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How to accept payments when you're a mobile business

Image of a mobile business taking a tap and go card payment.

3-minute read

If you’re doing business outside a store, office or workshop, you’ll need a way to take payments on the go. Here are five things to consider when looking for the best way to accept mobile payments.

These tips are for you if you manage a mobile operation, such as a food truck, coffee van or market stall, or a mobile business such as plumbing or electrical work.

1. Compare the costs of taking mobile payments

Nowadays, customers expect to be able to make payments using cards rather than cash. They also want to use tap and go mobile devices, such as iPhone and Apple Watch (Apple Pay) and Samsung phones and watches (Samsung Pay). When looking for the best card reader option (the hardware that ‘reads’ the information provided by the card or mobile device) for your mobile business, consider the two main ways you can pay for this 'merchant service'.
 

You can pay an ongoing monthly fee, which covers an EFTPOS terminal plus a set value of transactions. Or, you can choose an EFTPOS machine or other type of card reader where you only pay for the transactions you process (plus machine purchase or rental if applicable).
 

With the second way, paying a flat percentage rate per transaction may be a good option if you want to know exactly how much each payment will cost you, regardless of the type of card used.

2. Shop around for the right mobile EFTPOS solution

Whether you go with 'pay as you go' or a monthly pricing plan, shopping around for the best value may save you money.
 

With a ‘pay as you go’ arrangement, compare the percentage transaction fee and the types of cards it covers. With a monthly plan, check what the ‘additional transaction’ fee is (this is the fee you pay when you go over the ‘included value of transactions’ in your plan). Either way, make sure you factor in any EFTPOS machine rental or purchase costs.

3. Link to the most convenient transaction account

It may be worthwhile using the same provider for your mobile EFTPOS and the business bank account it settles in to. This could help you get access to your takings quicker, as with the right provider, the money could be in your account the minute you settle your transactions each day.
 

You may not want to risk your money taking days to reach your account.

4. Check for support and backup options

Even though most mobile EFTPOS 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, in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.
 

Also, check what happens if your Internet goes down while you’re trading. Are there any backup options that can ensure you don’t miss a sale?

5. Know your mobile devices and their battery life

Some mobile payment solutions include card capture hardware that connects to your mobile phone – turning it into an EFTPOS machine – and others consist of a standalone EFTPOS machine. Both are likely to include a card reader, so a customer can ‘tap and go’ with their card or mobile device to make a payment.
 

If you use your mobile phone to take payments, you’ll need to make sure you have enough battery life to last while you’re out selling or 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 standalone EFTPOS machine, make sure it’s fully charged for the day. Or use a mobile EFTPOS machine that comes with a car charger.

 

Making it fast and easy for your customers to pay you makes good business sense; so it’s worth considering their needs and habits when seeking a mobile payment solution. We hope you have found this article useful.


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Things you should know

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.

Applications for merchant services are subject to approval. Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply. Before making a decision, read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Product Disclosure Statement and Terms and Conditions for Westpac EFTPOS machines; and consider if the product is right for you.

Apple Pay is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Samsung and Samsung Pay are trademarks or registered trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.