I constantly now get asked if our terminals are free. Well, they can be, but you’re going to pay for it. Let me explain. The “Free Terminal Program” you see on providers sites now, sounds great. You’ve got enough expense trying to get up and running, or maintain your margins. Free will help you do that. The problem is, when’s the last time you actually saw something that was really free. Especially an item that can run a couple hundred bucks or more.
If your provider has set you up with good rates, and you’re a small to midsized company. It can actually take the provider months just to break even on a “free” terminal. That means they would have to process your cards for nothing, until they can recoup the cost of the terminal. So the first thing to ask, when you get a free offer, “What’s the cost?” In other words, what are the rates compared to another provider that doesn’t offer free terminals.
Free klunkers are all the rave, AND no contract. The only time I’ve seen a free terminal placement, without a contract, comes with a repair agreement. Should the used barely running terminal break down, chances that you signed a repair agreement are pretty good, and guess who’s paying to repair their terminal. Don’t like it? Then send it back, switch providers and pay the rest of the estimated earnings for the life of the repair agreement. In other words, you got stuck into a contract through the terminal, not the merchant account itself.
As I mentioned above, terminals are only a couple hundred bucks. Short of a terminal that runs checks, they pretty much all do the same. So get out cheap. Better still, see if a virtual terminal works for you. They offer so much more, for about the same price. You’re using your PC, so there’s nothing extra to break down. You can also go mobile, give your accounting a login, so no more trips to the accountant, etc. Check them out. Veritrans doesn’t charge a setup for any type of account on a virtual terminal, so how can you go wrong?