How Smart Terminals Can Take Your Business to the Next Level

Juan Pablo Espinosa


In today's world, smart devices are literally everywhere. From smartphones and smart watches to voice-controlled smart home devices and more, we are increasingly relying on Internet-connected devices to make our lives easier. With all of this advanced technology woven into so many aspects of our daily lives, it's easy to take it for granted.

One area where we're seeing rapid growth is with smart credit card terminals.

Accepting credit and debit cards is table stakes for small business owners. Without a way to accept electronic payments most businesses wouldn't be able to survive. But what if there was a better way? What if business owners could accept debit and credit card payments and get tools that help them run their business more efficiently - all in one device? This is where smart terminals come into play.

Just like larger countertop POS systems, smart terminals make running a business easier. Let me explain how.

Smart terminals do so much more than process payments.

Smart terminals combine payment acceptance and business management software all in one touch-screen device. They run on powerful operating systems, much like your smartphone or tablet, and can be customized with special software that helps them perform advanced functions, like managing inventory, accessing business reporting, analytics and more.

Smart terminals offer a modern, seamless checkout experience.

Looks aren't everything, but with consumers being inundated with smart devices everywhere they turn, their expectations are changing. Consumers are being conditioned to expect sleek, modern devices with intuitive user interfaces that enhance routine day-to-day tasks, like making a purchase.

Smart terminals let customers pay in a variety of ways.

In addition to allowing business owners to accept traditional magnetic-stripe cards and EMV cards, most smart terminals also are equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. This allows businesses to accept contactless cards and mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Smart terminals help businesses accept payments in store or on the go.

Smart terminals offer a variety of connectivity options which give business owners more flexibility with where and how they can accept payments. For example, some models connect via a standard Ethernet cable or WiFi and work best as a countertop or indoor portable device, while others have a 3G/4G SIM card that makes them 100% mobile and perfect for businesses that need to accept payments on the go.

Smart terminals leverage the latest payment security tools, such as Point-to-Point Encryption.

Security is a top concern for small business owners and consumers alike. Many smart terminals use Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE), which protects card data as it moves through the payment system, making the data worthless to criminals in the event of a breach. Some devices use a special type of encryption, known as PCI-Validated P2PE. Not all P2PE solutions have been validated by the PCI Security Standards Council. This is a separate process credit card processors must go through and involves a rigorous validation process.

Smart terminals allow businesses to securely store cardholder information for future use.

For businesses with a large number of repeat customers, using tokenization to securely store cards on file is key. Tokenization is used to replace sensitive card data with a token that is used for future purchases and makes recurring payments easier for the merchant and the customer since you don't need to re-enter cardholder information.

If you're interested in learning more about smart credit card terminals, Clearent offers robust options through our partnership with PAX. Contact us and we'll tell you more about how these advanced devices can improve the payment experience and make running a business simpler.