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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 a 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 pay using mobile devices, such as iPhone and Apple Watch (Apple Pay) and Samsung phones and watches (Samsung Pay). When looking for a 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 a flat rate transaction fee which usually covers eftpos, Mastercard®, Visa and UnionPay transactions (plus a monthly terminal fee if applicable). Or, you can choose an EFTPOS machine, mobile app (such as EFTPOS Air), or other type of card reader, where you only pay for the transactions you process (plus machine purchase or monthly fee 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

With a flat transaction rate, compare the percentage transaction fee and the types of cards it covers. With custom pricing, compare the percentage transaction fee, the per transaction fee and the types of cards they cover and any other ongoing fees. Either way, make sure you factor in any EFTPOS machine monthly fees or purchase costs.


For ultimate portability in your mobile business, you could consider taking payments with a mobile app such as Westpac EFTPOS Air. There are no machine rental fees involved as you just download the app to your compatible phone or tablet. Then use its ‘tap to pay’ capability to take card and mobile wallet payments using just your device.

3. Link to your transaction account

Using the same provider for your mobile EFTPOS and the business bank account the transactions settle into may be worthwhile. 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. In addition, check if you'll be able to see your transactions, settlement data, and facility statements online.

4. Check for support and backup options

Even though most mobile EFTPOS solutions are quick 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 or app software on your mobile phone – turning it into an EFTPOS machine – and others consist of a standalone EFTPOS machine. Both should 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 doing business. You may 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. Or use a mobile EFTPOS machine that comes with a compatible 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.

A new, easier way to take payments

Get paid the easy way, with our EFTPOS app on your compatible phone. T&Cs, eligibility and fees apply.

Discover EFTPOS Air

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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 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