April 01, 2011
Software, hardware for the field
By Bill and Patti Feldman
via Contractor Magazine
Taking credit card payments on the spot is a good business idea because it gets your receivables for work performed into the bank fast, increasing cash flow and reducing the likelihood of delinquent accounts. Furthermore, if payment follows right on the hour of work performed, management does not have to rely on paperwork being filled out at the end of the day or the end of the week to start the payment process.
The latest trend for roving crews is to use a mobile payment application that works with an iPhone or other easily portable and affordable mobile device. Here are two free mobile payment applications that, with the use of a supplied credit card encryption sleeve, will transform a mobile device into a credit card terminal and enable the user to accept credit cards from customers — and deal with any rejected cards — while still onsite. Plug in the card reader (that comes in the mail after you sign up) and you're ready to swipe. The apps do not require a contract or carry a monthly fee.
PayAnywhere, www.payanywhere.com, is available for Apple iPhone 3, 3GS, IOS 3.0 or later as well as users of Apple iPad and iPod Touch, with apps for Android and Blackberry coming soon.
Approval of a merchant account is required. Powered by North American Bancard, PayAnywhere charges a fee of 19 cents per transaction plus 2.69% and 3.49% in service costs for swiped and keyed entries, respectively. Users can set default tax and tip percentages, inventory and categorize items and services, utilize real-time sales tracking and reporting and send custom e-mail receipts that include actual signatures and images of items purchased. There's a three-day settlement period before the funds are deposited in a merchant's account. There is no cap on the amount of money or number of transactions a merchant can do in a given week/month/year. The user can interrupt a transaction to receive a call and resume the transaction after the call is completed.
Bill and Patti Feldman are freelance writers for magazines, trade associations, building product manufacturers and other companies on a broad range of topics. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.