Face-to-Face Payments: Everything You Need to Know

Face-to-face payments are just what they sound like: in-person transactions made with a physical card reader. And even in the age of eCommerce, it’s still just as important as ever. If you’re a business owner who runs a physical location, whether it’s a retail business, a beauty salon, or a food truck, you’ll need to facilitate safe, swift face-to-face payments.  

Since 2014, New Payment Innovation has been providing business owners with reliable face-to-face payments, no matter the size or sector. If you’d like to learn more about how the best merchant service provider in Ireland (that’s us) can help your business grow, give us a shout at 01 4475299, or fill out the contact form so one of our payment experts can get back to you.  


What Are Face-to-Face Payments?

Face-to-face payments happen when a customer makes a purchase at a physical location. This purchase can be made with cash, card, cheque, or digital wallet.  

Unlike virtual payments made over the phone or through email, face-to-face transactions are a traditional, hands-on approach to taking payments that allows you to interact directly with your customers.  

Essential Face-to-Face Payment Technology

Despite occurring in person, face-to-face payments still rely on essential technologies. While not every technology is a necessity to accept payments in person, the more you integrate, the more options your customers have for making payments. Here are some technologies that will help your business facilitate fast, convenient payments.

Card Reader

A card reader machine is an essential part of face-to-face payments technology. These devices enable businesses to accept payments via credit or debit cards on the spot. Importantly, they allow for seamless processing of card transactions and provide flexibility and convenience.  


NFC, or near-field communication, facilitates contactless payments. This allows customers to make transactions simply by tapping their NFC-enabled mobile devices. It is a swift and secure method of making payments.  


Radio-Frequency Identification, or RFID is often embedded in credit or debit cards and is used to make contactless card payments with a card reader.  

Chip and PIN

Chip and pin technology requires customers to insert their chip-enabled cards into a payment terminal and enter a personal identification number (PIN). This adds an extra layer of payment security compared to traditional magnetic stripe cards.  

Digital Wallets

A digital wallet, sometimes called an e-wallet or mobile wallet, provides a convenient and secure way for customers to make transactions using their smartphone or other device. Popular digital wallets include Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, WeChat Pay, and Alipay.  

QR Codes

QR codes can also be used to make face-to-face payments, particularly with WeChat Pay and Alipay. To receive payment via QR code, the merchant simply displays their unique code. Then, the customer scans the code with their digital wallet or payment app.  


Wifi is essential for many face-to-face transactions, particularly for wireless card readers. These readers connect to services through Wifi to safely transmit payment information.  


EPOS systems, or electronic point-of-sale systems, is advanced software that not only allows merchants to accept face-to-face payments, but also track inventory, manage employee schedules, and review comprehensive sales data and reports.  

Benefits of Face-to-Face Payments

The benefits of face-to-face transactions extend far beyond the simplicity of exchanging currency. But with so many other options for taking payments, why should your business pay attention to how you take payments in person? Below are a few standout advantages of face-to-face payments.  

Enhanced Security

Paying in person is a safe and secure way to pay. Smart technologies like EMV chips and tokenisation protect customer payment details. And with the customer present, there is less chance of digital fraud, keeping information safe and transactions trustworthy.  


Face-to-face payments are easy and flexible, bringing ultimate convenience to your customers. With the right merchant service provider, you can accept cash, cards, and digital wallets. This opens up several ways to pay and increases customer retention.  

Immediate Transactions

When customers pay face to face, transactions happen immediately. There’s no waiting around for approvals or processing. This makes the payment experience smooth and fast, which keeps the queues moving.  

Customer Service

Taking payments in person allows you and your staff to interact directly with your customers. In turn, this increases trust and encourages good customer relationships.  

