Credit Card Machines For Business: 6 Best Payment Terminals For 2024

The surge in real-time payments underscores how fast the world is moving, and highlights just how important it is for businesses to adapt and modernize their systems. This is especially true when it comes to payment machines and hardware. In order to serve your customers better, you need to equip your business with the latest in payment processing technology.

If you’re an SMB, take this as a call to action to upgrade to modern, secure payment terminals. Today’s market for credit card machines is brimming with cutting-edge technology, elevated connectivity, and robust security features. 

To that end, this article covers the top-rated credit card machines poised to meet the demands of 2024’s real-time payment landscape.


  • POS terminal features to look for: multi-payment compatibility, advanced security, economical price point, user-friendly design, and integration with existing systems.
  • Top options range from compact, portable terminals for on-the-go services to full-service POS systems and budget-friendly startup choices. Consider advanced security and high-volume payment processors for enhanced functionality.
  • Once you acquire your new terminal, set up the hardware, initialize it, configure connectivity, install software, run testing, and implement security measures. Invest in staff training, regular maintenance, and troubleshooting to avoid future complications.
Learn More

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Payment Terminal

Slow or outdated payment terminals can lead to long queues and security breaches. To be future-proof, business owners must upgrade to a dependable payment terminal. Here are some considerations for this long-term investment.

1. Multi-payment compatibility

Only 17% of customers prefer cash when shopping in person. So, a lack of payment flexibility can alienate the remaining 83%. 

Look for payment terminals that cater to your customer base’s preferred payment methods. Popular options include digital wallets (e.g., PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay), EMV chip cards, and NFC/contactless payments.

2. Security features

Online shoppers’ spending nearly doubled, prompting cybercriminals with more opportunities to carry out fraudulent transactions. The average value of attempted fraudulent purchases increased by 69% year-over-year. At this rate, credit card equipment with subpar security is simply not an option.

Opt for in-store and virtual terminals with advanced security measures. Among these are PCI compliance and encryption technology, which can help thwart these evolving threats. 

3. Cost-effectiveness

Evaluating the total cost of terminal installation and maintenance can help avoid unexpected budget overruns. Here’s a checklist to guide you through your assessment.

  • Initial setup costs. Some providers may offer transparent pricing online. If not, schedule an in-person meeting or contact customer service to discuss the detailed price breakdown.
  • Flat-rate or tiered-pricing monthly fees. Calculate potential monthly charges based on your average transaction volume to determine the most cost-effective option.
  • Processing and other transaction fees. Scrutinize the fine print for the processing fees and additional charges, including chargeback, cross-border, ACH transfer, and early termination fees.

Don’t hesitate to negotiate terms with service providers, especially if you anticipate high transaction volumes. Ensure the final cost meets your budget to sustain healthy profit margins.

4. Ease of use

Credit card machines for businesses streamline the checkout process. Your staff must find the system intuitive to minimize training time and foster a positive customer experience. So, prioritize a terminal with a navigable, user-friendly interface and robust training resources. 

5. Integration with existing POS systems and business software

Credit card terminals that can easily sync with your current infrastructure and migrate your existing data can save you a lot of stress and downtime. Search for terminals that boast seamless integration with your existing point-of-sale (POS) systems and business software.

Pro-tip: Assess if the functionality can adapt to your business processes and future scalability.

With these factors in mind, you can now select the ideal payment terminal for your business. Here are the top credit card machines for your in-store, eCommerce, and mobile payment processing.

6 Best Credit Card Machines for Business in 2024

Merchant services require different types of credit card terminals for various operational structures. From high-speed mobility to large-scale retail transactions, here are the top 6 credit card machines for businesses to consider.

Compact and portable terminals

Mobile credit card readers offer convenience for small businesses, particularly those that run pop-up stores and on-the-go services like food trucks. Their portable, compact design and wireless capabilities allow entrepreneurs to accept card payments anytime, anywhere.

Mobile payments – linked with a Bluetooth Swipe Simple B250 Reader and the Stax Mobile app (for iPhone and Android phones) for fast, secure mobile transactions


Compact countertop terminals – cloud-based, PCI-compliant terminals (i.e., QD2 Dejavoo, QD4 Dejavoo, Clover Flex, Clover Mini LTE, Clover Station Solo, Clover Station Duo); offers advanced data analytics for businesses; accepts swipe, chip, and tap card transactions


Another prime example is the mobile terminal Pax A920. Powered by Android 7.1, this mobile POS comes equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet connectivity for fast device pairing. This feature-rich and versatile payment system starts at $199 for new units.


Full-service POS systems

Full-service POS software allows retail enterprises and serviced-based merchants, such as restaurants, to handle online and in-person transactions. This simplifies invoicing and automatically updates inventory levels, preventing overselling and facilitating timely replenishment.

Clover offers a full POS system that supports basic payments and sales tracking. 

Pricing varies depending on your hardware and software subscription. At the time of writing, Clover’s Starter product comes with an 8 ” countertop POS and costs $60/mo for 36 months or $799+ $14.95/mo. Its Standard plan equips you with a 14″ touchscreen terminal and 8″ customer‑facing display and costs $135/mo for 36 months or $1,799+ $49.95/mo. On the high end is the Advanced plan which comes with $185/mo for 36 months or or $2,398+ $64.90/mo.

Budget-friendly options

Reliable, budget-friendly credit card machines can equip startups without incurring high overhead costs.

