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

2 User Reviews

  • Tim Tellander

    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

    • Phillip CPO

      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

Tell Us How They Treated You

Sharing your experience influences our rating and helps other business owners make informed decisions. Please take a moment to tell us if they are serving you well. Your email address will never be published, shared or sold. We only use it to authenticate that you are a real person and, if you select the option for it, to let you know if someone replies to your comment. Required fields are marked *

Comments must contain details about your experience. Please do not use ALL CAPS. Self-promotion, marketing content, or contact information of any kind will not be published. By submitting a comment, you are agreeing to our Comment Policy


Copyright ©, Inc. (Digital Fingerprint: 0d38c6720f0d78a701b74d58653af608). Getting paid to re-write this page? Click here to earn a reward.

Any unauthorized copying and reproduction of the content of this page, including all meta data and computer code, is strictly prohibited. While the information in the above article is believed to be accurate as of its publish date, the author and publisher make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the contents. The author and publisher shall in no event be held liable to any party for any direct, indirect, punitive, special, incidental or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of this material, which is provided “as is,” and without warranties. Any and all use of trade names and/or marks are for identification purposes only and shall not be construed as a claim of affiliation, or otherwise, with, Inc. ("CPO") in any form. The sole purpose of the material presented herein is to alert, educate, and inform readers. It is not intended as legal or financial advice. We may earn revenue if you obtain services from a provider that we recommend. See this page to learn how we support our operations.

Our Top Pick of 2022
helcim logo
star star star star star
Helcim Payments
No Monthly or Annual Fees
Super Low Processing Rates
POS, Mobile, and Online Payments
Sales & Support: (888) 506-7812
Thinking of working in merchant services? Download our free ebook first.
An Honest Buck ebook cover
Most Ethical Processor of 2024

The most ethical providers offer rock-bottom rates, no monthly fees, no contract, and superb customer support. Below we break them down by specialty and industry:

▶ Retail
▶ Restaurant
▶ Card-Not-Present
▶ Invoicing
▶ Online Checkout
▶ E-Commerce Store Creation
▶ Subscriptions & Recurring
▶ Web Developer Tools
▶ Mobile
▶ Non-Profit
▶ Canadian
▶ Seasonal
▶ Quickbooks Intergration
▶ Free (Zero-Fee) Processing