Accept credit card payments with your phone

A lot of people no longer carry cash. Even if they do, it may only be a few dollars, in the neighborhood of the cost of lunch for one at a fast food place, not enough to pay fair market price for local crafts goods.

If you don't have the ability to process credit card payments, you are seriously hampering your ability to make a decent income from your work. Although there are dozens of card processing apps out there, relatively few companies have paired an app with a physical card reader. Here is a short list of some of the better options.

One of the big advantages offered by Square is you can get started completely for free. There is no cost to set up an account with them and they will mail you their small, sleek card reader for free. Monies go directly into your bank account.

Fees per transaction:
Swiped: 2.75% (only applies if you "on board" yourself, otherwise additional fees may apply)
Keyed: 3.50% plus $0.15

PayPal Here
If you already have a PayPal account, an obvious solution may be to download the PayPal Here app and purchase your choice of card reader. Although the card reader is not free, the swiped transaction fee is a hair lower than Square's swiped fee. If you do a lot of business, the cost of the card reader may pay for itself in short order. You can also process checks, a feature not offered by Square.

Fees per transaction:
Swiped: 2.70%
Keyed: 3.50% plus $0.15

Intuit GoPayment
If you already use QuickBooks, their mobile credit card processing app and card reader automatically updates your QuickBooks account. The app can also be used with BlackBerry devices, though the card reader is not BlackBerry compatible. If you do a lot of business, you can get lower transaction fees for the price of a low monthly fee. Like with Square, money goes directly into your bank account and both card reader and app are free.

Chase Mobile Checkout
If processing credit cards with some newfangled internet company makes you nervous, you can get a mobile card reader service through an actual bank. With a Chase merchant account, you can download their app and purchase a card reader to accept payments. On the downside, their fee structure is more complex than some of those listed above.

Originally written December 22, 2017