PDQ Machine Overview
A PDQ machine, also known as a chip and pin or card machine, is used by businesses to process payments that are made face to face via card. PDQ actually stands for Process Data Quickly which is a very fitting name. A PDQ card machine has become an essential tool for businesses as customers are now rarely carrying cash but are always carrying a credit or debit card. If your business needs a PDQ machine, there are several PDQ terminals available.
To help you discover which PDQ is best for your business we’ve taken a closer look at the types of machines available and the top terminals on the U.K. market. If you’re tight on time or looking for something in particular, feel free to use the menu below to skip ahead to the relevant section.
PDQ Machines – Best Chip & Pin Payment Terminals Types of Machines 1) Countertop models 2) Portable Terminals 3) Mobile Terminals What Is The Best PDQ Machine? Countertop Models Vega3000 Countertop Terminal Ingenico iCT250 Countertop Terminal Verifone Vx520 Portable Terminals Ingenico iCT220 Ingenico iWL252 VeriFone Vx680 Mobile Terminals Intuit GoPayment iZettle Reader Ingenico iWL250 PayPal Here Accept Different Payment Types In-Store Contactless Payment Chip & Pin Payments Swipe & Sign Apple & Google Pay Which EPOS System to Consider Advantages of using an EPOS system
There are 3 main types of PDQ machines available, each offering its own advantages. Whether you need a static terminal, a wireless one or a completely portable one there will be an option to suit your business’s needs and allow you to take card payments wherever you are. Of the 3 types of machine available, you will find many different brands such as Verifone, Ingenico and the Barclaycard PDQ machine. The Barclaycard PDQ terminal is from well-known high-street bank Barclays, one of many large banks who now offer merchant accounts and terminals. Below you can find out more about each terminal type as well as some of the best machines currently available.
A countertop terminal is one which has a fixed line, therefore it is the best option for businesses with a fixed point of sale e.g. a hair salon or a shop. These popular terminals are relatively cheap to rent with PDQ machine cost starting from £15 a month.
- Strong, constant connection due to phone or broadband line connection
- Needs to be connected to a source of power at all times
- Requires a line connection
A portable terminal is a wireless PDQ machine that connects through Bluetooth or Wifi. This gives them the ability to be moved around and are able take payments from within a fixed 100m range. The portable terminal has a base unit that needs to be connected to a phone or broadband line.
- Ideal for restaurants, cafes and bars
- Easy and convenient
- Enhances customer service and experience
- Only works within a set range
- Signal strength can vary
A mobile PDQ machine is great for businesses who move around a lot such as delivery, pop up stores and tradesmen. It allows payments to be taken while on the go so no matter where you are, you can receive payment.
- Enables mobility
- Allows businesses who don’t have a fixed address to take card payments
- Offers business owners flexibility
- Relies on mobile phone signal
Looking for the right PDQ payment machine to enable your business to accept credit card transactions? Below are some of the best options in the UK for each type of terminal. You will often find that each brand offers each type of card machine, for example with Barclaycard my PDQ offers countertop, portable and mobile versions of the terminal.
This terminal is one of the most popular of the current PDQ countertop options. It ensures fast transactions that are safeguarded by the most up to date security software. The key features of the Vega3000 include:
- Multiple connectivity options (WiFi, Bluetooth, GPRS and USB)
- Accepts magnetic stripe and contactless payments
- Reliable operation
This easy to use terminal is an ideal option for retail businesses. This credit card reader uses a phone line or internet connection and accepts all payment types. This is a popular, robust and cost effective option.
- Built with usability in mind
- Meets the highest security requirements
- Fast operation as well as quick receipt printing
This sturdy countertop terminal is built to last and is able to handle high volume usage with ease. This is an ideal option for large, busy retail stores.
- Access to Estate Management Software – a central hub for monitoring and reporting
- Robust design
- Rich in features
This fast and easy to use terminal allows businesses to accept and process nearly all types of card. The credit card terminal is tamper resistant and also features key security features such as encryption.
- Multiple connection options
- Built-in receipt printer
This is an excellent portable terminal with long lasting batteries, a lightweight design and easy to use features. It boasts the highest security standards and accepts contactless, chip and pin and magstripe payments.
