What’s the Best Mobile Point-of-Sale Option?
With handheld devices outpacing the sale of laptops and desktops, the world has gone mobile. As a small business owner, it may not make sense to purchase an extensive point of sale system, but you should have mobile payment technology. You need a way to handle clients who don’t have cash on hand. Gartner Research predicts a 41 percent annual growth, in mobile payment transactions, with a market totaling $617 billion by 2016 and 448 million users. Not to mention mobile payments are quick and cost-effective for you and your customer. In addition, mobile payment systems are portable and it can be taken anywhere your business takes you. Below we describe three of the most popular mobile payment systems.
Square Mobile Payment System
Square offers free card readers to merchants in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. This allows you to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards. The card readers are compatible with iOS and Android devices. The transaction fee is 2.75 percent per swipe. However, you do have the option of zero transaction fees for purchases under $25. If you have to type in a transaction, Square charges 3.5 percent plus 15 cents. It also gives you the option of giving full refunds, but you can’t issue partial refunds. In addition, it lets you create a customer loyalty program. The only downside is there is no PIN protection, it doesn’t support barcode scanning, and its security could be stronger.
The PayPal Here credit card reader officially launched in March of 2012. Its features and capabilities are very similar to the Square system. One of the differences is PayPal offers encrypted services, while Square does not. PayPal has a standard transaction fee of 2.7 percent regardless of transaction size. The rate goes down to 1.7 percent if you use a PayPal credit or debit card. PayPal Here is a very straightforward system. One downside is that PayPal may put a hold on your account until they can verify the validity of very large transactions.
Intuit’s GoPayment system was launched in 2009. It offers two options: a monthly subscription or pay-as-you-go service. The subscription costs $12.95 monthly with a 1.75 percent swipe rate, $0 transaction fees, and a 2.75 percent keyed in rate. The pay-as-you-go selection gives you a 2.75 percent swipe rate, 3.75 percent keyed in rate, and $0 transaction fees. This system works on the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. The card reader and accompanying app are free. It also lets you give company-branded receipts. Security is a plus because the credit card data gets encrypted, and it doesn’t store it on your phone. It also provides geolocation sales tax. However, there have been complaints of a lack of customer service, and at times, the card reader fails to work properly. To stay competitive, it is critical for local businesses to have a mobile payment option. Each mobile payment provider has a list of features that may or may not suit you. However, it seems logical to stake your claim in this billion dollar industry and give your customers more payment options at the same time.
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