The last decade has seen an explosion in the options available for processing electronic payments. Not only are there more POS hardware setups than ever and more options for electronic payments, including brand new options like NFC tap to pay, there are also options aimed at consumers and freelancers who don’t need full-time electronic payment processing at volume. So, in that environment, who makes the best mobile credit card readers? Who makes the best smartphone add-ons for credit cards? What should you go with?
Consumer vs. Business Options
Major app providers with the aim of facilitating person-to-person transactions have started providing their own smartphone dongles and other hardware features to allow for in-person card transactions. Often, the hardware is free but it comes with steep processing costs. Since consumer finance apps use their own merchant accounts to transfer funds on behalf of clients using the app, they take a hefty percentage to cover their own costs of doing business and their profit margins. Business options tend to be more cost-effective, and many banks providing merchant account services have their own hardware. Reviews of that hardware experience are all over the place, though, and they also require you to opt in to the bank’s checkout software to take payments most of the time. Luckily, there is one option that works with any credit card processor and merchant account provider, and it also synchs to a major POS platform to share data with any other sales locations like your permanent storefront.
Clover Go: Smartphone-Based Credit Card Processing
The Clover family of devices has become known as the go-to POS station for small business, regardless of your industry niche. Its versatile app ecosystem provides administrative services above and beyond tracking sales and inventory, including timecard and scheduling, appointment setting, table service-based apps, and even support for gift cards. One of the big benefits of this system of devices is the ability to manage everything from a web-based account, which makes administrative tasks easier. The Clover ecosystem even shares data with major bookkeeping apps, and the Clover Go is a smartphone-linked payment device that works with your Clover account, through the Android app. Since it allows you to use a low cost, high volume payment processor of your own choosing and it comes with Clover’s high quality hardware and software service, it’s about the best choice on the market today for smartphone-based credit card processing. There is another great choice for mobile payments, though, and it will keep your phone free.
The Clover Flex Terminal
Clover’s mobile device provides a dedicated, handheld version of the Clover that uses the same account you already have if your business uses either the full-size Clover Station or a Clover Mini build. That makes it the go-to mobile payment system for many companies, and it’s also part of the reason Clover’s family of devices consistently tops the list of POS systems for franchisees looking to simplify the administrative backend that comes from having multiple sales sites. If you’re considering smartphone-based processing, it’s worth taking a look at the Flex and seeing if it can do what you need without tying up your phone.