Android Smartphones are the most popular type of smartphone currently sold in America. Since smartphones were introduced to the market several years ago, programmers have been coming up with many new uses for them. One of the most fascinating things that these phones can do is process credit card transactions.
Being able to process your credit cards through your mobile phone gives your business the ability to go anywhere. Craft fairs, farmer’s markets, even sidewalk sales are possible when you can accept customer credit cards from anywhere.
Of course, there are a lot of apps that you can download to process your customer’s credit cards. Sorting out which one is the right one for your business can be difficult to do if you have never accepted credit cards before. There are some of our favorite apps.
Intuit GoPayment - GoPayment has a lot of the same features that its competitors provide for their small clients, but it adds a few that are really useful for merchants with high sales volumes. GoPayment offers its users the option of a free merchant account with no recurring fees, a free card reader and no cancellation fee. In exchange, GoPayment takes a percentage of the total amount of each transaction, referred to as a “swipe fee”. This arrangement is ideal for new and low volume businesses that might not process credit card transactions frequently.
GoPayment also offers another type of account that is geared toward businesses that frequently accept credit card payments. For a fee of $12.95 per month, this type of account offers a lower swipe fee per transaction and an increase to the merchant’s processing limits.
Both of GoPayment’s types of accounts give the merchant the ability to process credit cards through a computer internet connection. A merchant is also able to add multiple mobile devices to the same account. This allows a merchant to give every employee the ability to accept credit cards. Finally, GoPayment is known in the industry for its high security standards. The company encrypts customer credit card data as soon as it is entered.
The only downside to this service is that merchants have to sign up for a separate account to process American Express cards.
ProPay Jak – This service charges for a card reader and charges an annual fee. This makes it less than ideal for low volume merchants. The additional features that this service offers, however, might make it worth the extra price for some higher volume businesses. With ProPay Jak a merchant is able to accept and save payments for a later time. The storage of this information is encrypted so there are no security issues. This allows a merchant to still accept credit cards even when the phone is out of range. The service also offers the merchant the option to save their customer information. This allows you to bill a customer in the future or offer him or her a refund. Finally, the service offers an array of customizable tracking and sales reports.
While some of the upfront charges are steep, this service does offer month-to-month service payment plans, no minimum processing requirement, and lower swipe rates than its competitors.
Square - Square has been getting a lot of attention, and it is chosen by a lot of first time merchants. In fact, the service seems to be targeting itself towards businesses that do not need to frequently accept credit cards. While the service does not charge an account fee or charge for the card reader, many merchants complain that the service puts holds on their customer cards. Some of these holds can last for a month, making it difficult to gain immediate access to funds when conducting large transactions.
The service does have a dedicated customer support phone number, but it seems to prefer to handle issues through email. This can irritate businesses that expect immediate service when there is a problem. There are also some security concerns with the service, since Square does not encrypt credit card data during collection or transmittal.
Because of these issues, Square is generally recommended only for businesses that do not rely heavily on credit card transactions. It can be an ideal service to start with for a new business.
Wireless ePay – This service has no monthly service fee or cancellation fee, but it will charge a business to keep their account open. It offers no real advantage over the other services listed here, but there might be some businesses that can save money with its fee structure.
Merchant One - This credit card processing app has a good pricing structure with a lower monthly fee than many of the other providers on this list. In addition, however, there is a flat fee and a percentage fee charged for each transaction. While the app is compatible with an attached credit card swiper, and it is possible to print out receipts, the fees can be high for some business models.
MerchantWare Mobile - This is a cheap credit card processing option with no contract, no termination fees and a reasonably low monthly service fee. Transactions can be processed with or without a card reader, but businesses that purchase a card reader will pay less per transaction.
Charge Anywhere Direct - This is a more expensive option that others listed here. Their app is free but there is a monthly service charge and a minimum eighteen month contract. Merchants are not charged per transaction but instead this service uses a payment structure based on how many transactions are made by the merchant each month. In general, the more transactions that are processed the lower the fees charged for each transaction. This can make it a good option for high volume businesses.
Merchant Anywhere - This is a good credit card service for a business that will not have a high volume of transactions. There are no set up fees or cancellation fees, just a monthly fee that is only charged in the months when you use the service.