The Right Device: Five Things to Consider Before You Buy Payment Hardware

EMV: three years ago, those letters, and a lot of technology expense, turned the U.S. payments landscape on its head. Now, with 100% of U.S. consumers scheduled to receive chip-cards by the end of 2020, combined with 75% of SMB U.S. merchants having already implemented chip-capable terminals [US Payments Forum], EMV has finally become the accepted payment standard across the U.S. But this post isn’t about the importance of EMV security or the additional protections that the technology offers. Read here, here, and here for recent posts and whitepapers on those topics. Rather, today we’re talking all about EMV hardware – and more specifically— how to choose the right device(s) for your wireless store.

With multiple factors to consider like determining the device make and model, the number of EMV devices, and even the most cost-effective way to pay for them, buying hardware isn’t always a straightforward sale.

Read on as we outline the top 5 considerations for determining the right device for your business needs. Then, make sure to download our new Hardware Buyers Guide, designed to help wireless owners make informed choices about EMV devices by exploring our five robust hardware packages and their available software add-ons including shared payment terminals and advanced device reporting.

The value of chip card transactions reached $59.4 billion in 2017,
up from $4.8 billion in 2015.” (Visa)

Key Considerations in EMV Hardware Selection

  1. Customer Experience

The best payment experience is one that the consumer doesn’t even notice. The time of transaction should be frictionless, quick, and straightforward. To enable the least resistance, it’s important to support the consumer in their preferred payment method be it AMEX, chip-card, or Apple Pay. Consider how most of your consumers prefer to pay today and what they will want to use in the future. Then, plan accordingly.

  1. Hardware Configuration

Consider how many EMV devices you require across all store locations. With the transaction being 30 seconds out of an average 30-minute activation, does it make sense to invest in a 1:1 payment terminal to workstation ratio? By sharing your payment devices across multiple workstations, you can effectively save hundreds of dollars on hardware expenses. The ability to share terminals among RQ and RQmobile workstations reduces the number of devices needed in each location and ensures you get an impressive ROI on each EMV terminal purchased. Download the Hardware Buyers Guide to learn more about Shared Payment Devices and recommended hardware configurations.

  1. Hardware Budget and Payment Strategy

The largest barrier for merchants adopting EMV technology is the high cost of each device. Priced 4x higher than a swipe reader (on average), even the least expensive EMV device can put significant financial strain on small and medium sized businesses. As we’ve already mentioned, sharing terminals across workstations is one such way to reduce terminal costs, but financing options and special device promotions can also lessen the financial load. Financing reduces the cash burden of forking over the full amount of your device investment at once, breaking it down into smaller monthly payments. iQmetrix Payments customers can purchase devices for as low as $26 per month. Additional tax benefits make financing a no-brainer with the full cost of the device (including interest) available as a tax write-off during the calendar year it was financed. This can save a business hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the amount financed. Additional incentives including rebate and discount programs are commonly offered by your payment processor. Learn more about our EMV Easy $400 rebate program available exclusively from iQmetrix Payments.

  1. Brand Awareness and Engagement

EMV terminals and generic swipe readers have many differences beyond just security and protection. Think about their look and general size. Even the smallest EMV device is about twice the size of the average swipe reader, meaning that EMV devices are more prominently displayed on the countertop where your customers are. With all eyes on the terminal (and without much for the customer to do while they wait), pushing branded or promotional marketing images to display on your EMV device screens can be a game changer for your brand. With the largest screen resolution measuring over 2” wider than the new iPhoneX, EMV devices offer an untapped and high trafficked platform to engage customers. By taking advantage of EMV terminal capabilities beyond the obvious, you can increase your device ROI even more.

  1. Retail and Payment Trends

Digital wallet adoption (e.g. Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay) is on the rise and consumers increasingly expect retailers to incorporate this technology into the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. The wireless dealer of today has a distinct advantage from generic retailers by selling the devices that enable these payment trends. Supporting the technology that you sell provides an important use case of your product offering and helps to distinguish your brand as forward-thinking and tech-focused; common attributes that your customers have come to expect.


Enabling EMV is a no-brainer, but we know choosing the right device isn’t. Understanding the wide selection of devices available and their unique technical capabilities — from multimedia branded screens and shared device management to reporting and enhanced security compliance — is key to making an informed buying decision.

For comprehensive information on device specs, iQmetrix Payments hardware packages and terminal add-ons, download the Hardware Buyers Guide or contact a Payment Solutions Specialist today.