- Connects with long range Bluetooth
- User-friendly display and keypad
- Lithium ion battery for all day usage
If you’re looking for a compact model, the Vx680 is one of the most compact and versatile models available. This is a very popular option with a range of connectivity options and a touchscreen display making it easy to use.
- Connect with Bluetooth, 3G or WiFi
- Power save mode for longer battery life
- Capable of processing refunds
The Intuit GoPayment is an affordable terminal that also offers a way for businesses to track their finances. There are two pricing options available so you can decide what suits your business best. This is a very well-priced option for businesses who process larger payments.
- Affordable and straightforward
- Pay as you go or monthly contracts available
- Low monthly rate plan has a very 1.6% transaction cost
This is a compact, versatile and extremely popular mobile terminal. It’s pocket-sized, making it easy to carry and use. This is the perfect pdq machine small business owners would benefit from, it is affordable and most importantly, effective.
- Accepts wide range of cards
- Competitive prices
- No monthly fees
The Ingenico iWL250 is a newer model that is capable of accepting contactless payments. It is a perfect terminal for outdoor use as it is water resistant and built to be robust. You can accept almost any payment type and the built-in printer allows for quick receipt print outs.
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Offline payment acceptance
- Built-in printer
PayPal Here allows you to take payments anywhere, it is easy to set up and is full of features. There are no monthly or hidden fees and the device connects through a smartphones audio jack.
- Quick Sale Mode
- Only pay transaction fees
There are now several ways customers can pay for goods and with cash becoming less and less frequent there are other payment methods advancing in popularity. Smartphones and contactless cards are bringing a new wave of payment potential with a focus on speed and ease. For businesses to continue to appeal to customers it is essential to accept different payment options, below are the most used electronic payment methods.
Contactless is a quick and easy way for customers to pay for purchases that total less than £30. In 2015, the limit for contactless cards was increased to £30 but it looks like it is set to stay at £30 to protect users from fraud. The use of contactless cards is on the rise, the UK Card Association states that £3.9 billion was spent in the UK during April 2017 using a contactless card, this is a staggering 147.6% increase compared to April 2016. Due to this sudden rise in the use of contactless payment, many businesses are now upgrading or investing in new PDQ machines that can accept contactless payments.
Chip & Pin payments were first introduced back in 2006, at the time of release it offered a much faster and more secure method of accepting card payments. A PDQ machines is also a chip & pin machine as all PDQ’s support chip & pin payments. The chip & pin solutions to fraud and security issues are appreciated and widely used by many customers. In 2016, chip & pin was still the most used payment method in the U.K. at 65% and contactless was a 19%. However, this gap is sure to have decreased considerably in the last 2 years.
This was the key payment method before the chip & pin reader was introduced, due to the high risk of fraud this method is now very rarely used. Swipe & sign allowed the card holder to simply swipe the card and sign to prove it’s their bank card they are using, with no other form of protection this of course opened the door to fraud and did not offer people the level of protection they would’ve liked. Nowadays, contactless payments are considerably quicker and more frequently used than swipe & sign.
It is now possible to pay for goods using a smartphone and an app. There are several apps available so you can choose the mobile payment solution that suits you. Each platform has the same fundamentals but offers slightly different features so it is worth comparing the competition. The apps are easy to set up and are supported by a large number of banks and brands.
EPOS stands for Electronic Point of Sale, it refers to an integration of software and hardware (PDQ terminal, barcode scanner, tablet/ screen etc.) that together provides an EPOS system allowing business owners to process and track sales electronically with ease. With traditional Point of Sale systems and cash tills becoming less and less efficient and necessary, businesses are turning towards EPOS systems. There are multiple systems and devices to suit different industries and needs which means there are varying options available for business owners to consider.
- Faster transactions
- Less chance of human error
- Provides sales reports
- Improve stock control efficiency and accuracy
One of the key disadvantages of using an EPOS system, especially for smaller businesses, is the cost. To get a basic EPOS system up and running costs can start at around £1,000 and this figure will increase as you start to look at the need for multiple terminals and more advanced features. For some businesses, the initial set up cost is not currently worth the benefits gained so it is worth investigating the available options before committing to a system.