Credit Card Terminals, Debit Card Terminals, & POS Terminals…

With the abundance of available credit card processing options out there, it’s difficult for a new merchant to choose the right point of sale terminal to go with.

Is there really a difference between the POS Terminal manufacturers?

In Canada, there are two major players in the terminal manufacturing space; Ingenico and Verifone.  Both are large international companies that have terminals in all regions of the world.  And to be quite frank, their offerings are very similar and so therefore it can be difficult to decide if one is better than the other.

Ingenico Credit/Debit Card POS Terminals

Ingenico was once the bigger supplier of the two, dominating the space with the sheer number of terminals. They had agreements with all the major Acquirers and as such, the market was flooded with their equipment.  The i3070 was the pinpad of choice for most of the large merchants because of its compact size and sleek design.  But, because of its commonality, it soon also became the choice of fraudsters.  Fraudsters quickly realized that by figuring out a quick and efficient method of compromising this device, their pool of possible merchants on which to perpetrate fraud became almost infinite.  So they focused their attentions on this device, starting with a flood of stolen devices from various different merchants.  It didn’t take them long to figure out how to fool the tamper switch on these devices and soon they could efficiently steal and compromise the device in as little as 20 minutes.  Then all they had to do was replace the device in a merchant using this model, and because almost everyone was, they had an abundance of locations to choose from.  It didn’t take long for the i3070 to become the most compromised device in the industry.  It was so bad that eventually, the PCI (Payment Card Industry) Council had no choice but to delist the device, making it no longer a device certified as secure.

Verifone Credit/Debit Card POS Terminals

As merchants realized that they were using a highly attractive device to fraudsters, their nature instinct was to move to a different device.  And this was when the Verifone SC5000 became the device of choice.  While the device itself may not have been as aesthetically pleasing, its rugged design and utilitarian functionality made it a nature next choice.  But guess what?  Once the fraudsters realized that this was becoming the new “IT” device, they moved their sights to it.  And if you were to look at fraud trending reports, you’ll see the spike of initial stolen devices as the thieves attempted to figure out a way to compromise the device.  In the beginning, it would take upwards of 4 stolen devices to make up the parts required to compromise one device.  But it didn’t take long for that ratio to become one to one.

Now a lot of merchants are poised to make decisions on their next device choice and there are many things to consider.  With the advent of contactless transactions coming strong to the Canadian marketplace, merchants need to consider choosing a device that will be able to process contactless transactions as well.  Previously, with the i3070 and the SC5000, contactless payments were only available through the addition of a peripheral reader like the Vivopay 5000. But with an extra piece of equipment comes more counter space required.  The next generation devices from both Ingenico and Verifone are the iPP320 and the Vx820. Both these devices are all in one models that encompass contactless module within the device itself, making both compact and easy to use.  And both companies have learned their lessons and tightened the security features on their devices.  And while no device can be said to be tamper proof, they are a lot more tamper resistant than their predecessors.

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Matthew Hunt has been helping small businesses get set-up with Canadian Merchant Account Services since 2007 and helped 1000's do so. Join Matthew on Google+.

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