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Watch Out for Hidden Costs Processing Credit Cards from Smartphones

While technology continues to advance in the payment processing industry, devices such as smartphones (iPhone, Android, Blackberry) and tablet devices such as iPads, are quickly taking the lead when it comes to processing credit cards for businesses.

However, there are some important details that many do not consider when it comes to using a smartphone to process credit cards versus another great technology tool that has been around for many years… the laptop or desktop computer.

Whether you are considering using a smartphone or a laptop to process credit card payments, you still need to have an easy way to connect to the underlying data transmission tool to do so.  In the case of a laptop computer we are talking about accessing the internet.  In the case of a smartphone, we are talking about the carrier signals through the mobile phone networks.

Careful consideration must be taken into account when deciding upon which platform to use.  What many users who already have smartphones do not understand is that they must upgrade to the heavier duty much more expensive data plans to use the credit card processing functionality on a smartphone. Often these plans can cost upwards of one hundred dollars or more depending on the amount of data a user will be sending as well as who the carrier is that they are with.

This can add an additional expense to the credit card processing costs that a merchant needs to take into consideration when comparing a laptop credit card processing system vs. a smartphone credit card processing system.

Many Laptops already have internet access built into them and with the wide variety of Wi-Fi hot spots available, it may add nothing to the bottom line to take and process credit cards anywhere.  Of course, where no Wi-Fi signal exists, laptops can still take into account the ability to rent, lease or purchase a Wi-Fi card that easily plugs into the USB port of their computer which can literally give internet access in a cornfield.  Also the costs for these “air-cards” as they are called can be much less expensive than the smartphone data plans so this cost factor needs to be taken into consideration before any purchase or decision is made.

Another factor to consider is with a laptop or desktop computer; you have the ability to generate a printed receipt for the customer right at the time of purchase as well as bar code scanning capability.  Most smartphone credit card processing systems do not have this functionality built into them. offers an entire line of credit card processing gear and merchant account options for processing credit cards with laptop or desktop equipment.

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