For a small business owner, a big part of success is maintaining your cash flow by ensuring you get paid on time and in full. If your business visits customers at their locations to provide services or deliver products, or if you frequently sell products or services at an outside location (such as at events or conferences), you could benefit from a mobile payment solution.
Mobile payment tools work using a reader device that attaches to your smartphone and/or tablet computer and lets you accept payments from customers on the spot. For instance, suppose you’re a consultant hosting a seminar at a local hotel. Having a mobile payment tool could enable you to take walk-in attendees at the last minute and get their payments immediately (instead of taking checks that may bounce, or turning away people who don’t have cash on hand).
Here’s a closer look at three popular mobile payment solutions for entrepreneurs:
Get a free card reader from Square and accept credit and debit cards. There’s no monthly fee; just pay as you go. Square charges a flat fee of 2.75 percent per transaction. Its built-in loyalty tools enable small businesses with a regular clientele to offer customers discounts on products or services as well as other loyalty rewards.
Do you already use QuickBooks or other Intuit accounting software and want a mobile payment solution that easily integrates with your existing bookkeeping system? Then Intuit GoPayment could be your answer. You can either pay 2.75 percent for each transaction or, if you have a high volume of mobile payments, get lower transaction rates by paying a monthly fee.
Flexibility is the key benefit for PayPal; it lets you accept not only credit and debit cards, but also checks and cash (via transfer from customers’ PayPal accounts). The other big bonus: PayPal Here gives you immediate access to the funds right after payment via a PayPal debit card of your own.
When choosing a mobile payment solution, always consider:
- What situations you might be using it in
- How your customers are most likely to pay
- How soon you need access to your funds
- How many mobile transactions you’re likely to have in a given month
Always read the fine print of any contract before signing on with a mobile payment provider. By making the right choice, you’ll streamline your payment process and power up your sales.
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