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Created on 30.04.2021

Cashless payment collection: how do I choose the right payment terminal?

Companies that would like to provide the option of card payments to their customers need a payment terminal. But how do I choose a device and provider that meet my requirements?

A payment terminal allows your customers to make cashless payments at your points of sale. The following questions should help you decide.

What payment methods do I want to offer my customers?

Be it a Visa card, Mastercard® or PostFinance Card, a WIR card or Lunch-Check card, TWINT or one of the other mobile payment methods available: think about the payment methods you would like to offer, and then choose a device that can process these payment methods. Remember to check for The link will open in a new window ep2 certification: if you have an ep2-certified device, you can accept over 100 different types of payment cards.

Useful to know

The PostFinance Card is one of the most popular debit cards in Switzerland. As a company you can now accept the PostFinance Card, even if you don’t have a PostFinance business account.

What are my needs and requirements?

Choosing the right device will depend on the needs and requirements of your business. Consider the following things when deciding:

  • will the device be used all year round, or do you only need it for specific occasions such as trade fairs and events? Or do I a need a device for different situations?
  • Do I want to connect the device to my existing checkout/IT infrastructure, or do I want it to be separate?
  • Where in the store do I want to be able to use the device?
  • How many business locations do I want to use the device at?
  • How many transactions and how much in revenue do I expect to process using the device?

What sort of device makes the most sense for my business?

There are generally three different types of payment terminal:

Devices not connected to a checkout system

They are suitable for companies that (still) have low transaction volumes, and can be used autonomously without any additional hardware/software. Devices that are not connected to a checkout system often have a built-in printer that prints out receipts. They are installed in a fixed location.

Devices incorporated into the checkout system

These devices are suitable for companies with higher transaction volumes, and are connected to the checkout system They are installed in a fixed location, which is usually in the checkout area.

Mobile terminals

These are suitable for companies that want to collect payments from the customer directly, for instance: collecting payments from diners at the table itself, in a taxi at the end of the journey, in the customer’s home when providing a service (e.g. chimney sweeping) or at markets and trade fairs, wherever these might be.

What costs do I need to bear in mind?

Acquisition costs

Depending on the provider and product, you can either buy or rent payment terminals. In addition to the rental or purchase price, you may also incur activation and set-up fees or installation fees.

Maintenance costs

Maintenance costs are associated with certain packages, which include, for instance, a replacement service for defective devices, a hotline for questions or software updates.

Transaction costs

Each transaction made using a given device will incur transaction costs. These are either offered at a fixed rate as part of a package, or they can be negotiated with individual acceptance partners.

Useful to know

The transaction costs with the PostFinance Card are attractive and transparent. For instance: transaction costs for small amounts of up to 5 francs can amount to as much as 5 cents per transaction, or 10 cents per transaction for amounts between 5 to 10 francs, and 23 cents per transaction for amounts of 10 francs or more for up to 10,000 transactions a year, regardless of the revenue generated. To accept the PostFinance Card as a payment method, all you need to do is complete our EFT/POS form and have a business account with PostFinance or another Swiss bank.

What services do the different providers offer?

Ask for quotes from terminal providers, compare the offers you get and also be sure that, in addition to the costs, you also take into account the services provided. The following providers offer ep2-certified devices that are compatible with the PostFinance Card:

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