Enabling Payments in Mobile Marketing
For businesses that sell their products offsite (such as street carts, home repair services, or massage therapists), smartphone technology improves basic business productivity by simplifying and verifying payments instantly.
Square is leading the charge to accept credit card payments in the mobile world. A merchant inserts a simple plastic card swiper into the audio jack to turn a smartphone or an iPad into an electronic register (following illustration). The customer simply sees a digital receipt (center), and signs online (right).
Square, which accepts all types of cards, deposits payments automatically in your bank account the next business day. In 2011, Square charged merchants a flat fee of 2.75 percent, which is roughly competitive with credit card merchant rates for many small businesses. Credit card numbers entered manually via Square cost 3.5 percent plus 15 cents per transaction.
Payments can also be taken through PayPal and other electronic payment services. The customer sees the bill (following illustration, left) and signs into PayPal electronically (right). This process not only speeds up checkout but also reduces lost sales.