A credit card terminal for my daughter

Jacob Allred

On Saturday I went to a local thrift store with my family. Like most of our thrift store trips, we didn’t have high hopes of finding anything worth buying (thrift stores are incredibly overpriced around here) but this time I found something neat: a real credit card terminal for $9.99! It is an older model, designed to dial out over a phone line to process a credit card transaction. I plugged it in at the store and it powered up without any problems. It even looks brand new.

Anna waiting for my receipt to print

Today we bought some thermal paper for it (just a few dollars) and I taught Anna how to use it: hit the “offline mode” button (so it doesn’t try to dial out), swipe an old prepaid credit card (so she isn’t playing with a real credit card), enter the price, enter an authorization code (any number she wants), and wait for the receipt. Sounds a bit complicated, but she became an expert after 2 minutes of playing with it.

She is an excellent shopkeeper. She is very polite and always says “have a great day” before handing over the receipt.

The next step is to figure out how to change the store name. Right now it says “COMMERCIAL KITCHEN P”, but it’d be more fun if it was something like “ANNA MART”.

UPDATE: I figured out how to put it into training mode. This is awesome because it pretends it is dialing out so she doesn’t have to hit the button for offline mode or enter a fake auth number, and it’d be very hard for her to accidentally get out of training mode.