The digital payment space in India has grown manifold in the last few years. Interestingly, the average annual rate of growth of digital payment volume has been 50% for the last five years (Source: IMF).
If you are an offline merchant selling goods or services through your local store(s), you might have come across the data around the total number of credit and debit cards. According to a 2022 digital payments report, the sum of credit and debit cards in circulation has crossed the 1 billion mark by the end of Q2 2022.
While these numbers highlight the rise of card usage in India, it also represents huge opportunities for you to tap into this ecosystem and start accepting card payments. This would require you to obtain an Electronic Data Capture or EDC machine for your business outlet(s). Now that there are several different EDC or POS machine providers, you would certainly want to know how to select the best EDC machine.
A related question you might have in mind is –
‘Can you pick almost any EDC machine at random?’
The simple answer is – No. Let’s get into the details to help you understand the differences between different types of EDC machines.
Common features of EDC/POS machines
Irrespective of the brand/payment solution provider you select to procure an EDC machine, you will most likely find the following features in their hardware:
- Credit and debit cards support to enable card payments
- Payment acceptance via other payment methods, such as net banking, UPI, and digital wallets
- In-built printer to provide payment receipts to both you and your customers
- Barcode scanner to accept payments via payment apps by scanning QR codes
- Auto-focus camera with flashlights to capture payments via QR codes
- Rechargeable batteries to ensure you need not replace the EDC machine battery every time it dries up
- Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled connection to accept payments by tapping cards on the machine
- Bank or brand offer extension to your customers
- Round-the-clock customer support to ensure you get the required help when faced with a technical issue while using the machine
Other than these common features, there are certain differences that distinguish one EDC machine from another. In some cases, these differences become the highlights of the payment devices that attract merchants like you for the better.
Common differences between different types of EDC/POS machines
One of the major differences between different types of EDC machines is the underlying operating system on which they are based. While some devices are LINUX-based, others run on Android and even support the integration of other Android apps.
Availability of in-built printer
While enabling offline payment acceptance, payment solution providers offer two types of EDC machines based on whether they have the receipt printing capability. This is the reason why some EDC machines can print payment receipts instantly after the payment is processed while others cannot.
Number of payment options supported
Another crucial difference between various EDC machines is the number of payment options they support. Some of these devices are designed to accept only card (credit/debit) payments, while others also process payments via UPI, net banking, and QR codes.
Size of the device
This can be considered an obvious difference between EDC machines. Depending on their capabilities or the brand preferences in terms of design, you can find portable EDC machines that can even fit into your pocket along with big-sized POS machines to be used on your business outlet.
Last, but the most important distinguishing factor that differentiates one EDC/POS machine from another is its pricing. Depending on the brand reputation and device capabilities, you will be charged a certain upfront amount along with a recurring fee to use the device for payment acceptance needs.
Now the ultimate question that is left unanswered is –
Which EDC machine is right for your business?
At this stage, it is important for you to understand that the right selection of EDC machines is meant to simplify the payment collection process related to your business. Hence, it is important for you to consider the following factors before making any decision:
Your business-specific needs
First and foremost, you should consider your business-specific needs. Although you might have different businesses running at distinct scales and sizes, yours can be different and unique. This is why you may have unique payment acceptance needs. Answer the following questions to better understand the business needs:
- How often do your customers ask for using credit or debit cards for payments?
- How open are you to processing cashless or least-cash transactions?
- Do you sell products in retail or wholesale segments that require card payments?
Having a clear idea of your needs will steer you in the right direction of EDC machine selection.
Most preferred payment options your customers select
If you are still wondering whether you really need an EDC machine to accept payments via cards, assess your customer preferences.
Which payment options do a majority of your customers select while paying you for the purchases?
If they ask for a credit or debit card payment option while buying from you, it means they are most likely to pay via that payment method. The rest depends on the availability of EDC machines to cater to these customer preferences.
You might have also encountered instances where customers left your store without buying just because you do not have any provision to accept card payments.
EDC machine cost – both upfront and recurring
EDC machines, irrespective of the payment solution provider you select, come with certain pricing associated with it. In most cases, there is an upfront one-time payment to be made (along with taxes) and a recurring monthly/annual fee. Here, the total cost of obtaining an EDC machine for your business depends on a few parameters, including:
- Payment solution provider you select
- Features of selected EDC machine
- Number of payment options supported
Payment solution provider’s brand presence
In the digital payments landscape, if there’s anything that works above or with technology, it’s the customer’s trust in a brand’s offerings. If you select an EDC machine from a brand that is widely known for its payment products, the chances are that the customers will not feel hesitant to pay via cards using that machine.
In other words, it’s the trust and brand presence of the payment solution provider that can enable customers to buy from you.
- Extension of brand/bank offers
These days, customers are highly attracted to bank or brand offers and wait for the sale to come before making significant purchases. Certain payment solution providers also offer EDC machines through which you can extend the bank or brand offers to your customers. This will benefit both your customers and your business.
Recommended Read: Simplest Way to Offer Bank or Brand Offers to Your Customers with an EDC Machine
Benefit from the power and presence of Paytm EDC/POS machine
Paytm, being a trusted payment brand among both merchants and customers is known for its innovative payment solutions, one of which is Paytm POS machine. In fact, we have a wide range of Paytm POS devices available to fulfill payment acceptance requirements related to your business, including:
- Paytm All-In-One POS
- Paytm Smart POS
- Paytm Linux POS
Some of the primary features of Paytm POS machines include:
- Maximum payment methods supported, including credit cards, debit cards, Paytm Wallet, UPI, and net banking
- In-built printer and barcode scanner
- Multi-card reader magnetic strip
- 2600mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery
- Auto-focus rear and front camera with LED flashlight, and more