As a business owner on the move, you need to have a way to accept credit cards even when you’re not in your office or retail location. Mobile credit card terminals, equipped for cell phones, are the ideal solution.
For example, if you’re a self-published author how many times have you missed out on an impromptu book sale because your potential customer didn’t have cash? You don’t ever have to miss an opportunity for a sale at a book fair if your cell phone is linked to a cell phone credit card processing account. You have a few choices when it comes to setting your cell phone up to accept credit cards: use a cell phone merchant account, general cell phone credit card swiper, or use your iPhone as a mobile credit card terminal.
Cell Phone Merchant Account
A cell phone merchant account is a basic system that allows you to call into your merchant account provider’s processing system for verification of a credit card. It is sometimes called “touchtone” processing. You type in your account number, the credit card number, and the amount of the transaction-if approved you’ll hear a message saying so, along with an approval number. You have to use a manual swiper, take an imprint of the credit card (which many customers don’t feel comfortable with anymore, so that is one downside of this method), and ask for a signature.
Wireless Credit Card Processing-Credit Card Swiper
Some merchant account services also allow you to connect a credit card swiping unit to any mobile phone and use the wireless network to accept credit cards. When you swipe the customer’s credit card through this instant mobile credit card terminal, it gets its authorization over the wireless network and displays an approval or denial on your screen. Most of these wireless credit card processing systems also come with a wireless printer that will print a receipt after the transaction has been approved.
For iPhones and iPods
A company called Square Inc. has created a software application that is compatible with iPhones and iPod Touch devices. It allows you to use your cell phone as a mobile credit card terminal. All you have to do is download the app (Square) to your iPhone or iPod, connect a small swiper device to the headphone slot, and swipe customer credit cards. It’s very cool because the customer can sign his name right on your iPhone or iPod Touch using his finger. You can even take a picture of the person holding the item he’s purchased and link it to the transaction to prove that it was valid. On top of that, your customer will receive a confirmation email that shows him the amount of the transaction, his signature, and a Google map that shows where he made the purchase. Basically, no more “I don’t remember this charge” nonsense from a customer who might try to file a chargeback when you accept credit cards.