Payment Technology Q&A

Payment Technology Questions and Answers

Why are some models of credit card terminals selling so cheap online?

Be very cautious when trying to save money on terminals. We strongly encourage you to consider the "total costs of ownership" when shopping. There are many pitfalls and older terminals have been or are scheduled to be discontinued and will no longer be supported. The payment industry is in an upgrade cycle right now as PCI card data security is front and center. Old, refurbished units are cheaply flooding the market. But when you consider how inexpensively you can buy a new unit, along with the lower support and training costs, and better compliance to achieve lower Interchange expenses, the financial analysis to go with an old unit breaks down.

I use an integrated POS system to process my card payments…can Vantage support it?

Yes, through Global Payments and Vital/TSYS networks, Vantage is compatible with most POS software packages. However, there are some POS software packages configured to ONLY work with specific merchant service providers. We recommend that you avoid choosing a POS system that provides limited choice of merchant service providers or restricts your choice by charging high fees for support of all but their preferred providers.

Does Vantage give me a free credit card terminal?

No, but then again, are you shopping for a terminal or for a payment processing partner? Terminals are cheap and you can get them almost everywhere. In the total costs of ownership equation, a payment terminal is the smallest. Don’t get distracted. And “free” is just another word for “lots of fine print” where you will find the legal definition is quite different from what you might think. Nothing is free - the true costs are hidden in miscellaneous fees such as PCI, annual, monthly, batch, support, supply labels, etc. Returning the loaner equipment in “like new” condition after using it for years is a challenge with steep penalties. Why go through all this when you can buy and own a terminal to meet your needs for a few hundred dollars and even take three months to pay?

Where do I find terminal recommendations and pricing?

It’s best to speak with a Vantage Payment Analyst for a free consultation. Our Payment Technologies page is an excellent web resource for basic terminal recommendations.

Can you reprogram my existing PIN Pad?

Reprogramming PIN Pads requires a new encryption key. To make it easier, we offer a simple swap for merchants with 3DES capable PIN pads. Otherwise, it must be returned to a secure encryption facility. If your existing PIN pad is not 3DES capable, it must be replaced. For more on PIN debit requirements read Signature & PIN Debit Processing.

What is the difference between a virtual terminal and a payment gateway?

A virtual terminal is used by the merchant to key enter card payments while a payment gateway refers to the process of a merchant’s customers shopping and payment online at the merchant’s web site. Payment gateway solutions will typically include virtual terminal functionality; however, not every virtual terminal is best suited to an ecommerce integration. Speak with a Payment Analyst for help in selecting the payment solution right for you.

For wireless card processing, what other service fees can I expect?

This depends on the wireless solution you choose. For example, an iPhone app has a different fee structure than using a wireless credit card terminal, where it is common to have a SIM activation fee and monthly or prepaid service fee plans. For small volume mobile merchants, Touch Tone Capture service may be all that is required. Your Vantage Payment Analyst can help you select the mobile payment solution to best meet your needs and budget.