Card Payment Methods for Your Business: A Comparison

Card Payment Methods for Your Business: A Comparison image square credit card reader1 300x199Card Payment Methods for Your Business: A ComparisonLow-cost cashless payment solutions are becoming increasingly prolific in private practice. It’s no longer the case that you need expensive specialist hardware to take card payments in clinic or when you are out visiting clients. Here we present the most popular options, and compare their merits.

Square Card Reader

The Square credit card reader allows you to take payments directly through your iPhone, iPad or Android Device. Signing up to the service grants you a free card reader, after which point you are given the option to pay either 2.75% per transaction or a flat monthly fee of $275, with no additional charges. The point of sale system is portable and encrypted with every swipe, and the free Square Register app links directly your bank account, with deposits made 1-2 days following payment.

There are no monthly contracts or start-up fees, meaning that if you want to experiment with payment types, this could be a good option. If there is a product element to your business, you can also display these in a free online shopfront.

iZettle Card Reader

The iZettle Card Reader allows you to take encrypted payments for a flat 2.75% is per transaction. The Chip & Signature reader is free, allowing payments of up to £15,000 per day, and plugs into your devices through the audio jack. The £99 Chip & Pin reader allows you to take payments of up to £25,000, and connects through Bluetooth to all iOS and some Android devices. Transactions can also be made without the card reader at £0.10 + 3.50%. Like Square, there are no monthly contracts or start-up fees, keeping the costs down.

Intuit Pay

Similar to iZettle and Square, this card reader offers you a 2.75% is per transaction, with an optional £49 card reader. This can also run on a multitude of mobile devices, or on a browser, with no set-up fees or contracts.

PayPal Virtual Terminal

As part of the all-inclusive PayPal Payments Pro solution, the PayPal Virtual Terminal allows you to simply log in to your PayPal account and process phone, fax and mail orders online. This negates the need for card readers (although these are available), apps or installed software, and lets you simply enter the details of the cards you wish to take payments from.

The PayPal Payments Pro solution costs a flat $30 monthly fee, with additional fees per transaction based on whether a card reader is used from 2.4-3.5% plus a $0.15-0.30 flat fee, meaning it may not be the cheapest option. Payments are deposited into your PayPal account, so from this point you will have to transfer this into a bank account of your choosing.

Square

iZettle

Intuit Pay

PayPal

Start-up Fee

No

No

No

No

Monthly Fee

No

No

No

Yes – $30

Card Reader

Mandatory – Free

Optional – £99

Optional – £49

Optional – Free

Charge per Transaction

2.75%

2.75%

2.75%

Varies – 2.4-3.5% plus a $0.15-0.30 flat fee

Payment Into

Bank Account

Bank Account

Bank Account

PayPal Account

Runs on iOS

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Runs on Android

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Runs in Browser

No

No

Yes

Yes

Conclusion

Square, Zettle and Intuit are extremely similar in their pricing and functionality, and the portable nature of a card reader means that this method could be extremely useful if you see clients in their own homes or in a clinic setting with limited tech. The concept of a card-reader is a familiar one to many, and payment directly into your bank account is extremely convenient. If you work in a clinic setting however with PC or laptop access, PayPal may be a viable option, although the flat monthly fee may deter those looking to simply experiment with payment options.

Whichever option you chose, all providers guarantee security through encryption methods, with verification, secure payment and proof of purchase emailed to your clients immediately. All allow payments via major debit and credit cards including Visa, Visa Pay, Mastercard and Maestro, and there are options for whichever mobile devices are at your disposal.

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