Quite simply put, a PDQ machine (also more commonly known as a card machine) allows businesses to take payments quickly and easily from its customers. In todays’ world more and more shoppers are carrying less cash and more plastic meaning that the demand for merchants to accept card payments is at an all-time high.
It was only a decade ago believe it or not that retail transactions with cards were seen as tedious, with signatures being required and the back & forth of receipt signing. Todays’ machines however can process payments in seconds and this is convenient for both shoppers and merchants alike.
Just what is a PDQ Machine though?
PDQ stands for ‘Process Data Quickly’ – it’s fundamentally just a machine that accepts our credit cards and bank cards – the chances are you’ve probably used one in the last week.
Most people in the modern world today won’t wait around for their transactions to complete and that’s why the demand and evolution of the PDQ machine was an absolutely pivotal one.
PDQ machines approve payments quickly and securely by reading the information relayed to it from a chip embedded in the card and importantly, can work both in person or indeed over the phone by disclosing your card information and manually inputting this into the machine.
Just how to does it work?
PDQ machines can vary somewhat from device to device and some may have slightly different features, but the foundation of the machine works as follows:
1 – the chip and pin – customer enters their debit or credit card into the machine and inputs their pin
2 – An authorisation is requested – the machine triggers a request for payment approval from whoever the customers’ issuer is (I.E HSBC, Lloyds etc)
3 – Authorisation is granted or denied – Once the terminal gets the all clear the credit processor (someone like WorldPay for example) would then begin moving funds
4 – Fund are transferred – money received.
Here’s a visual of that process:
How much do PDQ Machines cost?
The average PDQ machine price varies and is typically based on your monthly sales and individual requirements – but typically from £30 – £300.
However, as well as the initial cost for the PDQ machine itself, there are other ongoing costs that you can expect when taking payments – these include:
- Till roll (for receipts)
- Monthly fees (not all payment processors will do this)
- Transaction fees
Entirely dependent on your cashflow and circumstances, some small businesses opt to rent / hire PDQ machines instead of just buying them outright. This could be a better option for you in the long term if you don’t want to part with lump sums at the beginning.
Customers today thrive on convenience and the expectation for small businesses (and large businesses alike) to offer simple, swift payment solutions is extraordinarily high. Businesses need to go the extra mile to ensure that they keep customers happy and that the purchase experience is a positive one.
Not taking a variety of payment methods leaves you vulnerable to losing out on custom which is why a PDQ machine is becoming almost essential in all retail environments of today.
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