How to accept payments when you're a mobile business
If your business takes place outside a store, office or workshop, you’ll need a way to accept payments on the go. Here are six things to consider when choosing how to accept payments.
These tips are for you if you manage a mobile operation, such as a coffee van, a market stall, or a plumbing business serving customers in their homes.
Rather than pay an ongoing monthly fee for an EFTPOS machine2, you can choose a payment solution 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.
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 percentage merchant service fee per transaction.
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.
Your customers may require a written invoice for the goods or services you are providing – which nowadays you can manage online. If you hold a Westpac Business One Low or High Plan1 transaction account or a foreign currency account (other than in Chinese Yuan RMB)1 you can use Biz Invoice – our handy business invoicing solution – through online banking1.
Westpac’s complimentary invoice generator lets you draft bills on your smartphone, tablet or PC, and send them securely to your clients. It helps with reconciliation too (transaction accounts only) and can even send automatic payment reminders.
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.
Some payment solutions include a card capture device that connects to your mobile phone – turning 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.
It makes good business sense to make payment as easy as possible for your customers, and to consider their needs and habits when seeking a mobile payment solution. We hope you have found this article useful.
1. Westpac’s products are subject to terms, conditions, fees and charges; and certain criteria may apply. Before making a decision, read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Product Disclosure Statement and T&Cs for Westpac business bank accounts, business savings accounts, foreign currency accounts and online banking, by clicking the above links and consider if the product is right for you.
The information in this article is general in nature and does not take your objectives, financial situation or needs into account. Consider its appropriateness to these factors; and we recommend you seek independent professional advice about your specific circumstances before making any decisions.