Top Mobile Payment Systems for Retailers

Whether you sell your goods away from the store where you don’t have access to your merchant account system, or just want to offer your customers the ease of paying with their phone, mobile payment systems are the answer. Here’s an overview of the top options available to you today.

The easier you make it for your customers to do business with you, the more likely they are to consider you first when they need something. According to Pew Research, 95% of Americans own a cell phone, 77% own a smartphone. Your smartphone is likely more important to you than a wallet or anything else you would carry with you, according to research.

All of those facts illustrate why companies like Apple, Google, and numerous startups are so interested in mobile payments. 

A quick search reveals plenty of options. Which should you choose?

Using a mobile device to process payments isn’t new. Many companies have offered the technology for years. Now consumers can use their phones in place of a credit card. If you’re not ready for the latter, here are some options to accept credit cards from customers using their smartphones.

PayPal Here– A lot of companies have fallen victim to cybercrime. Despite the widespread attempts to infiltrate PayPal’s systems, it hasn’t happened to them. This is a company that has earned your trust. PayPal requires you to have a PayPal account and a small credit card reader that plugs into your smartphone. Download the app, and you’re in business. No monthly fees and 2.9% per swipe plus 30 cents a transaction.

Square– Hats off to Square’s marketing team. In large part, when people think of scanning credit cards with smartphones, they think of Square. You’ve probably seen the commercials and know the brand. Like PayPal, simply plug a reader into your phone, download the app, and you’re set to go. Fees vary slightly based on what kind of business you run (example, retail, restaurant) and how transactions are entered but range from  2.5% plus 10 cents to 2.75% with no transaction fee. Charges that are keyed in (rather than swiped) are 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction.

Intuit GoPayment– If you use QuickBooks, and there’s a good chance that you do, look at Intuit GoPayment. You get the card reader and the app for free and swipe rates are 2.4% plus 25 cents or 3.4% plus 25 cents for keyed entries.

Apple Pay- Apple knows how to market and it has the money to do it. If you’re even a little techie, or you watch TV, you’ve heard of Apple Pay. A customer loads their card into Apple’s payment app. When they visit a store that accepts Apple Pay, they simply authenticate the payment with their fingerprint, hold their device over the payment terminal and transaction is done. All you have to do is have a merchant account, a payment terminal that is NFC enabled and you have everything you need. 

Signing up for Apple Pay is easy and free. All you do is contact your payment provider and they’ll do the rest. Apple Pay doesn’t charge you anything so whatever you were paying in credit card fees before you’ll pay the same with Apple Pay.

Contactless payment systems are more secure. Apple Pay assigns a unique number to your transaction instead of transmitting your card number—“tokenization” in geek speak. This number is used only once so even if a cyber thief got the number, there’s nothing they can do with it.

Google Pay–  Google has united all it’s payment methods under the Google Pay brand name. To accept Google Pay in your bricks and mortar store, you need to make sure your payment terminals are contactless-enabled and that their NFC readers are turned on. Your point-of-sale (POS) system needs to be able to receive contactless payment data coming from your payment terminal and pass it along to your payment processor.

Bottom Line

If you haven’t set up yet to take mobile payments, you should. The technology is no longer new, and not accepting mobile payments could cost you sales.

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