There’s a lot of talk about credit cards from the vantage point of borrowers. Financial experts discuss the pitfalls of taking on too much debt, atrocious fees and solutions put in place by the Fed – with little sympathy for the banks or institutions that provide the service. One aspect of the industry that doesn’t get much attention is the growing use of mobile technology and how it’s helping small businesses. Being able to accept all forms of payment is essential, and mobile card technology provides many benefits over traditional card processing.
For many small businesses, providing traditional credit card services can be costly with monthly fees for swipe devices and designated connections, on top of the unavoidable card fees charged by the processor. To lower the cost, business owners are replacing transactions at the checkout with mobile device payments that can be processed anywhere, opening opportunities to market their product or services on-the-go. In the big scheme of things, the mobile card market is relatively new, but as it expands it’s bringing new innovations and technology to the table. The savvy business owner will keep abreast of the latest updates and take advantage as it is introduced. For now, here are just a few of the ways mobile technology can help your small business.
Benefits of Mobile Payment Solutions
- Virtually any business can be approved. Run an eBay store from your basement and you can accept in-person credit card payments. Provide handyman services for the elderly around town and you can do the same.
- All mobile platforms are compatible with mobile card readers.
- No need to invest in technology for the sole purpose of accepting credit.
- Portable and easy to use. The reader fits in your pocket and attaches to your mobile device via the headphone jack or charger port.
- Forget your reader? Complete transactions manually using any Internet connected device.
Choosing a Mobile Service Provider
As with any service you require, it’s best to take the time to compare mobile payment providers. They run the gamut from bare bones to all the bells and whistles. First and foremost be sure the service they provide is compatible to the market you’re in and will benefit the way you plan to do business. Calculate the start up costs, including any initiation fees. Read blogs and use peer review sites to learn about the pros and cons of each service and choose one that receives a high approval rating.
A helpful comparison can be found at TopTenReviews.com where a comprehensive list has been compiled of the best mobile credit card processing services currently on the market. The ratings include estimated annual savings, associated fees and compatibility information for a range of mobile platforms, from iOS to Android to BlackBerry. Many of the leading services offer similar functionality, but fees and other costs vary widely. And some lack a few basic features, like the ability to capture a written signature or void transactions directly from your mobile device.
Securing Transactions for Buyer and Seller
Once you’ve chosen a provider, you’ll need to become educated on how to use the technology in a secure manner for both your protection and that of your customers. If applicable, allow automatic software updates to ensure you have the latest and best protection in place. Be wary of installing additional apps from outside sources. Only allow downloads from your device manufacturer or other reputable sources like, i.e., Apple App Store, Google Play, BlackBerry World, etc.
Protect the integrity of your customers’ by password-protecting your device so that it remains locked until you need it. If it’s ever lost or stolen, this will prevent unauthorized use that could be devastating not only the financial security of your business, but to that of your customers.
* See a complete list of business credit cards at: wowcreditcards.com/business/