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How to use a Smartphone as a Credit Card Machine

Up until a few years ago, it was almost impossible for vendors to accept credit card and debit card payments without a whole heap of heavy and expensive gear. Times have changed, and now small businesses and large businesses alike can take card payments on something as small as a smartphone. Mobile payment technology originally rose in popularity for use in food trucks across the U.S. Now, a wide range of businesses across the world use a credit card reader for sales on the go. With the quick pace of technology, it can be confusing for those uninitiated with using their smartphones as a credit card machine.

Mobile Devices

The first step in taking credit card payments with a smartphone is, of course, to have a smartphone. The majority of new Apple products—iPhones, iPads and iPods—can function as mobile credit card machines. Using an Apple product is not the only solution, however. Vendors interested in using their Androi d device as a credit card machine can also find a multitude of apps available. Sellers with relatively recent Blackberry smartphones also have a few options. It is worth remembering that any device that does not receive cellular service, such as non-3G iPads and Android tablets, require a constant WiFi connection to operate.

Card Readers

The most important part of taking a

mobile payment may be the mobile device, but the second most important part is the card reader itself. Most card readers work by plugging into the mobile device's earphone jack. Card readers are inexpensive, and in many cases come free with a subscription to a mobile payment service. Vendors who purchase a card reader are often reimbursed when they use apps such as "Square." Those looking to purchase a mobile card reader can find many available on eBay.

Mobile Payment Services

One of the most important choices when it comes to turning a smartphone into a mobile credit card machine is the choice of which mobile payment service to use. Many companies take care of online payments, and they all have different charges and commission costs. Two of the most popular apps available for Apple devices are "Square" and "PayPal Here."

Square gives users the option to pay either a flat fee per month or a transaction fee on every transaction, so it is useful for both small and bigger businesses. Square provides customers with a free card reader. PayPal Here charges a transaction fee of 2.7 percent on each transaction, with no flat monthly fee available; it charges 49.95 dollars for the card reader.

Blackberry also has several apps available, but has a more limited selection than Apple and Android devices.

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