Unless your business is fixed in a store or shop or in your home, you’re going to need to accept mobile payments for when you’re doing business on the go or in the field. Modern customers and clients expect modern payment methods, and demanding cash or a check because your cash register is back at the office is inconvenient for them and makes you look like an amateur. With industry technology becoming more reliable and more affordable every day, there’s no reason not to accept mobile payments.
Look More Professional
When you do mobile business, but don’t accept mobile payments, you run the risk of looking like a bush league operation to the people you’re serving. When you sell a product or provide a service and the customer wants to settle up, you should be able to oblige. Telling them you’ll have to mail them a bill if they can’t pay cash or—gasp!—write you a check makes you look behind the times.
It’s Technologically Doable
There are software programs for mobile payment systems that conform to Apple, Android, or both. There are systems that work with tablets, smartphones, or some combination of the two. There are even software options if you’re still in the Blackberry camp. All major systems come with support and tutorials for the tech-challenged.
It’s Financially Doable
Most services charge a percentage per swipe and nothing more. This means that you make a sale, the customer uses his or her credit card, and when you swipe the card, a fixed percentage—usually between 2.75 and 3 percent per transaction—goes to the provider.
How it Works
The company you pick will almost always provide you with the hardware (the card reader) and software (usually an app) that you need. The card reader (the mechanism that reads your credit or debit card) connects to your phone or tablet through the 1/8″ jack, you swipe their card, they sign on the screen, and an email is mailed to them.
Among the most popular companies providing the hardware and software to accept mobile payments are: Square, PayPal Here, ProPay, Intuit, and PayAnywhere. Browse them for price comparisons, but also make sure to look at fine print like whether or not there is a contract or any other fees.
In recent years, technology for mobile payments has become much more reliable, accessible, and affordable. If your business is mobile, then your payment system must be, too. Offer your customers convenience while making yourself appear more professional and serious but literally taking money wherever you can get it.
Published: June 6, 2013