Mobile credit card readers have been around for years. However, it’s only in the past year that lightweight card readers that work with smartphones and tablets have become available. These devices change the game for many small businesses.
Where once mobile card machines were expensive, the new devices are inexpensive or free. Previously, merchants had to sign up for a merchant account and pay a considerable sum just to accept card payments. Now card readers are available where only a small percentage per transaction is paid. Read on to find out whats available for the iPhone and iPad.
- Charges: 2.75% per transaction
- Free card reader (while stocks last)
- App available for iPhone, iPad and Android
- Available now in the UK (also Germany, Ireland and Austria).
Sumup offer a ‘chip and signature’ system which works with a card reader and app. To take a payment the app is opened, the total displayed on screen and the customer’s card is read by the card reader. The next part of the process depends on which type of card you are using. Mastercard customers sign with their finger on the merchants’ mobile device. For Visa customers a secure link is sent to their mobile device and they manually enter their card details. Once the transaction has been verified a receipt is sent to the customer via email or text message.
The card reader connects to the iPhone or iPads’ 3.5mm headphone jack and the card details are encrypted using 128 and 256 bit data encryption. With the free app, merchants can save a list of their products and services on ‘shelves’ and pull them in to give the total cost or simply manually input the total. Merchants receive funds into their bank accounts 7-10 days after the transaction, provided the payment is over £40. If not, payment is made when the total reaches £40 or 2 weeks after the last payout, whichever comes sooner.
Click here to visit >> Sumup. For a £20 discount use code CPM20 when you order a terminal.
- Charges: 2.75% per transaction
- Chip and PIN reader £59
- Available for iPhone, iPad and Android (limited).
The customer inserts their card into the card reader then inputs their PIN. The payment is verified via Bluetooth and the phone’s mobile signal then a receipt is sent to the customer’s email address. Merchants can order a card reader from the iZettle website and the app is downloaded from the app store. Once the IOS version of the app has been installed, merchants can input their products and services. For the Android version the product description and value must be manually input for each transaction. There is a daily transaction limit of £15,000 for chip and sign and £25,000 for chip and PIN. 4,000 businesses were involved in the UK trail and there are 75,000 active customers in 6 countries (end 2012) according to iZettle.
Click here to visit >> iZettle
- Charges: 2.75% per transaction (UK and Germany)
- Chip and PIN reader £49
- Bluetooth technology
- Available for iOS and Android.
To accept a payment the merchant opens the app on their mobile device and enters the total and description into the app. The customer then puts their payment card into the Payleven chip and PIN machine and enters their PIN. Payment is authorised with the bank via the mobile phone and once verified a receipt is sent via email.
The app keeps a detailed history of all the transactions and merchants can make refunds through the app. Payleven were founded in March 2012, have 70 employees and in January 2013 received significant investment showing investors have confidence in this technology.
Click here to visit >> Payleven
If you are looking at getting a card reader for your iPhone or iPad the first thing you should do is decide whether or not you want a merchant account. There are articles on this website to help you decide, take a look through the merchant accounts category. For many businesses merchant accounts are the best option.
One of the great things about this new generation of card readers is that accepting card payments has been opened up to a lot more people. Small businesses and even individuals can get a card reader inexpensively or free and begin accepting payments without the need for a traditional merchant account.
If that is what you are interested in two of your options are currently iZettle or Payleven. These chip and PIN readers are suitable for larger businesses taking more frequent transactions as well as sole traders and micro businesses. Using Bluetooth means the card reader is not attached to the mobile device. I would recommend taking a look at the app stores to see what current customers think about what’s available. The card readers listed above have been PCI approved and highly secure.
I hope you have found this article useful. Have you used any of the above mobile credit card readers? Feel free to comment below.