Mobile payment processing is one of the most convenient and efficient ways to accept payments on the go. Whether you’re a small business owner who sells products at farmers markets or a mobile service provider who makes house calls, being able to process credit and debit card payments via your smartphone or tablet can save you time and money.
Not sure where to start when it comes to mobile payment processing? This guide covers everything you need to know, from the different types of processors to the features and services they offer, so you can make the best decision for your business.
What Is Mobile Payment Processing?
Mobile payment processing is a service that allows businesses to accept credit and debit card payments using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Mobile payment processors typically provide a card reader that plugs into the audio jack of your mobile device, allowing you to swipe or dip cards to process transactions. Some processors also offer apps that let you manually enter credit and debit card information for processing.
In addition to providing the ability to accept credit and debit card payments, many mobile payment processors also offer other features and services that can be beneficial for businesses, such as the ability to send invoices, track inventory, and manage customer data.
Types of Mobile Payment Processors
There are two main types of mobile payment processors: standalone and integrated. Standalone processors are standalone services that provide mobile payment processing capabilities without being integrated into other software or systems. Integrated processors, on the other hand, are typically offered as part of a larger suite of software or services, such as an accounting or invoicing app, and work seamlessly with those other tools.
Features to Look for in a Mobile Payment Processor
When considering a mobile payment processor, there are several key features to look for that can help you determine which option is best for your business. Some of the most important features to consider include:
- Credit and debit card processing: The ability to accept credit and debit card payments is the bread and butter of any mobile payment processor. When evaluating processors, pay close attention to the credit and debit card types that each one supports, as well as the fees they charge for processing.
- Invoicing: Many mobile payment processors offer invoicing capabilities that can save you time and money by allowing you to send invoices directly to your customers from your mobile device. When considering a processor, look for one that offers robust invoicing features, such as the ability to track payments, send automatic reminders, and accept online payments.
- Inventory management: If you sell physical products, you’ll want to make sure your mobile payment processor offers inventory management capabilities. Look for a processor that allows you to track inventory levels, set low stock alerts, and create purchase orders, so you can keep your inventory levels up without having to manually track everything.
- Customer management: Being able to effectively manage your customer data is essential for any business, and many mobile payment processors offer tools to help with this. Look for a processor that offers the ability to track customer information, such as contact information, purchase history, and payment status.
- Reporting and analytics: Most mobile payment processors offer some type of reporting and analytics capabilities that can be very helpful for businesses. Look for a processor that offers detailed reports on your sales, customers, and inventory, so you can get insights into your business and make informed decisions about where to go next.
Pricing for mobile payment processors can vary depending on the features and services offered. However, most processors charge a per-transaction fee, which is typically a percentage of the total transaction amount, plus a flat fee. For example, a processor may charge 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
When considering a mobile payment processor, be sure to pay close attention to the fees charged for processing, as well as any other fees that may apply, such as annual or monthly fees, gateway fees, statement fees, and more. You’ll also want to consider whether the processor offers any discounts or special pricing for businesses that process a high volume of transactions.
Choosing the Right Mobile Payment Processor for Your Business
There are a number of mobile payment processors on the market, and choosing the right one for your business can be a challenge. However, by taking the time to evaluate your needs and compare the features and pricing of different processors, you can find the perfect fit for your business.