Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Cell Phone Payment Solutions for Small Business

Cell Phone Payment Solutions for Small Business

But what about the many small businesses that are mobile: vendors at antique shows, farmers markets, rock concerts, art shows, book signings, sidewalk food carts, craft and flea markets? Think about all the service providers who come into the home or office: portrait photographers, plumbers, consultants, contractors, even your babysitter. With the many cell phone solutions that have appeared in the last year or two, small businesses and sole proprietors can accept credit cards anywhere, without having to invest in a bulky and pricey $400700 wireless credit card terminal, or resort to the old knucklebuster imprinter. Companies that use mobile sales reps or sell at conventions, seminars and trade shows can also benefit from mobile credit card processing. There are two types of mobile services, those with and without a device to swipe credit cards, but the majority of card readers currently available are designed for iPhones. By law, credit card data is encrypted and never stored on the phone. Most services require an app that is downloaded to your phone. It works with iPhone/iPod Touch, and is one of the few services that also runs on Android, Blackberry and Windows, with a connection to a WiFi, Edge or 3G network and an app you download right from their website. If you use for your merchant account, there are no gateway or cellular access fees and no contract, termination or annual fees. The package, called the Complete Credit Card Solution, consisting of the Mophie Marketplace Credit Card Reader and Intuit GoPayment, is available from Amazon, The Apple Store, AT Intuit and Mophie. Slip your iPhone 3G or 3GS into the PAYware Mobile card encryption sleeve and swipe the card through a slot on the side. Enter the amount of the charge in the PAYware Mobile app and have the customer sign with a stylus or fingertip on the cell phone screen. The transaction is geotagged so you know the exact location of the sale, and you can email a receipt to the customer. VeriFones PAYware Connect payment gateway is used to process payments, with endtoend encryption. No other gateway is supported. Merchant account is required and the PAYware app is downloaded from the Apple iPhone App Store.

Simply Swipe It LLC and Macally

Swipe It app uses Macallys QuikSwipe Reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Transactions are encrypted before they reach the phone. The nice thing is that the reader cradles the cellular device with a spring loaded system that promises to fit all iPhones and iPods, present and future. Swipe It features onscreen signature capture, email receipts, and a free Virtual Terminal for webbased transactions and online reporting. This service uses the Simply EPay Gateway and will support your existing merchant account or help you set up an account with Axia Payments. It can be used with or without their card reader, which is compatible with iPhone 3G and iPod touch 2G and 3G. If you dont have a merchant account and gateway, you can apply through iMerchantPro.

ROAMPays card swipe device works with Android, iPhone and Blackberry and plugs into the headphone jack. The ROAMPay app supports over 200 phones for keyed transactions.

Square has been big news since it was announced in December 2009 by cofounder Jack Dorsey also cofounder of Twitter. The Square credit card reader plugs into the audio input jack of the iPhone and is not much bigger than a postage stamp. With no contracts or monthly charges, a free card reader, and a promise of 0 to $60 in under 10 seconds, it seems to good to be true, and in fact, it might just be. According to Robin Wauters of TechCrunch, the tiny Square device is now the subject of a legal dispute over the patent. If the matter is resolved in Squares favor, the company could be a major contender in the mobile payments market.

Read the fine print when you compare merchant accounts, gateways and mobile apps. Rates are different for swiped and keyed transactions. When you swipe the card, rather than keying information into a phone, it becomes what is called a cardpresent transaction. Because this reduces credit card fraud and manual entry errors, and is therefore less risk for the bank, it will reduce the fees you pay on the merchant account. You may be charged a setup fee, an annual fee and/or monthly fee, and a fee per transaction. Some services require a contract or use of a particular merchant account or gateway. Take all these things into account when choosing your mobile payment solution.

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