Tablet-Based Mobile Credit Card Processing

It’s no secret that the credit card processing industry is evolving fast. From online credit card processing services to mobile credit card processing, new products and trends are transforming the way consumers pay for their purchases.

One such trend is new tablet-based point-of-sale (POS) systems. There has been an explosion in the number of new products in this area recently. Some interesting solutions include GoPago, ShopKeep, Leaf and NCR Silver. And more players are entering the arena practically every week.

The question is: will these new tablet-based products become a popular form of credit card processing for small businesses?

Personally, I’m excited about their potential. They can provide many of the features of traditional POS systems at a small percentage of the price. Plus, they’re easier to install and use for small business owners. For approximately $1,000 you can get a complete POS system, including the tablet, stand, money drawer, printer and barcode scanner. Yes, this is more expensive that a standard credit card terminal, but it’s far less expensive that a traditional POS system, which can set you back $20,000 or more.

Given their price and usability, these tablet POS systems can be a great fit for many of your merchants. However, there are a few things to consider before recommending one:

Processor Connectivity – Can the POS system connect to your preferred credit card processor? Some of these POS systems can connect directly to processors, but others can connect only through a payment gateway. Make sure the system can connect to the processor, and figure out if there are any extra connectivity charges.

Network Connectivity – What connectivity options (e.g., WiFi, 3G/4G) does the system support or require? Can it process orders if the internet connection is temporarily lost? How does the tablet connect to the receipt printer, kitchen printer and cash drawer?

Card Reader and Stand – Certain software is compatible with only certain card readers. Which ones work with your system? Are the card reader and tablet stand a good fit for your merchant’s store?

Type of Merchant – Some tablet POS systems work well for all industries. Others are designed for certain types of merchants, like restaurants or retailers. Match your merchant with a system that will work well for their business.

Pricing – Tablet POS companies are offering a variety of pricing options, combining up front costs and ongoing monthly fees in different ways so that merchants can find a payment structure that works best for them. This is similar to what we’ve seen with mobile credit card processing. Find a pricing option that fits the needs of your merchant.

Sales Channels – Does the tablet POS vendor sell solely through ISOs and agents, directly to merchants, or both? In some situations, the company will work with merchants directly, cutting agents and ISOs out of the process.

What do you think of tablet-based POS systems? Do you have a question about some other aspect of the industry, like online credit card processing services? Leave me a comment to let me know.