POS Nation Blog » Latest Articles

7 Top Credit Card Machine Solutions for 2024

“With great power comes great responsibility.” You may know that as a line from Spiderman (or the French author Voltaire). 

But it also applies to the importance of one part of your point of sale (POS) system: your credit card machine.

Sure, it may seem like a stretch. However, your choice of credit card machine (also referred to as “pinpads” or “card readers”) has a tremendous influence on payment processing and cash flow for your retail business. 

Certain credit card processing machines are better for different types of businesses and transactions. And there are several variables to consider, which we’ll cover below.

By the end of this post, you’ll understand how to select the best credit card machine for your business and which vendors you should research further before making your decision.

7 Criteria for Choosing the Right Credit Card Machine

When accepting payments at your retail store, having the right credit card machine can make all the difference. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the one that best fits your needs? 

When considering a credit card machine, you have a few different options: 

  • Traditional terminals: Traditional terminals are machines wired directly to your phone line or internet connection, making them a reliable choice for brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Wireless terminals: Perfect for businesses that need a bit more flexibility, wireless terminals allow you to process payments anywhere within the range of a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
  • Mobile card readers: These compact devices connect to your smartphone or tablet, turning it into a portable payment processor.
  • Virtual terminals: Virtual terminals are a strong option for online retailers who don't need a physical machine, letting you process payments through a secure web portal.
  • POS systems: For businesses looking for an all-in-one solution, point of sale (POS) systems combine payment processing with inventory management, sales tracking, and more.
  • Contactless payment systems: As touchless transactions become increasingly popular, contactless payment systems let customers pay quickly and securely via smartphones or contactless cards.

Related Read: What is Contactless Payment?

Now that you're familiar with the different types of credit card machines, let's dive into the criteria you should consider when choosing the right one for your retail store:

  • Mobility: Consider whether you need a machine to move around your store or even outside it for events or markets.
  • Payment types accepted: Make sure the machine you choose can process all the payment methods your customers prefer, such as chip cards, magstripe cards, and contactless payments.
  • Features: Determine which features are essential for your business, such as receipt printing, tipping, or sales tracking, and look for a machine that offers them without costly extras you won't use.
  • Cost: Consider the machine's upfront costs and ongoing fees, like transaction fees and monthly service charges.
  • POS software: If you opt for a POS system, make sure it integrates with your existing software or offers the features you need to streamline your operations.
  • Payment processing: Research the payment processing options available, including fees, settlement times, high-risk processing needs, and customer support, to find the best fit for your business.
  • Security: Make sure your chosen machine is EMV-compliant and offers robust security features to protect your business and customers' sensitive information.

With these criteria in mind, let's examine the top credit card machine solutions you might consider for your retail store this year. 

New call-to-action

IT Retail

Best for: Grocery stores and markets

IT Retail offers a modern POS solution designed specifically for grocery stores and markets' unique needs. This solution offers a range of features in an all-in-one point of sale and credit card transaction processing suite.

Key features of IT Retail:

  • Scale integrations: With IT Retail, cashiers can quickly scan products or calculate prices by weight using connected scanners and scales, significantly speeding up the checkout process and reducing manual errors.
  • Employee management: The system tracks cashier actions, such as price overrides, voids, and non-scan items, allowing managers to compare employee statistics to store averages and identify potential issues or training needs.
  • Detailed receipts: IT Retail prints item-by-item breakdowns on every receipt, providing customers with a clear understanding of their purchases, discounts, and member benefits.

Review: “IT Retail’s technical support is excellent, its professionals have almost infinite patience and are trained to support the POS implementation and use process. A thousand thanks to their team…” –IT Retail Customer

Square (Square Stand, Square Register, Square Terminal)

Best for: Solopreneurs

Square offers a range of POS solutions that cater to the needs of solopreneurs and small businesses. With its user-friendly interface, affordable hardware options, and robust features, Square is popular for small retailers looking to streamline their operations.

Key features of Square:

  • Returns and exchanges: Seamlessly process returns and exchanges at any location, making it easy to manage customer requests and keep your inventory up to date.
  • Online selling: Set up a professional Square Online e-commerce site and customize it with design themes, or integrate your existing website to expand your reach and sell to customers wherever they are.
  • Flexible hardware options: Square offers a range of hardware options to suit different business sizes and needs, from a small mobile card reader to a fully integrated POS system.

Review: “Square POS has enabled us to keep track of our customer base as well as keep track of our inventory and sales. We have utilized Square POS to its fullest potential, making use of nearly every feature that is available to us, and it has surpassed our expectations in every way.” –Square Customer

PayPal Zettle 

Best for: UK-based retailers

PayPal Zettle is a modern POS solution that simplifies daily operations for UK-based retailers. With its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with PayPal Business accounts, Zettle offers a streamlined solution many businesses may find appealing.

Key features of PayPal Zettle:

  • Customizable setups: Choose from various hardware options, such as card readers and terminals, to create an in-store POS that suits your needs.
  • Secure payments: The Zettle card reader is a PCI-certified device, ensuring that it meets the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for handling card data securely.
  • POS app integration: While the Zettle by PayPal app is the perfect partner for the Zettle card reader, the reader also integrates with other POS apps.

