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More merchants favouring mobile and Bluetooth card machines

As new payment acceptance technologies emerge, businesses appear to be moving in favour of mobile SIM and Bluetooth devices. Find out how these portable machines work and whether your business could benefit from an upgrade.

Merchants are increasingly using newer technologies to accept card payments from their customers. A March 2014 survey of Lloyds Bank Cardnet retailers revealed that the number using static, countertop card machines has decreased as portable Bluetooth and mobile SIM machines gain popularity.

Bluetooth and mobile card machines on the rise

As countertop card machines become less prevalent, the use of mobile SIM and Bluetooth devices continues to rise. According to the March 2014 research, 35% of Lloyds Bank Cardnet merchants now use Bluetooth machines to accept card payments from customers. Mobile machines remain the least common terminal type, but still display growth, with one in ten Lloyds Bank Cardnet merchants now using this highly flexible technology.

Preferred by many for their portability, mobile and Bluetooth machines are a logical next step for merchants looking to upgrade their existing technology.

How they work

Bluetooth card machines operate in a similar way to cordless landline phones. Handsets are charged in a base, which connects to a power source and a phone or broadband line. Retailers can pick up the handsets and use them remotely within a particular range. These machines are popular with restaurants, pubs and cafes, as they allow staff to accept card payments wherever their customers are sitting.

Mobile card devices use GPRS SIM technology to process payments, with no broadband connection or phone line necessary. Whilst these machines were initially marketed to retailers accepting payments on the go, such as at festivals or farmers' markets, they also appeal to any business that lacks a broadband or landline connection.

What's next for card payment technology?

Wi-Fi card machines look set to be a major trend among retailers in the next couple of years. Coming soon to Lloyds Bank Cardnet, these machines use a wireless internet connection to transmit card data, ensuring transactions are faster and more convenient than ever before.

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