New EFTPOS terminal for small retailers

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Whilst it may be several generations before we realise a cashless society, since the credit card first arrived on the scene in the 1960s, the convenience of carrying a huge amount of spending power in the form of one small plastic card has meant that most people carry at least one at all times, if for no other reason than a method of determining where the money went.

Even people with poor credit records are more and more reliant on debit cards and pre-paid credit cards.

All this comes with a price, however, and merchants must pass the increased costs of conducting credit card transactions to their customers. The bottom line here is that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages to such a great degree that there is little in the way of concerted objection to credit card transaction fees.

One of the most recent developments regarding credit cards is the technology to couple a credit card acceptance device to a smart phone or tablet, making it possible for small merchants with no retail presence to conduct face-to-face transactions without requiring cash.

Payment processing behemoth PayPal has begun selling a low-priced POS terminal dubbed ‘Here’. It uses reliable and easy to configure Bluetooth connectivity to turn anyone with a PayPal account and a smart phone into a merchant capable of accepting credit cards.

The retail price of the ‘Here’ device is only $139, and it is conceivable that additional discounts of one kind or another could bring that price lower.

PayPal has announced fees of 1.95 per cent of the purchase for transactions using the ‘Here’ reader. There is an additional 2.4 per cent plus $0.30 per transaction for invoicing services. In the event of a transaction where a card number must be keyed manually, that fee increases to 2.9 per cent plus $0.30.

Given the ubiquitous nature of credit cards and an almost total lack of concern by customers and merchants over the fees imposed, the ability to handle credit card purchases is much nearer to a necessity than to an option.

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