POS Machine

How Wireless Card Machines Work (Basic Guide)


A wireless card machine is a convenient way for a business to process its payments. Today, it has become the preferred method of payment across all businesses, especially bars, restaurants, and cafés. There are two different kinds of wireless card machines: one that works on Wi-Fi and another that works on Bluetooth. Which one is best for your business will depend on how you want to use it.

How Do Wireless Card Machines Work?

There are three types of POS machines. Here’s how they work.

how do wireless card machines work

1. Portable 

A portable card machine works well in businesses that serve customers in and around their premises; these include restaurants, cafés, and bars. Portable POS machines come in two units: a base for charging and a machine that can be carried around. The base needs to be plugged into your electricity output and your phone line or broadband. Both units are connected via Bluetooth and need to stay within 50 m of each other.

2. Mobile – Bold

Mobile POS machines are perfect if you travel and deliver services far away from your business premises. These businesses include courier services, salespeople, taxi drivers, gardening services, and exhibitions where a company is running a pop-up display. They also come in two parts, but, unlike portable payment machines, are not connected through Bluetooth. The base unit is solely for charging the handset which comes with a built-in SIM card. This SIM card connects to the strongest 3G network available around for processing payments.

3. Contactless 

These POS machines don’t need a chip or PIN to accept payments. All you need is to wave the card across and the payment is done. They also come with digital payment technologies like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, so your customers can pay through their smartphones or smart watches.

How Wireless Card Machines Accept Payments

how do wireless card machines work

There are various types of card machines for processing debit and credit cards, smart cards, key fobs, et cetera. Then there are mobile devices like smartphones that use RIFD (radiofrequency identification) or NFC(near field communication) to enable mobile applications like Apple or Google Pay to make payments. Here’s the process of accepting payments using wireless POS machines.

  • The first step is to enter the amount to be deducted and slide the customer’s card through the machine.
  • The terminal will connect to a radio tower and securely send the card information and purchase amount over to the machine’s server.
  • From there, the details are sent to the bank that issued the respective card.
  • The bank checks the validity of the card and sees if the requested amount can be covered.
  • If the amount is available, the bank sets it aside and sends the approval or decline message back to the server.
  • The transaction information is sent back to the machine and the amount is deducted from the customer’s card.

The entire process takes around 10 seconds, depending on network coverage. As the final step, the settlement is made at the end of the day and the funds are transferred from the issuing bank to the merchant’s account.

What Are the Advantages of Wireless Card Machines?

advantages of wireless card machines

A wireless POS machine helps to run your business smoothly and has many other benefits.

1. Quick Setup 

Setting up a stationary machine can be time-consuming and complicated; you also have to manually input the information. By contrast it is extremely easy to set up a wireless machine and internet connection to swipe a card for payment. And finding out whether the card is approved or not only takes seconds.

2. Fast Transaction 

Wireless card machines are small and, thanks to their Wi-Fi connection, fast when it comes to processing payments. This creates happy customers who don’t have to wait.

3. Portability 

A wireless POS machine does everything traditional payment machines do and more. It is smaller and lighter weight, so is easily carried around. Also, since it works via Wi-Fi and is connected to its base unit through Bluetooth, you can carry the portable payment device around your business. If you deliver services outside, you can use a mobile POS system for payment. This gives you a freedom and comfort that traditional machines cannot.

4. Savings 

There is always a card processing fee but how much you pay depends on the type of machine you use. Visa or Mastercard charges their fee depending on if the card was swiped or the details entered manually. Charges are higher for manual and old stationary machines; they are lower if the card is physically presented for the purchase. So, with wireless card machines, you save on processing fees.

Wireless payment machines have made consumer payments easier and quicker. You can accept the payment anywhere and the transaction takes seconds to complete. Then, at the end of the day, you get the amount in your account. No waiting, no fuss. Indeed, the comfort of making payments from your location appeals to customers. When you buy wireless payment machines, it is important that you get them from a reliable payment solutions company.  They will make sure that you get the best product to suit your needs, and customer support is always a call away.