Using Mobile Payments for Small Business
What You Need to Know Before Using Mobile Payments for Your Small Business
Cash or check were once the only ways payments were made. Then, along came credit cards and plastic turned into the way to pay. What could be easier than handing over a credit card in a store to pay for items? How about going mobile with the cash register? The latest trend of mobile card readers is making it easier than ever for consumers to pay for goods and for businesses to make a profit from wherever they do business.
According to BIA/Kelsey, more businesses are starting to jump on the mobile credit card payment wagon. In its recent survey, 40 percent of small and medium businesses are already accepting point of sale payments with mobile card readers. Another 16 percent planned to add this capability within the next year. But some business owners are looking for answers to some of their questions:
Is it secure and safe for both my business and my customer?
The answer to this can be yes, if you do your research. Mobile credit card readers can be as secure as the traditional credit card readers used in-store. However, you have to be careful that the service you are using is secure. The app used for transactions should not save the credit card information to the device and should instead transmit it immediately. Also, ensure that you are using encrypted card readers. This keeps the credit card information secure at the point of scan, eliminating the chance of the information being hacked during transmission. And lastly, be sure to look into who is responsible if the information is hacked. Read the terms of service closely, because some merchants provide protection to the business, while others do not. If the service provider does not protect you, the business owner, you may be liable.
Is the service expensive to implement and use?
The implementation of this payment system requires that the person accepting payments has a smartphone or tablet that can use the card reader. However, many of the merchant service providers are offering the card reader attachments at low or no cost. Each provider has its own method for charging for the service. Merchant services from Intuit, one such provider, offers two different plans, with a flat fee for each transaction and an optional monthly fee that can bring the cost per transaction down even lower if the volume is high enough.
Is it difficult to operate?
Each service provider app varies in how it is used. They are often much like the card scanners used in the store, where the credit card is swiped through the reader and information is typed into the mobile device, then sent through for processing. With minimal training you and your employees can accept payments anywhere. Depending on the service, the money is often immediately transferred into your account. Some services are even linked to bookkeeping software and will sync directly with your books.
The moral of the story?
If you are a small business owner you need to be able to accept mobile POS payments…yesterday. My daughter is out there right now walking door to door selling girl scout cookies and “Sorry, I don’t have any cash” isn’t an excuse anymore. She can accept credit cards anywhere she goes, and she’s 8-years-old. Yes, people like to stay home and buy things on Amazon.com, but there’s an entire market up for grabs right now that is turning street teams into mobile sales forces. Stop wasting your time thinking about whether or not mobile payment systems are something that could benefit your small business and just do it, learn from it, improve on it, always keep getting better.