Who Needs a Cash Register? Get Paid With Your Mobile Device

According to Visa Europe, small business owners that don’t accept credit cards risk losing up to 25 percent of their customers. Thanks to today’s mobile payments solutions, you can take payments on the go anywhere, anytime. The best mPOS solution for your business depends on your needs and your budget.

Your Tablet as POS
In addition to apps that record sales, most mPOS services provide small credit card scanners that connect to your tablet’s headphone jack. Depending on the app’s capabilities, you record purchases by scanning barcodes, entering prices by hand, or tapping the appropriate item within your product catalog.

To collect payment, simply swipe your customer’s credit card through the card reader or scan the credit card face using your smartphone’s camera. Your customer can sign for the purchase using your screen, and you can email or text a branded receipt to your customer. Whether you’re selling goods at a farmer’s market or processing retail sales, mPOS becomes simple.

For When You’re Just Getting Started
When you’re just getting started taking mobile payments, look for solutions that provide mobile card readers that are compatible with the device that you have. Most card readers work with Android tablets and iOS tablets, but you’ll have to double check if you’re using a BlackBerry or Windows Phone.

Also, to see whether mPOS works for you, look for mobile payments offerings that charge low rates for credit card transactions. Most companies charge a lower rate for swiped transactions than they do for keyed credit card numbers. Don’t worry about printing receipts; your mPOS application should let you email or text receipts to your customers.

For When Your Business Is Larger 
If you’re starting to operate from multiple locations, or if you want to offer both a POS station and mobile payment processing on your sales floor, you’ll need a mobile payments solution that can integrate with your storefront POS. In addition to having your mobile card reader, you’ll need a POS terminal, but you don’t necessarily have to worry about expensive POS equipment. In many cases, your tablet, a specialty dock, a Bluetooth barcode scanner, a small register, and your mPOS provider’s mobile app will do the trick.

For When Your Business Takes Off
If your small business is really taking off, you need to advance beyond more than just POS. You need a solution that allows for unlimited users so that you can connect as many cashiers as you need to your payment processing tool. Also, look for mPOS that offers not only payment processing but also reporting so that you can understand when, where, and what your customers purchased.

As your company grows, you’ll have opportunities to make both onsite and offsite sales. For example, you might sell books at your local bookstore, but you also might sell more books at an offsite author event. A good mPOS solution can tabulate offline sales, allowing you to integrate them back into your main POS when you have a broadband connection or when you return to the store.

Other Mobile Payment Opportunities
Your mPOS solution isn’t the only opportunity you have to collect mobile payments. If you have an e-commerce app, set it up to accept mobile wallet functions like Apple Pay and Google Wallet in addition to accepting your mPOS. Also, if you’re thinking of creating your own mobile app, look to Starbucks for inspiration. The Starbucks app not only makes payment easy but also integrates with Starbucks’ loyalty program, offering great perks for customers and invaluable CRM data for Starbucks.

If you’re ready to invest in a more sophisticated POS system, invest in terminals that have near-field communication (NFC) technology. NFC allows customers with certain smartphones to pay just by tapping their phones against your terminals. In addition to making payment easy for customers, mobile wallet security features protect merchants from fraudulent transactions.

The Best mPOS
The whole point of mobile payment options is to give customers plenty of choices. Choose something that makes it easy to collect on-the-go payments while also making it easy to complete your accounting behind the scenes. As a small business owner, you need mPOS that doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for every swipe. The best solutions offer convenience for your customers without taking a bite out of your bottom line.

Photo by LDprod | Shutterstock

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