Tech

5 Mobile Credit Card Processor Options For Your Small Business

By the year 2014, one innocent question should be deeply etched into every small business owner’s mind:

“Do you take cards?”

If your answer is anything other than yes – and an exasperated “yes” still counts – you might need to start looking into the mobile payment options available to your business. Smartphone and tablet credit card processors are everywhere these days, and there’s no reason not to have one – especially if you’re selling to a younger audience.

However, if you’ve just been exposed to these wonderful little bits of innovation, you might not yet be sure which one is the right fit for you. Below is a rundown of the five best options out there today.

Square

Square logo white

Square is easily identified by the free square card reader sent to members when they create an account. The service offers businesses a choice between a $275 monthly fee or %2.75 of each swipe. The monthly fee option makes it a great choice for high volume companies that do upwards of five figure sales each month. Square also offers a robust analytics service which can track sales over time, by time of day, and more. Businesses also have the option of customizing the app for their products and downloading their transaction histories.

PayPal Here

paypal

Perhaps the most well-known online payment service, PayPal is also branching out into mobile payments with an app accompanied by a distinctive triangular card reader. The service costs %2.7 of each swipe, making it slightly cheaper for small businesses than Square. The app also allows businesses to scan barcodes, charge flat or itemized amounts, and group products in-app for faster entries. Customers can also use the app with their own PayPal account to pay businesses, bypassing the need for a card altogether.

Intuit GoPayment

GoPayment_Card_Reader_with_Card

Distinguished by its cylindrical card reader, GoPayment is a nice option for mid-sized businesses, offering easy integration with Intuit Quickbooks and support for up to 50 users on one account. The service is also relatively cheap at $12.95 a month plus %1.75 of each swipe. It also offers streamlining options such as allowing customers to enter their email address into your database for automatic receipt delivery, and bypassing required signatures for small purchases. The app also automatically processes sales tax using a device’s GPS.

PayAnywhere

PayAnywhere Card reader

PayAnywhere’s business model is to offer the same basic package as competing services, but at a lower price point. At %2.69 per swipe, the half-circle card reader is slightly cheaper than PayPal or Square, but the service also offers no extra fees. PayAnywhere’s analytics services are also extensive, and include the option to have sales reports automatically emailed to you.

Breadcrumb

map_screen_Groupon_app

The app from Groupon comes with a rectangular card reader, a fee of %1.8 plus $.15 per swipe, and several special features. Industry specific templates, an in-app search engine, and item modifiers make completing a transaction quick and easy. The app offers business owners the option to assign users different roles, restricting access to certain functions accordingly. It also functions offline, allowing you to conduct business outside of service range for a time. The ability to keep a tab open for each customer also makes it a great choice for bartenders and establishments with many returning customers.

While each of these apps looks strong on paper, Bellingham Business News knows not all apps are created equal. We would like to hear from you about your experiences using mobile payment processing services. Tell us what Bellingham’s favorite service is by voting in our poll. If you have a story about mobile payments or want to give a shoutout to a service we didn’t mention, let us know in the comments.

Tobias Osterhaug

Tobias Osterhaug

Tobias is a full-time contributor to Bellingham Business News, covering local business events, tech news, and advice for job seekers in the Bellingham area. He graduated from Western Washington University with a double major in History and Chinese Language & Cultural Studies, and has previously worked as a coordinator in Western’s Writing Center.

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