Which Mobile Credit Card Processing Services is right for you?

The top three mobile credit card readers are Square, Go Payment by Intuit/QuickBooks, and PayPal.  The Square was the first on the market in 2010 and was the brain child of Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter.  Intuit & PayPal both have a long history of financial services and public trust. Both have higher ratings for security, processing, and support.  Square has a higher rating for style and usability because it is so simple.

Others include, reviewed but not considered: Go Pago, Spark Pay, Mobilize, PAY ware, Roam Pay, Pay Anywhere

1. Go Payment – Intuit

Pay-as-you-Go Pay Monthly
Monthly Service FREE $12.95/month
Swipe Rate 2.75% 1.75%
Keyed Rate 3.75% 2.75%
Transaction Fee for Keyed/Scanned Transactions $0 $0
Intuit Credit Card Reader 3 FREE  3 FREE
Monthly Minimum None None
Setup Fee None None
Commitment/Subscription None None
Sync with QuickBooks/ Virtual Terminal $12.95
Email Confirmation / Deposit 36 hours
Text or Email Receipt
Geolocation Sales Tax Set-up

2. Square Up

Pay-as-you-Go Pay Monthly
Monthly Service FREE $275
Swipe Rate 2.75% 0%Single Charges Under $400/First $21,000 of each Month, then charged at keyed rate
Keyed Rate 3.5% 3.5%
Transaction Fee for Keyed Transactions $.15 $.15
Square Credit Card Reader  2 FREE 2 FREE
Monthly Minimum None None
Setup Fee None None
Virtual Terminal / Mobile POS System FREE FREE
Email Confirmation / Deposit 36 hours
Email Receipt
Sales Tax set up
No Human Support, Only Online/Twitter

3. PayPal

Standard Advance or Pro
Monthly Service $Free $5 or $30
Swipe Rate 2.7% 2.7%
Keyed Rate 3.5% 3.5%
Transaction Fee for Keyed Transactions $.15 per $.15 per
PayPal Here Card Reader  FREE  FREE
Monthly Minimum None None
Setup Fee None None
Commitment/Subscription None None
Virtual Terminal (Computer) Mobile POS System No $30.00
Email Confirmation / Deposits into a PayPal account then you download to your bank
Text or Email Receipt
Works with Checks & PayPal

Suggestions:

Email Account: set up an email account for payment notifications and transactions to be sent. You do not want to clutter up someone’s personal account. i.e. Sales@, Payments@, Mobile@company.com

Notes:

Bank Accounts: some banks (Chase, BofA, Key Bank) offer their own credit card / mobile processing systems, which could have some advantages with syncing to your accounts and comprehensive customer service.

Merchant Accounts: a type of bank account (Merchant Warehouse, National Bankcard) that allows businesses to accept payments by credit/payment cards.

Payment Gateway: provides technology to securely capture and transfer the credit card information from a website to the merchant account (Authorize.net, Transfirst, PayPal, Google Checkout).

Research Notes:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/square-vs-intuit-gopayment-vs-paypal-here-mobile-credit-card-processors/

http://chargify.com/blog/how-to-choose-the-best-smartphone-credit-card-reader-for-your-business/

http://www.inc.com/maeghan-ouimet/mobile-payments-key-players.html

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224181#

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4394-accepting-credit-cards.html

http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/processing-credit-cards-and-anger/

http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/my-search-for-reasonable-and-understandable-credit-card-processing/

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Extraordinary People Say

I really appreciated this article and wanted to share it.  This is just a summary to read more go to the link below.

10 Things Extraordinary People Say Every Day, by Jeff Haden: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/10-things-extraordinary-people-say-every-day.html?comid=91666

“Here’s what I’m thinking.”

You’re in charge, but that doesn’t mean you’re smarter, savvier, or more insightful than everyone else.

“I was wrong.”

When you’re wrong, say you’re wrong. You won’t lose respect–you’ll gain it.

“That was awesome.”

No one gets enough praise. No one.

“You’re welcome.”

Thanks, congratulations, or praise is about the other person, too.

“Can you help me?”

When you need help,  just say, sincerely and humbly, “Can you help me?”

“I’m sorry.”

We all make mistakes, so we all have things we need to apologize for, but never follow an apology with a disclaimer.

“Can you show me?”

Advice is temporary; knowledge is forever. Knowing what to do helps, but knowing how or why to do it means everything.

“Let me give you a hand.”

So, many people hesitate to ask for help. But everyone needs help. Then actually roll up your sleeves and help.

“I love you.”

No, not at work, but everywhere you mean it–and every time you feel it.

Nothing.

Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. If you’re upset, frustrated, or angry, stay quiet.

