January 4, 2023

Should Your Business Lease a Card Terminal?

As a business in a digital era, quick and accessible payment options are a staple and should be utilized in your everyday operations. This is incredibly important for businesses that are customer facing or have physical locations for customers/clients to visit. Businesses new and old are using the latest terminal payment technology to offer convenience to their customers…but are they buying the technology outright or simply leasing it? What is the best option for your business? This article will examine the topic of buying or leasing a card terminal to help you choose the option for your business.


Leasing a Terminal: The Advantages

Leasing or renting a card terminal can be an attractive option for businesses that are looking to cut up-front costs or improve short-term productivity. If you are a business that is just starting off, renting can be your best option to ensure maximum cost effectiveness.

Renting equipment can also give your business flexibility. If the hardware you’re renting does not fit your business or if you decide you want to make an immediate change, you can work with your providers to change your equipment rather than be stuck with it.

This flexibility can also be beneficial when it comes to updating your business’ technology to match modern times. Technology is growing faster and faster every day and you don’t want your business to fall behind! This can be greatly beneficial because you don’t have to rebuy a new system every couple of years to stay up-to-date and modern.

Lastly, many equipment rentals can come bundled with additional security software from your provider. It’s a good idea to shop around to see which provider may have the best offering for your business to maximize the advantages of your rental agreement.


Leasing a Terminal: The Disadvantages

As with anything related to your business, you should expect several disadvantages that may come with them. In the case of rental equipment, the disadvantages are often related to cost, contracts, and rental agreements. Renting your equipment may have a cheaper up-front cost with short term benefits, but you should expect your long-term costs to eventually surpass the price of purchasing the equipment outright.

When entering a rental agreement you are locking yourselves into a possibly unfavourable contract. This can result in limits in payment processing, options, and control that your business may struggle with. Be sure to consult with a professional before entering any rental contract, especially if you have any doubts.

It is also worth noting that providers may offer additional deals and cheaper rates to pressure you into long term agreements. Though this can be tempting, it may prove disadvantageous in the long run, especially if you’ve already experienced unfavourable contract terms and conditions.


Should You Buy Your Terminal Instead?

Renting your equipment clearly has its attractive qualities, but what if you simply want to pay an up-front cost to own? By buying your terminal you are gaining full, absolute control of your POS infrastructure from beginning to end.

Purchasing your terminal outright also gives you flexibility with what you do with the equipment, including reselling, maintenance, and more. Owning your own terminal also comes with additional peace of mind since you make all the decisions regarding the equipment while also making it one less item to budget for.

Buying your terminal can also allow for unexpected cost savings, especially if you can find deals and bundles available from physical storefronts or hardware sellers. Bundles can consist of multiple pieces of equipment that can help establish your business. You may also have the opportunity to buy used equipment in the second-hand market, though you will have to be cautious of faulty equipment. Be sure to have a professional or a trusted party audit your potential “new” equipment before purchasing.


How Do I Choose a Card Terminal?

Before you make the commitment to purchase a new card terminal, be sure to identify your business’ needs. Different terminals will offer different features that your business may need.

Consider the following as possible features of your new terminal:

  1. Security
  2. Connectivity (ethernet, wifi, etc)
  3. Receipt Options (print or email receipts)
  4. Warranty/Replacement Options
  5. PCI Compliance
  6. Price Input (Is it easy?)
  7. Ease of Use
  8. Payment Compatibility
  9. Portability

Not every terminal will have every feature listed, so it’s best to find out what your business needs the most and find a terminal that has everything you need.



With this article, we hope Watchdog Management Services has helped outline the advantages and disadvantages of renting a card terminal for your business. Ultimately, whatever purchasing option you choose will depend on your business’ own budget and long-term plans. Remember to shop around so that you can find the best deals for your business and to avoid contractors from locking you into unfavourable agreements! If you are unsure of what is best for your business, you can always hire a third party auditor to help identify the best options for your needs!

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