Running a business is hard. It’s even harder when your business is on the run.
Field contractors, food truck operators, delivery services, handyman services, home repair, kiosk operators – they’re only a few of the business types taking advantage of standalone mobile payments applications. There are more smart phones in use than ever before, so accepting payments through a mobile device should be no big deal, right?
Wrong. Payment acceptance is arguable the most crucial part of a merchant’s operation. The mobile payment application you choose will impact your day-to-day workflow, customer satisfaction, employee productivity and revenues. Making the wrong choice can lead to big-time regrets.
There are many standalone mobile payment solutions out there. When looking for yours, consider these factors…
1. Device Availability
What type of device is in your pocket? How about your employees’ pockets? Will your staff use their own phones or will the business provide them? Whether Apple® or Android® or something else entirely, make sure that the payment app you download works with all the devices your business will use in the field.
2. Hardware Selection
Unless you plan to type in every credit or debit card number by hand (not recommended!), you’ll need to think about the mobile hardware you’ll connect to your device. This is the little plug-in through which you slide or dip credit and debit cards. Is it easy to use? Is it tough enough to handle the ways in which your staff will use it in the field? Does it accept only magnetic stripe cards or also EMV chip cards? Typically, your payment processor can explain and recommend options.
This is a big one. Take our word for it; you don’t want to risk a data breach that results in unsavory types getting access to your customers’ financial data. It opens your business up to liability issues you don’t even want to think about, not to mention the wrath you’ll incur from your former loyal customers. You’ll need to ensure that credit card information is encrypted at the source of entry. Why? Because most data can be intercepted in transit and encryption ensures that even if the bad guys get the information, it will be gibberish and unusable for them. Furthermore, your mobile solution should isolate any cardholder information from the device, meaning credit card information is never stored on the phone.
4. Ease of Use
You know Bob, your employee who works Monday-Wednesday-Friday? Yeah, that Bob. He means well, but… The point is that you want a mobile payment solution that is not overly complex or cumbersome. Ensure even Bob can use it.
5. Reporting Transparency
Access to transaction data and reporting functions are key to your business’ recordkeeping. When researching mobile options, check what type of reports and files are available in the app.
6. Multi-Device Support
This point depends to how many people you have in the field accepting payments. You may run your operation in such a manner that you’ll want to use multiple devices through one set of credentials. If so, make sure this is an available option.
7. Reasonable Rates
Shop around. Just because a mobile payment solution is the most popular or has the most recognizable name, that does not mean the rates and fees are best for your operation.
8. Whiz Bang Features
Finally, learn what the mobile app can do outside of just taking the payment. Can you easily add tips? Send email receipts? Send automatic “thanks for your business” emails? All mobile payment apps are not created equal.
So, do your homework. Shop around. Check your options. Then choose a mobile payments provider that can help your business hum! Learn more about Mobile solutions from OpenEdge at openedgepayments.com/mobile.