Practical Ecommerce

Credit-Card Processing from an iPhone

Many ecommerce merchants carry a mobile device, such as an iPhone or a Blackberry. An increasing number of third-party software applications run on these devices. Many of these applications can benefit ecommerce merchants and one example is “Credit Card Terminal,” an iPhone app that allows merchants to process credit card transactions remotely.

Credit Card Terminal is produced by Innerfence, an iPhone applications developer, and we recently spoke with Innerfence’s co-founder, Derek Del Conte.

PeC: Why should ecommerce merchants be interested in a mobile credit card terminal?

Del Conte: Many ecommerce merchants sell directly to their customers through fairs, exhibitions, and performing on-site services. That’s exactly what our Credit Card Terminal products are made for. If you already have an Authorize.net account, all you need to do is download the iPhone app and you’re able to process mobile transactions.

Derek Del Conte The iPhone is a great device to accept payments because you’re carrying it with you all of the time and since it doesn’t require any additional hardware; it gives you a lot of flexibility about how and where you might accept payments. For example, we have several merchants that are in the handmade crafts and apparel industry. They have their ecommerce sites set up and they sell their goods there, but then they also sell at a fair on the weekend and oftentimes some of these items can be high ticket. The ability to accept credit card payments has resulted in additional sales and also lowered their transaction risks. We also have customers that perform on-site services. So, you could take someone like an IT professional who’s going to go out and fix a network and then charge for it, or carpenters, electricians, plumbers, they’re all really good examples. Additionally, we have people that are limo drivers, professional photographers, home cleaning services, and the mobile transactions are just another part of their overall strategy for sale.

PeC: Does the iPhone user have to be connected to the web for it to work?

Del Conte: Credit Card Terminal on the iPhone works anywhere that you have data connectivity. That includes AT&T’s edge and 3G cell networks. You can also use Credit Card Terminal on Internet wi-fi stops, but that’s strictly optional.

PeC: How much does Credit Card Terminal cost?

Del Conte: At the iPhone app store it costs $49.99, and that’s a one-time payment for the software. To use it, you need an Authorize.net account. There’s no additional hardware to rent and there are no additional monthly fees for being able to accept mobile payments.

The iPhone app store is available through iTunes. If you have iTunes on your computer, you can click on app store. You can just search for Credit Card Terminal and it will show up there as an available application.

PeC: What are the processing fees?

Del Conte: If you sign up for an Authorize.net and a merchant account through us, it comes out in the following way. It’s $49.99 upfront for the app, and then on the merchant account side, it’s $25 per month, $0.19 to $0.24 per transaction, and then the qualified discount rate is 2.09% and then non-qualified discount rate is 3.79%. We have eliminated application sign-ups, minimum processing and termination fees.

If you already have an Authorize.net account, you can just download Credit Card Terminal and get started. It’s especially convenient for ecommerce merchants if they’re already using Authorize.net. We’ve tried to give very reasonable rates that are similar to what existing ecommerce merchant accounts will often charge.

PeC: Anything else on your mind for ecommerce merchants today?

Del Conte: We’re frequently asked about two other topics related to Credit Card Terminal: Receipts and reporting. To generate a receipt, a merchant collects the customer’s email address while doing the transaction. So, it’s just like an ecommerce transaction. The customer will receive an email receipt as the record of that transaction.

On the reporting side, both your mobile and your ecommerce transactions show up in the Authorize.net reporting interface. You have one convenient place to view all of your transactions. So, if you do things like export to QuickBooks, it’s available and aggregated between both your ecommerce site and your mobile processing side.

One other thing that we recently announced is a complete mobile point of sale solution. We partnered with another iPhone app called Ring it Up Point of Sale by PingySoft. If you have both apps installed, you can keep track of your sales and then just tap “accept credit payment” and process your card, and apply it to a sale ticket. Ring it Up Point of Sale is also sold in the app store.

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