Ain’t technology great? These days, you can accept payments no matter where you are, from your smartphone or tablet. This is great if you sell products at a farmer’s market or need to process customers’ credit cards when you’re out of the office. Heck, mobile payments are great even if you have a brick and mortar location and just want a more flexible (and cost effective) option than your traditional merchant payment processor.
Here are some of the latest and greatest apps to help you accept payments on the go.
Square was one of the first mobile payment options to really take off. You can use Square with an iPhone or iPad to swipe credit cards (they’ll send you a tiny card swiping device you plug into your phone). Transaction fees are 2.75% per swipe.
If you’re looking for a more casual mobile payment option (as in: you don’t often need the service) and don’t need to swipe a card, Paypal has a tool that lets you send and receive payments through your Paypal account through your phone. Paypal Here will also be available soon, and will offer a similar swipe device like Square, for a rate of 2.7% per swipe.
Revel Point of Sale System
A great alternative to traditional point of sale cash registers are tablet-based ones like Revel’s. If you own a restaurant, these are all the rage on the West coast, as more and more restaurants are reducing their staffing needs simply by letting customers order and pay via iPad. You can upload menus and special offers as well.
Benefits to Accepting Mobile Payments
Being able to process payments on the go opens up the possibilities to get new customers in new places. The world is your cash register. It’s also great if you’re just dabbling in a hobby you’d like to grow into a business. If, for example, you sell your handmade necklaces at local community fairs, you don’t have to only accept cash. By opening up your payment options, you can test out whether your business idea is a viable one or not.
There’s no equipment to rent or buy with mobile payments. You already own the device (your phone or tablet). Adding an app that allows you to process payments enhances the value of your device, and allows you to write it off as a business expense.
If you haven’t tried out accepting payments on your mobile device, give it a try. After all, what do you have to lose?
Photo: joe.ross on Flickr.