No one wants to turn down a sale because they can’t accept the offered payment method. That’s why credit card processors exist in the first place—because businesses need to accept credit cards to compete in the modern marketplace.
But in an increasingly mobile society, only accepting payments by POS or desktop payment integration may be costing merchants valuable business. Portable, app-linked card readers, which enable mobile payments for small businesses, are steadily gaining popularity. They give merchants the ability to take payments on the go, whether they’re at a trade show, on a jobsite, or operating a pop-up shop.
These hand-held devices not only allow merchants to close more deals, they also enhance a business’ sense of professionalism and deliver a more seamless payment experience for the customer. Without certain key features, however, mobile payment options can feel like more trouble than they’re worth. We’ve made a list of what to look for when you want to start accepting mobile payments for small businesses.
1. Accounting software integration
If your mobile card reader doesn’t connect to your accounting or ERP software, you’ll have to manually reconcile any mobile payments you take. That can seem like a massive step backward if you’re currently using a desktop payment integration that automatically posts payments to your invoices. You might be able to accept payments faster with a mobile device, but your accounts receivable and general ledger won’t update accordingly.
To circumvent the time-consuming task of manual reconciliation, you need a mobile app or reader that can integrate with your accounting or ERP software to sync your payments back to your accounts receivable and general ledger.
2. Multi-layer security
For many businesses, the chief concern when it comes to implementing new payment acceptance methods is security. Taking credit card payments in the field can seem riskier than in-store or online transactions. Many mobile payment apps employ the same security measures as desktop payment integrations, however, and mobile EMV readers are just as safe as the physical terminals used in brick-and-mortar store locations. Mobile payment options are considerably less risky than cash acceptance or credit card imprinting in terms of loss and theft.
For peace of mind and PCI compliance, find a mobile solution that keeps data secure with tokenization, encryption, and TLS 1.2 compliance. Whether you’re looking for an app or a card reader, you don’t have to sacrifice data protection for convenience. Plus, tokenization allows you to store an encoded version of your customer’s credit card number, so you can conduct future transactions with repeat customers by tapping a few buttons without having to enter their card number again.
3. Inventory and customer information access
Some mobile payment apps go beyond payment acceptance and allow you to access and update your inventory and your customers’ information while you’re out in the field. With this functionality, you don’t have to try to remember the parts you used on a job until you return to the office, and you won’t unexpectedly find a product out of stock. You’ll also be able to view and edit your customers’ information for easy communication and verification.
4. Dependable support
Implementing a mobile payment option might sound time-consuming, but a good support team will provide free training and walk you through installation and setup so that you’ll be ready to accept mobile payments in no time. Plus, they’ll be readily available to help you sort out any technical difficulties that may arise.
Look for a mobile payment solution backed by an in-house support team that’s located in the United States and available 24/7.
5. Flat rate fees
The most significant differentiator among mobile payment solutions, after integration and data sync capability, is cost. Several providers offer free swipe readers and apps, but their processing fees are often higher than their competitors’, and they may charge an additional monthly service fee. Some providers only integrate with one accounting or ERP platform. Others charge higher rates for keyed-in transactions than they do for swiped transactions.
To ensure that your mobile payment solution is as cost-effective as possible, your best option is to find a payment integration that offers a mobile POS or app for no additional charge. Your mobile payments will sync back to your accounting or ERP software, and your processing rate will remain the same whether you’re accepting payments online, over the phone, or in person.
The answer is yes
If you’re asking yourself whether accepting mobile payments for small businesses is a worthwhile endeavor, it’s definitely time for you to dive in. Use these tips to find a mobile payment acceptance method that will boost your sales without setting you back with manual invoice reconciliation or increasing your processing fees. Accepting payments on the go doesn’t have to be complicated!