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Terminal Buying: The Costs and the Risks

When I’m looking to make a purchase, my first question is usually about price. What is this going to cost me? It’s natural, and it’s easier than ever to shop around for the best deal on anything with a quick Google search.

For simple purchases, this approach can work well. If I’m looking for a new toaster, all I need to know is how much it costs and maybe a few other details. I don’t have to worry about the toaster being incompatible with my bread or my wall socket, because all of that is pretty universal. I can look at a few toaster models and make a selection with a minimum of research and be confident that I won’t have any problems making toast.

It’s nice when buying decisions are that simple, but as we all know some things are complicated and require a little more expertise. At Wind River, sometimes we see business owners trying to buy a payment terminal the same way they would buy a toaster. This used to be possible without a lot of repercussions, but as terminal security requirements have tightened and terminal software has gotten more complex, buying a cheap terminal online has turned into a real trap. Repeat after me: terminals are not toasters.

EMV terminals have different software versions for different processors. If you purchase a terminal online, there’s a real danger that you will end up with a machine that looks right but is impossible to use with Wind River. If the terminal has the right software, it still needs to be programmed before it will work. This takes time and costs you money, and there is always a risk that the terminal has been locked and can’t be programmed at all. Finally, to be compliant with EMV requirements, the terminal needs the proper encryption. Encrypting a terminal is not something that can be done over the phone. The encryption process can only be done by one of our hardware vendors, so you would need to ship that terminal to them, pay for the encryption service, and then wait to get your terminal back before your new machine is ready to use.

When you buy a terminal online, at best you are buying a machine that is not ready to use, and at worst you are buying a machine that you can’t use at all.

When you factor in the costs to get a terminal ready and the time spent shipping your terminal back and forth, you don’t save any money by buying online from someone else. In fact, all you get is extra hassle and waiting before you can use your new machine.

If you are a current Wind River customer looking to upgrade to a chip card terminal, contact your relationship manager today and let us guide you through the process. We’ll save you time and trouble by providing you with a new machine that is guaranteed to work and ready to use.

How do I get help?

Don’t hesitate to email us at or call us at 1(800)704-7253


Nathan Wright

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