Everything you will need to know about paying via a POS machine

With every passing year, the use of POS (point of sale) machines is becoming increasingly more popular. Cards are replacing cash and people are opting for this safer, more reliable mode of transaction. However, many people still don’t fully understand the different methods of using a POS machine.That’s why we’ve provided answers to some of those frequently asked questions on paying via POS:

1. What exactly is a POS terminal?
POS is an abbreviation for point of sale. A POS terminal is just a computerized system for store owners to process card payments at their stores, almost always at checkout. This allows customers to make their payments quickly and safely using credit and debit cards. 

2. What are the ways in which POS systems accept card payments?
There are three main ways in which cards are scanned into a POS machine, all of which use different methods for identification. 

  • Chip-enabled card: The card is inserted into the POS machine. To confirm your identity, some cards will require entering a PIN code that was previously communicated to you by your bank. This PIN is confidential to you and only you. On the other hand, if you have a card without a PIN authentication, you will need to sign the receipt to ensure that you are the owner of the card.

  • Swiping your card: Some cards, that are not chip-enabled, can be used by swiping it on the side of the machine. When the card is swiped into the POS machine, the system reads the card’s magnetic strip found at the back in order to authenticate the purchase. Don’t forget! You’ll need to sign the receipt since no PIN code will be required for this method.

  • Contactless payment: This system works by tapping your debit/credit card on the POS machine. If the amount is below USD 50 no PIN code will be required on most POS machines. For extra security, it will be required for amounts above USD 50. It’s important to note that this method only works for transactions below USD 1,000.

3. How do I know which currency to use?
When you’re in your country, it’s always best to pay in the currency of your card. However, if you’re abroad, it’s always better at any point of sale (POS) to pay in the same currency as the country you’re in.


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