Accepting Payment with a PDQ Machine
How PDQ tech can work with your small business' payment transactions
The PDQ (Process Data Quickly) machine is everywhere these days; it has revolutionised payment transactions, making it quicker and simpler to pay than ever before.
The use of a Chip and PIN
The introduction of the chip and PIN machines totally changed the lives of shoppers, making the payment transaction easier, smoother, quicker and ultimately, safer. Previously, a customer’s credit or debit card was swiped through a magnetic field, the payment was verified, and then the customer was asked to sign a transaction slip; this was then compared to the signature on the back of the card. This system allowed the possibility of fraudulent use. Dishonest retailers could change the amount on the transaction slip, or cards could be stolen and signatures falsified. Using the chip and PIN together reduces the potential for misuse.
How does a PDQ machine work?
The card holder slots their debit or credit card into the machine and enters their PIN number. The information is transferred to the card issuer (via a secure internet connection), who confirms whether there are funds available to complete the transaction. If sufficient funds are available, payment is taken and the money is deposited into the retailer’s bank account. If there are insufficient funds, the payment is declined. The whole process is incredibly fast, with transactions usually completed within a matter of seconds.
The different types of PDQ machine available
There are three different terminals in use these days:
- Static: these are probably the most common type of terminal and they are found in large retailers, such as supermarkets. They are positioned for easy access (usually on the top of the counter) and are permanently connected to the mains supply and broadband.
- Cordless: these are gaining in popularity, with more and more smaller businesses now accepting payment via credit or debit cards. These terminals are mobile, and will work as long as they stay within range of the broadband connection (the terminals will also need to be charged regularly). These are perfect for businesses such as restaurants, where the payment transaction is often carried out at a table away from the counter.
- Mobile: these are less-frequently used than the other two and work through a mobile broadband connection. This means that they can be used anywhere, as long as there is an internet connection. They prove very useful for retailers who travel to their customers, such as salesmen; or for businesses that are mobile, including exhibitors or market stall holders’.
Ensuring PDQ terminal security
Although the implementation of chip and PIN devices has improved security, there are still ways in which a PDQ terminal can be fraudulently misused. Therefore, it is essential that passwords are strong and secure, and changed frequently, so in the event of someone stealing the machine (or attempting to hack in) it will prove much more difficult to access sensitive customer data. Your provider should provide support in ensuring the security of your customers’ data. Read more about the features of a classic PDQ here.
The benefits of using a PDQ machine
The main benefit for using a terminal is security for your customers. As mentioned, the whole process is simpler and the scope for fraudulent activity is greatly reduced. Convenience is another huge factor. The payment transaction takes seconds to complete and generally makes the whole experience more pleasant for both the retailer and the customer. In larger businesses this time saving could mean less staff are required; saving money for the business. The other incentive for using a PDQ machine is that funds are deposited in the retailer’s account within 3-4 working days without the need to take cash to a bank or risk human error cashing up.
The introduction of the chip and PIN system has improved payment transactions substantially. However, modern technology is ever-advancing, and payment transactions are being further simplified with the use of contactless payment cards; which involves using a credit or debit card, or even other devices such as fobs, that are embedded with a chip and an antenna (which picks up and transfers data via electro-magnetic fields). The card or device is simply waved over a reader, rather than slotted into a terminal, and the use of a PIN is no longer required.