payment terminal for small business-restaurant service

Joined Feb 14, 2017
Hi, everyone 
 I am new to this forum, this is the first time I  am using an online community, so pardon me if I make any mistakes.
 I am from the Greater Toronto area, Canada and is running a small restaurant. 
  Last day one of my customers asked to install those card swiping machines (Here we don't have one). I need advice for purchasing good POS terminals for our business. I know here I will get advice from experienced mentors who are experienced in the industry. 
What type of POS terminals should I use for a restaurant service. Please help me.
Thank you very much all 
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Tricky subject.....

Just because you have a terminal doesn't mean you have a Visa /or M.C. account, you'll be needing those too.  Some machines only do credit cards and not interact (a.k.a debit card), and some only debit card.

Most machines--regardless if you rent or buy, require a secondary service (i.e Moneris) that sit on your money and then dole it back to you--minus their cut. Mind you, you still have to pay the credit card's cut as well

Ont. is different from B.C., probably the best thing you can do is talk to your bank and see what they offer, then talk to your municipal business assc'n and see what they offer.

One thing to keep in mind, avoid American Express, and anything associated it,  like the plague.  Amex. charges almost double the rates of Visa/MC and has a "certain attitude" towards any small business, especially non-american ones.

Hope this helps....
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Uhh, Danny T.

No disrespect but things ARE very different here in Canada. What I said about Amex is true, indie retailers are offered the low, low rate of 3.8% , vs. 1.8 (if you shop around, thst is) to 2 -2.2% for Visa or M.C. Multi national retailers will get better rates with Amex, but only because they do most of their banking in the U. S. Cdn Banks WILL give you better c. card rates than the credit card co. s themselves, and city board of trade or business improvement assc'n s WILL give you better rates than the c. card co.s themselves.

May I suggest doing business for, oh, say 20 years in Canada, and having decades long relationships with Cdn banks first before commenting?

You should see how even co.s like Pay pal treat Cdn companies ( or even individuals ) with their own money......
Joined Jul 28, 2001
There are upsides and downsides to all merchant processing. There are three points of negotiation on cost for regular processors. Not knowing these will result in high percentages. With Amex trying to get market share in the public sector with OPEN, the rates have dropped. They are still notorious for siding with the customer and will reverse fees immediately. They don't seem to have or use an algorithm to detect customers who practice this for profit as other card providers. This past holiday season it was rampant, especially one time purchases for service related items. There were actual posts regarding, saving monies for material holiday gifts using this MO.

Flat fee processors. Good for some. I prefer to have a qualified risk mitigation policy on board. Flat fee services are usually void of competent customer service and are weak involving risk. Your account can be shut down and frozen at any time. The road to restoring can be difficult and time consuming.

just me and my experiences
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Hi Danny T.,

Canada is a kinda large-ish country. In the east (Toronto, Montreal, etc.) there probably is square and stripe. In the west (Vancouver, Calgary, etc) there isn't. We do have moneris though. Most c. cards here in western Canada have phased out the swipe card for a few years now in favour of the "tap" card.

The original poster stated he was a small restaurant in the greater Toronto area. We have to assume his average guest cheque is under $50, and there is no mention of on line orders and no mention of foreign visa card customers.

Us Canucks are waaaaay behind in online sales, big sticking point is getting our money from U.S. financial institutions---they like to sit on our money, pay-pal being a prime example of 60 days. You don't want to be an indie cdn merchant trying to get their money from amex, frustrating is an understatement. Which is why virtually no indie merchant will accept an amex card in the west, flat out refusal. The bigger chains will though.

I encourage you to come out to Canada, and chat up a few merchants, things are different here.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Sounding like a Square salesperson. Square is an option ( a processing company) but certainly has nothing to do with cutting edge or boning up. It's geared to mobile processing.

The OP mentioned having POS capabilities. Square has none. Square also charges an extra fee for manual transactions. This is very common when there might be a bad cell.

Square doesn't appear to have any risk policies in place or use them regularly, and when you do hit an algorithm, they may hold funding indefinitely. It seems they do not have the relationship with lenders as most credible processors. It truly bothers me when I see Square advertise "we guaranty funds in your account the same

day" Like I said, it's an option. Maybe good for mobile transactions.

It certainly does not take any boning up ( which I assume infers the lack of knowledge in recent technology) to secure affordable and reliable merchant services. For a brick and mortar wanting very basic business calculations, documentation and guaranteed funds there are quite a few options.

  I'm not forwarding misinformation from a bias source.. I secured Square for a project, and the relation was short lived. Square is absolutely void of any customer service, ask someone who uses it. For every processor like Square, there are a dozen more available exactly like it. Hype sells. Due diligence rewards.
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Hi Danny,

Any merchant that pays 2.9% per transaction either has to jack up their prices, or get themselves committed. Like I said, the going rate here is 1.8-2% for Visa/MC

Not many Canucks use Amex. Customers, that is, as well as merchants. The average American tourist carries at least Visa as well as Amex, and same for the Canucks. I've been doing business for well over 23 years now, I don't turn away businesss, I look for inteligent options.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Danny T. Time to get back to the OP's question. Small restaurant looking for economical POS system.

Please don't assume your communicating with partially or unsuccessful business owners. You're hearing @foodpump  , but you not listening. I don't think he even used the

word Square.

There's just no need to tell me to use my head. 2.75% on merchant processing is outrageous for me. I've been playing the processing game for 35-40+ yrs.

As far as calling @foodpump  an old fool, I believe he has been in business as long as I have.  When he mentions AMEX, your hearing that there is not an

other option. Listen to what he's saying. Square is just another service. Why the heck would he want to blend transactions and lose across the board on CC.

let's say,  3 wedding cakes. all 4500.ea.    process all at my mc/vs rate. 

                                                                   process all at Square 2.75%

                                                                   process 2 at my mc/vs rate and 1 at AMEX ., I would still realize $88. and some change more revenue.
Joined Feb 23, 2017
What you maybe don't realize is that with CCs, the merchant is also paying the rewards so while you may have low processing fees, hidden in your monthly transaction reports are all your additional fees. I pay just under 1% per transaction but when you figure your monthly statement, guarantee all of us are paying 3+% when you figure everything into it.
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