Research firm Gartner has alerted the business world to expect a 38% jump in the use of mobile credit and debit card processing in the coming year. That will amount to $325 billion worth of transactions for businesses that allow their customers to pay using a mobile device.
This exciting news is something that small businesses can act on almost immediately; mobile card processing capability is relatively easy to acquire and use. In fact, after a bit of research to find the right type of mobile payment device—and the best provider for your business—you could be mobile ready within a few hours from now. If you’re new to mobile card processing, here’s how it works:
The simplest way to process credit card payments with your mobile device involves first signing up with a mobile card processing service. If your current merchant account provider offers this service, you’re already a step ahead. Simply inform the company that you want to accept mobile payments and they will set you up, usually with a free card reader, which you attach to your device. Once you’ve download the appropriate app, which the card processing company will provide, you’re ready to go.
Most service providers will charge a flat fee per transaction, also known as a pay-as-you-go-plan. This fee typically falls somewhere between 2.69 and 2.75 percent. While this is a bit higher than fees for traditional credit card processing methods, most merchants who want the convenience and the potential for increased sales that mobile card processing affords feel that it is well worth the slightly higher transaction fee. Plus, there is no need to purchase or lease additional equipment.
However, if your business processes over $1,300 in payments every month, you might want to consider a plan that comes with a monthly fee (around $10 to $13) but a smaller per transaction fee (1.95 percent or lower).
Many mobile card processing plans also offer useful features such as an inventory data system that lets you store descriptions and prices of the items you sell. Some vendors also offer the option of having a complete point-of-sale POS system that you can integrate with your mobile card processing system. This is a convenient choice if often process payments at a fixed location as well as on-the-go.
Most providers have apps for both Android tablets and phones and iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone.
Other factors to consider might include the option to process credit card purchases via a web interface, the ability to accept and track cash payments, the option to have a synchronized database to keep track of your inventory, the ability to scan barcodes, and the ability to print paper receipts.
By thinking over your options and needs in advance, you’ll be better prepared to weigh the various pricing levels against the features provided by each vendor.
If your current credit card processing provider does not offer mobile payment processing, or if you want to shop around to find the right combination of excellent service and reasonable pricing (always a good idea) you can easily get started by using InsideUp’s free vendor selection service. It only takes a couple of minutes to fill in our simple form and we will match you with up to five pre-screened mobile credit card processing providers, based on your needs.
After comparing features and competitive quotes, it is a simple matter of selecting the best match for your business and you could be accepting mobile payments in no time.