How often have you wanted to make a purchase from a small business or outdoor vendor, to find they do not accept credit cards?
The iPhone has changed the way we use our cell phones and the way we do businesses. It was the leader in changing how to search the internet on the go and the first to introduce Apps.
Now the iPhone is changing the way we make purchases and allowing merchants to take credit cards with ease. Small businesses, flea markets, and fresh food markets want to accept credit cards, but find that it is a huge hassle and very time consuming for their customers. In the past merchants would have to physically write down the credit card number and then process the card using a laptop again manually keying in the numbers.
Last year, Mark Pastore owner of a meat curing business in San Francisco, California wanted to serve his credit customers more efficiently. So in October he started using Square, a matchbook-size credit-card reader that plugs into his iPhone and automates the entire process. “It’s like a virtual cash register,” says Pastore, this device has helped him grow his business over $1 million in sales last year. He expects the sales increase to continue in 2011.
Thousands of entrepreneurs are using cheap, simple payment devices to allow them to serve their credit card customers. A veterinarian in Austin, Texas can take multiple credit customers at the same time, minimizing checkout times. A sidewalk artist and hotdog vendor in New York City can serve all customers very quickly. Smartphone card readers are allowing merchants to accept more business than before.
“When Smartphones came on the market, it became clear that there was going to be an opportunity to connect remote salespeople with sales opportunities,” says David Robertson, publisher of The Nilson Report, an industry publication.
This new technology is answering the need to small businesses every where especially those, that conduct business remotely. Most products and apps are either free or inexpensive to use with your Smartphone. Its easy to use just swipe the card and sign the touch screen with a finger or a stylus, then get an e-mail or a text with a receipt. Best yet the service cost merchants 15¢ to 20¢ per transaction, sometimes a small monthly fee may apply. Merchants are finding that the iPhone Square is less expensive than the traditional card services.
Here’s to the 21st century of credit card purchases!