If your business requires flexibility and accepting payments, then the ability to accept credit cards via your cell phone is a great asset for your business. Based on new technology and the ability to have a faster, yet secure surfing experience on your cell phone, more merchant account processors are allowing you to process payments right over your PDA. Follow these steps to begin accepting credit cards using your cell phone.
Choose a merchant account processor that allows you to use a cell phone to process payments. A merchant account processor processes credit card payments on your behalf. For providing this service to you, they typically receive a percentage and a transaction fee for each purchase made. Most likely, you will have access to a virtual payment gateway through your cell phone where you can manually input your customer’s credit card information, which authorizes and collects payment and deposits it into your banking account within a short amount of time, typically less than 48 hours. When selecting a merchant account processor, make sure you find out what security measures they have in place to ensure that accepting credit cards using your cell phone is safe for your customers.
Purchase a personal digital assistant (PDA). If you have selected your merchant account, they should also have explained which phones they accept. The Apple iPhone, for example, is one of the first phones that boasted of being able to accept credit cards. Typically, the iPhone, Blackberry, and Palm PDAs are candidates for processing credit cards. Make sure you have enough memory on your PDA to withstand any downloads that may be required.
Purchase a data package for your cell phone. Check with your cell phone provider to determine if you have a data package or how much adding such a package costs. A data package basically involves adding Internet and e-mail access to your cellular service. You need an Internet connection to be able to access the payment gateway to authorize credit cards, so having a phone that can handle the quickest Internet speed is beneficial. For example, the 3G or 4G networks offer consistent and fast Internet speed. This will allow you to accept cards in front of your customers quickly and efficiently.
Before accepting any transactions with your customers, make sure you do a couple of test transactions to ensure your cell phone system is functioning properly.
Due to security breaches, you may have customers that will feel uncomfortable with you collecting their credit cards from your cell phone. Educate your customers on the integrated security features within your cell phone and payment gateway.