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Turning Your Cell Phone Into A Card Swiper

by on June 23, 2010

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The things that can be done using a cell phone today continue to push the limits of technology.  Hitting the news and the credit card industry most recently is the talk of these new little cell phone attachments that allow the everyday cell phone users to make payments using plastic. With a simple application, a cell phone and a small fee, turning your cell phone into a mini credit card swiper and scanner is easy to do.  Some people think that the cell phone coupled with the credit card swiper is the birth of a perfect partnership.

Cell phones come in all shapes, sizes and capabilities. Even a run of the mill cell phone can access the internet, turn off your lights, talk to you and locate applications for just about everything under the sun.  It is not very surprising that a credit card scanning option is now available.

More and more Americans carry less cash because they have come to rely so heavily on the plastic. This is in part because plastic is easier to carry and can be less of risk than large sums of cash.  Credit cards do not offer the same physical risks as cash, but have risks that may carry far bigger consequences.  Credit card debt is at an alarming high. The ease of use and feeling of having unlimited access to funds, make credit cards attractive.

Credit cards offer the illusion of having great purchasing power. The problem for some is that it spirals out of control and people find themselves buried under heaps of debt that has lasting financial consequences which can follow them for years.

Cash and checks are slowly becoming less preferred methods of payments. The credit card rules these days which is why the innovative gadget that attaches to a cell phone is a great new piece of technology that is bound to become popular quickly. This new technology can offer additional risk for some who are prone to debt and overspending using a credit card. Regardless of the risk of consumer debt the merchant has an opportunity to benefit from this technology.  Several companies have jumped on the bandwagon to maximize on the public’s love for the swipe.

Card Swiping Competitors

EBay, Intuit, VeriFone and Square and Apple are a few of the popular companies that have embraced this new technology.

• Intuit offers a process called GoPayment to process credit card payments from a capable cell phone.

• SquareUp offers a coin sized gadget that plugs into the ear piece of an iPhone allowing the user to make or accept card payments.

• PayPal offers iPhone applications that are free in some cases depending on the phone and the application. Other fees are only cents on the dollar with a small transaction fee.

Benefits to Vendors and Small Businesses

The truth is that many small businesses and independent vendors’ loose business when they are not able to accept credit or debit card payments from potential customers.  Given that so many people today carry limited cash; relying on a debit or credit card is commonplace for most shoppers. Some shoppers will not even bother with a vendor that wouldn’t be able to process their plastic. This inconvenience is a hit to the small business owner.

The truth is that merchant fees and the hidden costs associated with becoming able to accept credit cards deter many small businesses or independent vendors from doing this. Up to this point the fees and responsibilities associated with accepting credit card payments have not been worth it. The cell phone swiper is changing all of that.

This little credit card scanner may make all the difference for the small business owner and the independent vendors. The scanner offers benefits that far exceed the negatives.  No more loosing customers, bounced checks, relying on customers to locate an ATM before making a purchase. In reality, the cost of the scanner can improve business threefold and make the life of the shopper that much easier.

Card Swipe Costs

The cell phone swiper is not free but is a minimal cost compared to most traditional credit card processing systems. To have money and use money in any form generally costs money. Having a credit card, without a doubt, costs money to have and use it. This little personal credit card swipe has hit the market with a vengeance and many people have found that the small fee associated with its’ use is well worth the price in the benefits and convenience that it offers.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Galane May 3, 2011 at 10:51 pm

SquareUp has a limit where any money over $1000 in 7 days is held by them for 30 days before you get your money. If you're doing over $1000 a week in card payments, forget SquareUp.

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