The Best Businesses for Face-to-Face Payments

Lots of businesses can benefit from swift, safe face-to-face payment options, particularly businesses with a physical location. These might include:  

  • Retail stores 
  • Restaurants, cafes, and pubs 
  • Local markets and vendors 
  • Hair and beauty salons 
  • Entertainment venues 
  • Health and wellness services 
  • Hotels 

New Payment Innovation’s Approach to Merchant Services

NPI’s commitment to innovation and customer-centricity means we’re not just another payment provider – we’re the best merchant service provider in Ireland. Whether you’re a business looking for diverse payment methods, integration with your existing systems, or real-time insights, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how we do merchant services:

Face to Face

For businesses that rely on the stability and familiarity of traditional card transactions, NPI offers seamless card reader options, including wired, wireless, and mobile. These methods ensure that you can accept payments securely through trusted and established channels.

In an era where speed and convenience are paramount, NPI embraces advanced technology for your face-to-face transactions. Our solutions, including contactless payments, enable quick and secure transactions. Customers can simply tap their cards or mobile devices for swift and hassle-free payments, whether they’re shopping in a store or at a vendor’s stall.

Recognising the growing importance of mobile payments, NPI empowers businesses to tap into the mobile-centric world. With our card machines for business, you can offer customers the flexibility to pay with smartphones, digital wallets, and cards, making the payment process both efficient and user-friendly.


NPI understands the importance of streamlining safe online payments for businesses and ensuring a secure and convenient experience for customers.

Our integrated solutions are designed to seamlessly connect with a wide range of e-commerce platforms and payment gateways. This means that whether you’re a business looking to accept online payment or a customer making a purchase, the process is straightforward and secure.

For businesses, NPI’s integration with e-commerce platforms allows for a hassle-free setup, enabling you to accept payments on your website or digital storefront. Our system effortlessly manages the flow of transactions, ensuring a smooth experience for your customers.

Over the Phone

Our virtual payment terminals are at the heart of over-the-phone payments. Notably, they provide a secure platform where businesses can process transactions remotely. This is especially useful for businesses that offer services or sell products over the phone, through catalogues, or via email. By using virtual terminals, you can efficiently handle card transactions from anywhere, thereby enhancing convenience and accessibility for your customers.

Furthermore, security is paramount in over-the-phone transactions, and NPI takes this responsibility seriously. Our systems are designed to ensure the utmost security for both businesses and customers. Card data is handled with care, and our virtual payment terminals adhere to industry standards for secure payments.

You can learn how to take card payments over the phone here.

Contact NPI Today

Explore the NPI difference by getting in touch with our expert team. We’re here to provide guidance, valuable insights, and tailored solutions that align with your unique needs and goals. Reach out to us at 014475299, fill out the contact form and one of our payment gurus will get back to you.

Want to see our card machines for yourself? Come down to our Citywest HQ and have a look around the Experience Suite.

Face-to-Face Payments: FAQs

How do face-to-face payments work?

Face-to-face payments involve customers making purchases at physical locations using various methods like cash, cards, or digital wallets. Transactions occur in real-time, allowing immediate exchange of value.

Yes, face-to-face payments are secure. Technologies like EMV, tokenization, and secure card readers ensure the protection of sensitive information, reducing the risk of fraud.

Customers can use cash, credit/debit cards, cheques, digital wallets, and other methods, providing flexibility for both businesses and consumers.

Contactless payments, often using NFC technology, involve customers tapping their card or mobile device on a compatible reader to complete the transaction swiftly without physical contact.

Yes, some face-to-face payment methods, like traditional card transactions, can be processed offline. However, certain features, like real-time reporting, may require an internet connection.

Yes, face-to-face payments are generally faster due to the immediate nature of in-person transactions. There’s no waiting for online processing, making the overall experience quicker.

PCI compliance ensures that businesses adhere to strict security standards, safeguarding cardholder data during face-to-face transactions and maintaining the trust of customers.

Yes, businesses implement advanced fraud monitoring and detection systems to track face-to-face transactions in real-time, identifying and preventing potential fraudulent activities.

Absolutely, the personal engagement and immediate customer service in face-to-face transactions contribute to positive experiences, fostering customer loyalty and long-term relationships.

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