It was not that long ago that accepting credit cards outside of a store was a major pain. Lugging around a knuckle buster with a metal plate, sales slips, and other supplies was not terribly complicated...but could be a hassle. Let's not forget that you needed to call in to get an authorization, or you might be dealing with stolen or declined credit cards.
Today, that has all changed. With Wireless/Mobile credit card terminals that you can carry in your hand, wireless printers the size of a cigarette pack, and the ability to accept (and even swipe) cards into your iPhone or other smart phone, there is virtually nothing to carry around and the process takes seconds. It is also more secure. No sales slips with credit card numbers. Everything processed securely via SSL connections. All PCI compliant. Safety and ease for your customers, security and easy technology for you, the merchant. But, which method is best?
There are many options available to accept credit cards on the go. If you have a smart phone, that may be the most simple and efficient method. With a merchant account, app from your favorite app store, and optional swiper, you can literally be setup within a day or two. Many processors run special pricing. For example, Paybyweb covers the $50 cost of the app and the $79 cost of the swiper that fits over the iPhone. The newest apps even provide an area for the customer to sign their name, right on the phone. This may not seem like a big deal...but it is! Swiping and obtaining a signature provides a merchant with a retail/swipe fees which are considerably less than the fees for an Internet/Phone type acct. Fees for the retail acct range from 1.7% rather than the Internet average of 2.2%. For the smaller merchant, this may not seem like much. For merchants with high volumes, the savings can be significant.
For those not using smart phones, wireless credit card terminals, such as the Way Systems (now VeriFone) MTT 1510, 1581, and 5000 offer great features in a very compact pkg. Simply swipe the card into the phone, aim the phone at the wireless printer, and print the receipts.
A question that we get all the time..."How can we accept credit cards for our fundraiser?" We get this a LOT! The issue is generally that merchant accounts have a term commitment, usually 2 yrs. This is almost always the case. We at Paybyweb are the only provider that I know of that has answered the call. We now offer a special merchant account for one-time or short term events, such as fundraisers, trade shows, garage sales, auctions, etc. We setup the merchant account and provide the wireless terminal for use during the event, all with no fee to cancel once the event is over.
Regardless of the device or method you use, just get out there and make your sale!