Mobile credit card processing gives you a simple and cost-effective way to accept credit card transactions using a smart phone or tablet. An iPhone equipped with a credit card reader is a compact tool that's also extremely practical, particularly if you sell products at outdoor markets or travel to provide professional services to clients.
If you already use a traditional credit card processing service, adding mobile credit card processing is a cost-effective way to add additional checkout lines without the expense of purchasing more registers. In fact, the best mobile credit card processing services we reviewed – Flagship Merchant Services and CreditCardProcessing.com – are also the top choices in our review of traditional credit card processing services. Here you can read reviews for these services and additional articles on mobile credit card processing.
The selection process is simple when you focus on a few criteria. Examine pricing and see how the model aligns with your business. Study the service terms and transaction features to see if they match those necessary for your business. Consider the mobile platforms that you intend to use, and understand the attributes of the card readers that mobile credit card processors offer. Finally, think about the level of customer support that you'll need in order to get the most out of your mobile credit card processing service. Let’s discuss these considerations one by one:
Be aware that fees vary greatly from service to service and can include anything from per transaction fees to monthly fees for statements, customer service, gateway services and PCI compliance. When you're evaluating mobile credit card processors, be sure to enquire about the fees that each company charges per transaction, per day, per month and even per year so you can include these costs in your estimates. Also be sure to ask about application fees, set-up fees and cancellation fees, as these can be significant charges.
As you're reviewing mobile credit card processing costs, also consider how your usage will affect the overall price. For example, if you run a higher volume of credit card transactions, a mobile credit card processing service with low swiped fees is going to be your best bet, even if they charge monthly fees. However, if you don't run very many credit card transactions, a service with no monthly fees and no monthly minimums, like Amazon, would be a better choice for your business, even though the swiped fees are higher.
When you're selecting a mobile credit card processing service, it's important to make sure the service terms are compatible with your business and provide you with the functionality you need. For example, if your business is seasonal, ensure that you'll be able to avoid inactivity fees during your off months. If a contract is required, make sure you understand the terms before you sign it.
Every provider we reviewed conforms to the security standards of the Payment Card Industry (PCI), which means that the app is password protected, the transaction sessions are encrypted at the Secure Socket Layer and no credit card information is stored on your mobile device. Be sure to talk with your service provider about what you need to do in order to comply with PCI standards so that you can avoid incurring a PCI compliance fee.
The apps that support the best mobile credit card readers are rich in transaction features and allow you to manage your account and view reports on your mobile device. You can configure the apps to calculate taxes and accept tips, and your customers sign right on the touchscreen and receive their receipts via email or text.
Equipment & Compatibility
All of the mobile credit card processing services we reviewed support iOS and Android devices. Some continue to support BlackBerry, and Amazon supports Fire OS in addition to iOS and Android. Most offer free mobile credit card readers, although some charge shipping and handling.
Help & Support
Mobile credit card processing services offer varying levels of help and support, with the best offering a dedicated account rep who will train you to use the service and will serve as a contact who you can call and email directly.
Whether you're looking for a cost-effective way to accept credit cards or seeking to expedite your small business's current checkout abilities, mobile credit card processing is a terrific solution. With a range of pricing models and service terms available, you're sure to find the mobile credit card processing provider who will best serve your business.