How to Use a Credit Card Terminal

bizfluent article image

If you're a customer, you know that being able to swipe and credit or debit card gives you far more flexibility when making store purchases. And if you're the vendor, using a countertop credit-card terminal will benefit your business by allowing your income to go directly to your account. It also lowers the amount of money on site and allows for an exchange that is just as speedy as a cash transaction. A card reader will generate more business by making it easier for customers to work with you. Here's how the transaction works from both sides of the counter.

Slide your debit or credit card along the groove that runs along the side of the terminal.

Select the type of card you will be using--credit or debit. Press the button labeled with the corresponding card type. On a touchscreen card reader, use the stylus (if one is attached to the terminal) to select your card type.

For debit-card purchases, accept or decline the option to receive cash back. Review the amount of the purchase, then select the option labeled "Yes" or "No" to accept or decline the transaction.

For credit-card purchases, use the stylus to write your signature in the space provided on the touchscreen, then press the onscreen "Done" or "OK" option. For a terminal without a touchscreen, sign the receipt supplied to you by the clerk.

After ringing up all of the customer's items in your point-of-sale system, select "Credit" as the payment type.

Slide the credit or debit card along the groove of the terminal and punch in the amount of the sale, without separating the dollars and change with a decimal point; the onscreen display will do it for you.

Press "OK" to process the data. Have the customer sign the merchant copy of the receipt and store it for your records. Give the customer the duplicate copy for her records.


  • Always review the amount before processing to avoid payment errors.