February 13th, 2006 by Jamie Estep
WiFi Credit Card Processing
Wireless credit card processing through a WiFi connection is becoming available for businesses in the US. WiFi is simply a standard of connecting devices together to create a wireless network. WiFi delivers broadband speed and function but eliminates wired connections from the system. WiFi promises to deliver the same function, that has made it so popular with computer networking, to credit card processing.
Credit card processing is slowly moving out of the telephone age and into the WiFi age. Several credit card terminals are already WiFi capable or WiFi ready. A WiFi terminal will operate over a wireless broadband connection and offer a convenience never previously seen in credit card processing. Upscale restaurants, shops, and many mobile businesses are already looking into the benefits of WiFi processing…
So far, Verifone is leading the WiFi processing front. While Lipman controls the market for wireless cellular processing with the Nurit 3010, the Nurit 8000, and the Nurit 8000 GPRS, Verifone is actively pursuing WiFi processing. So far, Verifone has designed a WiFi module for the popular Omni 3740, and 3750 and the new Verifone VX 610 is factory available in a WiFi ready version.
What WiFi will do for businesses and who wants WiFi:
Because of the price and networking knowledge requirements that comes with WiFi, it may not be the best solution for all businesses, but for some it is a perfect match. Wireless internet is quickly becoming the standard in many homes and businesses and many businesses who already use wireless networking can easily integrate their credit card processing into it.
The greatest benefits of WiFi terminals are the reduction of cables required for a standard credit card terminal and the convenience of not being tied to any particular location within an establishment. The Verifone VX 610 can also run from a battery, eliminating cords all together. As long as the terminal is within range of the wireless network, transactions can be processed on it. A terminal can be brought to a table, or handed to a customer. A WiFi terminal offers the most possibilities and convenience for virtually any situation. Because there are no additional wireless fees as seen with wireless cellular terminals, WiFi terminals are a much better mobile option for retail type businesses.
What is needed for a WiFi Processing:
The basic components needed for WiFi processing are the same as for setting up a wireless local area network.
- Wireless Modem
- Wireless Router
- Wireless PC Cards (Not required, but you can connect your computer as well as your terminal to the internet
- A WiFi credit card terminal
The wireless modem will connect you to the internet either through a cable or DSL type broadband connection. You will need to get setup with a broadband internet connection with an internet service provider, cable, or phone company.
If you are connecting to an existing internet accessible LAN (local Area Network), then the modem is not needed.
A wireless router will allow your terminal to connect to the internet in addition to any other wireless devices or computers.
Wireless PC cards will allow a computer to connect to the wireless router. Wireless PC cards are available for desktops and laptops, either internal or USB type. Many newer computers include a wireless PC card from the manufacturer.
Then, your wireless terminal will connect to your router and you can process over the wireless connection.
Your processing range is only limited by the range of your wireless router and whether you terminal has a battery or not. The possibilities are endless. Your customers pay from virtually anywhere in your establishment. The entire transaction takes place in real time on the terminal itself.
Coffee bars can accept payment when they bring customers their coffee. Customers at a shoe store don’t have to stand back up after trying on shoes until they leave. Restaurant patrons can pay at the table and see the transaction process without their card ever leaving sight. The customer service impressions that you can make are virtually unlimited.
Things to think about:
Not all processors support IP based processing so check with your processor before going out and buying a new terminal. The cost of a WiFi terminal is slightly more than a standard land-line terminal. Expect to pay between $450 and $1000 for a new Verifone WiFi terminal. The 2 that are becoming available are the Verifone VX 610 WiFi and the Verifone Omni 3750 with the WiFi processing module.