Accepting credit card payments is easier than you thinkall you need is a cell phone, some inexpensive add-on hardware, and an accompanying app. These smartphone-based solutions are a great way for small business owners, or anyone really, to process mobile payments anywhere.
We've tested three of these solutions. Each one has a companion reader that connects to your phone, either through a dock connector or the phone's headphone jack. You attach the hardware, launch the app, and you're ready to stat swiping cards. Each company charges a small fee for each transaction, typically a few cents plus a small percentage of the transaction total.
If you're collecting a couple of dollars every once in a while, Square is likely your best bet, but if you're doing bigger business, Mophie's or PayAnywhere's solution might make more sense.
Though each fared differently in our tests, your choice will likely come down to the math. There are three cost variables you need to look at: the hardware (the mobile device you'll use, and the add-on reader), the per-transaction fees (how much you get charged every time you swipe someone's credit card), and any other monthly service fees.
Read the full reviews (linked below) for the full scoop on each of these products including supported handsets and fee structures.
Mobile Payment Solutions Included in this Roundup:
Price: $179.99 (Reader), 1.7-2.7 percent + $0.30 fee per transaction
Compatible Devices: iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4
Bottom Line: Mophie's Complete Credit Card Solution works with financial giant Intuit and saves heavy users money, but it's pricey up front.