Traditionally, vendors who have needed to process credit card transactions have had very few options available to them. The only viable method was through a wireless credit card terminal, such as a Verifone or Hypercom credit card terminal. These units are usually very expensive, starting around $400 for an entry-level model with very few features. Not only are they cost prohibitive, but they are usually bulky, unsightly, and have a very outdated look to them.
The Advantages of Windows Phone 7 Mobile Credit Terminals
With the introduction of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, the landscape of mobile credit card processing has changed dramatically. With the advent of the Microsoft Zune Marketplace, vendors are now able to download applications that allow them to process credit card transactions quickly and safely from their Windows Phone. Since most vendors are already carrying a smart phone device with them already, this frees them up from having to carry unnecessarily large credit card readers with them. As an added bonus, they also look sleek and stylish, an excellent way to show customers that your business is on the cutting edge of technology.
The first and most important question that merchants and customers alike will ask is “how safe is processing credit card information through a cell phone?”. It is important that vendors have a clear understanding of the various safety measures that are in place to ensure that no data theft occurs. Being able to allay customer fears about platform security is usually the biggest hurdles merchants face when adapting mobile credit card terminals.
The PA-DSS Standard
Simply put, credit card companies have developed a globally accepted standard for wireless transaction security, known as PA-DSS. PA-DSS stands for Payment Application Data Security Standard, and certifies reputable credit card processing applications that meet its security criteria. There are fourteen key requirements that software applications must meet before they can be certified as PA-DSS compliant.
The first and most important requirement is that applications do not store any credit card payments information on the phone. This includes anything that might identify the credit card such as the magnetic strip information, card number, or PIN number. The is the first thing that merchants should inform customers of when met with skepticism over the platform’s security, as this usually eases any fears potential customers may have about the safety of their personal information.
The next important facet of PA-DSS to be familiar with is that it uses data encryption when sending and receiving all information. This essentially means that data is being scrambled as it is sent to credit card companies, and the only person with the special key needed to unscramble the information is at the credit card company. This is the same 128-bit secure socket layer encryption method used by all reputable websites that process credit card information, such as Amazon.com.
Asking customers if they have ever trusted Amazon or other internet retailers with their credit card information, and then telling them that the Windows 7 mobile credit card terminal uses the same technology can go a long way towards convincing them of their information’s safety. Furthermore, all PA-DSS applications are required to maintain instructional documentation for vendors and customers alike. This ensures that merchants have an easy to understand pamphlet to give customers, which explains the entire process in-depth.
Who it is For
Windows 7 mobile credit card terminals are geared primarily towards small business owners, but can also be indispensable to larger companies who need to sell products outside of traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts. Mobile credit card terminals are also are great way to project a tech savvy aura to customers, showing them that you are on the cutting edge of technology.
Most mobile credit card terminals also have features that allow vendors to interact with their customers on a more personal level. Customers often enjoy the physical feedback from giving a thumbprint authorization or digital signiture, as opposed to having a merchant simply swipe their card behind a register.
Intuit GoPayment credit card terminal allows vendors to use their Windows 7 phone to easily and securely accept credit cards, no matter where their business takes them. This application will work anywhere that vendors are able to get cell phone reception. For merchants that process under $1000 per month, the service and app are both free. Merchants that process over $1000 per month are charged a flat fee per month, which is competitive with other similar plans. Payment information is encrypted and not saved locally on the phone.
MerchantPlus for Windows Phone 7 is a mobile, virtual credit card terminal that runs on the WP7 platform. No special hardware is required, merchants simply enter their customer’s information and are able to charge a credit card instantly. The MerchantPlus app costs an initial $15 fee, afterwards merchants are charged a flat fee of $19.95 per month, as well as a 25 cent fee per transaction. MerchantPlus supports all major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
Another option is the Square credit card reader. This small square credit card reader attaches effortlessly to phone’s audio jack, and offers a magnetic strip reader that credit cards can be swiped through. This allows individuals to quickly and efficiently process transactions, and see the money appear in their back account within seconds. Square currently offers the readers for free through their website, https://squareup.com. The company does charge a 2.75% surcharge for every transaction, however.
Download Intuit GoPayment Credit Card Terminal app for Windows Phone.
Author Bio: Susan is a freelance writer for a website that covers everything from secure credit cards to the top credit cards. She loves everything finance related and enjoys helping people get the best deals. She can be found playing racquetball at the gym if she is not busy working.