Small Business and the Mobile Payment System

Credit-cards

Small businesses have a growing need to become more mobile, especially in order to keep up the larger companies that breathe down their necks.  It’s about flexibility and cost effectiveness as well as ability to scale properly.

But what does that mean? How can you become more mobile if your store is in a stationary place? Is it possible on your budget and your revenue? How much will it cost?

Well, aside from the Internet, google places and bing businesses proliferation, there are options that allow you to bring your business to the people.

Enter: mobile payment systems.

Mobile Payment Systems

Mobile payment systems or mobile credit card processing isn’t logical for many large companies. The price jumps too much when you’re doing over a certain number of sales, there are limits to how much money gets processed, and it cannot be readily synchronized with other point of sale hardware/software. But it makes perfect sense for a small business with a need to continue to generate sales outside their place of business.

Take for instance a hat shop that has a store and an online shop. Their business is doing well, but when they set up for events or buy booth space at festivals, etc., they are forced to accept only cash payments or have to force the customer to check out their business later at home when they have access to internet.

Credit cards and debit cards have become the largest way to spend money in America. People just don’t carry around that much cash anymore, and if you’re trying to make sales outside of your place of business, the need to meet this demand is ever present.

But which mobile payment system is the most affordable? We’ll compare three companies that are utilizing this technology.

Verifone

Verifone’s rates are a little ridiculous. They can be a little confusing, but I’ll try to break it down for you in a simple way.

  • Monthly flat rate – $290.18
  • Per Transaction percentage – 1.73% per swipe
  • Per Transaction flat rate – $0.36 per swipe
  • Monthly Service Fee – $9.00
  • Device charge – $6.25
  • Monthly device fee – $11.00

They really nickel-and-dime you. This is why they aren’t one of the more popular mobile payment systems. Though, Verifone is one of the most popular payment systems for retailers and the gas station types. The advantage? The rates and fees start to look pretty good with heavier cash flow and the hardware itself is familiar to most customers.

Intuit GoPaymentIntuit credit card processing was one of the first to the mobile payment game. While their system isn’t perfect, their customer service makes it all worth it.  They’ve also got some pretty fair rates.

  • Monthly minimum sales – None
  • Pay as you go – No monthly fee. 2.75% fee per transaction. 3.75% fee per keyed transaction.
  • Pay per month – $12.75 per month. 1.75% fee per transaction. 2.75% fee per keyed transaction.
  • Monthly service fees – None
  • Device charge – None
  • Monthly device fee – None
  • Extras: Integration with Quickbooks, online processing etc, debit card for immediate access to funds

GoPayment is pretty easy to understand. Aside from the keyed transaction fees, the rates per transaction, especially if you pay per month, are fair. The advantage here comes from being able to jump in and try it out without fear of repercussions.  Another advantage is its dual plan.

GoPayment, unlike its competitors, scales perfectly for any sized business. With 2.75% fee per transaction at its free plan, you can start accepting payments right away. Find your business making a lot of money while on the road? Upgrade to the $12.75/month plan and you’re good to go.

On top of that? Intuit. Meaning direct integration with quickbooks, online processing, and so on. The advantage here may save you time and headaches.

Square – Square, like Intuit’s GoPayment, is pretty easy to understand. That’s probably why it is one of the more popular mobile payment systems.

  • Pay as you go – 2.75% per transaction
  • Pay per month – $275 per month + 0% transaction fee
  • Monthly service fees – None
  • Service fees – None
  • Device fees – None

Square has its own strategy and can be beneficial. At flat rate, it compares to Intuit but again, the cashflow will decide who you go with. Its 0% transaction fee is definitely looking attactive.

Depending on your sales volume, you’ll have to make a decision on how to pay, whether it’d be monthly fees or higher per-transaction fees. Both Square and Intuit let you jump into the game quickly and easily. Intuit scales well and integrates with important business software. It also allows you to expand beyond mobile and keep all your processing in one place (online, mobile, ecommerce). Square however has a pretty sweet deal with its 0% transaction fee. Both mobile processors have different limits on transactions. Intuit has great customer service and on top of that they give you a debit card to access your funds as soon as you swipe while Square takes a bit to transfer to your account.

What are your personal experiences with the processors?

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