Mobile payment options

Posted on 10 Jan 2017
Reader Question:

Hey Doctor Digital, my new food truck is finally rolling and I’m ready for the festival circuit. One final task – how do I extract payment from my cashless customers?

Doctor Digital Says:

Lets launch into one of the best things to happen to EFTPOS – mobile payments! Just as customers aren’t tied to bricks and mortar transactions with a myriad of online shopping options available these days, retailers and service providers are no longer tied to their premises or office. Technology is driving the mobility of payment gateways in line with the need of customers to often have commerce come to them. Smartphones have become a default payment gateway, and with extra security measures now built in to most models, and 92% of Australians owning and using smart phones, these devices are becoming the ubiquitous tool for consumers.  Along with external devices to swipe or tap, phones themselves are becoming portable cash machines with Apple, Samsung and Android all introducing mobile wallets into their suite of products.

Australia is trending to hit $21.7 billion dollars in transactions in 2016, and the race is on by mobile providers to capture the market. The key to choosing a suitable mobile payment gateway is understanding the needs for your business and your customers, and the relationship the service you choose has with your existing systems, especially inventory, website store, bank and Point of Sale (POS).

Mobile credit card processing may be a good fit for you if your business is mobile or doesn't operate out of a traditional brick-and-mortar location, such as a food truck. It can also be a good option if you're opening a new business and want to start flexibly and small. This is where a mobile credit card processor that doesn't charge fees and only charges processing costs can be a good option. It may also be a good processing solution for you if you typically accept cash or do most of your billing via invoicing and occasionally need to accept credit cards. Here are some of the other reasons to choose mobile credit card processing:

·       Less expensive upfront costs if you already have a phone or tablet. Most processors provide you with a free card reader when you set up your account or will give you a processing credit as an offset. Some processors don't require you to use any additional hardware to securely process transactions; all you need is the app and the technology already built in to your device.

·       You can accept credit cards wherever you are. This capability makes mobile credit card processing ideal for service professionals who work in the field or if you're a provider who attends trade shows, consumer shows or local farmer's markets since you can accept credit cards as long as you have Wi-Fi or 3/4G service on your mobile phone.

·       You want to add additional checkout options. You can mobilise your sales team with card readers and phones or tablets to expedite the checkout process for your customers as a less expensive alternative to wireless credit card readers.

·       It’s minimal and cool. Instead of a bulky cash register and point of sale system, you can conduct your transactions entirely on your phone using an app and a swiper and then even email or SMS the receipt. Planet friendly, efficiency friendly.

One of the chief appeals of mobile credit card processing is that it requires very little equipment, which makes it a very cost-effective option. Standard credit card processors require you to purchase a terminal or point-of-sale system to begin processing which can be very costly. To process cards on a mobile platform, all you need at the bare minimum is a phone or tablet with 3G or 4G or internet service.

While a lot of the processors offer free swipers, they are not necessary to accept mobile credit card payments. Some processors offer hardware-free solutions, and all processors enable you to manually key-in card information if you don't have a swiper.

In the end, mobile wallets may in fact simplify all mobile transactions as consumer mobile technology becomes more and more ubiquitous and integrated. Big banks in Australia are embracing the consumer driven desire for a single point of transaction, and CommBank has already not only incorporated a mobile wallet feature in their app, they also have the capacity to store loyalty cards.

The tech side of mobile technology is pretty nuanced. Doctor Digital has dug deep into the finest minds of mobile payments and put together the details for us in a factsheet here to help you get your business rolling.