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Ingenico’s RP series currently offers 4 different mobile card readers, which can be a little confusing. The difference is in which types of payments the reader can process. All of the readers can handle traditional magnetic strip cards, but after that, it varies. This review and profile is about the Ingenico RP170c – a reader that accepts contactless transactions (that’s the “c” in RP170c) and magnetic strip cards, but not chip cards.
When would you need this reader? If you have a lot of customers that prefer to pay with Apple Pay or other digital wallets, the Ingenico RP170c might work for you. Just remember that as more customers are issued chip cards by their banks, magnetic strip cards will start to become less common. Chip cards will still have a magnetic strip and can be used in magstripe readers (like the RP170c) but if you run a chip card using the magnetic strip, the liability for fraud shifts to you.
In order to use the card reader, you’ll need to download the ROAMpay app and you must set up a merchant account with a compatible processor. Ingenico is a universal credit card processing equipment manufacturer, so many different companies may be able to support the RP170c. You can get a quote for processing using Ingenico equipment by using CardFellow’s quote request tool.
The Ingenico RP170c’s features include a buzzer and color LEDs to signify the end of a contactless transaction. The ROAMpay app’s features include several functions that businesses have come to expect. In addition to accepting payments, you can issue refunds, set up tax and discount configuration, allow customers to add tips, and customize your receipts. Certain compatible smartphones and tablets can also allow you to capture signatures on-screen. An offline payment mode ensures that you can still process transactions even when you don’t have a connection at the time of sale. If you regularly take payments for items with barcodes, you can choose to use barcode scanning for faster check out.
For non-payment functions, the ROAMpay app includes inventory management and customer data collection with transaction notes, so you can see what your customers are buying and plan accordingly.
The RP170c measures 66 x 49 x 16 mm. It uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery that connects to a power source with a USB cord. Ingenico claims it can process a minimum of 200 magnetic swipe card transactions or 50 contactless transactions per week.
The card reader has 4 LED lights on it. One LED light shows you device and battery status, while all four light up when you process a contactless transaction.
Ingenico’s RP170c and the ROAMpay app are PCI compliant. The card reader encrypts payment data from the moment you swipe or tap the payment method. No one will be able to see the data when transmission is encrypted. To ensure your customer’s data is safe and accurate, the app gives you the option of enabling zip code and CVV (the three numbers on the back of a card) for manually-entered transactions.
The ROAMpay app includes a merchant portal, myROAM, through which you can view reports. Neither version of the app’s websites includes more information on the types of reports you can generate. Within the app, you can view your transaction history.
It's nice to have the option to take contactless payments, but with everyone switching to chip credit cards, it's a problem that this reader doesn't accept them. Maybe check out some of the other Ingenico RP models that do take chip cards.