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How to accept payments when you're a mobile business

If you’re business takes place outside a store, you’ll need a way to accept payments on the go. Here are 5 things to consider when choosing how to accept payments.

These are good to consider if you’re a mobile business, like someone with a mobile coffee van, a market stall selling fruit and vegetables or a plumber who serves customers in their homes.

1.    Pay as you go for transactions

Rather than pay an ongoing monthly fee, you can choose a payment terminal where you only pay for the transactions you process. Pay as you go may be a good option when your business is a side hustle (something you do occasionally or on the weekends) and don’t have the volume yet to support a monthly fee.

2.    Shop around

Whether you go with a monthly pricing plan or a pay as you go plan, shopping around for the best value plan will save you money.  With a monthly plan check what the ‘additional transaction’ fee is (this is the fee you pay when you go over the ‘included transactions’ in your plan). With a pay as you go plan you may be charged a % merchant service fee per transaction, and that fee can be around 1.9% and 2.5% per transaction.1

3.    Link to your existing transaction account

It may be worthwhile having your mobile payment solution and the business bank settlement account with the same provider. If you do this, you may get paid quicker as the money may be in your account as soon as you settle transactions for the day. Otherwise, it can take days for the money to appear in your account.

4.    Look for onsite support

Even though most mobile payment solutions are easy to set up, find out if the provider will give you set up and ongoing support for the device. At Westpac, we offer technicians who can come out and help you.

5.    Know your devices

Some payment solutions include a card capture device that connects to your mobile phone which turns it into an EFTPOS device and others are more a stand-alone terminal. Both of these may include a reader, so a customer can tap their card to process a sale. If the sale is over $100, the customer will need to enter their PIN.

If you use your mobile phone with a card capture solution, you will need to make sure you have enough battery to last while you’re out doing business. You'll also want to test drive a mobile payment through your new device and mobile phone connection before you go. If you use a stand-alone terminal, you will also need to make sure this is fully charged for the day. Make sure you do a couple of test payments so you’re familiar with how the stand-alone terminal works.


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Things you should know

1 Any rates referred to in this article may differ depending on the provider and are subject to change.

2 Applications for merchant services are subject to approval. Terms and Conditions and other fees and charges apply. Full details are available on request.

This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general. It is an overview only and should not be relied upon. The information provided in this article should be used as a guide only. We recommend that you seek independent professional legal and tax advice about your specific circumstances. Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714