This month, our friends at Transaction Resources are sharing their tips when choosing between a credit card terminal or a point-of-sale system:

What’s the Difference Between Credit Card Terminals & POS Systems?

When it comes to accepting payments for goods and services, some of the most common payment methods available to businesses are through credit card terminals and point-of-sale (POS) systems.
While these two payment systems may seem similar, there are a number of key differences to consider when deciding which one is right for your business.

Credit Card Terminals

A credit card terminal is a stand-alone, electronic device used to process credit and debit card payments, checks, gift and loyalty cards.

They usually take the form of small, portable devices that can be easily moved around your business for convenience. Credit card terminals can come in a variety of designs depending on the brand and manufacturer, but they commonly feature a screen, keypad, magnetic stripe reader and/or EMV-chip reader, and signature pen.

POS Systems

Point-of-sale (POS) systems are a more sophisticated and comprehensive form of payment processing, which consists of several interconnected components designed to handle numerous aspects of a business’ operations, including inventory management, tracking sales data and employee activity, generating real-time reports and more.

They typically include a touchscreen monitor, cash drawer, barcode scanner, receipt printer, and integrated software, but many modern POS systems can be used via an application from an internet-enabled device, such as a phone or tablet.

Deciding on the Best Option for Your Business

While both payment options have their advantages, depending on the type and size of your business and what you’re looking to get out of it, you may find one to be more beneficial than the other.

Credit card terminals are often used in physical locations, such as retail stores and restaurants and are great for smaller businesses that have a low volume of transactions, as they are relatively inexpensive and can be used without the need for additional equipment.

They are known for being convenient to set up and easy to use, and many models even sport features such as auto-settlement and tip entry.

POS systems are used by larger businesses, such as hospitality companies, large restaurants and bars, supermarkets, and department stores, to process higher volumes of payments and keep track of customer data.

While POS systems are usually more expensive, they are especially useful for businesses that need to manage their inventory, track customer payments, and supervise customer loyalty programs.

Both credit card terminals and POS systems are compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and offer advanced security features to protect user’s sensitive data, such as encryption and tokenization.

Be sure to research and compare the features and costs of each option in order to make an informed decision about which payment processing solution is right for your business.

No matter what payment solution you choose, work with TRI for convenient, hassle-free merchant servicing!

Transaction Resources – Your Trusted Merchant Services Partner – Learn How You Can Benefit Your Business



We are a Vermont based merchant services company and have been helping small and growing businesses with their credit card processing since 1993. Our team has proven expertise in helping business owners lower their fees, gain insight into their processing, and power business growth. Transaction Resources (TRI) benefits your business with financial savings, in-house customer support and technology solutions to give your guests the best possible experience.

Want to discover the difference between credit card terminals and POS systems? Learn more and decide what’s best for your business (add blog attached).

Let us help your business grow. Contact our team for a complimentary statement and payment processing analysis for your company, and how we can work together to benefit your business.

Contact Joe Forgione
Phone: 508.918.9226