3 Ways to Save Money When Processing Payments

“3 Ways to Save Money When Processing Payments” is locked 3 Ways to Save Money When Processing Payments photo

There are certainly costs associated with processing payments, but there are also ways you can save money. Here are three:

1. Invest in a terminal.

Contrary to popular belief, renting a terminal will end up costing you more overall, rather than outright buying a terminal.

Terminals aren’t as expensive as you may think. Our terminals range from $260 to $880 depending on the features and functionality you’re looking for.

All units are part of the Ingenico family of terminals that are built to provide industry-leading performance and flexibility. Plus, the terminals, functionality and transactions have all been certified with key processors — and are EMV-ready so you can accept chip cards.

Not sure which terminal is right for your business? Check out our EMV terminal line-up here with product specs and feature summaries on each terminal. We offer a full range — from terminals with a small device footprint, to high-end interactive terminals with customization for loyalty programs and opportunities to upselling, cross-selling and promoting your brand.

2. Choose an all-in-one payment technology provider.

As you’re probably well aware, there are lots of pieces that make up the payment processing puzzle. Two pieces being the gateway and the merchant account. Most merchant service providers supply one or the other. The problem with that? Two providers means two different support teams, two implementations, two agreements, and so on.

Most all-in-one providers can consolidate costs for you — and since time is money — having all services under one roof can save you operational costs. One point of contact for gateway services, the merchant account and software-integrated solutions streamlines support, reduces operational expenses and increases overall productivity.

3. Maintain PCI compliance.

Payment processors want to make sure you keep sensitive payment data secure — even if you work with a merchant service provider like Constellation Payments. To ensure you’re compliant, you are required to complete the PCI compliance questionnaire every year. Security scans must be completed every three months depending on your merchant environment.

If you do not complete the compliance questionnaire, you will incur a steep monthly fee for the extra risk your business imposes – most times as high as a $45.00 a month fee.

There are more ways to save money when processing payments, but these particular three are lesser-known and provide a good starting point when looking to reduce your costs.

Have your own tip? Share it below. And, as always, if you have a question, feel free to reach out to us by calling 888.244.2160 or send an email to

Kristen Campbell is the Brand Manager at Constellation Payments. She is responsible for managing all marketing initiatives and programs including channel partner and merchant success programs, public and media relations, internal and external communications, and customer engagement. You can reach Kristen by sending an email to

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4 Facts that Prove Software-Integrated Terminals are Better for Business

Why should a business use an integrated terminal provided by Constellation Payments when the same brand and model of terminal can be found online for the same – and sometimes lower – price?

It’s a legitimate question we’re often asked.

An integrated terminal provided by Constellation Payments is configured specifically to process transactions that flow through POS modules contained in larger software platforms for different verticals, like salon management software, gym management software, and government agency management software.

The key difference comes from the enhanced features and ongoing support provided by a team of IT and payment security experts. Terminals are marketed in many places for very low prices … even free! You should know too that many processors “low ball” terminal pricing and then make up the difference with higher processing fees which continue for years – therefore cancelling out the perceived up-front savings on the hardware.

But let’s get more in-depth. Let’s look specifically at the key facts, features and benefits of using a software-integrated terminal compared to an off-the-shelf, non-integrated terminal.

1. Software-Integrated Terminals Save Time

Integrated terminals are customized to work exclusively with your business management software tools. Our partners who produce that software have specifically endorsed Constellation Payments as a preferred provider of integrated payment processing.

Non-integrated terminals, on the other hand, are NOT configured to work with a specific point of sale or business management software product. That also means that there’s no point of sale data synchronization. Front desk employees will have to manually enter payment details into the terminal, and then manually enter the data into the point of sale software in order to have accurate bookkeeping.

2. Software-Integrated Terminals Deliver the Ultimate in Data Security

Off-the-shelf non-integrated terminals are only installed with the minimum required security software.

Conversely, Constellation Payments integrated terminals have been upgraded to include not only the manufacturer’s default security protocols, but also include our own proprietary code, including point-to-point (P2P) encryption and tokenization.

3. Continuous Updates Happen Automatically with Software-Integrated Terminals

With a non-integrated terminal, it’s the merchant’s responsibility to be aware of security software updates and update their terminals accordingly. Who has time for that?

