Small business

Exploring PDQs: The 4 Best Terminals For Your Startup

At the end of a tiresome campaign of transforming your business dreams into reality, the last thing you want to do is spend more time thinking up how you’re actually going to process your sales.

In this day and age, you’re at a disadvantage if you’re not accepting card payments regardless of your business’ stature. The prevalence of automatic card readers has led to UK Finance forecasting that just 21% of transactions will involve physical cash by 2026 – with less and less members of the public carrying notes.

PDQ (Process Data Quickly) terminals help to offer a speedy solution for businesses that want to accept card payments with little hassle. They’re typically compact and portable, giving the customer supreme convenience while encouraging them to return and pay through their favoured method more.

Here we’ve created a list of five of the best PDQ machines on the market to help you make the right decision when setting up your startup.

1. Ingenico iCT250

The Ingenico iCT250 is an excellent model for countertop transactions, so if you’re looking for a PDQ that’s fixed in the same position over a desk or counter, then you’ll be hard pushed to find anything more suitable than this.

Ingenico’s iCT200 series terminals come with a colour display, 3G connectivity for processing transactions, contactless and smartcard capabilities, as well as Apple Pay and NFC compatibility.

The device meets the highest security requirements in place for PDQ terminals and even offers a small visor that can be added to aid customers in concealing their PIN.

Like all good PDQ terminals, the iCT250 uses a thermal printer to provide customers with receipts on their purchases. Before choosing your device, it’s important to look at how you will be accepting payments in store – this model is an excellent lightweight option, but its wired connection prevents it from having the portable specifications that some business owners crave.

It’s also worth considering the significance of the colour screen that comes as standard on the model, which is an underrated means of building brand awareness – even at the checkout process.

2. Ingenico iWL252

While Ingenico’s iCT250 offers an excellent solution to businesses that need to have their PDQ terminals rooted to a location, like a desk or counter, it doesn’t really suit the needs of a store that needs to be flexible enough to accept payments from customers in various locations.

Step forward the Ingenico iWL252. Its wireless, with a Bluetooth connection to a central docking station enabling swift payments.

Its portability and pocket-sized body makes the iWL252 an ideal card reader for restaurants, bars and cafes – enabling staff to collect payments from customers without forcing them to leave their table and travel to your counter at the end of an evening.

Boasting a colour display, 3G, GPRS and WiFi connectivity, contactless and magstripe compatibility and excellent built-in security measures, it’s clear to see why Ingenico’s portable terminal is a market leader in its industry niche.

A very pragmatic quirk of this model is that it has the fastest printer on the market. At an impressive rate of 30 lines per second, Ingenico shows that they recognise the importance of on-the-spot transactions, and have made a notable effort in ensuring the whole process is as seamless as possible.

Of course, it’s worth noting that the portability of this model is limited by the range of its Bluetooth connection and that you’ll need to stay within range for payments to be processed – however, this shouldn’t be a problem in open plan mid-sized businesses. You’ll also need to be mindful of making sure that the card reader stays well charged before use to avoid the awkward situation of your shop’s PDQ terminal dying as a transaction is being made.

3. Dejavoo Z9

Ingenico may be the biggest name in the industry, but there are still great alternatives out there that can offer new businesses something different when collecting payments.

One useful perk of the Z9 is that its specifications are customisable, with GPRS-only, or WiFi-only models available as well as versions that are capable of processing data from both GPRS and WiFi.

The Dejavoo Z9 also comes with a battery, which makes it ideal for both using as a countertop card reader and for taking out and allowing customers to make payments where they’re positioned.

The device is capable of receiving contactless payments as well as EMV/Smartcard transactions, too. Another very useful quirk is that the Z9 has the ability to queue customer support to call your business directly via the F4 button on its keypad – a great addition if you happen to be a new business owner who isn’t used to working with PDQ terminals.

4. iZettle Reader

iZettle is a great solution for micro-businesses or smaller scale startups. It’s extremely lightweight, portable, and can handle typical transactions as well as contactless payments, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

It charges via USB and is good to use for around eight hours (or for 100 transactions). The extremely simple shape of the machine has led to iZettle winning a Red Dot Design Award for their reader.

To use this card reader, users are required to create an iZettle account which processes your transactions before depositing them into your bank account. This leads to a one-or-two day delay on seeing the money you earn, but even with this in mind, the iZettle Reader is a very cool tool to have if you’re embarking on a small startup.

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