So we promised to continue our "mobile merchant account" discussion, starting by unveiling the latest and the greatest (see our take on Dorsey's Square for the iPhone).
Next up is what the payment's world is touting as Square's competitor in the marketplace - VeriFone's PAYware Mobile (VPM)- a complete processing solution for yet again - Apple's iPhone. What's the ditty?
Three components of the VPM solution:
A durable card reader that slips over Apple's iPhone. Allows merchant to to process card present transactions - lowering the cost and risk of the transaction.
The PAYware Mobile Gateway - a secure payment gateway for transaction processing - connected to the First Data platform but touted as compatible with other processors with some "app manipulation" (we're okay with First Data!)
The PAYware Mobile App - a free application downloadable to your iPhone - when paired with the gateway and card reader - enables the iPhone to accept secure credit card payments - anywhere, anytime.
So what's the difference between Square and this brand new smoking hot mobile processing solution from VeriFone?
- Square's still in Beta. Testing 1, 2, 3. PAYware is on.
- Security - VeriFone is a trusted leader in POS solutions in the electronic payments industry AND the PAYware Mobile card reader encrypts the data at the swipe - (see PCI DSS folks). Square security is iffy - no encryption that we no of....Mr. Dorsey specializes in social media - i.e. Twitter, NOT credit card processing.
- Currently - the VeriFone solution only works with the iPhone 3G or 3GS -Squares method (hardware plugs into the headphone jack) is preparing for further mobile device compatibility. Reviewers so far however, seem to like the solidity and fit of the VeriFone card reader when compared to the Square.
- Costs - So far VeriFone is noting a $49 activation fee and $15/month for the payment gateway and .17/transaction fee
- Merchant Account - you need one. Doesn't come with the product. Hmmm - this means -
- VeriFone PAYware Mobile costs are on top of the costs you are already paying for your merchant account or will pay when you get one.
- It negates some of the unknowns and drawbacks we outlined regarding Square, it's costs, (not sure) and limitations, i.e. ticket parameters, reserves, lack of fund control, timeliness of funds, impact on cash flow (again - we just don't know and when it comes to business and money - we NEED to know).
We still contend - like others, that Dorsey's Square seems far more suitable for the now and again, person to person payment than for a small business looking to increase revenues and cash flow with quick, efficient, and SECURE credit card processing through use of Apple's iPhone - all depends on your needs I guess.
That get's back to what we do! Electronic payment professionals at XBS assess the needs of each individual business we work with - we'll tell you straight up and point you in an "educated" direction.
When it comes to processing electronic payments, ignorance is not bliss - it's risky.