To accept card payments does not mean needing highly specialised equipment any more. In the past, retailers needed to have payment terminals, or PDQ machines as they are sometimes known, at their disposal in order to process a non-cash transaction. These machines also required a phone line to be rented so that the device can process a credit card payment by making contact with the merchant's service provider. Still in use, this old system has three main disadvantages. Firstly, a dedicated telephone line is needed so that transactions can be handled efficiently, something that comes with a monthly rental fee. Secondly, where a phone line is shared between the PDQ and another device, like a fax machine or a common fixed-line telephone, it is impossible to take card payments when the line is already in use.
Either you have to get off the line, or process the debit or credit payment later. Lastly, the system relies on transactions being made in one physical location. Even with wireless technology, where the PDQ is remote from the payment terminal's base unit, the area where a card can be processed is limited. However, today you can accept card payments anywhere you like, thanks to the development of the card payment app.
Fully Mobile Card Payment Systems Explained
To take card payments with a mobile device, firstly you need to download the card payment app from SumUp. Instead of using a traditional fixed-line PDQ machine, your smartphone becomes the basis for the technology to work. All you need to do is to enter the card holder's details into the app and the credit card payment is processed for you.
So long as the card holder has sufficient funds, their card issuer will release the necessary money to you, just like a conventional payment terminal. It is worth noting that such functionality is not only available with smartphones. Tablets, which are connected to the outside world via the mobile phone network or through a WiFi signal, are also be able to handle all types of card transactions.
What Are the Advantages of a Mobile Card Payment System?
Using a mobile card payment system means upgrading for twenty first century technology. Nowadays, consumers are used to being able to order anything they want online at any time that suits them. It also means that they can be anywhere when they want to make a purchase from an e-commerce store. Given that consumers now expect this sort of flexibility with payments, offering a mobile card transaction service makes sense for any sort of business which does not employ a conventional cash register system. Offering mobile transactions from cards allows sales reps to take orders when they are out and about and have them paid for there and then.
Anyone who offers mobile services - like beauty technicians, electricians, gardeners and window cleaners, for example - can obtain payment from their customers in their own homes without having to rely on cheques or cash. Indeed, you can get paid upfront before you start, helping to lower business risk from non-payment.
If you want to accept card payments using an internet-enabled mobile system, customers may want to understand the security implications. Firstly, all of their private data is encrypted when it passes between your mobile device and the service provider, meaning it cannot be obtained by a third party fraudulently. Traditional security measures, such as Chip and PIN, can also be incorporated with a card reader. With such a device, the customer still has the final control over transactions and is able to check the amount they are spending before you end the payment for authorisation via the mobile network from your smart device.
The Future of Mobile Card Payments
In the future, maybe all fixed-line PDQs will disappear, having been replaced by the more convenient mobile transaction system. In the meantime, additional functionality, such as the contactless card reader, is already used with some mobile card payment systems. With contactless readers, a customer can use their card or even their own smartphone to make a payment, whereby the card reader communicates using radio-frequency identification before proceeding with a transaction.