card machine pdq terminal comparison

There is currently a wide range of PDQ machines (Process Data Quickly) available on the UK market. In fact, these machines have become a standard item in most modern businesses and have also given rise to the demise of the cheque.

However, finding as PDQ machine at the right price that best suits your business requirements can be a complicated and time consuming process.

There are a vast number of companies out there supplying PDQ machines with their merchant account services and, as all offer a fast and secure method of taking credit and debit card payments, the huge variety of different service options and charges can make choosing one a daunting and complex task.

  1. Benefits of PDQ Machines
  2. Types of PDQ Machine
  3. Which Supplier Should I Choose?


Compare the major merchant account providers
Using a PDQ machine speeds up customer transactions and helps increase customer turnover at the point of sale

Once payment has been taken on the terminal, payment will hit your merchant bank account within 3 to 5 working days. The secure nature of chip and pin PDQ terminals has resulted in an overall reduction in fraudulent transactions.

Utilising a PDQ machine speeds up customer transactions and helps increase customer turnover at the point of sale.

Types of Machine

PDQ machines can be split into 5 main types depending on your requirements.

1. Desktop PDQ Machines

These machines provide secure chip and pin transactions at a fixed location. They are normally used in face to face environments at the retail point of sale (or till).

These machines are generally easy to install, tend to have a slick ergonomic design and are entry level terminals. Desktop machines require either a phone line or internet connection.

2. Portable PDQ Machines

Portable machines also offer secure chip and pin transactions, but additionally allow the machine to be used within a less specific area.

These machines are commonly found within restaurant environments where payments can be taken at the customer’s table.

Portable machines also have an advantage over desktop machines in that you are able to connect more than one machine to a hub and are, in essence, able to take multiple card transactions from the different machines simultaneously.

Like desktop machines, portable machines also require a phone line or internet connection.

3. Mobile PDQ Machines

Mobile PDQ machines are able to take payments almost anywhere. This is due to the GPRS technology installed within the machine.

In order for the machine to work, all that is required is a mobile phone signal, however transactions are also secure due to the utilisation of chip and pin.

Perfect for tradesmen, delivery businesses or any other business that wants to accept cards on the road, these PDQ units provide complete flexibility, and payments can be taken provided that the unit is receiving a GPRS signal through which to communicate.

However, they also incur additional costs due to their requirement to send and receive data via GPRS.

4. Virtual PDQ Machines

Virtual machines use a computer with an internet connection to create a point of sale to take secure online payments.

This type of machine is suited to businesses that take a large number of payments by telephone as there is no physical device to give to the customer when in a face to face situation.

5. Contactless PDQ Payments

The new breed of card payment machine is that which accepts contactless payments. Payments of £20 or under can be made simply by holding the credit/debit card against the card reader, and the display then confirms the transaction is complete.

The main benefit of contactless payment is that transactions are completed in under a second, which ultimately results in an increased turnover for the business and a better customer experience.

Although not all banks are yet providing contactless payment cards to their customers, desktop, portable and mobile machines which accept contactless payment are now available on the UK market.

Which Supplier Should You Choose?

Along with the High Street banks, there are many companies supplying merchant services and PDQ machines. Prices can vary considerably between suppliers and charges can also vary a great deal.

It is therefore essential to ensure that you chose not only the right products to best serve your business needs but also the right company to provide these services. Most of the major suppliers of these machines also provide 24hr hardware and technical support for any issues that you may encounter.

But, essentially, once you have decided on the right type of machine for you, in order to get the best deal, it is always worth comparing a number of providers.