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Contactless Payment Using a Card Machine - Available with BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA)

How to Choose the Best Card Terminal for your Business



Owning the best possible card terminal for your business is vital in ensuring the final step of any in-store customer experience is efficient and frictionless.

In today’s world, with shoppers’ preference for card and contactless payments growing, in-store payments must be quick and hassle free for customers. For business owners, card terminals need to be consistently reliable, intuitive to use and supported by a transparent payment process, as well as excellent customer support.

For new businesses, or those thinking of switching provider, here are some key points to consider when choosing the most suitable card terminal and payment provider for your business.

Card Terminal Functionality, Protection & Connection

It’s important to check that the card terminal can accept all major card schemes including Visa, Mastercard, UPI, JCB & Discover Global Network cards, as well as being compatible for contactless and digital wallet transactions with Google Pay and Apple Pay. This opens up your business to a world of opportunity by giving your customers the freedom to pay in the way that works best for them.

Every card terminal should be supported by industry best practices for full encryption of your POS card payment terminals with continuous enhancement of security technologies, and are fully compliant with PCI and scheme rules.

Having a card terminal that combines connection types like WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet and 4G so that your terminal is always online and ready to accept payments wherever you are ensures a consistently reliable customer experience.

Your Working Environment

Card Reader functionality

Your profession and business environment will dictate the right type of card terminal for you. Whether you run a café, manage a retail store, own a taxi or operate a market stall, there is a card terminal option to compliment your business’ setting. Given customer expectations to have the option to pay by card or through Google Pay and Apple Pay, there’s every reason to find one that best fits.

Countertop terminals

Card Reader example

This card terminal is the perfect solution for businesses with fixed points of sale. It’s compact and reliable and is popular in most convenience stores, bars and hairdressers.


Mobile terminals

Mobile card terminal devices are perfect for businesses that need to accept credit card payments without WiFi or away from telephone lines. The GPRS terminal uses the same technology as mobile phones and can be used anywhere in the country. These have grown more popular with taxi drivers, tradespeople and market vendors, as their customer base has become more reliant with cashless transactions.

Portable card reader

Portable terminals

A portable devices that come with its own charging base. This device is connected to either WiFi or Bluetooth or both and is great for businesses that move around their in hospitality with staff at restaurants, bars and cafes bringing the terminal to your customer’s table with fast receipt printing.

They are also growing more popular in the retail industry with staff bringing the card terminal to the customer on the shop floor. This also helps close sales more quickly.

Your Transaction Volume

It’s important to understand the terms and conditions attached to any agreement with a payment provider and seek clarification on the how they charge based on your transactions. Most providers only offer pay-per-transaction pricing along with a monthly card terminal rental, but BOIPA also offer a selection of fixed price Ready Made options.

If you are a new business starting out, it can be difficult to project what your monthly card and contactless transactions will be.

Plans like BOIPA’s Ready Made, with three fixed price plans to suit small businesses with varying levels of card spend, allows you to flex up or down between plans to suit their business needs. This can be a very useful option for small businesses starting out with card payments. Alternatively, if you have a monthly card turnover greater than €8000, the Tailor Made per-transaction option offers customised  pricing to suit your business.

How about Hidden Fees and Settlement?

We previously mentioned PCI. PCI DSS is a set of minimum security requirements to help handle payment information securely. Providers may include this as an additional cost on top of the fee for your card terminal and monthly transactions.

There might also be a joining and authentication fees, as well as a potential minimal monthly fee already mentioned, added to the initial price you are quoted. Checking if they are inclusive at the beginning of your engagement with a potential payment provider will offer clarity and eliminate confusion.

You should also question the settlement process – when will the money land in your account?

This can vary and differ depending on who you bank with. It’s always best to look for a provider that offers next day settlement regardless of the bank your account is with.

Real-time Customer Support

Card Reader supportSome businesses need 24/7 support and maintenance, while others simply need telephone and online chat support. While BOIPA offer in-person installation and maintenance support from an experienced field engineer as well as responsive customer support, not all providers offer this as standard. It’s important to query, if you need assistance, what a potential provider can offer your business as in-life support.

The level of service, support, and maintenance you need will inform your final decision, so it’s best to enquire about what your options are.

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