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Woman making a credit card payment using her phone

Mobile Processing

Here to Stay

To a small business owner, the latest technology offers a whole new level of convenience. It allows for faster and more secure mobile payment processing. This gives you the flexibility to accept payments almost anywhere.

While mobile payment options often include smartphone capabilities, you can also use a tablet or standalone device. Your setup can be super simple or part of a larger payment processing system in your practice.

You may already be using a mobile payment device, or still considering your options. Either way, here are some things to keep in mind.

Looking Back

Mobile credit card terminals have actually been available for a long time, even before smartphones. (If you can remember that far back.) For example, one company made a small phone designed to process credit card payments, but it didn’t really catch on. The phone was very expensive because merchants had to pay for a different plan, such as 3G or 4G.

Smartphones Changed Everything

Once Apple came out with their smartphone, it changed everything. Instead of producing hardware, processing companies could simply create an app for the phone so merchants could accept payments using a single purpose device.

Unfortunately, there were some data security problems early on. Fraudsters were able to create ways to skim credit card numbers. After all, smartphones are little computers, vulnerable without proper safeguards. So, it was crucial to make sure smartphone payments were secure.

Luckily, the card industry caught up with technology. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was created to help businesses prevent credit card fraud. Then, the implementation of EMV chip cards made mobile transactions even more secure.

Fast Forward to 2021

Today, the most prevalent devices to take mobile payments are Apple and Android devices. They have the most security measures in place. (Unfortunately, if you have a Windows phone, you can’t use it to take credit card payments.)

Like anything else, mobile payment processing doesn’t happen by magic. It does require an internet connection. If you can’t get a signal, it won’t work. For most tablets, you won’t have your cell connection, but you can simply use a secure Wi-Fi connection.

NCMIC Mobile Payment Options

We have several mobile payment options for DCs. If you’re not sure which one makes the most sense for you, we’re always happy to talk with you. In the meantime, here are a few of the most popular.

Clover® Go

The Clover Go is part of the Clover POS system. It uses a reader that works through Bluetooth, like all modern readers. You need your phone or tablet with Bluetooth and the app. 

The main thing business owners like about the Clover Go is that it’s so easy to use. In fact, some DCs start out with Clover Go, thinking they’ll add on other equipment, and stay with it because it’s so convenient in and out of the practice. Features include:

  • Accepts credit and debit cards.
  • Capable of reading chip, swipe or contactless payments.
  • Can use the same device on multiple phones. (Just download the app on each phone and have separate logins.)
  • Receipts available via text message or email
  • Low-cost way to start taking mobile payments

Other Apps with Card Readers

If you like the idea of downloading an app and using your phone with a card reader, other popular options include:

  • NCMIC’s Payment Gateway – Use the same user name and password that you use for your NCMIC gateway account. You can also key in the credit card number if you lose the card reader or run out of batteries.
  • Authorize.Net – This has been one of most popular payment gateways since 1996.

Clover Flex

The Clover Flex is a standalone device; you and your employees do not need to use a smartphone or tablet. If you take a substantial number of mobile payments – more than at a tradeshow a few times a year – this may suit your needs. Benefits include:

  • Built-in receipt printer
  • Big screen
  • Dedicated 4G plan with more coverage
  • Accepts Google PayTM and Apple Pay®
  • Battery lasts 8 hours between charges

Security

Myth: Mobile processing is not as secure as a countertop terminal.

Truth: This isn’t the case. If your phone or tablet’s operating system needs to be updated or there is a security compromise, transactions won’t go through. The card information will not be captured. In addition, you’ll be notified if there is a newer version of the app for you to download.

Digital Wallets

Sometimes, digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay are confused with mobile paying technology. They are actually geared to the cardholder/customer, and allow them to pay with their phone instead of their physical card.

The Bottom Line

As a business owner, you have more payment acceptance options today than ever before, and there’s no end in sight. Luckily, NCMIC is here to help you navigate the latest and greatest developments in mobile processing. We want to find the right fit for your practice, and look forward to talking with you. Call us at 800-437-0712.


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