Paying and getting paid with a credit card used to be a real annoyance. Luckily, today’s fast-evolving digital marketplace has made sure that the hassle of fees, expensive hardware, and convoluted, third-party gateway clients are a thing of the past. With a number of companies looking to expand into this niche, it’s worth comparing a few of the major contenders in order to more clearly ascertain which option might be best suited to your needs.
1. PayPal Here
The most established online storefront on the market today, the arrival of PayPal’s Here solution marks a deliberate attempt to tackle the challenge of mobile payments. The latest addition to their arsenal, targeted at business looking to accept payments – as opposed to the sleek application already available to everyone else – boasts a flat rate of 2.7%, regardless of the type of card used (an additional 1% is applicable to non-US cards). Keying in the transaction (as opposed to swiping your card) will increase this figure to 3.5% + $0.15.
One of the first mobile card readers, Square have had time to refine their focus towards elegant pricing and design, targeted towards a wide range of potential users. Their app is designed to allow for speedy and accurate order-taking, without sacrificing functionality – extra tools and settings are rarely more than a tap away. Swiping with Square incurs a 2.75% fee, climbing up to 3.5% + $0.15 if you enter the transaction manually.
3. Intuit GoPayment
The GoPayment reader app is firmly integrated with the Intuit cloud, allowing for decidedly painless information transfer between your customers and your Quickbooks Online environment. Intuit are distinct from the other options in that they offer two plans as opposed to a single flat rate: the regular plan will run you up a 2.4% + $0.25 surcharge per transaction. If you opt to pay $20 a month, you can drop that rate to 1.75% + $0.25 – but in order to make the latter option worth your while, you’ll need to sell in excess of $3000 a month. Keying in the transaction will cost you 3.4% + $0.25 for the free plan and and 3.15% + $0.25 for the paid alternative.
Flint offer a unique service in tandem with their simple, user-friendly app: all you need to do is take a photograph of the credit card in order to make a payment (you’ll have to manually enter any information not present on the front of the card). You won’t need to worry about screenshots, either; they’re are one step ahead of would-be crooks by designing software to recognize the difference between a photograph and a screenshot. Flint will charge you 1.95% for a debit card and 2.95% for everything else, making it the highest on the list, but their key-in rate is the same, evening it out somewhat. As of now, the company only supports Visa and MasterCard – watch for changes on this front.
The usefulness of various mobile card readers varies hugely depending on your situation. Make sure to estimate your monthly expenditure in order to calculate the best rate of surcharge for your needs.
If YOU have any further suggestions about mobile card readers, share your knowledge in the comments below.