How to accept card payments on the move

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Customers in the UK expect the option of paying by debit or credit card. Not only that, but cash payment volumes look set to fall here by some 30% over the next ten years. If you work on the move, it's essential that you can take card payments wherever you go. If you visit your customers' homes or work places, you need to get kitted out to accept mobile card payments. This guide shows you how to go about accepting payments on the move.

Why you need to take payments on the move

  • It's simple: the percentage of card transactions increases annually. At the same time, cash transactions decline.
  • If you want to offer the optimum service to your customers and compete with larger outfits, you need to give them the option to pay by card.
  • Taking immediate card payments is far better for your cashflow than invoicing and chasing payments

Taking mobile payments

  • To take payments on the move you'll need to invest in mobile payment terminals, which use wireless technology similar to a smart phone.
  • If you already have a smart phone - like an iPhone - it's also possible to get applications that allow you to take credit card payments with or without additional technology such as magnetic stripe readers
  • The bank with which you have your merchant account will be able to supply mobile payment terminals, which accept all the major cards.
  • A terminal supplied by your bank will be able to carry out sales, refunds, gratuity, purchase with cash-back and customer present/not present processing

How much will it cost?

  • It won't cost you any more to process a debit or credit card from a mobile terminal than from your premises provided you can swipe the cards
  • If you opt for taking mobile terminals from your acquiring bank, you will have to pay rental
  • Your bank may require you to pay a security bond to cover instances of fraud. Prices vary so start by consulting your bank.
  • If you use an iPhone application, you will need to pay a nominal fee to set up, and also to register with a site such as


  • Mobile payments are safe for you and your customers.
  • Terminals are fully secure and use chip and pin technology. They have a pin log on and a separate pin for refunds
  • In addition, taking mobile card payments eliminates the need to carry large amounts of cash, making your money more secure.


  • Weigh up the benefits to your business of buying a mobile credit card terminal, renting one from your bank, or using a smart phone: there will be differences in processing fees and long-term/short-term costs
  • Ensure you make provision for recording any mobile transactions: smart phone devices do not keep records for instance, although you can send email receipts wirelessly
  • Speak with your provider about any security concerns you might have: you will then be able to reassure customers or even refer them to your provider


Will I be charged more for mobile credit card processing?
You may be charged higher processing fees if you do not use an magnetic swipe machine, as the transaction becomes more like an online transaction.

Jargon buster

M-cash: mobile cash

Customer not present processing: non face-to-face transactions, such as online or telephone credit card payments


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