Do you remember the days when a phone’s purpose was to make and receive telephone calls? Today’s phones come with more bells and whistles than the first personal computers did. Smartphones can play music, give directions, find a place to eat, crunch numbers, take pictures and videos, store important passwords and store membership cards, and so much more. Now, more consumers and merchants than ever are even using their phones to make and accept payments.
Several payment processing phone apps are in the ring, with the key players being PayPal, Square, and Intuit. Discerning the difference from one to the next can be challenging—especially when it comes to fees and fine print. Read on for a clear overview of these three major payment processing smartphone apps.
This handy app allows you to accept the major credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express*, or Discover Card*) for a low transaction fee and also gives you the ability to accept PayPAl payments right from the palm of your hand. (The money you collect goes right to your PayPal balance.) You can even send invoices to your customers. PayPal’s payment processing app requires a small, encrypted card reader to function. The iPhone version can even add funds from checks!
When using this smartphone app, you can browse through and manage all the transactions on your account quickly and easily. You can also offer discounts to your customers and you can create an inventory list to accelerate orders.
Fees: free to download; 2.7%* transaction fee
|CC Swipe & PayPal||2.70%||2.70%||2.40% + $0.30||3.90% + HK$2.35||5.00%|
|CC Key-in||3.50% + $0.15||3.50% + $0.15||2.90% + $0.30||4.20% + HK$2.35||n/a|
|CC Scan||3.50% + $0.15||3.50% + $0.15||2.90% + $0.30||4.20% + HK$2.35||n/a|
What You Should Know: Available for Android and iOS, this app is backed by PayPal’s risk-management capabilities and offers fraud protection for both parties using the app for payments.
(* Discover, American Express, and 2.7% transaction fee for U.S. customers only)
- PayPal Here for Android
- PayPal Here for iOS
Begin quickly and easily accepting major credit cards with the Square Register app. The card reader attaches to the phone’s headphone jack, making it easy to take payments anytime, anywhere. Square offers two pricing plans to accommodate both small businesses and large corporations.
This app contains a set of tools and analytics for a more sophisticated point-of-sale experience. Meanwhile, Square Wallet allows customers to pay with their name. The Square app makes it easy to reward regular customers and manage your inventory, among other important tasks. Transaction data is encrypted and safely stored on secure remote servers.
- Free Mobile Card Reader
- $275 per month, 0% per swipe
- $0 per month, 2.75% per swipe; manually entered cards: 3.5% + 15¢ per swipe
- See full pricing details here.
What You Should Know: This app also works with iOS and Android devices. The “One Price Per Month” pricing plan allows you to accept $400 per transaction and $250,000 annually.
- Square Register for Android
- Square Register for iOS
This app allows you to swipe a card and accept a payment in seconds. You can also customize and send electronic receipts, expedite orders by creating an inventory, collect tips, manage tax rates, and run reports. The Intuit GoPayment app allows multiple users on your account and also provides free access to Intuit Merchant Service Center. You can also sync your app with QuickBooks Online, Desktop and Point of Sale for even better control and insight into your sales and transactions.
All transaction details remain safe and sound thanks to an encrypted swiper. Phone and online support agents are available 24/7. This app is available for iOS and Android devices.
- Free Credit Card Reader
- Pay-as-you-go: No monthly fee; rates starting at 2.7% per swipe
- Pay Monthly & Save: rates starting at 1.7% per swipe with a $12.95 monthly fee
What You Should Know: If you face higher volume of sales, you may need to contact GoPayment to receive higher processing limits.
- GoPayment for Android
- GoPayment for iOS
The ability to accept credit cards opens many new doors for smaller businesses. Some customers prefer to pay by credit card alone, and thanks to these payment processing apps for cell phones, large and small companies alike can take advantage of these new advances in technology. Aside from payment processing apps, many corporations even offer their own smartphone apps, like apps by Vanguard and ShareBuilder for investors and a whole slew of banking apps, like Capital One® Mobile Banking, Bank of America, TD Bank, and Citizens Bank Mobile Banking, to name a few.
Is there anything our phones don’t do?
Stay tuned for an overview of some of the top banking apps for your smartphone…. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts about any of these apps in our comments below.