Most contain a credit card strip reader to read magnetically enclosed card information.
Many have a built-in telephone or have the capability of being connected to a telephone, thereby gaining access to a voice line.
Newer models contain microprocessors and sufficient data storage for handling data capture and polled data transmission and settlement.
The terminals contain various levels of intelligence to create the multiple protocol and message formats to properly transmit and receive information over multiple vendor data/interchange networks.
Access to voice authorization networks is provided for over “floor limit” and other exception authorization transactions.
Data entry and function keys and minimum visual display are provided to create electronic data transmission and receive automated authorization.
• Retail authorization terminals can be connected to multiple credit card authorization data networks. The network entered is that of the primary service provider (financial institution, credit card association, commercial processing vendor, and more recently VAN vendor(s)). Accounts not held by the primary vendor are routed through credit card interchange networks to other card authorization centers or to financial institutions.
• Large, and increasingly, medium size retailers are installing electronic cash registers with comprehensive voice and electronic interfaces to credit card authorization networks. Newer units have full voice and data communications capabilities integrated with ECR resulting in a comprehensive POS system.
ECRs enter credit card authorization networks via a local (in store/area) switch. The authorization can be routed either directly to credit card authorization networks or via the retail host network (national/regional retailers) to credit card authorization data networks or credit card interchange networks.