Renting a credit card or PDQ machine can be a cost effective way to handle card payments without a large outlay of cash. However, there are a few things you need to consider before you hire a machine.
Short Term vs Long Term Hire
The length of time you need a card machine will greatly affect your rental price. If you already have a merchant account provider, you may be able to sign a long term contract (e.g. 36 months) that gives you machine for as low as £5 a month.
On the other hand, if you need a machine just for a one off event, you could end up paying as much as £30-40 per day for the same machine.
Thus, if you run regular events it may be worthwhile signing longer term contracts and/or buying a machines and just using it if and when you need them. Comparing merchant account fees is always recommended.
Types of Machine Required
The type of PDQ machine you require will affect the price. There are 4 common options when hiring a machine they are:
- Static, Wired machines: These are the most basic and hence cheapest machines to rent. They are connected directly by a wire to your EPOS system and/or phone line. Thus, while cheap they are not portable.
- Wireless machines: These are the next level up. They offer much more portability at only a slightly higher cost. While the credit card unit itself is portable it needs to be keep closed to a wired base station and will need to be charged from time to time.
- Mobile machines: These are standalone, dedicated machines that do not need a dedicated line. They use mobile data (usually GPRS) to send your orders. Great for outdoor events when not close to a landline.
- iPhone/iPad/Smartphone units: These are the newest options for payment processing. Instead of getting an actual PDQ machine you can use your iPhone, iPad, etc. to take payments. However, you will have to buy or rent an additional piece of hardware (and sometimes software) for it to work. Since these are so new and not common in the UK there can be trust issues with using them.
Number of Credit Card Machines Needed
This is rather straightforward the more machines you need, the less per machine (but the more overall obviously) you’ll pay. While you probably have a good idea of the number of machines you need, keep in mind point 1 above.
Even if you only need a large number of machines once or twice a year it might still make sense to hire them for a full year due to the savings of renting in bulk.
Other PDQ Machine Rental Tips
- Make sure your PDQ machine is compatible with your merchant account if you have one.
- Find out if delivery and pick-up is included with your order.
- Make sure you establish turn around time from order to delivery. Some suppliers can handle next day service but most need at least a week to get your machine ready.
- Establish whether your machine comes with instructions and whether or not there is a support number you can call if you run into problems.
- Find out if all supplies, such as receipt paper rolls, cash drawer, etc. are included in the price or if there is an extra charge for them.