With Constellation Payments’ software-integrated terminals, the terminals are periodically updated overnight to include the latest security software, including upgrades from Constellation Payments protocol, as well as manufacturer updates and patches.

4. Software-Integrated Terminals Reduce PCI Scope

Merchants that use a stand-alone, off-the-shelf, non-integrated terminal must pass rigorous PCI scope analysis by processors before being permitted to use the terminal.

Constellation Payments’ integrated terminals, on the other hand, are configured to communicate directly with the processor by a dedicated Internet connection. This means that no customer card data is passed through the POS software, which isolates a business from PCI scope and allows the terminal to be used immediately upon activation.

Let Us Help …

At Constellation Payments, we offer an array of integrated terminals to meet every budget with choice to buy or rent.

For additional guidance on choosing a terminal, call 888.244.2160 or send us an email at

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Best Practices When Using an EMV Chip-Enabled Payment Terminal

It may seem like a small, insignificant change — going from swiping a credit/debit card to inserting one into a payment terminal. But let me assure you, the chip card change has caused LOTS of confusion — and it’s created longer lines at the register throughout thousands of stores in the U.S.

Knowing that, it’s definitely worth taking proactive measures to guide your customers and staff on using the new payment terminals. Doing so will ensure you keep the checkout process quick and efficient.

Simple Ways to Notify Customers

One of the best things you can do is to utilize all channels — in-store and online — to inform customers that you have a terminal that accepts chip cards. Here are two quick and easy ways:

1. Add a notice in your customer newsletters, emails, social posts (in as many communication spots as possible) to let customers know you now accept chip cards. That way they’ll be prepared prior to making their way to the register.

2. Add a sticker or small sign to your terminal that says: Chip card-ready! Doing so can save time at the register and eliminate the question: “Should I swipe or insert?”

Pointers for Customer-Facing Staff

No one likes change and customers will likely need guidance throughout the process — especially if this is the first time they are using their chip card with a chip-enabled terminal. Make sure your staff is ready to coach customers in need of assistance.

Hold a brief meeting where you verbally review the steps below with customer-facing staff that will be at the register. Print out the pointers and keep them at the register as a reference.

Step #1:

Determine if the card has a chip by asking the customer: “Are you using a chip card today?”

– If they DO NOT have a chip card, instruct them to swipe through the magnetic stripe reader.

– Note: if they DO have a chip card, and it is swiped through the magnetic stripe reader, the chip card contains data that will prompt the cardholder to insert the card into the chip reader.

Step #2:

If the customer has a chip card, prompt the customer to insert their card into the chip card slot. The chip card slot if typically located at the bottom of the payment terminal. Their card should be facing up with the chip closest to the terminal. Remind customers that their chip card should be left in the terminal during the transaction.

Step #3:

Cardholders will be prompted to provide a signature or a PIN, or both. Some transactions may not require either method. This all depends on your specific terminal. Follow your terminal instructions carefully.

Step #4:

The customer should then follow the on-screen prompts and remove the card when prompted to do so by the terminal. Remind customers to remove their chip cards from the terminal and take their card with them.

As your staff goes through the checkout process, ask that they communicate with you regarding any common use case scenarios that haven’t been addressed in training so that they can be included in future training sessions and/or updates.


In Case You Missed It

Constellation Payments has achieved EMV terminal certification with Elavon and Vantiv. That means our channel partners’ software customers can accept chip cards at their business through a completely integrated, EMV-compliant payment terminal. Each terminal is enhanced to directly interface with our partners’ software.

See our integrated terminal solution set here. Not sure which terminal is best for your business? See our article: Help! Which EMV Payment Terminal Should I Use in My Business?

If you have any questions about our terminal solution set, or need assistance on choosing the right terminal for you business, feel free to give us a call at 888.248.7060 or send an email to

Angie Clarke is the Director of Product Integration at Constellation Payments. She works with Constellation Payments’ channel partners throughout the software integration process including testing, production, platform integration and support. Angie also manages the Constellation Payments’ platform enhancement plan. You can reach Angie by sending an email to


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Help! Do I Really Need to Upgrade to an EMV Chip Card Terminal?


