Ingenico iCT220 Unboxing & Review
Ingenico is a French-based company with one goal:
“to provide merchants with a comprehensive and innovative range of services and solutions to eliminate payment complexity and make the consumer purchasing experience seamless and secure, whatever the sales channel or payment method.”
To that end, Ingenico offers a number of different POS and mobile hardware products, including the increasingly popular iCT220 card reader. This lightweight, portable countertop reader gives merchants “the freedom to accept electronic card payments, with or without an interface with a cash register or POS system.” But the most compelling feature of the iCT220 is that everything you need to do, from payment processing to settlement reporting to receipt printing, can be done quickly and seamlessly on this one device.
The iCT220 is EMV compliant and PCI PTS V3 certified. It also manages to support all the most cutting edge modern international security algorithms, which is hugely important to any retailer, however small or large their business. Ease of use, portability, and security have made the iCT220 largely successful with merchants and restaurateurs in recent years – in fact, the Ingenico Tellium II terminal series (which includes the iCT220 as well as the iCT250, iWL220, and iWL250) are currently the most popular chip and PIN terminals in the world. But at Merchant Maverick, we’re not content to simply recommend a product because numerous others have done so. We want to know how something works for ourselves! (We’re just nosy that way). That’s why we recently ordered an Ingenico iCT220 and gave it a thorough inspection.
Want to know how this handy little device really stacks up physically and visually? Wondering if it makes the grade in terms of ease-of-use and durability? Read on!
Table of Contents
We ordered our Ingenico iCT220 through Helcim (see our review), a highly rated merchant accounts provider. It took a while to finally ship (because of high demand and numerous back-orders from merchants scrambling to buy EMV compliant hardware in light of the recent liability shift), but once it shipped it arrived in excellent time and perfect condition.
Every item in the box was positioned for maximum protection during the shipping process, and there was literally no wasted space. The contents had been packed carefully to minimize jostling and bumping, and the reader itself was wrapped tightly in bubble wrap. Not a single item was nicked or damaged, and nothing had been forgotten or left out during the packing process. So far so good.
What’s In the Box?
- Ingenico iCT220 credit card reader
- Power cod
- 2 rolls receipt paper
- 3 receipt pads
- American Express ledger book
- Ethernet cable
Prices on the Ingenico iCT220 vary greatly according to the vendor. Helcim (from whom we got our model) offers the reader for $199/unit, but we found it online for anything from $182 on eBay to $109 (on sale) at Amazon to $433 at Staples. Shop around, in other words, to find the best deal, but make sure you’re buying from a reliable vendor.
Physical specs for the iCT220 are as follows:
If you’re interested, check out the official product data page as well.
It doesn’t take a degree in advanced physics or rocket science to set up an Ingenico iCT220. If you can read a set of simple instructions- heck, if you can look at a diagram – then you should be able to figure out how to get this little reader up and running in 15-20 minutes. There are just a few simple tricks to remember:
- Put the terminal on an even surface and position it so the screen display can be read with ease and the card swipe is readily accessible.
- Plug the telephone cable into the telephone wall socket before switching on power.
- Make sure you have your Merchant ID number handy – you can find it in the Welcome Letter you should have received.
- Switch on the power and the installation process will begin! You will be prompted what to do next by the reader.
There are also a few simple things you should NOT do at any point:
- DO NOT allow any water to get inside the casing of the iCT220. If you need to clean it, do so with a damp (not wet) cloth. You can dip it in mild soap and water, if necessary.
- DO NOT use solvents, cleaning fluids or abrasives at any point in time, or you will risk damaging the plastic housing of the iCT220.
- DO NOT ever use external cables and/or cable lengths other than the ones specified and/or supplied by the manufacturer.
First things first. This is a decent looking little card reader, folks. It’s solid, it’s visually appealing, and it boasts bright, prominent buttons and nice clean lines. Yes, it’s simply designed, but sometimes austerity is preferable to clutter, glitz, and glam. You don’t buy a reader to impress customers with your aesthetic sensibilities. You buy a reader so that you can take payments, period. And the Ingenico iCT220 is designed for maximum useability and minimum confusion on the part of the customer.
Additionally, this card reader somehow manages to feel lightweight and sturdy. It’s not the lightest terminal we’ve ever held, but it fits nicely in the palm of your hand and is not too heavy to carry around easily. The casing is nice and thick, and does not seem prone to cracking or breaking. We don’t recommend dropping the iCT220, of course, but it looks like it could handle a few tumbles from your countertop and continue to function.
The iCT220 has one of the largest screens around, and it is very readable. The screen is backlit, which is nice, and it’s also high contrast, which makes for easy reading. More importantly, however, the iCT220 has a backlit keypad with wonderfully large buttons. And we do mean LARGE buttons.
Some people have dainty fingers, but for those of us who don’t, it’s nice to find a card reader that allows you to push individual numbers without somehow mashing them all at the same time. Needless to say, this saves time by reducing PIN entry errors.
The iCT220 permits merchants to accept all types of electronic payment, including EMV chip & PIN, magstripe, and NFC/contactless. Conveniently, it also automatically determines whether you’re processing a credit or debit card. In short, you no longer need to take time during a transaction and bother your customer with that pesky “credit or debit?” question.
As soon as you slide the customer’s credit card or insert it into EMV reader, the transaction will begin, and the iCT220 will ask for the amount of transaction without being prompted. After you input the transaction amount and hit “ENTER,” it begins to process and then prints a receipt for the customer to sign (or asks for a PIN number if you are set up to accept debit).
The Ingenico iCT220 has ‘multi-merchant capability,’ which means that one terminal can be shared by up to 12 different users. This would be especially applicable in a salon or spa where each hair stylist or masseuse is running their own business. In a situation like that, each person would have their code and process transactions under their own account.
Unlike some similar credit card terminals, the iCT220 can connect to the internet via Ethernet. As you can imagine, this allows for much faster speeds than a standard connection with a telephone line.
The iCT220 prints at 18 lines/second and uses standard 2 1/4 inch thermal receipt paper. This kind of paper is common, cheap, and easy to buy – you can get it at Staples and Office Depot (really any office supply store), or just order it in bulk from Amazon if you want. Some customers have complained about the receipt paper, wishing that the terminal could accommodate a bigger size, but that seems like a fairly minor gripe overall.
Final Thoughts on the Ingenico iCT220
The verdict is in on the Ingenico iCT220, and it is looking pretty good. After our detailed inspection, we have concluded that this handy little card reader is eminently worthy of its great reputation and international popularity. The iCT220 is practical, durable, and sturdy, and – perhaps more importantly – designed with the user in mind. Sure, there will always be the odd, myopic customer who can’t figure out what buttons to push or can’t see the screen unless they’re two inches away from it, but this terminal seems to go out of its way to provide users with the most simple, comfortable, obvious experience possible. The battle cry of the iCT220 should be “Ease-of-Use!”
We also like the fact that it has multi-merchant capabilities. And the fact that it’s quick. And the fact that it uses an Ethernet connection over a traditional phone line. Let’s face it, there’s just a lot to like here.
If you’re looking for a reliable, NFC/contactless-ready terminal to process secure EMV transactions, and want something fast and not-too-flashy, we wholeheartedly recommend the Ingenico iCT220.
Are you thinking about getting an Ingenico iCT220? Do you love the one you have? Tell us all about it in the comments. We’d love some feedback from people out there in the retail trenches!