Did you know that many merchant processing companies may offer you a free credit card terminal when you sign up for a new account?
Yet, far too many times business owners get stuck with a credit card terminal lease.
Why is that?
And if you can get a free credit card terminal, what strings may be attached?
The truth about credit card terminals
If you have a retail business your choice for accepting credit cards comes down to:
- Credit card terminal
- POS system
- A card swiper hooked up to your computer (along with software or a virtual terminal)
For most businesses a credit card is the best (and easiest) choice to make.
Now here’s something to consider… why would someone decide to lease a credit card terminal rather than just buy one outright?
In other words, why do folks get stuck with a terminal lease?
Sometimes it happens because a sales person makes it sound like an affordable and smart choice. Of course, they will probably leave out the fact that a lease has a 48 month term and can’t be canceled early.
And sometimes the lease program is listed in the actual merchant account application, either buried deep in the fine print or simply checked off for you before you sign the paperwork.
Why does this happen?
Because many times sales people make an extra commission for signing business owners like you into a lease program.
And trust me, once you’ve signed up (whether you knew you did or not) good luck getting out of that lease.
However, there is another way…
Free credit card terminal programs
Remember, many merchant account providers now offer free equipment programs.
But some programs are better than others.
For example, Costco is offering a “rebate” after you stay with them for 12 months. Not a good deal in my opinion.
To read more about accepting credit cards for business (including Costco) please check out my other articles below…
The key is, how can you tell if your “free” terminal really is free?
Ask about any monthly surcharges or other fees associated with the program. The best programs equate your terminal as a $0 lease, and they don’t require any monthly “terminal insurance” for you to have, and use, it.
Next up, compare their processing rates with those companies who are not offering you any free equipment. After all, it doesn’t make sense to pay more each month for processing credit cards to pay for a “free” machine, right?
So, the bottom line is this… don’t overpay for equipment that you can basically get for free. A little homework will pay off for you down the road.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please feel free to share your comments below.
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