Pros and Cons of Offline Credit Card Processing

The days of businesses only accepting cash as a form of payment are almost extinct. According to a 2018 survey by TSYS, 80% of those surveyed prefer credit or debit as forms of payment. Many businesses realize that in order to stay competitive, accepting cards are a must. But what happens if a power outage occurs or your Internet goes down? You need the Internet to process these types of payments, or you need offline credit card processing.

What is Offline Credit Card Processing?

This is when you accept the credit card as a form of payment without Internet connection.  This is how it works. A cardholder makes a purchase when the merchant is offline. The personal account number and other data is encrypted and held in the payment processor until you are back online and the transaction can be processed. This can be risky, but let’s look at the pros first.


  • As mentioned above, a power outage can affect your Internet, especially if you don’t have a back-up generator. However, you can still make sales with offline credit card processing, and not even miss a beat.
  • It’s perfect for folks who set up at flea markets or festivals where the Internet is sketchy.
  • If you travel, and need to make a sale, you can do it whether you have Internet or not.
  • If you provide a service like plumbing, electrical, landscaping, etc., no matter where you are, you can make a sale.


  • It can be risky to accept a credit/debit card payment without an approval. Sometimes cards are not approved, and by this point the customer is gone with your merchandise.
  • You may have to set a transaction limit for charges above a certain amount. You have to decide what you are willing to loose if the sale is declined or even charged back. For example, if it’s just a $10 lunch, you’re not taking a big risk by authorizing their offline payment. If it’s a big ticket item like a $1,000 furniture purchase where the customer is loading up their truck to take away the merchandise, you may want to set up a delivery date instead. Loosing that amount of money could be a hefty loss to your bottom line.
  • There are some other things to consider as well. Maybe you only take offline credit/debit transactions from loyal customers. Maybe you set your point-of-sale (POS) system so that your staff cannot sell over a certain dollar amount without authorization from you or a manager.

Bottom line—ask yourself if offline credit card processing is worth it for your business? Can you afford to miss out on a sale? Then see if you payment processor offers offline credit card processing.

In the meantime, what are your needs when it comes to a POS system? Bepoz can help. Call us today to set up a demo.