Review: “[Zettle] solves the problems of managing payments and keeping a better track without the labor work of going through each one and have a better sense of progress in the business.” –PayPal Zettle User

POS Nation

Best for: Small to mid-sized retailers

POS Nation offers a range of POS system bundles and credit card machines designed for independent small to mid-sized retailers. Our solutions are tailored to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and support your store’s growth. We offer fully customizable packages designed to meet your unique needs and specifications. 

Key features of POS Nation:

  • Streamlined inventory management: Our software enables retailers to track stock levels, manage purchase orders, receive reorder points for low or out-of-stock items, and simplify inventory counts using handheld devices.
  • Customized hotkeys for quick transactions: Hotkeys allow cashiers to quickly look up produce and other non-barcoded items, reducing checkout time and minimizing errors. 
  • Comprehensive financial reporting: With over 55 pre-built reports and additional customization options, you can easily gain valuable insights into your business operations.
  • Efficient employee management: Our system helps with employee scheduling, productivity tracking, pay rate management, and security level permissions.
  • Customer loyalty and sales history tracking: Our solution offers a built-in loyalty program that allows you to assign loyalty cards to individual customers. 
  • Label and barcode printing: Our built-in label tool allows you to create labels and tags with a single click. 

Review: “I like the POS system because it is a touch screen and easy to navigate. Everything is sectioned off into categories and pages, and you are able to scroll through and find what you need to find.” –POS Nation Customer


Best for: Restaurants and bars

eHopper is an all-in-one POS system and payment platform that caters to multiple business types but focuses on restaurant table service. Its user-friendly interface and rugged hardware are built to withstand a fast-paced restaurant environment. 

Key features of eHopper

  • Table management: eHopper's restaurant POS software includes a robust table management system that allows staff to construct floor plans, take and process table orders, and monitor the status of each table in real time.
  • Contactless digital menu: eHopper provides restaurants with a paperless, contactless digital menu solution. It lets customers view menus and place orders using their smartphones via QR codes.
  • Inventory management: The system offers full transparency when checking current stock levels, allowing restaurants to monitor when items are sold or received and providing notifications when supplies are running low.

Review: “The staff and owner are incredibly helpful, friendly, and patient. They will give you as much help as you need and/or want. The software is fairly easy to understand, even for someone as old and stuck in his ways as I am. If it can be done, they will help you to do it.” –eHopper User


Best for: Events and ticket sales

KORONA is a cloud-based point of sale system designed for various businesses, but it specializes in ticketed events like amusement parks or concert venues. The platform's all-in-one ticketing solution helps streamline operations and boost profit margins. 

Key features of KORONA POS:

  • School and group rates: The platform allows users to set up special pricing for groups, such as school field trips or large parties.
  • Quick and durable ticket printing: KORONA's POS integrates with reliable ticket printers that can quickly produce high-quality, durable tickets, ensuring smooth entry and reducing wait times.
  • Ticketing turnstile integration: The POS system can integrate with turnstiles and entry systems, enabling automated ticket validation and reducing the need for manual checks.

Review: “KORONA has an amazing architecture that enables these key concepts, plus a solid discipline in releasing new improvements on a regular basis without any interruption in business.” –KORONA POS User


Best for: E-commerce-first retailers

Shopify’s point of sale system is designed for retailers who prioritize e-commerce and want to seamlessly integrate their online and in-person sales. With its user-friendly interface, customizable hardware, and robust features, Shopify empowers businesses to sell everywhere their customers shop.

Key features of Shopify POS:

  • Omnichannel selling: Shopify's connected back office allows retailers to sell in-person, online, on social media, and through marketplaces, all managed from a single platform.
  • Flexible payment options: Retailers can accept popular payment methods at competitive transaction rates, making it easy for customers to purchase using their preferred method.
  • Customer management: Shopify’s built-in customer profiles and tracking purchases and preferences help boost customer loyalty and provide personalized experiences.

Review: “Shopify POS is absolutely futuristic. It is built minimally and contains every necessary feature one might require to sell products in retail or in-person billing. Moreover, while exploring the available options, our team actually learned how effectively we can run the business and provide the best customer services.” –Shopify POS Customer

POS Nation Offers a Wide Range of Credit Card Machines for Retailers

You know the importance of investing in the right credit card machine for your business. The options listed in this post are strong, depending on your specific needs. However, if you’re a small to mid-sized independent retailer looking for the very best in payment processing, there’s only one choice: POS Nation. 

Whether you're looking for a complete POS system with a pinpad or a standalone credit card machine, POS Nation has you covered. Our bundles offer complete solutions that streamline your operations, while our individual components allow you to mix and match to create the perfect setup for your store.

We offer both wired and wireless options, ensuring that you can find the right fit for your business, whether you need a wired connection's stability or a wireless device's flexibility. The best part? You can find the ideal credit card machine for your needs without being a tech expert. Our user-friendly Build and Price tool makes it easy to create your dream retail POS system, complete with the perfect payment processing solution.

Check out our Build and Price tool today and discover how POS Nation can revolutionize your retail business with the perfect credit card machine and POS system. 

New call-to-action


Ready To Get Started? Call us at 877-727-3548

Get Started
Retail Buyers Guide

Find the Perfect POS System for Your Business
In Just 8 Simple Steps

New call-to-action