How Do I Get a Mobile Card Reader?

If you remember using those bulky manual credit card imprint machines, chances are you were operating a business long before smartphones came on the scene. At one time, running a paper imprint of a credit card was the only way to accept credit card payments in the field. Now fast forward to the advent of mobile credit card readers.

Using any smartphone or mobile device, you can now take payments for goods or services anywhere. It’s a simple matter of choosing a mobile credit card processing service, plugging their card reader into the audio jack on your smartphone or mobile device, and launching a payment app to process credit card transactions.

These mobile credit card readers let you use your smartphone or mobileto swipe credit cards just like you would at astore checkout. Although there are apps for mobile devices that let you manually input credit card information, a credit card reader is the easiest and most efficient way to turn your smartphone into a true point-of-purchase terminal. It’s the perfect solution for the business that needs a portable means for processing credit card payments.

Credit card readers come in all shapes and sizes: there’s the iconic white square, a blue triangle, and any number of different-sized black boxes. But they all do the same thing: they transmit credit card data to the issuing bank and receive sales authorization. The difference in providers comes in the form or their services and fees.

How To Apply For A Mobile Card Reader

Basically there are three things you need to get a mobile card reader:

1. A company – Generally speaking, anyone who can show they need to take credit card payments for the goods or services they provide can apply for a mobile credit card reader account. This technology was developed with small business in mind, so if you have a seasonal business, provide a service or sell a product in the field, or need a way to grow your business, mobile credit card processing will work for you.

2. A merchant account and a bank account – Your mobile credit card processing service needs somewhere to transfer the funds from your sale. Establish a merchant account with a bank or a credit card processing company. Or you have the option to use a service set up to make direct deposits into your bank account. There are a variety of mobile credit card processing companies, each with their own schedule for monthly and individual transaction fees. Most services charge a fee per swipe. Card information that is keyed in instead of swiped through a mobile reader usually has a higher transaction fee. Compare your volume of sales to the cost per transaction to determine which company will be the most cost effective for you.

3. A smartphone or other mobile device – This seems rather obvious, but remember to check with the mobile credit card service to be sure the equipment they provide is compatible with your smartphone or mobile device, and their app transaction features match the needs of your particular business. Also, you will need to review your phone service to be sure that you won’t be hit with overages and other charges stemming from any increase in data usage.

Are Transactions Processed Through a Mobile Credit Card Reader Secure?

A mobile credit card reader does not store any specific account information; it just transmits the data collected to your processing service via your mobile device. Although there are security protocols in place to protect the data as it is collected and transmitted, there’s always the risk your customer’s account information could be compromised. However, the risk in not significantly higher that the risks involved with any credit card payment transaction.

With mobile credit card processing, you can process credit card payments anywhere, anytime. Whether you’re a business owner on the go, or a business owner looking for ways to increase sales, a mobile credit card reader can be just the technology you need to keep your business competitive in today’s fast-paced sales market.