Imprinter Definition

Merchant Account Imprinter Definition:

What is an Imprinter? A credit card imprinter, sometimes affectionately called a “knuckle buster” because of its difficulty to physically manipulate, is a device that makes a carbon copy imprint of a customer’s credit card. An impression of the card is made by placing it in the imprinter along with a specially designed carbon copy receipt and sliding a handle over the top of the two.

Imprinters are used when the physical card can be accepted from the customer but not processed on location. The carbon copy of the card along with the customer’s signature serves as proof of the customer’s authorization of the transaction in the event of a dispute. The use of imprinters is declining due to advances in smart phone credit card processing; however, many delivery businesses continue to use them.

Imprinter Video Demonstration

Use of this video does not constitute an endorsement of any kind by CardPaymentOptions.com.

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I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

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2 Reviews Leave Your Review Below

  1. Tim Tellander says:

    I belong to a blacksmithing group and we sell our wares at fairs, demonstrations, festivals, etc. We are encountering more and more people without cash money and they want to pay with a credit card.
    Is there any uncomplicated way of swiping (or imprinting) their card and then get our money from the bank that issued the card?
    I’m sure your office is more than amused with the simplicity of my inquiry, but I would appreciate a response.
    —you guessed it – I don’t have any kind of smart phone

    1. Hi Tim,

      Unless you are doing over $1000 per month in credit sales, it won’t be cost effective for you to accept cards through a traditional provider. Your cheapest option would be to buy a smartphone and then use a mobile credit card processing app and card reader service. You can find our top picks for credit card processing apps in our Android list and iPhone list

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