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How To Accept Credit Card Payments On Your Phone: The Complete Guide

A mobile credit card reader is a plug-in or peripheral device that allows merchants to accept credit card payments on their phones. Read this guide to learn more about mobile point of sale options.

    Chris Motola
  • UPDATED

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Chris Motola

Chris Motola

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
An expert in personal and business loans and financial health, Chris Motola has been writing about small business finance and payments for over 5 years. He has been cited in various industry publications, including Forbes Advisor, GoBankingRates, and Medium. Chris is a graduate of the University of Central Florida.
Chris Motola
View Chris Motola's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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9 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Mike Gradwell

    We have recently found Merchant Maverick and have utilized it extensively in the process of trying to decide on not only a POS system for our hybrid business (service and renovation/retail store) but also a separate mobile credit card processing capability for curbside service. We are a Quickbooks desktop user and ideally, I would like to not get any more involved with Intuit than I already am. Unfortunately, after a lot of examination, it appears that none of the main players in the POS world really do a good job of integrating with Quickbooks. Sure, you can have them work together, but in the end, they are designed to be a stand alone suite, and syncing sales data in detail to Quickbooks is left to third party app developers who really don’t make anything capable of processing or syncing to a 7000+ database of customers. Unless I’m wrong, and I’d love to be, that leaves us with the Quickbooks POS. And even that doesn’t necessarily like to play along with Desktop seamlessly. What we are now trying to find is a mobile credit card reader that will simply be an extension of our existing merchant account (Fiserv with PNC Bank). Sounds simple. Except, the largest credit card processor in the country hasn’t come up with such a device, even after 11 months of a pandemic. Their options are limited to Clover, Clover and Clover, which to my knowledge requires setting up a separate processing account with associated monthly fees and rates. Do you have any recommendations for credit card processing where in addition to our traditional indoor unit, I can simply have a hand held card reader (dip, tap, swipe) that I can take out curbside to only take payments? I don’t need it to be a POS unit. Thank you.

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Mike!
      You could contact Dharma and see if they can help. They have an mPOS (MX Merchant Express) that doesn’t use Clover, and they should be able to integrate with QB. Since they’re a Fiserv reseller, it should be easier to get out of the merchant’s current contract without getting hit with a big ETF (Early Termination Fee). If you’d prefer to stick with PNC, you could probably get a Clover Go or Clover Flex setup from PNC. If you are signed up for our newsletter promos, you will receive a Clover discount later this week. Good luck!

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

        Stasha

        We are a consulting service company. We do not have a brick and motor office. We make all of our sales on the phone with clients for over 20 years. We only take payments for our services by bank wire transfers, bank deposits to our account or bank cashiers checks. We would like to accept credit cards for orders made over the phone.

        What would this credit card process be called?
        What company does offer accepting credit cards for this type of sold services?

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          Jessica Dinsmore

          Hi Stasha,

          We have a post on Mail Order/Telephone Order (aka “MOTO”) transactions that details our top six choices of MOTO processors and the types of businesses they support (including high risk, i.e., consulting).

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            Mike Negron

            I have been an avid user of Square for the past 7 years and have had nothing but great things to say about it. I was just looking around to see what else is out there. Someone mentioned to me a site where the customer pays the fees and all the merchant pays is like $20 month. I have yet to find the site to review it, but this to me sounds like a great opportunity… yet may be too good to be true …

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              Chris Stinchfield

              Thank you, very informative. One question though, you mentioned PayPal in your article but did not include it in your comparison chart. Any reason why not? That is one of two that i’m considering. Thanks!

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Jessica Dinsmore

                Hi Chris,

                Our comparison charts are limited to our top 5 choices, and Paypal didn’t quite make the cut. It’s still a great choice for many businesses though!

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                  Peter Walker

                  Question….
                  How much “data” are we likely to use up on our mobile phone monthly if we process 100 credit card transactions per month? Is it significant? We have a small plan to start with (500mg /month) but do little else other than e-mail.

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    Melissa Johnson

                    Hi, Peter!

                    That’s a good question. According to Square, the average card transaction is about 10kb of data, and logging into the app uses about 8kb of data. As far as I have read, that’s typical of any mPOS app. There’s additional data usage for things like sending receipts or failed transactions, but all of it is quite small when you consider that 1 megabyte = 1000 kilobytes.

                    The list is available here: https://squareup.com/help/us/en/article/4963-data-plans-and-sms-policy

                    Square also says you shouldn’t need more than a basic data plan. However, if you use email, that will also eat up data, and I can’t give you any idea of how much. And exact data usage rates will depend on which processor you choose (some may use more data than others). However, you shouldn’t have to worry about a mobile processing app eating up all your data, so long as you monitor your usage overall. You can also take advantage of wi-fi where it is available, which will cut down on your data usage.

                    Hope that helps!

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    Comments are closed.

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