Bluetooth Vs. Wi-Fi – What’s The Difference?

September 22, 2016

At Chip & PIN Solutions, we always offer our customers the latest card payment technology tailored to the needs of their business.  Although mobile card machines are taking the payments market by storm, not all businesses necessarily require this type of machine, especially if they do not have the need to accept payments on the move and away from their permanent place of business such as shows, and events.   This is great news for merchants as it often means that we can offer a more cost effective payment solution to your business and we often recommend a wireless terminal as opposed to a mobile terminal.
Wireless terminals can provide businesses with a number of great benefits such as, better mobility enabling merchants to take payment at the location of the point of sale, such as at the table. Wireless functionality also enables merchants to accept magstripe, EMV and NFC payments including the latest mobile payments such as Apple Pay, Android Pay & Samsung Pay.
However, one question that we are frequently asked by our customers regarding wireless terminal is the difference between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth terminals? Is one technology faster than the other? What are the benefits of each? The answer is, that both provide the same level of performance and security, however they both offer specific payment needs in a variety of business environments.

The differences between Bluetooth & Wi-Fi

Both technologies offer a 300ft range from the base station or wireless access point.
Bluetooth can only be securely paired to a single base station, however a Wi-Fi solution can roam between multiple access points.  A Wi-Fi solution would be perfect for any business such as stadiums, and large restaurants, as roaming would cover very large areas.
No setup is required with Bluetooth, as it communicates to the base station straight out of the box, however a Wi-Fi terminal will need to be setup to a secure WI Fi network.
Number of Devices
7 Bluetooth terminals can be paired per base station, however unlimited terminal can connect to Wi-Fi.
Power Consumption
The power consumption for a Bluetooth terminal is lower than a Wi-Fi terminal
In summary if you are a larger business requiring more than 7 wireless terminals and require greater roaming coverage, a Wi-Fi terminal might be better suited to your card payment needs.  If you are a smaller business, such as a restaurant and only require up to 7 terminals a Bluetooth terminal might be a better option for you.

For further details about our Wireless card machines please Click Here.