Saturday 1 October 2016

Mobile point of sale

Last month I wrote about making purchases using your smartphone. This month I am looking at how merchants can receive payments anywhere by using a mobile payment device. These devices are the size of a small phone and can accept payment from credit cards, either by contactless, swiping or manual card number entry. The main difference between the traditional EFTPOS card devices (which you use at shops) and a mobile payment device is that it can be used anywhere, as it connects through a phone or tablet to perform transactions. Mobile payment devices can be purchased from the major banks (costing between $100 to $200). Banks charge either a monthly fee, which includes a certain number of transactions, or a pay as you go (PAYG) model, where transaction fees are deducted from each sale (typically around 1.5% to 2%). Fees will vary so it is worth shopping around.
I purchased a Paypal Here mobile card reader. This uses a PAYG fee system and the card reader cost $150, which can be purchased online or from Officeworks. This works well for low cost or intermittent transactions as there are no monthly fees to be paid. A verified business account is required in order to register for the Paypal Here account. You can link your existing bank account to this Paypal account. Transactions are performed in Paypal and funds can be transferred to your linked bank account, although this can take a few days. Once your Paypal Here account is approved, you can download and sign in to the Paypal Here app on your smartphone or tablet. The app will communicate with the card reader via bluetooth. To make a sale, enter the details through the app and then charge it to the connected device. The customer will then use their card on the device to pay and this is then confirmed through the app on the smartphone. Once the transaction is approved there is the option to send a receipt via SMS or email. If the customer's credit card is linked to Paypal, then the email or mobile number will come up automatically, but the customer does not need a Paypal account to use the service. Note that Paypal Here only accepts credit cards and can't be used for cash accounts.

I have found that customers often like the convenience of being able to pay by credit card, so the cost and effort of setting up a mobile payment system is worthwhile for me. It is a good idea to research options that are suitable for your situation. For more information, follow the links below.