Social Media Campaign and Implementation Summary

I have been working with a client on increasing their social media interactions.  Based on the clients needs, we determined Facebook would provide the highest level of impact for the business. Other digital efforts included

  • twitter campaign,
  • claiming the business on review sites, such as Yelp, Foursquare,
  • coupon deal campaigns such as GroupOn, Sharing Spree,
  • ensuring Google Maps had the business accurately placed and
  • email newsletters.

IMG_1099During September and October, we implemented a social media campaign with a focus on Facebook.  First, I customized the clients Facebook site to align with the brand identity and included unique Facebook Pages to promote events, coupons, and newsletter.  Second, I developed a content strategy and schedule for postings.

Here are the results in a nut shell:

Facebook:

  1. Increased “Likes” by 33%
  2. New Likes from location: 800 (US), 15 (All other)
  3. New Likes by gender: 74.9% (Woman), 23.9% (Men)
  4. New Check-ins: 833 (US), 7 (All Other)
  5. October 26,27,28 and 10, 11, 12 showed the highest levels of interaction and reach
  • Oct 26-28 client posts included 3 photos and 1 videos and 2 event reminders
  • Oct 10-12 client posts included 2 photos and 2 links and 3 event reminders

Enhancing your business online – Step Three, Social

Everyone is talking social media and engaging your customers, creating relationships, and developing brand advocates. What does it really mean? Why is it significant? How do you direct it?

An integrated marketing strategy will include social media, but always remember is in just one part of the larger picture. Social networks are a good way of engaging customers but it may not be necessary for your business.

Create a strategy – Is social media the right fit for your business.  Customers are more inclined to learn through the experiences of other customers in a forum they like. You need to stand out in forums like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to draw more customers to talk about you and your products and services. What forum works best for you?  A few social networking forums to consider include: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Linkedin, Blogs and websites.

Schedule and Time of Posting – Create a schedule and stick to it.  Regular posting is critical.  Understand what time of day will capture the most engagement. A recent study presented that brands that were posted after “normal” business hours experienced an increase of 20% engagement. You must give your social campaign time, you are building a relationship.

Listen and respond, not just update and promote – Social media is all about making connections and people are drawn to you if you actually listen to what they are saying. Engage your audience, ask questions, share humor, and provide motivation. Encourage comments and discussion. Investigate and respond into negative comments. Do not spend all your time just updating or trying to self promote.

Content is still King – Determine your voice and message and stay consistent.  Create a compelling story and you will generate loyalty from customers.  Be concise and direct, a short and powerful punch can drive strong traffic. Your goal is to make your post stand out. Make your posts relevant and meaningful to your customers.

Be Creative – The way you post it will make you stand out. Mixing posts with images and the use of proper words tend to increase the number of engagement. Psychology studies have proven that visual presentations tend to attract more people. Optimize your posts for mobile devices.

Measure and Track – You must measure the results.  For basic information, set up Google Alerts and Google Analytics for your business.  For more detailed information, there is a wide range of programs available. Measure ROI and determine are you on track.

Do not underestimate the amount of resources needed to create a strong and dependable social network of engagement. Social media can work for you, but not without effort.

Getting listed online, Healthcare Example

The first and most important step of creating a digital presence is to get listed online.  In the past, people used telephone books or other directories to get information and find businesses.  Now, people use the internet and increasing they use their mobile devices. This is even more critical if your business provides a local services and products. An added benefit, you are creating inbound links to your website, which improves your search engine optimization.

Getting listed online can be time consuming, but it is mostly free and requires little in maintenance.  Be sure to put in the correct information the first time, because changing a listing can be challenging. You can pay a monthly or yearly fee to have your business listed with a large variety of online services, which can make this process easier.

For instance, your business provides healthcare services; more specifically you are a dentist.  How do you reach new customers and enhance the online experience of your current customers.

The list is preliminary research into local Portland directories and online services that may be of interest to my dentist.

Broadway Dental Care

Dr. Hoang

2606 NE Broadway St # A
Portland, OR 97232
Phone: (503) 595.5463
Fax: (503) 595.5465

info@broadwaydentalcare.net

http://broadwaydentalcare.net/

  1. Google Maps/Places- Claim your business and location. List with major online directory services- Google, Bing and Yahoo- Universal Business Listing, Acxiom, InfoUSA, Localeze (Feeds into other directory sites)

    List with industry online directories

    – American Dental Association http://www.ada.org

    – Multnomah Dental Association http://www.multnomahdental.org

    – Oregon Dental Association http://www.oregondental.org

    – Oregon Dental Executives Association http://www.oregondentalexecutives.org/

    – Oregon Dental Hygienists’ Association http://www.odha.org

    – Oregon Dental Assistants Association http://www.oregondentalassistants.com

    – Oregon Oral Health Coalition http://www.orohc.org

    – Oregon Board of Dentistry http://www.oregon.gov/Dentistry

    – The Dental Foundation of Oregon http://smileonoregon.org

    List with dental online directories (some of these may not be appropriate, seek guidance from the healthcare provider)

