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Mobile Payments: What You Need to Know

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The time when cash and checks were the only way to pay for goods is gone. Now, the majority of people use their debit and credit cards, with a few people using cash and almost no one using checks (in some cases, vendors don’t even take checks anymore). If your food business is not prepared to accept people’s cards, you are likely missing out on at least dozens – and sometimes hundreds – of customers.

The good news is that there is a simple and effective way for you to accept cards – mobile payment processing. PayPal Here, Square, Intuit GoPayment, and many other companies offer you tools that allow you to swipe people’s debit and credit cards. Each of the tools have advantages and disadvantages, but there is certainly one that can fit your needs.

Please note: The following information is only highlights of a few mobile payment processors, and you should look deeper into these and other companies to decide which is right for you.

Square: One of the most popular forms of mobile payment processing. The device is a small, white square that plugs directly into a smartphone or tablet.

  • 2.75% swipe fee (For example, a $100.00 purchase means you would get $97.25)
  • 3.50% + $0.15 transaction fee for typing the credit card number in manually
  • Accepts all major credit/debit cards
  • Send receipts to customers via text or email
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Tracks detailed sales data
  • Online Help Center

An article on recommended Square for “business owners who are just getting started and want a moderately easy-to-use mobile payments service.”

PayPal Here: Another popular form of mobile payment processing, PayPal Here is a small, triangular device that plugs directly into a smartphone or tablet.

  • 2.70% swipe fee (For example, a $100.00 purchase means you would get $97.30)
  • 3.50% + $0.15 transaction fee for typing the credit card number in manually
  • Accepts the widest range of payments, including online invoices and payments through PayPal’s mobile app
  • A PayPal Debit card allows you to get your money in minutes and with 1% cash back
  • Live customer support
  • No long term commitment
  • Also lets you keep track of payments made with cash, checks, mobile and online

The article on recommends PayPal Here for users who already use PayPal and those “businesses that do significant amounts of face-to-face and online sales.”

Intuit GoPayment: Still yet another popular form of mobile payment processing is Intuit GoPayment. The device also plugs directly into a smartphone or tablet.

  • 2.40% swipe fee + $0.25 per transaction (For Example, a $100.00 purchase means you would get $97.35)
  • 3.40% + $0.25 transaction fee for typing the credit card number in manually
  • Pay a monthly rate and lower swipe and transaction fees
  • Sync up seamlessly with Quickbooks
  • Create personalized receipts with your business name and logo
  • All credit and debit cards accepted
  • No termination fees

The article recommends Intuit GoPayment “for dedicated QuickBooks users…But brick-and-mortar businesses that take cash as often as cards might want to think twice.”

These are only three of the many different types of mobile payment processors. After you have done some more research into these and other companies, you will find a mobile payment processor that fits your needs and that will attract more customers and put more money in your pocket.

Want to express your opinion about mobile payments? Have any other recommendations? Please comment below. And once you have your payment method figured out, start thinking about liability coverage!


Ashley Baker writes about marketing, business, and insurance for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Ashley is a former Licensed Massage Therapist. She has a background in writing for state political offices, newspapers and was the web editor for two regional magazine publications. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family, attending college football games or kayaking. Find Ashley on LinkedInInstagram, or Twitter.

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