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Old 07-30-2009, 11:00 AM
Michael Michael is offline
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Default Maximize your credit card terminal's life
Credit card terminals are vital pieces of equipment for millions of businesses in the world. They are also more abused than any other office equipment that I have seen.
While most credit card machines only cost a few hundred dollars, it is a good idea to protect your investment, and get the most life out of your terminal. Terminals can last for ten or more years if they are well maintained, even if they are heavily used.
Common terminal killers:
  • Heat
  • Liquid
  • Extreme cold
  • Mechanical agitation
  • Power surges
Heat is an enemy of electronic components.
Heat causes the resistance of electronic components to change and also causes silicon chips to change their properties on a molecular level. These changes cause variations in voltages inside the terminal, and can eventually cause something to break. Luckily, credit card terminals are nowhere near as complicated as computers, but in the case of newer terminals, there is a lot of electronics inside a very small space. Try to keep the terminal in a somewhat open area, where there is decent ventilation, not in the exhaust path of a cash register.
More so than heat, liquids will definitely destroy a terminal.
I can't even count how many times I have heard of someone spilling a coffee or sofa on a credit card terminal, causing it to fail. This is a no-brainer, keep drinks and other liquids away from your credit card terminal. If you do spill something on it, you should unplug it immediately, and try to wipe off as much liquid as possible before it seeps further in. Drink spillage is normally not covered by terminal warranties FYI.
Extreme cold.
A lot of the country has nothing to worry about, but in those areas that it does freeze a lot during the winter, try to keep you terminal somewhere that it will not. If it is going to get very cold where your terminal is, keep it running. The biggest problem comes when a frozen terminal warms back up, and condensation shorts it out. Frozen terminals are also prone to loosing the internal battery (or the main battery for wireless terminal) which depending on the model, can cause the loss of information or may just mess-up the internal clock.
The quickest way to break a terminal is to drop it.
Some of the older terminals can take some major abuse, but the newer ones are not likely to take a large fall well. Even if nothing internally is damaged, it's pretty easy to crack the screen making it unusable. Attaching it with the wall mounts, or using some non-skid rubber tape can keep your terminal from sliding around if the factory rubber-bumps are worn off.
Power surges break terminals.
Power surges can break the terminal from the electrical plug, and from the modem. It's a good idea to get a good power strip or UPS (Uninterpretable Power Supply) with phone jack, and Ethernet protection. Power outage tip: If you are using an analog phone line (the lines where your phone still works when the power is out) you can use a UPS power supply to retain your ability to process, even during a complete power outage. A small UPS should cost a little over $100, and since terminals have low power consumption, your terminal could be operating for several hours of power outage. It's a good idea to have so that you can at least ring-up any customers that are in the store when the power goes out, and you can get your batch out for the day.
Final tip: Keep your terminal on, unless you absolutely need to reset it or turn it off. It is very rare for any electronic component to fail while operating at a steady state. Power cycles take their toll on electronics, so the less you can get away with, the better off your terminal will be in the long-run.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:22 AM
pmorrison2588 pmorrison2588 is offline
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Thanks for the guidance again. You have very good knowledge about these things. Previously my two credit and debits cards have got useless due to this handling issue.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:24 PM
Silk Knot Cufflinks Silk Knot Cufflinks is offline
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Quick on and offs are a killer. If you need to reset, I would wait ten second after switching off to let it switch on again. (I learned this the hard way) Makes those outrageous rentals not seem so bad.
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:37 AM
nasracfan09 nasracfan09 is offline
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Good tips. Thanks for sharing. I believe, Practice makes a man perfect. so, may be you also got your card damaged sometimes to learn them.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:54 PM
keddy1 keddy1 is offline
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Originally Posted by nasracfan09 View Post
Good tips. Thanks for sharing. I believe, Practice makes a man perfect. so, may be you also got your card damaged sometimes to learn them.
well said.quite true experience makes you more perfect.anyways.thanks for the great tips
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Old 10-03-2009, 04:15 AM
Stephen Fabie Stephen Fabie is offline
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Very informative. I never had considered this until I've read the post. Very helpful for businesses.
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