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Using a Mobile Reader to Accept Credit Cards

Most merchants, big and small, accept payments from customers using credit cards. It is easier to process credit card payments compared to cash payments. Further, it helps merchants with automated record keeping. Typically, brick and mortar stores use point of sale (POS) devices to accept credit card payments. However, POS devices require working with a vendor to setup the terminals and ensuring that the terminals work all the time.

With the advent of mobile computing, it is much easier to accept credit card payments. There are many mobile apps that allow merchants to read credit card details and accept payments. These apps require attaching a credit card reader to the smart phone or tablet to read the card details. This approach is less expensive and anyone with a smart phone can immediately start accepting payments from the customers. The credit card processing steps remain the same except the method of reading the card details.

Mobile readers offer several benefits to the merchants:

• Mobile readers allow merchants to accept payments directly from a smart phone.
• Mobile readers help merchants take their products or services directly to the customers, and get paid instantly.
• Cashier is no longer the single person who can accept credit card payments. Any sales person within the store can carry a mobile reader and accept payments.

Merchants need to consider the following key points while setting up mobile readers:

• Setup a merchant account with an acquiring bank. A merchant account with an acquirer is required for accepting credit card payments via mobile readers, point of sale devices or merchant web sites.
• Work with a reliable vendor to setup the mobile reader service.
• Negotiate the pricing structure, which includes setup fee, monthly fee and any other transaction related costs.
• Verify the devices that will work with the reading device. Ensure that the reader is compatible with most of the popular mobile devices.
• Select a service that offers features such as emailing of receipts and consolidated monthly reports.
• Finally, select a service that will protect customers against potential data breaches.

Several credit card processing companies and banks offer mobile readers as part of their existing payment solutions. In addition, there are independent vendors offering mobile reader services. Merchants must consider the available features, pricing and ease of use, before selecting the best solution.

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