. Whereas mobile terminals are best suited for businesses that are not at a fixed location, these work with a SIM card and gets their connection through wide area networks (WAN) like GPRS, LTE, 4G, 3G etc.

What are countertop terminals?

If your business takes payments at a counter, till or reception point, countertop card machines are the best suited for your business. They are enabled for you to take fast and secure payments over the counter at fixed locations.

What are portable terminals?

For businesses such as bars, restaurants and cafes, it is imperative to have a card terminal that you can bring to your customers. Our portable card readers use wireless technology, allowing you to make payment as convenient as possible for your customers.

What are mobile terminals?

For businesses that are always on the move, the ability to accept all types of card payments on the go is crucial. Mobile card machines allow businesses to take debit and credit card payments, as a transaction as well as contactless around your premises.

How does payment processing work?

In just a matter of seconds, your terminal passes transaction information to a processor or an acquirer, and then through the card network to the issuing bank for approval. The issuing bank then sends an authorization back through the card network to your processor before it finally ends up back at your terminal or POS software. Once the transaction is authorized the acquirer will arrange the transaction’s settlement and credit the merchant’s bank account with the transactions being made.

Start accepting cards today with The Payments Alliance

Choose a terminal and a plan that suits you best. It only takes a couple of minutes to complete the application process - you could be approved immediately and start accepting card and mobile payments in your business tomorrow*!

*delivery is on a next working day basis, upon approval of your new Merchant Account.

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