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How Much is a Card Machine?

Published 03/03/2020


Why you Need to Accept Card Payments in Store

10 years ago, in-store card payments were common, but for larger purchases. cash still reigned supreme. It was a nice option to offer to consumers but was in no way a requirement. A business could get by on cash alone. However, in 2019 in-store card payments are a necessity.

Businesses of all sizes need to accept card payments, from market traders, to national chain stores. In 2018, 10% of all consumers (5.4 million) made one or no cash payments per month. This of course, only further cements the fact you need to accept card payments in store.

Of course, there are costs associated with accepting card payments in store, and these need to be heavily considered when choosing a card machine.

Read on to find out more about the cost of getting a card machine and taking card payments in store. 


Pricing Method 1: Per Transaction

When it comes to the cost of card machines, there are two primary pricing methods. The first of which is “Per Transaction” “Per Transaction” is just that.

Your card processing fees are calculated as a percentage on each transaction you make. This pricing model can often seem beneficial to smaller and micro businesses, that perhaps don’t operate out of a permanent premise. Such as a market stall, or a mobile boutique coffee bar. As they likely won’t be processing masses of high value transactions.

This pricing model typically comes hand in hand with smaller “nontraditional” card machines and ePOS systems which are becoming continually more popular, as their terminals often come at a cost of less than £40.

However, this pricing model does not come without its drawbacks.

As your business grows and develops, the “Per-Transaction” pricing model can become very costly, as you process transactions more frequently and you may soon find your business accumulating hundreds of pounds worth of transaction fees at the end of the month.

It’s important that your payment system continues to be cost effective as your business grows, and unfortunately this pricing model struggles to remain so when processing higher transaction volumes.


Pricing Method 2: Subscription

The second main pricing model for card machines is a “subscription” style pricing model. 

The key difference between this and “per transaction” is that you will pay a fixed fee at the end of the month for a set amount of transactions, and the monthly cost of your card machine is included in this price. 

This model is great for businesses who have just moved into a permanent premises and are consistently making card transactions, as they won’t be out of pocket during those periods where consumers are typically spending more (Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas). 

These pricing models typically also come with the more traditional card terminals, which can print receipts as well as a whole host of other features. 

This model also allows for increased scalability, with capacity for integration into your existing ePOS system and allowing you to easily upgrade your transaction limit per month as your business grows and grows. 

Although, it’s important to note that you will pay the same fee at the end of each month whether you process your maximum amount of transactions. 


Which Pricing is Best for Me?

Now that you understand the differences between the two pricing models, you must understand which pricing model is best suited to your needs. 

“Per Transaction” is excellent for a smaller or startup style business, with a less traditional shop front (Mobile businesses etc). But the goal of any business is to grow and increase revenue, and as you grow it’s important to have the infrastructure in place so that your payment system remains cost effective for your business, no matter the size. 

Ultimately, a subscription model is likely going to be the best option for any business in the long run, as your total costing will likely not increase as your business grows, in turn improving your profitability.  


Conclusion on the Cost of a Card Machine

Every business is different; however they all have the same goal - Growth.
As your business grows, your technology and systems need to grow with you. If you can justify the slightly larger investment at first, you’ll find that a subscription model will accommodate your growth, and will in fact grow with you. 

Whether you require a countertop credit card machine or contactless card reader, contact our team today to find out more about how your business can benefit from accepting card payments.