Since many people prefer going cashless these days, so, if you are running a business in retail (or any other industry), then you will need a mobile credit card reader to avoid losing customers and clients carrying only credit and debit cards for businesses.
As such, investing in mobile credit card processing is also a smart decision, even for traditional small business owners. Your customers are getting more tech-enabled and they may expect you to have new and sophisticated equipment that accepts debit and credit cards or whatever is in their wallet.
As you may already know, mobile credit card processing lets you sell products and accept payments on-the-go with a smartphone or tablet. Mobile credit card readers should be easy and reliable and have affordable transaction fees, come with a free business management app, and function offline. The best mobile credit card processing services usually don’t have a startup or monthly fees. So, getting one should not be any trouble for you.
But which products and services are right for your business? Let us do the heavy lifting for you. Here are our picks for this year’s five best mobile credit card readers.
Most affordable and user-friendly option for small businesses. Square is the top leading mobile credit card processing app that uses Android or iOS card readers that plug directly into your smartphone or tablet. It is the best choice for small business owners because the free app is feature-rich, user-friendly, requires no application and has competitive processing rates, especially for businesses with an average transaction below $20.
Square does not have a startup or monthly fees and supports both physical card swipes and keyed-in payments via its powerful mPOS app. You get a free magstripe reader for swiping cards upon sign-up. More importantly, additional readers, including options for processing EMV chip cards, are available for purchase.
Square covers virtually every on-the-go credit card processing need a business can dream up. They are considered the best mPOS – point of sale industry leader, with the ability and potential to accept payments offline and features like an automated customer directory and digital receipts. And when you make credit card payments with Square, funds are usually available in your account within one to two business days.
If your business expands from mobile credit card processing to in-store or online sales, Square has you covered. With Square’s all-in-one payment solution and powerful free POS and business management software, you are poised to grow in any direction.
Best for Quickbooks users. GoPayment allows you to accept and track any payment type, including PayPal, cash, and checks through the mobile app.
And QuickBooks offers solutions for desktop users and for accepting online payments through your website. From the familiar financial software company Intuit, QuickBooks GoPayment is the best mobile card reader for businesses already using QuickBooks accounting and sales software.
GoPayment offers two ways to get started. The first doesn’t require a monthly fee or subscription, and it charges you 2.4% plus $0.25 per transaction swipe. As mentioned earlier, hose per-transaction fees can become expensive, especially if your business does a lot of small-value transactions.
For a better route, choose GoPayment’s monthly payment option. It costs $20 per month but brings the transaction costs down to 1.6% plus $0.25 per swipe. This plan saves you even more if your transactions tend to be higher, say in the $75 range.
And the greatest advantage to the GoPayment reader and app is its integration with Intuit’s QuickBooks software. Many businesses use QuickBooks to manage payroll, inventory, sales, and other functions, so integrating your mPOS system with the accounting software is a major upside.
GoPayment does not have the fastest funding time, you get deposits within two to four business days. But, its QuickBooks integration may compensate for the funding delay because your transactions are automatically recorded and synced with your bookkeeping software. Transaction fees with GoPayment are higher than its competitors’ fees, and the reader will cost you $19. However, it can accept chip cards right out of the box.
Surprisingly, there is no GoPayment solution for contactless payments, but with the growing popularity of Apple Pay, Google Pay and other NFC-enabled payments, we expect Intuit will provide this option soon.
Multichannel businesses that sell online and over mobile. Shopify is an e-commerce platform that also offers in-store and mobile credit card processing starting at just $9 per month with competitive flat-rate transaction fees. Shopify is the best mobile card processing for e-commerce sellers because it keeps inventory, sales, and customer data from every mobile and online transaction in one place.
Shopify’s entry-level plan, Shopify Lite, gives you a full-featured mobile POS, sales and inventory management tools, shipping functions, several online selling options, and a Facebook shop integration, all for just $9 per month. Plus, you can sign up and start accepting credit cards in minutes, get a free mobile credit card reader and enjoy competitive rates with no startup or cancellation fees.
Shopify’s entry-level plan, Shopify Lite, gives you a full-featured mobile POS, sales and inventory management tools, shipping functions, several online selling options, and a Facebook shop integration, all for just $9 per month. Plus, you can sign up and start accepting credit cards in minutes, get a free mobile credit card reader, and enjoy competitive rates with no startup or cancellation fees.
For our comparison of startup-friendly mobile credit card processing services, we’re featuring the entry-level Shopify Lite plan pricing below. And with higher-level plans, your processing rates can drop as low as 2.4%, but these carry higher monthly fees. For more on that, see our article that compares all Shopify plans and pricing.
