The UK is moving towards a cashless society faster than anyone could ever have imagined. It's certainly true for me, I carry less and less cash around with me and have started paying for everything via contactless technology where it is available.
The new polymer notes that are being introduced in the UK and elsewhere around the world will probably be the last development for cash based transactions. Soon everything will be paid for by a credit/debit card or mobile phone technology like the recent Apple Pay announcement for Shopify.
So for business owners, the challenge now is to be able to accept credit card or mobile payments wherever you are based. At a trade show for example. For smaller businesses like market stall owners and those who travel to meet customers, for instance, locksmiths, window cleaners, mobile hairdressers or coffee shops taking mobile credit card payments is now an easy way to make sure you get paid and an easier way to keep account of your transactions.
It's fast becoming law too. Transport for London has announced that all black taxi cabs must be able to accept credit card and contactless payment by October 2016. The minimum fare will rise by 20p from £2.40 to £2.60 to cover the charge of payment processing and fees being charged across the board by credit card payment processors are dropping as they compete for your business.
So Which Mobile Credit Card Payment Option Is Best For Your Business?
Have a look at the mobile credit card reader comparison chart for a quick overview.
Specifically for the UK Black Cab Taxi market iZettle has launched a package which allows for a card reader to be mounted in the passenger compartment of the cab and gives the driver the ability to print a receipt. Receipts can also be sent via SMS or email.
iZettles Black Cab Bundle includes the following:
− iZettle Card Reader Pro Contactless
− Star SM-L200 Bluetooth receipt printer
− Card reader mount for passenger compartment
− Receipt printer mount for driver compartment
(+ power converter for the printer and receipt rolls, box of 20)
The total cost for the complete package is £299. The credit card processing rate starts at 2.75% and drops to 1.5% for higher volume users.
There are no monthly contracts with iZettle and no monthly fees, so you simply pay transaction charges as you go. My advice for those of you looking to get a card reader for the first time is to skip the “lite” versions of the product and pay for the contactless version because your customers will expect to be able to pay this way and love you for it.
The main competitors to iZettle in the UK are Payleven and Sumup both of which offer a contactless payment option. Recently it was announced that Sumup purchased Payleven and the companies will merge technology so expect more products on the market very shortly.
Sumup has the best transaction rate at 1.95%, and they are currently offering their card reader at £39, see the full Sumup review here. All you need to get going is a tablet or smartphone to host the App which does all the smart processing work for you, and you can quickly set this up and start accepting mobile payments within an hour or so of delivery (normally five working days).
WorldPay Zinc is available from WorldPay who are the biggest card payment company in Europe, and they also have some excellent options for mobile credit card readers which would be used in restaurants and other businesses where the customer comes to you, but you need to process the transaction at the table.
These types of transaction are an extension of the traditional chip and pin device allowing you to wander remotely and take credit card payments with the transaction being linked to your normal payment gateway account.
If you get a significant proportion of your revenue from Ebay or you use your PayPal account for a significant percentage of your transactions then it would be worth considering the PayPal Here option but the higher transaction rate of 2.75% means that you are paying a high price for the ability to be able to utilise their reporting functions. I'd suggest you would be much better served by iZettle or Sumup.
PayPal is great when it works which is 99% of the time, but when you need to contact customer service, PayPal is a giant black hole. Funds and accounts can be frozen for “suspicious activity”, and if you fall victim to that, it can disrupt your business with no payments processed in or out.
Accepting mobile credit card payments is getting easier by the day, and I'd recommend you go for a reader that accepts contactless payments. The iZettle bundle is perfect for Black Cab drivers, and their product is one of the best options for UK companies. See the iZettle review.
Have you tried any of the card readers I've reviewed? Let me know in the comments!