Mobile Credit Card Processing with a Wireless Credit Card Terminal

So we touched on the iphone wireless or mobile processing first - with Verifone's PAYware and of course Square. Revisit these pages for the pros and cons of each, where the products and services are at in development, and of course, the costs.

Let's jump to the top of the line then and discuss processing with a wireless or mobile credit card processing terminal - because it's different and these units have been available for some time.

What's the merchant application?  Anybody who processes cards regularly, johnny-on-the-spot.  You might be a busy contractor - with subs maybe or run a heating and air conditioning or plumbing service, delivery/service business/,taxi, etc. - you get the picture.

One example of a terminal for this purpose is the Nurit 8020 - an upgrade to the Nurit 8000 from Verifone. Keep in mind there are plenty of wireless terminals to choose from - but this one certainly fits many a wireless application (YES, XBS markets these terminals!).

This is a PCI compliant wireless credit card machine that uses the GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) network; a high speed data transfer service available in the US through carriers like T-mobile, AT & T, Cingular, etc.  The dependability of the coverage provided by these carriers is improving, though initially it was limited to metropolitan areas. 

So what do you get with the wireless credit card machine that you don't get with iPhone processing?  an all in one processing solution - mobile, light weight, compact that includes -

  • a thermal printer (drop a paper roll in and away you go)- iPhones do not have printers (they can connect to one via blue tooth compatibility but the solution "grows bulky").  A receipt of the transaction can certainly be "emailed".
  • an internal pin pad - for pin based debit (fastest growing payment method today....).  iPhones cannot process pin based transactions currently.
  • Wireless options include  GPRS and Wi-Fi (WAN).
  • Large, back lit graphical display, 18 key keypad, touch screen and stylus for electronic signature....

So down to the ditty....what's it cost, as it relates to our iPhone processing options?

The terminal can cost up to $650 - less if you buy from the merchant account provider - who often discount the equipment (at least XBS does).  I guess it would be fair to compare that to an iPhone or Blackberry cost - $300 and up possible.  Of course the terminal cannot be used as a phone.

You must pay for the monthly wireless connection - $15-$20/month should cover it. If you didn't know - you pay the wireless fee PER terminal.  In the case of the iPhone remember - it would be typical to pay for your phone service AND a payment gateway ($10-$20/month).  The wireless credit card terminal sends data direct to the Visa/MasterCard network via the GPRS (remember AT & T, T-mobile etc. wireless provider) - NO payment gateway required - no payment gateway fee.

The wireless service charges a transaction fee - .10/transaction approximately.  This transaction fee is on top of the transaction fee you owe the payment processor - you do need a merchant account with this terminal.  Merchant account fees are dependent on who you do business with - we recommend us.

Time to create a comparison chart I think.  I'm on it - next post.  In the meantime - for the true, mobile merchant with a host of "hired hands" delivering goods and services that require payment collection at the point of delivery - a wireless credit card processing terminal is a safe bet.  It's a swiped, real-time authorized transaction with card present low rates - with a receipt at the ready for your customer.  Professional, secure, money in the can't beat that


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