Square, PAyPal, etc.

How To Accept Credit Cards on an iPhone

Most people envision the Square credit card reader when they think of iPhone processing, but there are a lot of other solutions that plug into the phone's headphone jack and allow for the swiping of cards. PayPal Anywhere, GoPay, and Verifone PAYware are all viable ways to get funds.

Card Reading Dongle

iPhone Credit Card ProcessingThe device and service you use for payment acceptance is going to be heavily dependent on your anticipated sales volume and whether or not you take cards through a merchant account. Many clubs, small charity groups, and bake sales like Square and PayPal processing dongles, since they are often free or $10, and are easy to download and set up. Money goes right to your bank account less a fixed fee of around 2.75%. The swiper is removable, and you can use your iPhone normally when you are not taking money. More recently Square has upgraded the swiper component so it is smaller, does not need a battery, and has built-in encryption so the device is compliant with PCI requirements. Note that when you go through Square or PayPal for iPhone payment processing you are not using a standalone merchant account.

iPhone Merchant Account Access

If you have a merchant account, or if your sales volume via credit cards exceeds $10,000 a month on average, there are better accounts that can give you lower processing rates. Small businesses with existing merchant services use more professional looking smartphone cradles like Verifone's PAYware Mobile for iPhone. The reader rests on the side of the cradle, which reduces "spin" issues and increases the aura of professinalism. Many merchants use this feature in lieu of additional credit card terminals, or as a backup to their in-house credit card machines. A secondary advantage is that you can use the attachement for sales made on the road, on location, at craft fairs, or at conventions. Because merchant account rates can be significantly lower than fixed-rate services, the savings may be remarkable over time .