How to take credit card payments: available options

cómo cobrar con tarjeta

Do you want to be able to offer your customers the possibility to pay for their purchases by card? We at Posland analyse all the options available for charging by card. Take note!

1- Physical POS

A physical POS or Card Reader is a card reader device that allows you to receive payments in your physical business. There are different types and models of Card Reader, from wireless ones that connect with an app on your smartphone, to more autonomous ones with a printer included.

TPV Sumup


  • Cheap and easy to use POS.
  • Sign up for only 39£.
  • 1.69% commission for transaction.
  • Online contracting and without permanence.


  • Pay only for each transaction.
  • Receive it for only 29£.
  • Commission of 1.10% + 0.07£.
  • Good customer service
TPV Zettle


  • Low-cost POS (one-time payment of £29).
  • 1.75% per transaction.
  • No maintenance fees.
  • Linked to cell phone.

Traditional physical POS terminals, also known as fixed, can be purchased or leased from a bank, and their transaction fees are around 1.50%.

Steps to charge your card using the physical POS:

  1. Enter the amount of the transaction.
  2. Depending on the type of card and POS, you will have to swipe the card through the magnetic stripe reader, bring it close to the NFC reader, or insert it into the Card Reader.
  3. If the POS requires you to enter the PIN number, pass the device to the cardholder to enter it.
  4. Wait a few seconds for the transaction to be processed and the ticket to be issued, whether physical or virtual.

2- Charging with a card without a Card Reader

However, if you cannot afford to buy a physical POS or if the nature of your business requires other methods, there are alternatives that allow you to charge your card without one of these devices.

The easiest ways to receive card payments without a Card Reader are:

  • Virtual POS
  • QR codes
  • Payment links

Receiving payments by virtual POS

A virtual POS is software that allows online shops to receive card payments. It is contracted with a financial institution, and is adapted to the website of your ecommerce, so that the customer can manage the payment by himself.

Once the customer has selected the product to be purchased, he/she only needs to enter the card number, the expiry date and the three-digit security code on the back of the card.

Fuente: Paycomet

Receiving payments with QR Codes

The QR code is a kind of barcode with more versatility, which can be quickly read by smartphones through the camera. Once the code is scanned, the phone translates it into a series of characters that will perform an action.

For businesses, the QR code facilitates the sales process, shortening the process to just a few seconds. Simply have the QR code printed out and visible to your customers, or display it on the screen of your smartphone or tablet.

Source: BBVA

How to generate a QR code?

You can create your own QR code without having to contact the financial institution by following these steps:

  1. Copy the payment link from your website.
  2. Paste it into a QR code generator for payments.
  3. Once the code is generated, save it digitally as an image on your phone, or print it out and display it in your business.

Steps to pay with a QR code:

To use this payment method, your customer will only need to:

  1. Open your e-payment application, in which you must have previously registered your cards or bank accounts.
  2. Scan the QR code printed or from the screen of your smartphone.
  3. Enter the amount of the transaction.
  4. Select the financial product from which you wish to debit the transaction (card or account).
  5. Confirm the transaction by entering the code received via SMS.

Charge with Payment Links

Another simple way to receive card payments, without the need for a physical POS, is by sending a payment link.

Payment links are URLs that you can send to your customers by any means and that, when opened, will immediately direct the user to the payment page of your website or online shop.

Once on the payment page, the customer will only have to enter the amount and their card details to debit the transaction.

Source: Paycomet

There are different types of payment links, including:

  • Single-use or disposable links: these are generated for specific transactions and can be configured to last until paid or for a specific length of time.
  • Invoice email links: these are sent to the customer’s email along with the invoice, and can be configured to generate automatic payment reminders.
  • Payment buttons in the online shop: these are linked to a payment button that is configured in the ecommerce and lead to the last payment page of the ecommerce.

Frequently asked questions about card payment

How does a virtual POS work?

The virtual terminal software collects customer information and sends it to the financial institution for verification. If the information is correct, the financial institution executes the payment and reports the result via the online POS terminal.

What are the requirements for contracting a virtual POS?

To apply for a virtual POS you need to be the owner of a company or be registered as self-employed, and you will need a functioning website with the legal notice visible and the shopping cart operational. The website should also explain the delivery and return policies, as well as the general terms and conditions.