PDQ is an abbreviation of the phrase 'process data quickly' and is an alternative name for a chip and PIN machine. It first came about when the earliest card machines were introduced in the UK and has remained in common use since then.
The machine works by reading the data stored on your credit or debit cards. The very early models of these machines worked by sliding the magnetic stripe on the reverse of the card through a long reader on the side or top of the terminal.
Most modern PDQ machines have now updated to a card slot system since the introduction of chip and PIN technology. The small chip embedded in the card has replaced the stripe and means that consumers no longer have to sign for goods or purchases.
There are three different types of PDQ machine in common use in the UK.
The countertop PDQ is the most popular and widely used credit and debit card machine. This easy to use terminal sits by the till or sales desk and connects to either the phone or broadband. It’s used by retailers, restaurants and any business where payments are taken from a single fixed point in the business.
Another popular machine is the portable terminal. This card machine uses either Bluetooth or wireless connectivity to link to a central hub or dock. It can be picked up and carried around like a regular phone handset and works at a range of around 100m. These PDQ machines are perfect for hospitality and catering or in larger retailers and stores.
The third type of PDQ terminal that you may come across is the mobile or GPRS card machine. This handy card reader can be used anywhere that receives mobile phone reception and is the perfect PDQ machine for a business that travels or works from different locations on regular basis.