You have two basic types of terminals that will work for the home based business. The traditional credit card machine, also known as, a point of sale credit card terminal is the terminal type that it is likely that you have seen used in a retail store anywhere with in the last 30 years.
Taking credit card transactions using a credit card terminal requires purchasing one of course unless you have one that can be used. Note: not all terminals are compatible with all processing companies. When purchased from the processor that is setting you up to take credit cards merchants will most often get a terminal that has been downloaded with the processors software. The processors software will allow you to take the credit card from your customer over the phone or in person. Those transactions will be held in your credit card terminal until you settle the terminal and send the transactions electronically to the processor in a process called batching out the terminal. (By the way, batching the terminal out, settling the terminal, reconciling the terminal, closing out the terminal all mean the same thing. So if you are shopping around and are hearing all these phrases thrown at you rest assured they mean the same thing)
When you batch out the terminal you are electronically sending the credit card processor the daily amount of credit card sales you have made. The processor then takes that information and generally within 48 business hours deposits that money into your business checking account.