How mobile card readers can help small businesses

In our increasingly cashless society, it is the credit card, rather than cash, that is king. This brings many benefits but can cause problems for mobile businesses if their customers want to pay by card and there is no immediate access to a card payment terminal.

Using a credit card with a SumUp card reader

Cheques are becoming increasingly obsolete and require the businessman to visit his bank in order to process them. So if payment by credit card is not possible, then the customer is forced to have the cash available, which may cause them inconvenience.

As the mobile businessman collects more cash payments throughout the day, he is faced with the security risks in carrying large quantities of cash, and will be forced to visit his bank to deposit his earnings as soon as possible.

Time spent traveling to, and queuing at, banks is time wasted, and can reduce the earnings of hard working businesses.

Credit card readers have long been available, but until recently these have operated over the WiFi networks at the business premises.  We are all familiar with paying restaurant bills using this sort of point of sale technology, but what happens if the business is mobile and their office based WiFi isn’t available?

This is where a mobile card reader, such as SumUp comes in handy.

Mobile Card Readers

Mobile card readers resolve the problems of accepting point of sale payments at customer premises. They connect to the Internet via a Bluetooth connection to the businessman’s smart phone, allowing the credit card details to be securely captured, verified, and the payment taken, in as efficient way as possible.

SumUp, for example, uses this technology and is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.  Once the card details have been read by the SumUp card machine and verified by the their systems, the payment is immediately transferred to the business bank account.

This makes receiving point of sale payments fast and friction-less, with the only caveat being that there must be a mobile Internet signal available, but mobile black spots are becoming less frequent as the networks continue to improve their coverage.

Widening the opportunities for small businesses

Mobile point of sale systems like this present many opportunities for small businesses who have previously struggled to accept credit card payments from their customers.

Using SumUp on a bamboo stand

Think of the many craftsmen and artisan producers who frequent craft fairs, farmers markets and Christmas fayres.

These small businesses are often selling expensive items and being unable to accept credit cards can easily prevent sales as their customers may not have sufficient cash, or their cheque books, available.

Lucrative impulse purchases may be missed, which can cost artisan producers dearly from lost sales merely because they could not accept a credit card payment.

If these small businesses used a mobile credit card payment such as SumUp, they could accept point of sale card payments and increase their sales as a result. SumUp only charge a 1.9% transaction fee and there are no contracts, so there are real opportunities for using this technology for commercial advantage.

Think of other service businesses such as gardeners and domestic cleaners. If their clients don’t have the cash to pay for their services, then they have to wait to get paid, or waste time chasing their customers for payment.

A quick and easy payment via credit card using a mobile card reader resolves this. Payment has been made and the service provider can move onto the next job, secure in the knowledge that their earnings  have been safely banked.

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