Businesses, especially small businesses, have different needs than larger ones when it comes to accepting credit card payments. Here are some of the best methods for taking payments via mobile devices, as well as how to get started.
PayPal Here is, by far, the most popular payment processing option for mobile merchants because of the ubiquitous nature of the company backing it. All you have to do is download the free app and plug your card reader into your mobile deviceâ€™s headphone jack. From there, you simply swipe the card.
PayPal takes care of the invoicing and backend transactional stuff, so long as youâ€™ve set that up beforehand. Itâ€™s a great option for small businesses that have an online store and already accept PayPal.
Square Reader is a leading small business payment processing provider, and the company has worked hard to become a sort of â€œall-in-oneâ€ provider, positioning itself squarely (so to speak) in the mobile payments space. Most farmers at Farmerâ€™s Markets use Square, and merchants at trade shows often use this app because itâ€™s easy. Like PayPal, you get a free app and plug the terminal into your mobile deviceâ€™s headphone jack.
Square also offers an EMV chip card reader and accepts ApplePay.
The Amazon Local Register follows suit here with a payment processing system similar to PayPal and Square.
If youâ€™re looking to compare card machines for small businesses, this service pairs nicely with custom options in the marketplace. You can, of course, buy Amazonâ€™s card reader for a small fee. The service is ideal for you if you process a lot of keyed-in transactions. Itâ€™s more expensive to do this across all merchant service providers, but Amazon provides the lowest of the high – just 2.75 pc.
Intuitâ€™s is another player in mobile payments space. Itâ€™s an option to consider if you use QuickBooks. In the US the service is called GoPayment and in the UK it is called Intuit Pay. Like many other processors, the company offers its app for free and a reader that will connect to your mobile device. The service uses two different payment structures. First, the pay-as-you-go option offers low swipe rates and a low per transaction fee. The second plan is a monthly charge option with a fixed fee, regardless of volume, and a small per transaction fee.
If youâ€™re a volume seller, this is going to be an excellent option.
Flint Mobile uses your phoneâ€™s camera to scan customer cards. Because of this, youâ€™re not lugging around additional equipment. On the other hand, some customers find this picture-taking a little unnerving. The scan rate for debit cards is low, making it an attractive option if your customers tend to be cash or debit card payers.
Credit cards are generally higher than its competitors.
This kind of processing is ideal if you run a business that deals in low-ticket items – items people usually pay cash for or would pay with a debit card. Some industries inherently attract people who, for a variety of reasons, either canâ€™t use, or donâ€™t want to use, credit cards to pay for their goods or services.
If you key in transactions, Flint is also a good idea since the keyed-in rate tends to be lower than competitors. Itâ€™s definitely a niche service, but when youâ€™re in that niche, itâ€™s nice to know that there is a service provider catering to you.
ApplePay sets itself apart by being more of a â€œpiggybackâ€ option. If you accept NFC payments, you can accept ApplePay. If not, you canâ€™t. Thereâ€™s no charge to accept ApplePay, but the issuing card provider will charge its standard fees.
Google Wallet, like ApplePay, is a â€œpiggybackâ€ service in that you need to already accept NFC payments to accept Wallet.
If you do, youâ€™ll be charged the usual rates by your merchant provider. The benefit to these types of NFC payments is that they are generally seen as very secure.
Phillip Henshaw has been a business consultant most of his working life, he has now branched out creating his own business as an ecommerce consultant for small to medium businesses. His payment processing articles appear on a number of business blogs.