At the most basic level, merchants can accept a card transaction using a standalone terminal where they manually add up the individual items purchased and then key this amount into the terminal for an authorisation.
The decision about which terminal to use will depend on the level of interaction required with a merchant’s business operations and processes. For example, if merchants are going to give customers an itemised receipt from a number of bar code scanned products, and the total figure is then passed electronically to a terminal to take a card payment, they may need an integrated terminal; also known as an integrated point-of-sale.
The majority of businesses require a terminal that is serviced for them, and will, probably, choose a terminal that they rent from their acquirer, known as an acquirer owned terminal, as part of their card acceptance package. A merchant can see the full range of terminal options here.
Alternatively, a merchant can source their own terminal and an acquirer may have a list of approved suppliers who use terminals that are compatible with their systems.