Published: 21/04/2021

What Is a PDQ Machine?

Card Payments

When you own a shop, you will struggle to process payments without a PDQ machine. Fewer people use cash now so you will be doing yourself a disservice if you are not catering to everyone. But, what is a PDQ machine?

In this blog we will cover: 

  • What is a PDQ machine?
  • How does a PDQ machine work?
  • What types of PDQ machines are available?
  • What payments can you accept with a PDQ machine?
  • How can I get a PDQ machine?

What is a PDQ machine?

PDQ stands for process data quickly and it was the original name for a card machine and it allows you to accept card and contactless payments in store. The name PDQ machine is still widely used today but you may refer to it as a card machine, point of sale (POS) terminal, card terminal or EPOS system, which allows you to record all transactions. When you have one, you will be able to take payments quickly and easily from customers entering your store.

How does a PDQ machine work?

PDQ machines allow your customers to pay by credit or debit card and contactless or mobile payments. They work by capturing the customer’s card data after they have used a chip and pin, contactless payments or swipe their card. Their payment information is sent to an acquirer to request authorization from the card network. Finally, the transaction is submitted to the card issuer for approval. The whole process only takes a few seconds.

What types of PDQ machines are available?

Chip and pin machines are available to buy or rent and the best option for you will depend on the size of your business. If you are a small business owner, or you have recently set up a business, it will probably be cheaper to buy a PDQ machine. However, if you have an established business and accept regular payments, you’ll probably benefit more from setting up a merchant account and renting a card terminal.

The most common card machines available are counter top, portable or mobile. A counter top machine will be a permanent feature on your counter and you will not be able to move it or accept payments anywhere else. Portable card machines are wireless, giving you the flexibility to take the payment machine to your customer if you need to. Mobile card machines are cost effective and ideal if you attend road shows, festivals or have pop up shops or stalls.

What payments can you accept with a PDQ machine?

Most modern card readers will allow you to accept chip and pin, contactless and magstripe card payments. PDQ machines also allow you to accept mobile payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. It’s really important to accept a variety of payment methods because cash is becoming less popular and customers want to pay in more convenient ways. So, make sure the card machine you choose can accept multiple types of payment.

How can I get a PDQ machine?

If you are a store owner, you want to be sure that you have the right systems in place so that you can serve your customers efficiently and make it easy for them to purchase. 


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