Mobile Devices Are Making for Easy Credit Card Processing
In the past, credit card payment processors required cumbersome terminals and merchant accounts with hefty fees. Today, thanks to modern technology, it's possible for many companies to implement mobile credit card processing within key divisions of their business.
All you need to receive mobile payments in the field is a compatible smartphone and a dongle from the merchant provider. In many cases, the merchant provider will provide you with a free mobile card reader upon request, and additional readers can often be bought at relatively nominal rates.
The ability to accept credit cards in the field is a vital feature because so many customers today choose to pay with plastic instead of cash. When you meet a prospect, if they are immediately sold on your product, would you rather seal the deal immediately, or wait for a check in the mail? In some cases, the customer might simply move on to a competing vendor if he or she can't close the deal right away. This extends across a variety of industries: Consumers expect a smooth, seamless process, and wise businesses will find a way to give it to them.
Features to expect
When you choose a mobile payment provider (leaders in the field include Sage Software, National Bankcard, Data One, and First Data, among others), some of the most important features to look for include:
- End-to-end encryption from the card swipe to the payment processor's website, which both guarantees maximum security and privacy for the customer and complies with payment card industry regulations.
- Flat-fee structures for traditional and mobile billing. Be wary of companies that assess additional fees on mobile transactions, as this can lead to significant costs over time.
- Loyalty-program integration with phones to ensure that staff in the field can better target services for crucial customers.
- Integration with mobile-wallet solutions to streamline the transaction process.
Although mobile payments were developed primarily for business professionals to take credit card payments while on the go, another advantage is that businesses are now able to forgo expensive point-of-sale (POS) systems and instead use tablets and even smartphones to process payments.
When evaluating mobile credit card processing providers for your business, consider these points before making a final decision:
- Does the provider support your mobile devices? Although iOS and Android devices are a given, trying to find support for Blackberry and Windows Mobile can be harder. You want to offer as broad a service as possible.
- How much are the fees? Can you get a discount by bundling the mobile services with an existing merchant account?
- What is the merchant processor's policy on refunds, chargebacks, and disputes with customers? Be sure to do the up-front research before signing on.