Business

3 On-the-Go Payment Options for Small Businesses

September 4, 2020

Does your business require you to be constantly on the move?

If your business doesn’t have a physical location, then setting up a seamless on-the-go payment method for your customers is a must. Not only are upfront payments better for your cash flow, many people expect a modern payment option and will appreciate the convenience of a cashless transaction. 💸

The new payment system you pick will depend on the services you offer, the type of customers you have and what you’re willing to spend on managing payments. We put together 3 on-the-go payment options that may work best for your small business.

What is a Payment on the Go?

A payment on-the-go essentially means a payment that is fast and seamless. This could be a payment that you do while travelling, working in a tight space or if you’re not physically present with your customer. These range from QR code payments, to payment links and even our new Pomelo Pay feature: Tap to Pay.

Top on-the-go card payment solutions

1. Mobile Card Readers

Lugging around a bulky and expensive card reader is no longer necessary to accept payments. Now, with new technological advancements, a small and nifty card reader is all you need. Modern mobile card readers are portable, lightweight and make it simple for customers to tap, swipe or insert their card. To work, the card reader typically needs connectivity through 3G and WiFi or Bluetooth, and a corresponding card reader app for a phone or tablet.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using mobile card readers:

Pros:

  • Security. Chip and PIN technology means credit card transactions are heavily encrypted so you’re guaranteed to receive payment without any disputes.
  • Fast, simple transactions. Customers can pay by credit card, or Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • No physical cash. You don’t have to carry cash or deposit cash in the bank at the end of the day.

Cons:

  • May need a merchant account. Certain card machines need a merchant account which will require additional fees.
  • Separate mobile card reader. You’ll still need to carry around an extra piece of hardware that could get lost or stolen.
  • Connectivity issues. You may have trouble connecting in certain areas - although some mobile card readers work without internet.
  • Costs. As well as the rental or purchase of the card machine, you need to consider set up fees, transaction fees and contract fees.

2. PayPal Business

PayPal is a well-known e-money platform that recently expanded to business services. Registered business owners can sign up to PayPal Business and access features such as international payments, money transfers, cash advances, a debit Mastercard, seller and buyer protection and strict fraud protection measures.

There are two ways mobile business owners can use PayPal for on-the-go payments:

  1. Send an online invoice to an email account.
  2. Use a recommended card reader with a PayPal mobile app.

Pros

  • Customers don’t need a PayPal account. You can create and send an invoice and customers click on the link and pay by credit card.
  • Customers can pay directly by credit card. The card reader accepts most credit cards if you have a network or WiFi connection.
  • PayPal Seller Protection Policy. Protects you from disputes that goods or services weren’t received.

Cons

  • Waiting for the email invoice. PayPal email requests might also get sent to spam or promotions folder.
  • Extra hardware. Again the card reader is an additional piece of hardware that you need in order to accept credit cards.
  • Account freezing. PayPal may randomly freeze your account and hold funds for 180 days if it detects spikes in revenue.  
  • Costs. Transaction fees are some of the highest on the market, starting at 5.4% + $0.30 per transaction.

3. Pomelo Pay app

One of the best mobile card readers for small businesses is the Pomelo Pay app, where you can accept QR code payments, payment links and tap to pay contactless payments. By using something like QR codes you can easily turn your mobile phone into a POS and start accepting payments from anywhere. With payment links, you can send a secure link if you’re taking the payment on the phone or through an invoice. And with tap to pay, your customer won’t need to input their details anywhere!

The unique QR code is encrypted and only stores and digitally presents the data required for the transaction; no customer details or card information is stored. You also won’t need to be connected to the internet and can literally accept payments from anywhere (yes, even the moon 🌑). Your only requirement is a Pomelo Pay account and a smartphone.

Pros

  • No separate mobile card reader. All you need is a smartphone, the Pomelo Pay app and you’re good to go.
  • No downtime if you misplace your phone. Just reinstall the app on another device and log in.
  • Less cost involved. Only one low flat fee per transaction, no setup fees or monthly contract. At Pomelo Pay we charge 1.49% per transaction.
  • More secure than cards. Information is encrypted and customer details aren’t stored with the seller or app provider.
  • No connectivity issues. You don’t need to be connected to the internet to accept a payment.
  • Quick and painless. No more waving your card reader around searching for a good connection!
  • No more chasing invoices. Send your payment link directly to your client through SMS or email so they pay on time.
  • Accept contactless payments. No more dirty chip and pin terminals. Your customers just need to tap their card and go.

Cons

  • Lack of familiarity. Customers may not be familiar with using QR codes for payment and need instruction or guidance the first time.
  • Depends on a smartphone. In the unlikely event that a customer doesn’t have a smartphone with a camera app, they won’t be able to use this payment method.

Which is the best POS card reader for you?

Technology is constantly evolving - so how can you keep up with the best payment services for small businesses? At the end of the day, the best option is always the fastest, cheapest and most cost-efficient one.

At Pomelo Pay, we offer several small business payment options that are easily adaptable to how your customers prefer to pay. You won’t need to invest in additional hardware, you won’t have to worry about connectivity issues and your customers be assured that the payment is encrypted and their details aren’t stored anywhere.

Payment on the Go FAQ

What is a Tap and Go Payment?

Tap and Go is a feature that allows businesses to take card payments by tapping cards directly onto a phone like you would for a card machine. With Pomelo Pay’s new feature, Tap to Pay, customers can pay for their items quickly and easily - without merchants needing to rely on expensive and heavy card machines (that never seem to connect to Wifi or Bluetooth properly!)

What’s the cheapest card reader?

Pomelo Pay is one of the cheapest card readers on the market. With a transaction fee of just 1.49%, businesses can accept payments without the upfront cost or maintenance of a regular card reader.

Can I use my phone as a card reader?

Yes, with the Pomelo Pay app you can turn your phone into a card reader. You can accept contactless payments with Tap to Pay, QR code payments, and send payment links along with your invoices.