technology

Digital Phone Lines & Credit Card Terminals – Why They Don’t Go Together

Does this sound familiar to you?

Your phone service has recently been upgraded from old analog lines to new advanced digital technology. All your phone calls are now crystal clear. You can connect to the Internet 100 times faster and your emails load in a snap.

Telephone companies adapt their systems to the latest technologies in order to better serve their customers. Go out with the old, go in with the new.

But what happened to your credit card terminal? Suddenly it doesn’t work as well as it used to, or maybe not at all. Your business suddenly comes to a halt.

Ring a bell yet?

It certainly is for me. I hear it almost every day. In recent years, this has become a common occurrence. In fact, if I had a quarter for every time I heard about this problem, I could buy a tropical island and build a five star resort, with an 18 hole mini golf course.

Here is the problem. Credit card terminals are equipped with “analog” telephone modems. These modems are designed to work with analog lines that have just been replaced by your new digital service. It probably doesn’t mean much to you. You might be wondering why this should make a difference. A telephone line is a telephone line, isn’t it? Well, not exactly … let me explain.

Analog modems operate in a frequency band between 300 and 3400 hertz. For it to work properly, it requires a phone line that also works in this frequency range. Your digital line speaks an entirely different language. It operates at frequencies between 25 kHz (kilohertz) and 1.1 MHz (megahertz), which is significantly faster than your analog lines.

These conflicting frequencies create “echoes” or “line noise” when the terminal attempts to dial for processing. Since the terminal modem does not have the capacity to properly adapt and filter these noises, the communication is interrupted and fails. In rare cases, digital signals can actually overwhelm the terminal modem, causing it to burn out.

So the question becomes: what can be done to solve this problem?

There is a device that you can buy at your local electronics store for around $ 15 to $ 20. This is called a DSL filter. This handy little gadget will filter digital information from your phone lines and send it to your terminal at lower frequencies, canceling out line noise. 98% of the time, the filter solves the problem and our merchants are able to resume their activities. There are unfortunately cases where this does not work. For traders who fall into this 2%, we offer the following solutions:

  • Contact your telephone company and request that an analog telephone line be installed. This line will only be used for your credit card terminal
  • If you have a fax at your location, connect a telephone line splitter to this wall jack, connect your terminal on one side and the fax on the other. In most cases, we have found that fax machines are connected to dedicated analog phone lines and are not replaced when digital service is installed.
  • Upgrade to a terminal that supports an IP / Ethernet connection
  • Switch to a web-based or PC-based treatment program.

Until next time … Thanks for reading.


Source by Jeff Zervos

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