Wireless vs Wired Terminals: Which is right for you?

November 27, 2018

Once you’ve determined your need for a payment terminal, and the amount of terminals you’ll need to run the store effectively, it’s time to solve the final payment terminal question; do you want wired/countertop terminals, or wireless terminals? Almost all standard payment terminals fall into one of these two categories, and selecting which type you need could come down to a few characteristics about your business.

If you need help figuring out which type of terminal is best for you, consider the following to help guide your final decision!

Wired/Countertop Terminals

Wired or countertop terminals are the ideal device type for a number of different businesses. For small or medium-sized businesses with a single checkout area and POS system, a countertop terminal is an ideal choice. These terminals are directly connected to your POS solution, offering quick processing speeds and simple connectivity. Given that they stay in place on your countertop, they can be easy to rely on and difficult to misplace.

Wireless Terminals

As the name suggests, wireless terminals are handheld devices that can be used without a wired-in connection to a point-of-sale (POS) solution to process payments. Unsurprisingly, wireless terminals are a popular choice for many businesses, across many industries. Given that they can be brought directly to the customer regardless of location, they’re a popular choice for restaurateurs who want to provide customers the option of paying at their table. This is an even greater benefit for delivery-based restaurants, as long-range devices allow at-home customers to pay with their card in person. In retail stores wireless terminals can be used to line bust during busy periods, and won’t intrude on vital countertop space.

However, with these benefits comes a few drawbacks you will want to consider. Wireless terminals rely on battery power, meaning that they’ll need to be charged regularly. Because of this you’ll likely want to have more than one in-store, so there’s always a backup for when a device needs charging. In addition, wireless terminals run the risk of being dropped or handled roughly, which could lead to physical damage in the hands of clumsy staff. 

If you’re interested in learning more about payment terminals, and how Moneris can help guide you to the perfect choice for your business, make sure to take a look at our articles The Best Point-of-Sale Terminals for Retail Businesses and How to Choose the Right Payment Terminal For Your Business.


The information in this article is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, business or other professional advice or an endorsement of any of the websites or services listed. 

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