FREE Credit Card Machine Offers (Part 4 of 6)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a Merchant Account Provider offering a Merchant a FREE Credit Card Machine as part of a larger value. But be cautious as this is also one of those categories where the Merchant can pay far more than what is prudent or fair.

Why do processors offer Free Machines?

  1. They feel as though the Merchant is established enough that in the end, the risk of providing a free machine is worthwhile.
  2. They use this opportunity to lease a unit to the new customer with the most notable profit being in regard to the lease price of the machine.
  3. Some more “predatory” providers use this as a method of enticing merchants into an inflated lease program.

In the first case mentioned above, expecting some special consideration because your business is established, or perhaps due to demonstrated monthly revenue, you will probably find some relief here. 1st National offers “Free Terminal Placement” programs for those with such needs.

If, however, your needs reflect the 2nd scenario, be cautious. You will likely find greater value in either going with a virtual terminal or smartphone solution vs. securing that free machine. Alternatively, look for values on refurbished equipment if you absolutely must have a terminal. At 1st National we have both free deals on virtual terminals and smartphone downloads. We can do this because the cost is much lower than a credit card machine.

The reality is that these machines are relatively expensive. The merchant may be willing to gamble the cost of the unit if they think they’ll see a greater return over the term of your relationship. If you are an established business, this is possible. But if you aren’t, then you could find yourself paying two or three times the cost of the machine in lease charges, and then still never own it.

The Merchant Academy – Consumer Series

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