Entrepreneurs with mobile businesses like pop-up shops, home services companies or food trucks must be able to accept payment on the go. Instead of lugging around a wired credit card reader and searching for someplace to plug it in, you can use something you already have with you: your iPhone.
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Many credit card processing companies have sophisticated software and software that can help you accept credit card payments with your phone. With iPhones enjoying robust popularity, iPhone-compatible payment acceptance is a hot topic. We’ll explain everything you need to know to accept payments via iPhone.
Delivering seamless payment options is part of providing a great customer experience. An iPhone can help mobile business owners access a powerful and versatile payment terminal that can save customers time ― and limit their hassles.
Follow these steps to harness the convenience of iPhone-based mobile transactions:
You have numerous options when selecting a mobile credit card processor to help you set up your iPhone to accept payments. You’ll want to evaluate their card reader pricing, processing costs and card reader features.
Here are a few of the best mobile credit card processing solutions to consider:
iPhone card reader
Swipe, tap and insert
$14.95 monthly fee; 2.6% plus 10 cents transaction fee:
Square Reader (for contactless and chip)
Tap and insert (“dip”)
Free for new merchants, otherwise $59
No monthly fee:
2.6% plus 10 cents transaction fee
Swipe, tap and insert; PIN pad; accepts PayPal and Venmo
First one $29, then $79
No monthly fee;
2.29% plus 9 cents transaction fee
Helcim card reader
Swipe, tap and insert; PIN pad
No monthly fee;
Interchange-plus pricing averaging 1.93% plus 8 cents
Swipe, tap and insert
No monthly fee; 2.69%
SumUp Plus card reader
Swipe, tap and insert; PIN pad; long battery life
No monthly fee; 2.75%
Here is some additional information on each option:
Clover’s Clover Go mobile credit card reader can accept magnetic stripe (swiped), chip (inserted) and near-field communication (NFC or tapped) cards. It also supports mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. This compact $49 device connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth and interfaces with the robust Clover Go mobile payment app.
Transactions are processed in real-time via Wi-Fi or later when Wi-Fi is unavailable.
When you contract with Clover on the platform’s least expensive tier, Clover Essential, you’ll pay the following:
Our complete review of Clover credit card processing explains more about Clover’s pricing plans for POS systems and credit card processing.
Square is a credit card facilitator that offers the Square Reader for contactless and chip. This compact reader utilizes Bluetooth and supports NFC mobile payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay. However, it doesn’t support cards with magnetic stripes and chipless cards.
The Square Reader costs $59 and interfaces with Square’s POS software, allowing you to view sales transactions, manage inventory, issue digital receipts and manage your customers. You’ll pay:
Our in-depth review of Square explains how the vendor’s robust free service plan provides businesses with everything they need to accept various payments.
Like Square, PayPal is a credit card facilitator. With these platforms, you don’t have your own merchant account. When you accept card payments with PayPal, you’re a submerchant under PayPal’s umbrella merchant account.
Unlike the Clover Go and Square Reader, the PayPal Zettle iPhone credit card reader has a numeric pad where customers can enter their debit PIN. It accepts chip, tap and swipe transactions, as well as PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.
The reader utilizes Bluetooth wireless technology and integrates with PayPal’s Zettle app. The app integrates with PayPal’s free Zettle POS software, creating an excellent solution for businesses with e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores. Your first PayPal Zettle mobile card reader for iPhone costs $29; additional units cost $79. You’ll pay:
Visit our PayPal credit card processing review for more details about pricing and terms for PayPal’s various offerings.
Helcim’s iPhone card reader allows you to accept swiped, chip and NFC card transactions, as well as Google Pay and Apple Pay. It also has a numeric pad for PIN input. It connects via Bluetooth and can interface with Helcim’s POS software on iPhones, iPads and laptop computers.
Helcim POS software also includes automatic tax calculations, inventory management and customer data. The Helcim card readers are $109 each. You’ll pay:
Our review of Helcim credit card processing explains more about this all-in-one platform that provides merchants with essential tools beyond credit card processing.
The Payanywhere 3-in-1 reader doesn’t have a numeric pad and looks a lot like the Clover Go and Square readers. It accepts magnetic stripe, EMV and NFC cards as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
This $59.95 device connects to your iPhone, tablet or laptop via Bluetooth. The Payanywhere app supports adding tip amounts or percentages and accepts signatures for additional security. It can also send digital receipts or kitchen tickets for food service businesses.
The SumUp Plus reader accepts all swipe, tap and chip payments as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay. It also features a PIN pad on the back for debit cards. The reader connects via Bluetooth, boasts excellent battery life (up to 500 transactions per charge) and is incredibly affordable at only $19.
The accompanying app allows you to manage products in your catalog, assign tax rates and send digital receipts. If you have multiple employees, you can see everyone’s sales.
If your business is inherently mobile, you must accept payments on the go. And since most people don’t carry checks or much cash, accepting credit cards and digital payment methods is essential. Accepting mobile payments via your iPhone solves these dilemmas and brings additional benefits, including the following:
Like all business services, credit card processing has costs that impact your bottom line directly. When you decide to accept credit cards with your iPhone, understanding credit card processing fees is crucial. Here’s a quick primer to help you navigate your options:
All payment processors charge a transaction fee ― a percentage of the total purchase amount. Some processors also charge a flat amount per transaction. Transaction rates range between 1.5% and 3.5% plus 10 to 30 cents per transaction. Here’s what you should know:
Some credit card processors charge a monthly fee that covers, at a minimum, customer service and monthly statements. This fee may include other services, including PCI security compliance and payment gateway charges. Processors that charge monthly fees usually have lower transaction rates and, therefore, may be a good choice for businesses with higher sales volumes.
Most payment processors charge incidental fees when certain specified events (outlined in the contract) occur. For example, you will likely be charged a fee when there is a chargeback or you do not meet your security requirements.