Historically, to take payments on the move you would need to invest in mobile payment terminals, which use wireless technology similar to a smart phone.
But today with a smart phone - like BlackBerry - it's also possible to get applications that allow you to take credit card payments with or without masses of additional technology using apps such as Cardease and eMerit.
These solutions use chip and pin technology so are as secure as using dedicated terminals. But using you BB makes it a lot cheaper and more efficient.
The bank with which you have your merchant account will be able to supply mobile payment terminals, which will 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
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. Generally you are charged a small fee or percentage of the value of the transaction.
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.
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..
Taking payments electronically can boost your turnover in a number of ways. It lets you charge in advance or at point of sale, which is great for cashflow, it makes you look more professional and it acknowledges a trend towards paperless payments.
It's also good for income-boosting promotions. Let's say you run a gardening business; ask customers to commit to ten pruning and weeding sessions upfront for a small discount and take a card payment rather than chasing small amounts each time you do a job.
#MWW offer: share minutes with your colleagues
As part of Mobile Working Week, BlackBerry and O2 have teamed up to offer Smarta readers an exclusive offer. To find out how you can share your minutes for free, click here.
For more information about how BlackBerry can help your business go to www.blackberry.co.uk/sme
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