An often-overlooked piece of equipment when purchasing a POS system is the Pin Pad. A lot of POS dealers take a one-size-fits-all approach, which isn’t always for the best. Believe it or not, Pin Pads actually come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are relatively simple, and others can be very complex. All Pin Pads fall into four different categories. Depending on the needs of your business, some Pin Pads can be more beneficial than others. Here is a look at the pros and cons of the four different kinds of Pin Pads.
Classic Pin Pad
These are the meat and potatoes of Pin Pads. They are simple, used only to dip, swipe, tap, or manually enter credit cards. Most can ask for an open tip amount, but that’s it when it comes to extra features. They are wired directly to the POS station, so they don’t have a long range of use. They have average durability. Their one advantage is that they have the best cost value without sacrificing basic and contactless payment functionality.
Examples of Classic Pin Pads include PAX SP30, Ingenico iPP320, Dejavoo Z3, and Verifone P200.
Ideal businesses: Counter-serve restaurants like coffee, ice cream, and sandwich shops; small retail shops like sports equipment, jewelry, and clothing boutiques; professional offices like dental, medical, and law practices.
Customer Display Pin Pads
These Pin Pads are all about being big and robust. They can show a lot of info to the customer, such as an itemized list of products as they are being rung up, the total and subtotal, and any discounts. When not in use, they can show picture and video advertisements. They can dip, swipe, tap, or manually enter credit cards. They cannot only ask for a tip, but can also suggest a tip in the form of a whole dollar amount or a fixed percentage. They can also collect the customer’s email or phone number to send them a receipt and sign them up for a reward program. These Pin Pads are wired directly to the POS station, so they also do not have a long range of use. Their other big selling point is that they are very durable, as they are designed to be pounded on by customers looking to make a quick purchase and go. Due to their size and durability, they are the most expensive Pin Pads on the market.
Examples of Customer Display Pin Pads include PAX Aires 8, Ingenico Lane 8000, and Verifone MX925.
Ideal businesses: High-traffic businesses like gas stations, airport convenience shops, and stadium concessions stands; grocery stores; big-box retailers.
Wireless Pin Pads
Mobility and functionality are the names of the game for these Pin Pads. They can do a lot, from simply entering an amount and then dip, swipe, tap, or manually entering a credit card to entering orders directly into the POS system. These pin pads can act as a wireless POS tablet, sending food orders to the kitchen, receiving notices from a table, splitting a bill, accepting a tip, and checking out customers. Most have built-in printers so that they can print out a customer’s receipt. Since these Pin Pads are wireless, they can go anywhere the business’s secure Wi-Fi network covers. They have plenty of range of use but require a strong Wi-Fi signal with no weak points. The downside to wireless Pin Pads is that there is an increased risk of them getting lost or stolen. They are also not as durable as most commercial-grade tablets, so they can suffer damage if they are dropped. They do not have the same durability as Customer Display Pin Pads. Due to their function and range, their price point falls between the Classic Pin Pad and Customer Display Pin Pad.
Examples of Wireless Pin Pads include PAX A930, Nexgo N5, Dejavoo Systems QD2, and Verifone V400M.
Ideal businesses: Server-based restaurants and bars; breweries; multi-level retail stores.
Attached and Travel Pin Pads
These Pin Pads are for the space-conscious traveling Merchant. They are small and lightweight, designed to have a very small footprint or none at all. However, to achieve this, these Pin Pads often sacrifice the ability to swipe or tap and manually enter credit cards. There is also no way to enter a tip directly on them. Some of these Pin Pads are wireless and connect to a smartphone through Bluetooth. These would have limited range on their own since they have to be close to the smartphone. Of course, they are wireless, so there is a risk of them getting lost or stolen. Others in this category attach directly to the side of a POS station. These are wired directly to the POS system, so they have no range at all. They don’t have the best durability and are comparable to the Classic Pin Pads. The Attached Pin Pads are available at the same price point as the Classic Pin Pads. The Travel Pin Pads are the cheapest Pin Pads on the market.
Examples of Attached Pin Pads include ID Tech Augusta and Meg Tek Dynamag.
Examples of Travel Pin Pads include PAX D135, Walker C2x, and Ingenico RP457c.
Ideal businesses: Food trucks, pop-up events, and traveling vendors; home and auto contractors.
Don’t overlook the Pin Pad in your business; an inadequate Pin Pad could cause unforeseen issues or prevent the POS system from being used to its full potential. By gaining a deeper understanding of all the pros and cons of the four different kinds of Pin Pads, it may become apparent which one could help your business succeed. To learn more, contact Total Merchant Supply today.