Shopify’s mobile credit card reader and its POS – Point Of Sale mobile app offers you payment processing, sales, and business management tools right on your phone or tablet. With Shopify POS, you can:
Shopify POS is the mobile extension of Shopify’s industry-leading, back-end ecommerce store and order management system. Even with the $9 per month Shopify Lite plan, you get access to powerful selling features like online and Facebook sales, shipping management, and inventory tracking. Shopify POS effectively allows you to extend your sales reach beyond in-person mobile credit card processing.
Cost-effective option for businesses that do not need full POS features. PayPal Here is a mobile credit card processor with very competitive flat-rate fees and a simple, but user-friendly app. PayPal Here is not as feature-rich as Square but quite reasonable and quick to get started, making it the best mobile card processing option for any business that wants to accept PayPal payments.
You also can add PayPal Here to any PayPal business account, including their free PayPal Starter account. New users can also get initiated with PayPal Here with no start-up fee, similar to Square.
PayPal accepts all major credit cards and e-Wallet payments, and lets you do far more than that within your PayPal Here account, including:
Being able to accept PayPal account payments for mobile selling is a nice plus, but where that really matters is in online sales. Many online shoppers would like to pay with PayPal, and accepting it can drive more online sales your way.
Furthermore, PayPal integrates and connects with just about every e-commerce platform under the sun, so you have your pick when it comes to setting up an online store. And if you would like to avail of the PayPal features for online payments, PayPal Here is the natural mobile credit card processor for your business.
For the least expensive option among the five major mobile credit card readers that we reviewed in this article, consider PayAnywhere’s low transaction fees and next-day funding. You get a free PayAnywhere credit card reader and pay no monthly subscription fees, and you will pay just 2.69% per transaction with PayAnywhere’s basic package.
Although Intuit offers a lower 2.4% rate for its basic QuickBooks GoPayment plan, you will pay an extra $0.25 for each GoPayment transaction. If your business will be taking a large volume of mobile payments, those per-transaction fees could add up.
For example, if you did 1,000 transactions at $5 each in one month, you would pay $403.50 in PayAnywhere transaction fees. GoPayment would leave you with $1,110 in fees. That is quite a big difference between the two here.
If you sign up for the PayAnywhere Storefront monthly subscription, your transaction costs drop even more to 1.69% per swipe. This $13.95 per month plan lets you rent a touchscreen tablet terminal, EMV-enabled stand, cash drawer, and receipt printer.
The PayAnywhere app’s mPOS services also include personalized receipts, inventory management, customer purchase reporting, online resources, and multilingual customer support, all at no extra cost.
One note of caution: PayAnywhere does not seem to have the best reputation online. Its mPOS app is rated 2.5 out of 5 stars on iTunes and 3.8 out of 5 on Google Play, is the lowest of all five brands reviewed here.
There are numerous mobile credit card processing solutions, but a select few stand out from the rest in terms of ease of use, simple fee structures, and upfront accessibility. Small businesses require a convenient and flexible solution that doesn’t break the bank. Overall, we targeted our search to uncover top mobile payment processors based on their affordability and simplicity.
Based on those needs, we evaluated mobile payment processors on the following criteria:
Price: Small business-friendly, including low-cost setup and low or no monthly fee or minimum. We heavily considered fee transparency.
Ease of use: Processors are quite easy to use and sign up using each product.
POS app: Companies that offer a free mobile credit card payment app for processing transactions and bonus features like sales reports, analytics, and customer directories.
Simplicity: Companies that have fee structures that are easy to understand and don’t have surprises.
Reliability: Hardware and mobile credit card readers come with the lowest cost and reliability.
Ability to accommodate multiple sales channels: Can also accommodate in-store, commerce, and invoice payments.
As per the above criteria, Square is our top choice for mobile credit card processing. Square has a flat-rate and transparent fee structure with no startup, monthly, or cancellation fees. There is no application process for Square. Businesses simply have to sign up and download the free Square point-of-sale (POS) app and receive a free credit card reader in the mail.
The Square app also has the ability to process transactions offline and comes with bonus features like sales reports and inventory tracking and so much more.
Whether you are a brand-new business that is starting out with mobile credit card processing, or an established store looking to take your business on the go, you need a solution that is cost-effective, reliable and requires no expertise to use it. The best providers also do not have a monthly transaction minimum, fees, or contracts.
Square is the best mobile credit card processing company for small businesses. Their plug-and-play solution makes it easy to use for anyone to accept payments anywhere, even offline. No applications, startup fees, or hardware costs means it is a risk-free investment.
Additionally, the Square app comes with the point-of-sale features you need to manage a business on the go. Visit Square to get started with a free account and mobile card reader.