Guest post by Shannon Martin of MerchantSeek.com.
Mobile Credit Card and Payment Processing Technology
Many of the latest developments in payment processing news center on mobile merchant account offerings for businesses that spend more time “on the road” than they do back at the office behind a desk. These technologies can be of enormous benefit to service business like plumbers and electricians, remote location season “stands” (fireworks in July or Christmas trees in December), tradeshow vendors, and door-to-door sales. Mobile merchant account services have evolved in direct relation to the rapid advancement and acceptance by the general public of smartphones — and that’s excellent payment processing news. There are readers that attach to both the iPhone and Android devices that allow cards to be swiped anywhere with secure data transmission–so that no sale is ever missed. Some of the most recent offerings capitalize on the burgeoning popularity of tablet devices, with the iPad leading the way. Due to the tablet form factor, these devices can often be set up to mimic the look and feel of a “real world” credit card processing terminal. While the solution is still wireless, the tablet provides the consumer with a visibly familiar payment environment, which has a positive psychological effect on their willingness to make a purchase regardless of the physical setting.
What About Safety and Security?
It is extremely important, however, to understand how data is encrypted with any of these devices and to make sure the consumer’s data isn’t being stored in a way accessible to thieves. Some devices, for instance the Square reader, have come under suspicion for failing to encrypt data and for storing account information in the device itself in an accessible manner. When mobile payment solutions work as they should, however, they return ease of convenience for both the salesperson and the customer. Assessing these offerings is no different than comparing any other kind of merchant service. You will need to understand the transaction, gateway, and statement fees, as well as any monthly minimum and maximum levels and early termination costs associated with the account. Some mobile merchant accounts have start-up and equipment fees, others do not. Mobile merchant accounts are a natural outgrowth of the widespread use of wireless devices in our society. They offer convenience to both the merchant and the consumer, and greatly expand your business presence in a variety of locations. Like any merchant services account, if you do your research and select a model that best fits your business, the mobile processing capability you gain is an effective business asset.