An Overview of Mobile Credit Card Processing

Most business owners that need credit card processing services either have a brick and mortar store or an internet business or both. But what about those merchants whose business goes wherever they go? Any business that takes its products and services to the customer instead of the other way around needs mobile credit card processing.

What Is Mobile Credit Card Processing?
It’s very similar to every other type of processing for credit card payments: it’s the process of accepting a customer’s credit card, swiping it through a card terminal, and getting approval for that credit card payment. The only difference is that the actual terminal needs to be both mobile and wireless, so a restaurant delivery person can swipe a credit card at the customer’s door or a jewelry designer can accept payments anywhere she displays and sells her jewelry.

How to Make Credit Card Processing Mobile
If you are a merchant who is in need of mobile processing, there are a few things you will need before you can accept payments on the go.

Merchant Account Provider
First and foremost, you need a merchant account provider. A merchant account provider is essentially the middleman between you and the credit card companies. Your merchant account provider will get approval from the company for all of the credit cards that you process and, once approved, will process those payments. Merchant account providers vary in fees, so you may need to do some research before choosing the one that is right for you. When you do choose one, make sure you confirm that the provider is able to process mobile credit card payments. 

Wireless Terminal
After the merchant account provider, the single most important thing you will need is a wireless point of sale terminal. Like a traditional POS terminal, many of these machines can swipe a credit card and/or debit card to process a payment, however, they don’t need a telephone line or direct internet connection to do it. Some of these wireless terminals even include printers. If a terminal doesn’t include a printer, you can find portable printers to work with the terminal that you choose.

Wireless Network
For your terminal to be wireless, you will, of course, need access to a reliable wireless network. Talk to your merchant account provider about the wireless network that they offer with mobile merchant accounts. However, no matter how reliable the network, you may still encounter locations where you are unable to access the network. One important feature to ask your merchant account provider about is a “store and forward” feature. This allows you to swipe the credit card regardless of whether or not you have network coverage. The terminal will then store the information and forward it to your merchant account provider later when you do have network coverage.

Phoning It In
There is another option for those who need mobile credit card processing but don’t want to deal with all of the equipment. Some merchant account providers offer a phone-in option which allows you to call in the credit card information you receive instead of processing it through a terminal. This option may also be good for those looking for a more affordable way to accept payments while continuing to be mobile.

Do You Need Mobile Processing?
Many different types of businesses need wireless processing. The most obvious are the types of businesses that go wherever the customer is. This could include any type of delivery service, a massage therapist, or even a doctor who makes house calls. Some businesses need wireless processing simply because of the nature of their business: those who work the arts and crafts fair circuit need to accept payments at whichever fair they are currently working. But there are many traditional businesses that could also benefit from becoming mobile. Retail stores that allow their sales people to accept payments anywhere in the store can provide their customers with immediate customer service and more efficient sales.

Once you have all of the elements in place, you’ll be ready to accept payments wherever you are and whenever you need.