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When your small business has a credit card machine, it’s easy for your customers to pay you with their plastic. These devices typically take American Express, MasterCard and Visa cards, and you can buy these machines or lease them.

What happens when someone swipes his or her credit card? A cashier will type in the total cost, and the machine will use an internet or telephone connection to contact the credit card company’s payment system. That system will then check for signs of fraud ― a stolen credit card number, for example ― before approving the transaction and charging the customer. At the same time, it will send you information about the purchase, including an approval code, which you can keep.

Most of these devices are compact and can fit on top of a desk or table. Some of them are wireless. You could even use a smartphone as a credit card machine; you’ll just have to connect it to a card-reading gadget.

credit card machineIn fact, several high-tech financial companies like PayPal and Square will let you turn your tablet into a complete point of sale system, one that features a digital cash register, a credit card swiping function and an inventory tracker.

These days, many consumers expect to be able to use their credit cards wherever they go. Many people become irritated when they learn that an establishment only accepts cash. Indeed, some people don’t carry bills regularly. Therefore, obtaining a credit card machine is a way to please your customers and make sure that they come back.

The main drawback of a credit card machine is that you’ll have to pay a small fee for each transaction. Even so, business owners typically feel that it’s a tiny price to pay for the convenience that these machines provide.

We all have a responsibility to guard against credit card fraud. With that in mind, remember to hand credit cards back to their owners as soon as you’re done with them, and train all of your cashiers to do likewise. Make a habit of giving customers their receipts right away as well.

When you find someone’s lost credit card inside your business, get in touch with that person immediately if you have his or her contact information. If you don’t have that info, call the company that issued the card. Your customers will certainly appreciate all of these protective actions.