Mobile Payment Solutions

Anyone who has ever tried selling something can tell you the importance of accepting credit cards. Whether you’re selling products at a trade show, delivering a product, or offering an on-site service, you don’t want to miss any sales opportunity just because you don’t accept credit cards. But you don’t have to buy expensive “wireless” terminals or bust your knuckles on manual credit card imprinters. With little more than your current cell phone and an inexpensive mobile credit card processing app, you can accept credit cards anywhere you are.

Here are some of the unique benefits of mobile credit card processing:
•Real-time validation and payment processing
•Competitive per-transaction fees and low rates (both for keyed-in and swiped transactions)
•Compatibility with a variety of merchant accounts and payment gateways
•Easy online management and integration with accounting software
•Additional features like GPS location reporting, signature capturing and email/text receipts

Whether you’re selling pizza delivery, in-home pet grooming, taxi rides, emergency plumbing or homemade quilts at a trade show, accepting credit cards on your phone is the best way to go.

What to Look for in Mobile Credit Card Processing Solutions
Your business is unique, and your individual needs might make one mCommerce (mobile commerce) solution better than another. To find the best overall mobile credit card processing solution for your situation, consider the following criteria to find the right mix of features, functionality and fees.

Everyone claims to have the lowest fees or rates, but that doesn’t mean the final cost is the lowest you’ll find. There are several fees you need to be aware of to determine the real cost of using any credit card processing service. Aside from setup fees and monthly service fees, there are also fees each time you process a credit card. The per-transaction fee is typically composed of two elements, the base rate and the processing rate. These vary by the payment gateway and merchant account you use, but they can really add up. While one service may have a low per transaction fee, the authorization rate may be high. Calculate your average sales (quantity and charge) to find out which combination is the best for you.

Hardware & Compatibility
Most credit card processing apps work with a number of phones, often including iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Palm and WinMo smartphones. Some services offer a mobile terminal available on any phone that can access the internet, and work with just about any wireless provider or data network. But if you or your employees already have a certain phone, you’ll definitely want to make sure you find an option that will work with your current mobile device. You can also take your credit card processing to a whole new level by using optional mobile card readers or Bluetooth printer/reader combos. These additional devices are portable and can let you take advantage of lower swipe-transaction fees.

Additional Features
Accepting credit cards with your cell phone isn’t just portable, it also facilitates a number of additional features. With the right phone, network and service, you can capture signatures directly on your device, calculate sales tax, accept tips, manage customer info, and even email (or text) receipts to customers.

Ease of Use
Processing credit cards from your phone is remarkably simple; it's more intuitive than learning to use most credit card terminals (and certainly easier than using a manual credit card imprinter and re-processing each card at the end of the day). With well-designed user interfaces, simple features and additional user-friendly elements, most credit card processing apps are actually very intuitive.

Processing a credit card on your phone might seem a bit scary at first, but you and your customers can rest at ease knowing that mobile credit card processing is completely safe. Every service we reviewed is PCI compliant and uses SSL encryption to make sure sensitive information is completely secure. The individual apps are often password protected, and include additional safety measures in the event of theft or loss of the device. Furthermore, credit card information is never actually stored on the phone.

When you think about it, accepting credit card payments via phone is actually safer for both you and the customer, since the card never has to leave the customer's sight, and you won’t have paper imprints of their credit card information lying around.

Whether you’re looking for the best mobile credit card solution that will work with your current phone/merchant account/payment gateway, or looking to start from scratch, our comprehensive reviews of mobile credit card processing apps will help you find the best solution for your business.