Now that almost half of all cellphone owners in the U.S. have smartphones, small business owners are beginning to use smartphones to process credit card payments and expand their businesses. It’s convenient, it’s cheap, and it’s mobile. No longer do you need a landline and a traditional credit card reader to take credit card payments from your customer. Simply power up your Android, iPhone, or iPad, and log into your bank account. With fewer people carrying cash these days, it makes sense to own a device that can read credit cards. Small business owners, entertainers, and craftspeople can now use cell phone apps to process their customers’ credit cards anywhere, anytime.
Who Needs It?
High-volume business owners may want to sign up for the programs that charge a monthly fee. This kind of plan could be perfect for nightclub doormen, fairs/carnivals, chauffeurs, traveling entertainers and craftspeople, small kiosk owners, outdoor food vendors, and more. It’s also convenient for anyone who occasionally needs to charge a friend for something like a taxi ride or dinner. You can also email receipts to the credit card owner for their own records.
Square Card Readers
We can’t mention cell phone credit card processors without talking about SquareUp.com. It’s quickly becoming the go-to device for anyone that needs a mobile processor. The best part? You can order a free swipe device online and then connect it to your bank account. The fee structure is simple: The Square Company takes 2.75 percent of every swipe and deposits the rest into your bank account the next day.
Moblized is a company like Square. Consumers can order a free card reader without any monthly or annual fees. The company takes 2.69 percent plus 19 cents per transaction. They also offer other plans if you are a business owner who needs to process over $2,000 a month. Like Square, Moblized requires customer signatures and emails them receipts.
The GoPayment card reader is free and plugs into the headphone jack on most iPhones, Blackberry phones, and Androids. For infrequent users, pay only 2.7 percent per swipe with no ongoing fees. High-volume users can sign up for the $12.95 a month plan that only takes 1.7 percent per swipe. As with the other credit card readers, you don’t have to meet any minimum requirements.
Non-Swipe Credit Card Apps
Several other companies offer apps that don’t require any swipe devices. All you need to do is key in the customer’s credit card information. Most of these plans have monthly fees attached. Some popular apps include iPay POS, MerchandWARE Mobile, vTerminal, and Mobile Merchant Pro.