Pro-tip: Look for solutions with lower initial setup costs and transparent pricing structures to avoid hidden fees or unexpected charges.

Take Stax’s fixed monthly subscription. It starts at $99 for annual payments of up to $150,000, $139 for $250,000, and $199+ for over $250,000. Your processing volume determines the subscription prices—no additional cents per transaction or separate fee for your terminal.

High-volume payment processors 

Some terminals incorporate advanced hardware and software features to process high-volume transactions rapidly. They support efficient multiple payment options, minimizing customer wait times at the checkout during peak business days.

With a large built-in and expandable memory, the rugged countertop Verifone VX520 stands out for such requirements. It has a powerful processor that can effortlessly handle EMV, NFC, CTLS, and credit/‌debit card payments. The cost varies by provider, but the terminal alone generally ranges from $100 to $150.


Advanced security terminals

Are data breaches and fraud your primary concerns? Terminals with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certification guarantee they meet industry standards for secure payment processing.

Take, for instance, the Ingenico iCT 250. This terminal is one of the credit card machines for business that holds PCI PTS version 3.x certification with SRED and Open protocol modules. The SRED module indicates secure data entry, while the latter contributes to the overall security infrastructure. 


The First Data FD150 Terminal and RP10 PIN Pad take this further under the PCI-PED version 5.x certification. The higher version number suggests compliance with more recent security standards in terms of encryption and secure key management.


The Ingenico iCT 250 and First Data FD150 terminals cost around $300. Prices vary depending on RAM, flash memory, plug-in PIN pad, and other add-on features. 

With these innovative credit card processors, your business is poised for future success. Learn how to set up, operate, and maintain your new equipment for a seamless, efficient payment experience.

A Quick Guide to Credit Card Machine Setup, Usage, and Maintenance

To maximize your terminal’s efficiency, follow these step-by-step instructions for setting up the hardware and software.

1. Physical setup. Upon unboxing, check that all components are present. Connect all cables to power sources and hardware devices.

2. Initialization. Power on the terminal and follow on-screen prompts if any setup is required.

3. Connectivity configuration. Establish a stable internet connection through Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or cellular data. Verify that the terminal can communicate with your payment processor.

4. Software installation. If not built-in, download the software and install it as instructed. Link your machine to any existing merchant account.

5. Testing. Double-check the terminal’s accuracy to prevent chargebacks and disputes. Conduct test transactions with several payment methods.

6. Security measures. Set up PIN protection, encryption, and any additional authentication methods.

7. User training. For error-free usage, provide staff with hands-on training on transaction processing, security protocols, and refund procedures.

8. Regular maintenance. Regular maintenance helps prevent glitches or malfunctions. Update the software and firmware as needed. Clean the credit card reader, receipt printer, and other components using a mild, non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth.

9. Troubleshooting. Prepare a troubleshooting guide to help employees handle minor problems without external support. Provide step-by-step instructions for common issues, such as network problems, error messages, and transaction failures. 

Handle your terminal with care to ensure its reliability and efficiency. This attention to detail prevents potential issues, resulting in a positive customer experience that builds trust and loyalty. 

Upgrade Your Credit Card Terminals with Stax

From multi-payment compatibility to security and seamless integration, the optimal POS machine can anticipate and surpass your business needs. The more efficient your terminal, the smoother the transactions and the superior the customer experience.

Invest in your company’s future. Embrace technology advancements and opt for a terminal that not only supports growth but propels your business forward. 

Request a Quote

FAQs about Credit Card Machine for Business

Q: Which card machine is the best for small business?

For small businesses, particularly those operating pop-up stores or on-the-go services like food trucks, compact and portable terminals are ideal. A good fit may be the Pax A920, a mobile terminal starting at $299 for new units, is another excellent option due to its versatility and wireless capabilities.

Q: How much does a credit card machine cost?

The cost of a credit card machine can vary significantly based on the model, features, and provider. For instance, mobile terminals like the Pax A920 start at $199 for new units. Full-service POS systems like those offered by Clover can have additional monthly fees for inventory management and tax reporting features. Budget-friendly options like Stripe’s entry-level mobile reader cost $59, while more advanced models like the Stripe Reader S700 are priced at $349.

Q: What is a credit card machine with no monthly fees?

If you’re looking for terminals that don’t include monthly fees, you can opt for a standalone terminal without an attached service plan. Just keep in mind that transaction fees and other charges may still apply.

Q: How can small businesses take card payments?

Small businesses can take card payments through a credit card machine that supports various payment methods, including digital wallets, EMV chip cards, and NFC/contactless payments.

Q: What is the cheapest way of taking card payments?

Finding the lowest-cost payments processor will hinge on factors like your credit card processing volume and the features you need. 

That said, Stax offers one of the most cost-effective solutions for taking card payments, with a fixed monthly subscription starting at $99 for annual payments of up to $150,000. This model is beneficial as your processing volume determines the subscription prices, with no additional cents per transaction or separate fee for your terminal,

Q: How to choose a credit card machine?

When choosing a credit card machine, you need to consider factors such as payment features, security, and budget. 

Take a look at your business’s specific needs, including the preferred payment methods of your customer base, the volume of transactions you process, and the security standard you need to comply with. 

You should also assess the total cost of ownership, including initial setup costs, monthly fees, and transaction fees, to ensure it fits within your budget while offering the functionalities you need.