We get asked this question all the time, so I figured I’d answer it here on our blog.

While it’s technically true that no one is going to force you to upgrade to an EMV chip card terminal, it is not a gamble that is advisable, and it all has to do with how risk is viewed in a post-EMV world.

Continue reading “Help! Do I Really Need to Upgrade to an EMV Chip Card Terminal?”

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Help! Card Not Present Fraud Is on the Rise. What Can I Do to Prevent It?

In my last post, I spoke about card present fraud and EMV.

It’s important to understand the two types of fraud, how they occur, and what you can do to put a stop to it. I suggest you read this article as well: What Is Card Present Fraud?

The second type of fraud that I’ll cover here is card not present fraud. Card not present fraud is online, hacking-type scenarios where someone goes onto an ecommerce site, gets a hold of your data, and attempts to perpetrate fraud using your numberContinue reading “Help! Card Not Present Fraud Is on the Rise. What Can I Do to Prevent It?”

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What Is Card Present Fraud? How Can It Be Prevented?

“What does ‘card present fraud’ mean? … How can it be prevented?”

I get asked these questions all the time and you likely have questions around it yourself. I’m hoping to clarify card present fraud for you — and shed light on how to put a stop to it.

Stay tuned for my next post. I’ll cover card NOT present fraud and what do to about it.

Continue reading “What Is Card Present Fraud? How Can It Be Prevented?”

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Help! I Process Very Few Credit Card Transactions Each Month. Do I Need to Worry About EMV?

I only process about five transactions a month with a card presented by a member we know. Do I really need to worry about fraud and switch to an EMV terminal?

Rick Ellis’ Answer to “Do I Need to Worry about EMV If I Process Very Few Credit Card Transactions?”:

This is a common misconception. Merchants with low transaction amounts think they’re less at risk of fraud, but in fact, are MORE at risk.

Here’s why:

Continue reading “Help! I Process Very Few Credit Card Transactions Each Month. Do I Need to Worry About EMV?”

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EMV Merchant Liability Shift: Who Covers the Cost of Credit Card Fraud Starting October 1st?

Understandably, one of the biggest concerns about the EMV changes that take effect here in the U.S. on October 1st is the impact of the merchant liability shift.

Right now, as it has been for the longest time, card issuers are the ones who bear the brunt of most credit card fraud.

Starting October 1st, this will change. Under certain conditions, card issuers are no longer going to cover a merchant’s risk associated with transactions that result in fraud.

So what are those conditions? We’ve developed a simple chart to give you a concrete understanding of the different possible scenarios and how they will affect merchants that accept credit cards.  Continue reading “EMV Merchant Liability Shift: Who Covers the Cost of Credit Card Fraud Starting October 1st?”

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Help! Which EMV Payment Terminal Should I Use in My Business?

I recently received an email from a merchant with a problem so common that I thought I’d share it with all of you. Many small business merchants are too busy running their businesses to keep up with the latest developments in payment processing hardware and security. That said, they’ve been informed that they will need new hardware or face increased liability in case of fraud.

So if you need a crash course in the different types of EMV terminals and their respective benefits, this post is for you.

Dear Rick,

I’m starting to panic. The liability shift is just 2 months away and we don’t have any EMV-ready terminals at our gym. Not sure how to begin the shopping process. Any insight would be hugely appreciated.

Continue reading “Help! Which EMV Payment Terminal Should I Use in My Business?”

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Top 5 Myths about EMV Every Merchant Should Know

If you accept credit cards in your brick-and-mortar business, you hopefully have heard the term EMV and are preparing your business to update its current credit card processing terminals.

More and more payment card issuers are replacing old payment cards with new ones which feature an embedded chip.

After October 1st, if a data breach causes customer financial data to be exposed, the liability for such a breach will fall to whichever party in the transaction has the lesser technology.

When a change like this affects so many merchants at the same time, deciding how to proceed can be stressful and even a bit confusing.

While much is known about EMV technology, there are also quite a few misconceptions. In this article, we’ll address 5 common EMV myths.

Continue reading “Top 5 Myths about EMV Every Merchant Should Know”

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