Business tips

Mobile credit card readers and how they'll help your business flourish.

By Jereme Sanborn on
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In an era when competition gets fiercer every day and pinching every penny has become an art form, you as a business owner must do everything possible to stay one step ahead of your rivals while simultaneously providing gold-standard products and services, as well as top-shelf customer care. There are many strategies you can implement to accomplish these goals. One that you may never have considered involves incorporating a mobile card reader into your checkout.

Mobile card readers defined.

If you run a brick-and-mortar store, you may already use standard credit card readers to process customers’ credit and debit card payments. You may have a traditional terminal on your countertop that is connected by wires to the internet. It may do nothing more than process credit card transactions, or it could be a full point of sale (POS) system – thus performing additional business-related functions like customer, employee, and inventory management.

By contrast, mobile solutions are not tethered in one place by cords or wires. Instead, these  portable devices, sometimes a smartphone or tablet equipped with a card reader, are loaded with software. The only equipment necessary is the card reader itself. The result is a set of immediate, tangible benefits for your entire business.

The efficiency advantage.

Mobile credit card terminals, especially smart solutions, give your store a more modern, tech-savvy look that appeals to many customers, especially younger buyers. However, that is only the beginning of what they can provide to your operation. One of the trademarks of these solutions is their efficiency. Modern mobile card readers equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology allow customers to make contactless payments with one simple tap or wave. The best part is that the system immediately records the transaction for receipt and report generation. 

The advantages that come with a mobile credit card reader will become quickly apparent to you. You will experience fewer bounced checks and lost payments. Your funds will be deposited in your account far more quickly. Because records are kept and updated in real time, you and your customers will never be in doubt about a purchase and can easily retrieve the paper or digital receipt if questions arise.

The affordability advantage.

Once you’ve purchased a mobile card reader and opened a merchant account where funds from electronic payments can be deposited, there is little guesswork or delay. You can begin to accept customers’ cars quickly, securely, and effortlessly. These mobile credit card readers also tend to be more affordable than a traditional credit card reader, sometimes costing less than $50 or even offered for free.

The convenience advantage.

For today’s buyers, shopping is infinitely more than simply procuring products at a physical store or on the internet. It is a holistic experience that encompasses bargain-hunting, browsing, choosing, checkout, post-purchase, and the overall relationship a consumer forges with a business. That’s why you need more than a so-called “dumb terminal” that only accepts payments. 

Simply by its presence, a modern mobile credit card reader offers convenience and flexibility to your customers. With it, they can not only buy items with non-cash methods, they can also make purchases in a variety of locations that may even include their own home. Providing choices that fit seamlessly into your clients’ lifestyles is one of the best ways to demonstrate that your company goes the extra mile to attract, personally cultivate, and retain its valued customers.

The credibility advantage.

Believe it or not, adding mobile card reading technology to your business model can provide you with a hefty reputational boost. While especially true for retailers who are new to the credit card payments arena, this is also the case for those choosing to revamp and update their systems.

This brand makeover happens because customers tend to trust merchants who are affiliated with respected corporate names like Visa® and Mastercard® to name a few. Accepting payments made with one of these cards through approved networks leads to greater trust in your business since you are now associated with global entities with multi-millions of dollars at their disposal. Should the worst happen and a data breach occur, buyers know that the card company associated with the payment will back them up.

The record-keeping advantage.

Any transaction performed with mobile card readers is automatically recorded for posterity. Since you will already have developed a product database during the setup of your POS solution, records will be updated in real time to reflect what was bought and by whom. That information can be easily retrieved in the form of customizable reports that you can use to manage your inventory, market to customers, and more. 

Armed with the analysis made possible by these documents, you and your staff can perform several essential tasks. These include the following. 

• Tracking which items were sold and their quantities, as well as products that failed to move off your shelves.

• Accounting data, including for use in tax preparation.

• Sales forecasts based on analytics. With this data in hand, you can make educated guesses about future performance that will help guide your inventory and hiring decisions.

Thanks to your mobile reader and the software that runs it, analytics will be more than a guessing game. They will instead be facts-based and actionable.

The contactless advantage.

Modern consumers don’t just want their credit card transactions to be fast and secure. Many now insist they be touchless as well. This is due to the intensified focus on hygiene and safety that has become the norm since early in the coronavirus outbreak. Most mobile card readers come equipped with the near-field communication (NFC) technology that is required to interact with customers’ smart cards, phones, and wearable devices. A merchant simply needs to inform their payment processing company that they wish to accept contactless payments to update to modern models if needed.

Succeeding in today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving retail climate is a challenge requiring agility, creativity, and a willingness to adopt some of the latest sales and payments solutions. 

Incorporating something as deceptively simple as a mobile card reader into your systems is a powerful way to transform your business and delight your customers. Don’t let your competitors surpass you! Invest in mobile POS equipment to take your business wherever you want it to go!