It doesn’t matter if you own a toy shop or run a plumbing business, you can benefit from implementing a mobile payment system. Adding mobile payments to your business will help you stay competitive, and smart businesses are hopping onto the trend. Let’s start with an overview of what mobile payment systems are, then we’ll look at a few of the most popular options.
Mobile Payments 101
If you’ve been to a farmer’s market or craft fair recently, you’ve probably seen merchants with little dongles attached to their phones that let them swipe a credit card right there and then. Those are mobile payment systems. They work via an app on your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, and they are very simple to use. There is some time required to set up your inventory in the system. But don’t worry, you can typically do that from your dashboard on a computer rather than on your phone or tablet. Here’s what it looks like to process a payment on Square, a popular mobile payment system:
Image Credit: MacStories
Why Use Mobile Payments?
It’s simple, really -- it all comes down to access. You want your customers to be able to pay you anywhere, at any time, in any way they want. The greater your access to payment systems, the greater your revenue. Consider these scenarios:
- You’re a contractor, and you’ve just won a new project remodeling a kitchen. The customer doesn’t have checks, and wants to pay immediately via credit card. With most mobile payment systems, you get your money in your bank account within 1-2 business days. No need to invoice and wait for payment.
- You own a retail shop, and it’s the busy holiday season. With mobile payments, you can turn every employee on the floor into a cash register, helping turn browsers into buyers with quick checkouts.
- You own a small lawn care business, and you’ve noticed that your customers are asking more and more about paying with credit cards. You can either start accepting them, or start losing business.
Those are just a few examples of businesses that benefit from mobile payments. If any of these examples of businesses that benefit from mobile payments sound familiar to you, read on and find out about the most popular mobile payment systems.
Top Mobile Payment Systems
Several mobile payment systems have emerged in recent years, and each has its fans. Here are some of the biggest names in the mobile payments game:
Shopify is ideal for a business that has both an online and brick-and-mortar store. The service comes with a free magnetic stripe reader, and extensive services that let you customize your online shop. You can customize your setup by purchasing additional hardware and by integrating with common business apps like MailChimp, QuickBooks, Amazon and social media platforms like Facebook. It’s an all-in-one experience that gets you on the go whether you’re in the store or on the road.
Their fee structure includes a monthly plan plus a per-transaction processing fee. Monthly plans are $29 to $299, and their processing fees are 2.9% plus .30 cents online, and 2.7% flat in store.
Clover is a highly customizable mobile payment system that is based on apps. It’s an excellent option if you know exactly what you want, offering an array of paid and free apps that integrate with bookkeeping systems like QuickBooks or Xero. There’s even an option to set up a unique loyalty program.
Square is the leader in mobile payments, and for good reason. It’s an incredibly versatile system that is extremely easy to use. The first reader is free, and you can purchase additional readers for your staff at $29 each. For $99 you can get the Square Stand, which converts an iPad into a point of sale system.
The processing fee is a flat 2.75%, and the Square Dashboard allows you to do all kinds of useful things like track employee time, invoicing and create sales reports. You can also accept offline payments in case your phone isn’t receiving a signal, as well as cash payments, checks and gift cards. Adding inventory is as easy as snapping a picture and typing in a price.
So Which One Is Right for You?
In deciding the payment system that’s right for you and your small business, there are a few questions you may want to ask yourself.
- How much time do I have to learn a new system?
- Where am I going to use the system?
- Do I want to integrate my online and offline sales?
- What payment processing fee am I comfortable with?
- How much will equipment cost me?
So which product is the right mobile payment solution for you? Ultimately, you’ll need to be be the judge of that. One thing is certain, though. If you’re not using a mobile payment system, you’re leaving money on the table. No one can afford to do that, especially small business owners.
Take advantage of this new technology to boost sales and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. If you need a cash infusion to take your small business to the next level or to shore up lagging sales, reach out to Sky Bridge Funding for details on how to get cash for your business within 24-48 hours. Get mobile, stay competitive!