    – Dentist Directory http://dentistdirectory.com/

    – America Smiles Directory http://www.americasmiles.com/

    – DotDentist http://www.dotdentist.com/

    – National Directory of Dentist http://www.nationaldirectoryofdentists.com/

    Insurance providers database of Providers (Check listings with insurance companies to ensure you are accurately listed)

    – ODS Oregon Dental Services

    – Regence Insurance

    – Blue Cross Blue Shield

    – Providence Health Pan

    – Kaiser Permanente

    – LifeWise Health Plan

    List with local online directories (Portland, Oregon)

    – CitySearch

    – Business Associations

    – – Portland Business Associations http://www.portlandalliance.com/index.html

    – – Metropolitan Business Association http://www.mba-pdx.com/

    – – East Portland Chamber of Commerce http://www.eastportlandchamberofcommerce.com/

    Local publications often have directories

    – Oregon Live (Oregonian)

    – Portland Monthly

    – Portland Tribune

    – Willamette Week

    – Portland Mercury

    – KGW

    – KION

    – KATU

    – KPTV

    List with community resource directories that may be relevant

    – Children/Parent Resources

    – – NW Kids Magazine http://nwkidsmagazine.com/

    – – Portland at Play http://www.portlandatplay.com/whattodo.htm

    – – Red Tricycle http://www.redtri.com/

    – – Portland Family http://nwkidsmagazine.com/

    – – Metro Parents http://www.metro-parent.com/

    Set up listings on reputation and review sites

    – Yelp, Foursquare

Now that your business is listed with your local directories, remember to check back and refresh your listings as necessary.  Think about creating online campaigns for special events or promotions. New resources and directories develop and some disappear; set a reminder  to check back at least once a year.

The next step is ensuring your website is optimized for search engines and then setting up social media networks with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Blogs.  Once all these steps have been accomplished, you will need to create a digital and/or social media marketing campaign to engage your customers.  That will be another post.  Good luck and get listed!

Developing a plan for marketing

As the global world seems to become smaller, your local world becomes more important.

For most businesses connection with you customer is critical.  Businesses that take a global approach may be missing opportunities for engagement with customers.  Today, localization is what matters to your customer. As customers grow increasingly dependent on social networks, customizing or localizing content for specific markets dramatically increases efforts. To win the hearts and minds of customers, localization also helps customers feel better about their clicks and engagement. Over the next few years, going local will only improve engagement and ultimately commerce. To make the most out of the opportunity focus on localized initiatives for content and create an engagement program that connects with customers in a meaningful way.

And how might you do this?

Create a profile of your target audience.

1. Collect data

  • Collect as much information as possible about customers: jobs, where they live, shopping habits, economic data and family information.
  • Interview or survey current customers

2. Create Personas

  • Develop a couple of “characters” that embody the stereo-typical customers.
  • For instance a healthcare persona may be
  1. Joe is a middle aged father and is interested in getting fit and keeping his high blood pressure down.  He is computer savvy and wants his information quick and on the go.
  2. Martha is an elderly woman and is interested in overall health. She enjoys the monthly newsletter she gets from her doctor with tips for keeping healthy.

Look at what your local competitors are doing.

1. Competitive Analyze

  • Note how they present their products, where they advertise and the type of people who purchase their products and services.
  • Review their products and services and identify the things you do better in terms of service, price, features or value.
  • Identify the things that will make your business attractive to customers
  1. What things do you offer that other businesses do not.
  2. What things do you provide that is better.
  3.  What are your main selling points?

Choose the best ways to reach your target audience based on their behaviors and activities.

  1. Evaluate digital marketing strategies such as online advertisements on websites and blogs, pay-per-click, or GoogleAd words.
  2. Ensure your business website is optimized for search engines
  3. Submit your business to online directories (many are free)
  4. Claim your business on mobile and review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Foursquare
  5. Consider online coupon deals such as GroupOn, Living Social, and Portland Perks
  6. Develop social media strategies and campaigns for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube based on where your customers are interacting
  7. Create email marketing campaigns for eblasts, newsletters, deals & offers
  8. Traditional marketing strategies like print ads, postcard mailing campaigns, booths at festivals or fairs, or sponsorship of local events.
  • Investigate costs and requirements for each type of media.
    • Ask about deadlines for print and online ads and get a copy of the editorial calendar.
    • If you will need to submit a digital file, find out what the preferred format.
    • Gather all of the practical information into one place for easy reference when planning a marketing calendar down the road.
    • Tailor your message for each marketing strategy.
      • Write copy for each channel using your selling points.
      • Edit the copy to work with the limitations of each format: short and to the point for radio, segmented for easy scanning for print and online, and distilled to a few words for visual advertisements.

Now that you have a basic plan, next let’s talk about how your business can grow your digital online market.  Creating a strong local online presence will help your business connect with your customer in a meaningful and beneficial way.