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


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


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:









Enhancing your business online – Step one, Listed

To ensure your business gets the online traffic and customers coming through your door, it is critical that your business appears prominently on the web.

Start by getting local.

  • 90% of online commercial searches result in offline brick and mortar purchases (comScore)
  • 82% of local searchers follow up offline by an in-store visit or phone call (comScore)

There are many digital marketing strategies to improve your searchability.  One method is to create a strong social media presence on Facebook, Google+, twitter, YouTube, tumblr, blogs and online communities. Another is optimizing inbound links to your website through white papers, articles, reviews and industry and community organizations.  Both these methods require good content and time, which is why it seem intimidating to most small business owners.  You may be asking yourself, “Who has the time?”

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 business.  Now, people use the internet and increasing they use their mobile devices. If your business provides local services or products, this is even more critical.

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.

1)      Define your information

  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • City, State and Zip
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Email address
  • Short description of your business
  • Primary categories (Come up with 3 or 4 options for your business since most directory servicers have predefined categories and your business might not fit exactly. Example: lawn and garden supplies and farm supplies)

2)      Get on Google Maps and Places

  • Claim your business and location

3)      List with major online directory services

  • Google, Bing and Yahoo
  • Universal Business Listing, Acxiom, InfoUSA, Localeze (Feeds into other directory sites, some have a fee)
  • Yellow pages, Super pages, Merchant Circle

4)      List with local online directories (Portland, Oregon)

  • CitySearch
  • Travel Oregon
  • Travel Portland
  • Local publications business directories (Oregon Live, Portland Monthly, Portland Tribune, Willamette Week, Portland Mercury)
  • Local media business directories (KGW, KION etc)

5)      List with industry online directories

  • Organizations and associations
  • Industry publications often have directories

6)      Set up listings on reputation and review sites

  • Yelp, Foursquare, GoWalla, Urban Spoon, Trip Advisor

7)      Set up your business on social networking sites

  • Facebook Fan Page
  • LinkedIn Business Page (more important is your business provides professional services)

Now that you are listed, monitor your website analytics to determine which of the listing is creating the most online traffic for your business.  You may want to consider online advertising campaign, if you see the traffic from a specific listing is generating more traffic.

Getting Local

Claim your geo-location and help your customers find you.

Geo-location describes the geographic location of a person by retrieving information through GPS coordinates. Geo-tagging has become a major part of the mobile world and mobile marketing. Mobile devices allow people to “check-on” to different places.  Location-based services are great tools for exploring new places and seeing where your friends have visited. Location-based social networks can help increase in-store visits creating brand visibility and consumer word of mouth by connecting people, locations, and friends.

Some location-based services include Foursquare, SCVNGR, whrrl, and GoWalla which was joined forces with Facebook. Additionally, some of the top online reputation services have added location-based check-ins including Yelp, TripAdvisor, CitySearch, and Google Places. Finally, there are the online directories that are rapidly replacing telephone books; some of these include google, bing, yahoo, dexknows, yellowbook and many local versions.

How does this effect small business? The location-based services provide free word of mouth advertising, reviews that are shared with users, and easy way to encourage customers to visit your location by offering specials or deals. Customers become the advocate for your business and encourage their friends to trust your business too.  Is your business ready?

The first step is to claim your business and location with google, bing, and yahoo. You want to ensure the address, phone, and information it accurate. The second step is to make sure your business is correctly listed on the various location-based services, reputation services, and online directories.  This can be a time consuming process, but once you are set up you can be confident that your customers will be able to find you online and on their mobile devices.  Ensuring your customers can call or email your business or map directions to your business is only part of your digital presence online, but it is a critical step that many businesses have overlooked.

Finally,  you will need to gather analytics on which online services are performing best for your business. You have many options to advertise or promote your business through these online services that you may decide will be effective for your business.