Chip and PIN machines

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Chip and PIN machines

First introduced to the UK in 2004, chip and PIN machines, also known as PDQ machines or card readers, are today used by every business that accepts credit and debit card payments.

These types of card machine can process payments quickly and securely, and can be used for taking payments face to face or by phone, fax or mail.

Chip and PIN technology

The chip and PIN technology was created in order to improve the security of card transactions and protect both consumers and card providers from the growing levels of card fraud.

Up until the deployment of this new card system, consumers swiped and signed for goods using the black magnetic stripe on the reverse of the card. This transaction method had a number of flaws that made it incredibly easy for fraudsters to gain access to card information. The computer chip technology was seen as a surefire solution to this and was championed by the major banks who were eager to crack down on card crime.

The ‘chip’ installed in the cards is about the size of a pinhead and stores a record of the 4 digit PIN number. When the customer inserts the card, the card machine reads the chip and the transaction is verified when the customer enters their matching identification number.

What types of chip and PIN machine are there?

Most businesses use one of three different types of chip and PIN machine to process card payments.

The countertop chip and PIN machine is most commonly used by the likes of retailers and restaurants or any business where payments are taken from one fixed location in the premises.

The portable chip and PIN terminal, which can be picked up and carried around like a regular phone handset are perfect for hospitality and catering or in larger stores.

The third type of chip and PIN machine that you may come across is the mobile or GPRS card machine, which can be used anywhere that receives mobile phone reception.


Accept cards quickly and easily from your sales desk or till.

Countertop card machines are fast, reliable and easy to use. Designed to work from a fixed spot in your business, they’re perfect for any type of shop or retailer.

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The handy way to bring card payments to your customers.

Portable card machines are light, compact and easy to carry. They have a 100m range and are perfect for use in restaurants, pub, bars and clubs.

View card terminal


The perfect card machine for businesses on the move.

Mobile card machines are quick, reliable and work absolutely anywhere. Their roaming SIM card means you always have signal and never lose a sale.

View card terminal