Retail stores have been accepting credit cards since the 1950’s. The famous Diners Club Card was extremely popular at the time and lasted for decades thereafter. As the popularity of credit cards spread through the United States into the 1960’s, both banks and merchants needed a way to standardized credit card processing. Credit card imprinters were used at small and large businesses across the country as a means to collect a customer’s credit card information to charge at a later time.
What Does a Credit Card Imprinter Do?
A credit card imprinter makes an imprint of your credit card on a double receipt. One copy is given to you and the other is kept by the business owner. As the card holder, you sign the receipt stating that you agree to pay for any merchandise you purchase during the transaction. The owner will then submit the information to the bank and the funds will be transferred into his or her merchant account once the batch has settled.
Credit card imprinters are still needed in many situations, even with the technological advances that have been made in recent years.
How are Imprinters Still In Use Today?
Many businesses still use credit card imprinters for a variety of reasons:
Emergencies – If the business loses power, an imprinter is the only way to complete a credit card transaction.
Record Keeping – If a small business owner does credit card processing via a virtual terminal, they’ll need to get the credit card information from the consumer to enter into the system later. An imprinter is the most efficient way to do so.
Batch processing – Often times, small business owners prefer to process all of their credit cards at once. Imprinters allow the cashier to collect all relevant information from each customer and process one single batch at the end of the business day. All of the money is then transferred into the owner’s merchant account in one transaction.
Imprinters and Technology: Record Keeping Versus Efficiency
Processing credit cards with an electronic reader is likely the most efficient way to do business. Imprinters are still useful if you plan on gathering information from customers for emergency purposes only. Credit card imprinters act as a great backup to traditional methods of processing credit cards.