How to Start Accepting Mobile Payments Before Your Competitors Do

These days, the handwritten check is all but extinct, and cash is getting there. Most of the world has moved on to more sophisticated payment methods, including mobile payments.

Consumers are carrying less and less cash. In fact, 9 percent of Americans don’t carry it at all, and 40 percent carry less than . That can have a huge impact on your ability to make money if you don’t accept credit cards. But who wants to lug a merchant processing machine to an event?

Enter mobile payments. With a tiny card swiper attached to your smartphone or tablet, you can accept credit cards and increase sales.

How to Get Started With QuickBooks GoPayment

The easiest way to accept mobile payments is to use a service like QuickBooks GoPayment.

First, you’ll need to decide which plan you want. With GoPayment, you can pay 2.4 percent of each swiped transaction, 3.4 percent for each keyed-in transaction (meaning you type in the card number rather than swiping the card), and a 25-cent flat fee per transaction — all with no monthly fee. This is a great option if you want to test out mobile payments and see if they’re right for you before diving in headfirst.

If you’re conducting bulk transactions with your mobile payment system, you might want to opt for the plan that costs .95 per month to get lower transaction fees (1.75 percent for swiped transactions, 3.15 percent for keyed ones, and the same 25-cent fee per transaction). You’d be surprised how quickly you will save more than the monthly fee if you’re processing a large number of mobile transactions.

Next, download the app. The GoPayment app works with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Many small-business owners have a designated tablet they use just for transactions (and some even use them in the store, not just for on-the-go sales).

Once you sign up for the service, you’ll get your card swiper in the mail. Whenever you’re ready to collect payments, you can swipe a customer’s card, take a picture of their card with your phone, or key in the number (remember: that last one will cost you more). The customer then signs on your phone’s screen with his finger, and voila, the transaction is instantly processed. You can then email or text a receipt to your customer.

Be sure to let your customers know that you’re set up to accept mobile payments. Make sure you communicate the message in your marketing, and have a sign near the cash register so customers can see it.

Accepting mobile payments can boost your business and keep customers coming back if they know they have payment options other than cash.

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