Credit Card Impression Machines

Written by Gregg Ruais
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It's easy for businesspeople to get caught up in the rush for the newest technology. It seems as though new devices are invented each day, and the market for point-of-sale machines is no exception. People have the option of buying wireless devices that capture and send transactions from anywhere in the world. While these devices may have great value to some businesses, there are plenty of old-fashioned ways to capture credit card information on the go that cost hundreds of dollars less.

Pros and Cons of Credit Card Impression Machines

Credit card impression machines can be found for a little as $30, as opposed to $800 for wireless devices that send information automatically. Impression machines are very simple. Credit cards fit inside these machines, and users clamp the doors down. By doing this, the merchant makes three copies of a customer's credit card information, including name, expiration date, and account number.

One copy is then given to the customer as a receipt, and the merchant keeps the other two, one for his records and one for the credit card processor. The disadvantage of these machines is that they do not send information at all. The receipts must be taken back to land line credit card machines and be manually entered. Once this is done, the transaction is complete.

Another disadvantage of impression machines is that they do not produce the clear receipts yielded by electronic credit card terminals. They utilize carbon paper, which is less agreeable to customers. However, these devices have been used for decades, and they do work. Some businesspeople may find it beneficial to own at least one that serves as backup for when electronic terminals fail.


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