It’s time to start planning for the busy holiday season, which means thinking about additional ways to meet customers outside of a physical location. Many businesses take advantage of supplementary sales opportunities during the holidays such as popup stores, holiday craft shows, year-end fundraisers, and school events. While these can be lucrative events for driving additional revenue, they can pose a challenge for accepting card payments.
Enter mobile payment acceptance—taking card payments using a mobile phone or tablet equipped with a card acceptance device known as a “dongle.” Secure mobile payment acceptance and how it can help boost sales was the topic of our recent webinar, “Take safe, mobile EMV payments anywhere.” The presentation is part of the Vantiv Advantage webinar series, designed to help local business owners become better business owners with industry and product information, business tools and resources.
Hosted by Kim Piper, Vantiv’s Strategy Manager for Local Businesses, the webinar featured Derek Webster, Founder and CEO of CardFlight, a mobile payment provider that works in partnership with Vantiv. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.
Mobile payments are hot
Meeting customers and accepting their payments wherever they are is helping businesses thrive. And mobile payment solutions are the vehicle to help businesses do just that.
“Vantiv research shows the majority of business owners are interested in mobile payments,” explained Kim Piper. “Over 13 million mobile payment systems are being used today, and this number is expected to quadruple by 2019.”
Derek Webster affirmed that point, noting that although mobile payment point of sale technology has been around for nearly 10 years the space is still maturing and experiencing a lot of growth.
“Mobile payments are a new technology that continue to accelerate in the marketplace,” said Webster. “It’s certainly a fast growing market and one that is certain to grow faster in the years ahead.”
Countertop mPOS versus BYOD (bring your own device) mPOS
Before getting into the specific benefits of mobile acceptance, Webster spent some time explaining the difference between a BYOD mPOS and a countertop mPOS. While both payment solutions can be used in conjunction with a tablet device, a BYOD mPOS offers specific benefits for businesses on-the-go.
A countertop mPOS is comprised of an iPad or Android tablet with a bundled set of components and peripherals depending on the vertical. This can include a stand, cash drawer, receipt printer, barcode scanner, and card reader. Countertop mPOS accommodate multiple users from one location at a physical place of business.
A BYOD mPOS also use a mobile device—typically a smartphone, but also a tablet—that is equipped with a low cost dongle to accept card payments. mPOS solutions must be compatible with both iOS and Android operating systems. Because of the low cost and ease of accessibility, BYOD mPOS makes it possible for merchants to interact with customers and complete the sale in a wide range of places.
SwipeSimple product overview
SwipeSimple is the BYOD mPOS device Vantiv offers in partnership with CardFlight. As Webster noted, the solution ties together everything a merchant needs to accept payments in one simple package: the card reader which accepts EMV and magnetic stripe payments, a mobile payment terminal application, a merchant web dashboard offering analytics and tools to manage payments, and a direct integration with Vantiv offering access to all the value added services Vantiv offers. Additionally, the SwipeSimple application works for iOS and Android operating systems, which is a key element for fast and easy checkout.
“With a simple, streamlined application, it’s a fully electronic way to accept payments on the go,” said Webster.
Benefits of a Cloud-based EMV mobile application
Webster then delved into the top three benefits to merchant using the SwipeSimple solution:
- Fast and easy checkout. Merchants can set up purchases and take card payments quickly, accept customer signatures and tips on their mobile device, and send electronic receipts via text or email.
- Track transactions on the go. The Cloud based application allows merchants to view transaction history details, perform voids or refunds, and resend receipts to customers, all from their device.
- Inventory tracking and management. Merchants can also easily add, remove and edit inventory item details, and set employee access across all devices in use. Updates are synced with other SwipeSimple POS terminals and the web dashboard in real time.
Robust account settings even allow merchants to customize customer receipts and add a message about seasonal specials, added Webster. One example of how a merchant can use this is a receipt message promoting a holiday sales promotion or loyalty program offering.
“The simplicity and ease of use is one of the key benefits of the solution,” noted Webster, citing the merchant web dashboard as a business’s “control panel.”
Is this solution right for you?
mPOS solutions like SwipeSimple accommodate a wide range of business sizes and types, from retail to food and beverage, as well as professional services, transportation, and general contracting, and more.
“There are many different types of merchants that are using mobile point of sale technology to accept payments anywhere they are at,” said Webster. “We see all sizes of merchants from sole proprietors, to businesses with 1-5 employees, to those with dozens of employees using the SwipeSimple solution to accept payments on the go.”
Some examples Webster cited include a home service company with 57 field service technicians, a pizzeria with 20 delivery drivers, a sports retailer with 20 employees, and a limo company with 20 drivers.
Webster noted a few other benefits of the solution:
- Upsell opportunities. Completing a sale in person offers the opportunity to upsell, for example, adding on a liter of soda to a pizza delivery.
- Customizable features. Ability to customize features; for example, a boutique retailer tracking inventory to see what’s selling.
- Compatibility with different platforms. While the majority use SwipeSimple with a smartphone, about 30 percent use it with a tablet. In a quick serve restaurant, for example, the mobile card reader can be placed onto a stand and used as a lightweight point of sale.
One additional feature of SwipeSimple that Webster noted is the ability to run transactions in offline mode, which can be useful when internet connection is spotty.
In the end, when it comes to mobile payment acceptance, Webster asserts that flexibility is key. As you plan your strategy for capturing upcoming holiday sales, consider how a secure mobile acceptance solution can help you meet your goals. To learn more about options for your business, visit the resources listed below.
- Webinar replay: A replay of the “Take safe, mobile EMV payments anywhere” webinar is available here.
- Free demo: SwipeSimple offers a free demo of their product from the app store. Simply download the app and select demo mode to get a sense of how the system works.
- More info: Additional information about mobile payment acceptance is available on the Advantage site.
- Call us: If you have any questions about mobile payment acceptance and other offerings, please call us at 844.469.5548.