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Mobile Vs Wireless Card Processing

Mobile Vs Wireless Card Processing

Mobile Vs Wireless Card Processing

Mobile Vs Wireless Card Processing – As the title of this article suggests. There are differences between Mobile and Wireless credit/debit card processing. Hopefully, I can clear up some of that misunderstanding here.
As technology continues to evolve, the different levels of freedom and mobility for processing credit card transactions have expanded. If you’re looking for ways to possibly utilize some of this newer technology to generate additional revenues, you first need to understand the options available as well as the flexibility and limitations of each.


Cordless Terminals

Cordless are designed for short-range use. Typically you’ll find these in restaurants or larger retailers with numerous payment stations throughout the business. These terminals “communicate” with a base unit or computer via the wireless network. While this “wireless” option is portable, it’s not as flexible as Mobile processing. The advantage, however, is the ability to offer a printed receipt to the customer. For restaurants, especially, it offers a greater degree of comfort security for customers in that their card never leaves their sight. It also provides the opportunity to key in a PIN number which could potentially save money in processing costs for the restauranteur. It’s a true win/win situation. However, the recent passage of the Durbin Amendment will likely make this a non-issue beginning in October 2011.

Traditional Wireless Terminals

The traditional type wireless equipment communicates through “land lines” connected over the air to a base unit plugged into a hardwired phone line. This option allows for some roaming throughout a space. Limited somewhat by the radius of wireless connectivity to the terminal (often several hundred feet, depending on obstacles and interference). The great benefit, of course, is the ability to offer customers a printed receipt at the time of sale.



Mobile payment processing simply didn’t exist five years or so ago. And, there’s no telling what type of even newer technology is on the horizon. But for now, consider how you may benefit from this technology.

Simply stated, this is credit card processing that you take with you making it possible to accept payments wherever your customers are. The equipment is lightweight and easily transportable. Chances are, you currently own the major component for this type of transaction….a smartphone. Really, all that is required for this to work for you is a signal strong enough to surf the internet and an active data package on your phone. The terminal (or card swiper) itself is a tiny unit that typically just plugs into the headphone port on your phone. Some credit/debit card processing may require a customers signature on the phone’s touchscreen and a receipt will be provided to the customer by way of email or an SMS text message.

Obviously, if you are doing business anywhere in the field, whether it be in-home, in the field, at trade shows or flea markets or anywhere you get paid remotely for your goods or services, mobile is the answer for you to increase sales. You may want to consider looking for a swiper that features “store and forward” capability for completing transactions where no signal is available. Now, I use this term, “completing” a transaction kind of loosely here. Without a signal, all you are doing is “storing” the credit card information and not actually getting an authorization.

The Risk

So, the risk you take is that you do the work, or deliver goods or service. See “store” the data until you later have a signal to “forward” the transactions. If at that time,you get a decline on a transaction. Then you’ll have done the work for free unless you can recoup from the customer through some other payment method.

If you have determined that Mobile is a potential enhancement to how you currently accept payments. I strongly urge you to contact your current payment processor and ask for details. You could also do a search for mobile credit card processing equipment to see what options may be available to you. As always, do your due diligence.