Alternative to Traditional Credit Card Readers

Do you have a business where some transactions need to be made on the go? Are you tired of losing potential customers because your business doesn’t accept credit cards?  Do you have a smart phone, tablet, I-phone, or I pad?  Currently 180 million Americans carry credit cards and 66% of transactions made inside stores are made by electronic payment.  Technology is now making it easier for small businesses to accept electronic payments. Apple, Intuit, and PayPal have new technologies small businesses can use as an alternative to traditional credit card machines. These devices are card readers that plug into your smartphone or tablet which allow you to accept electronic credit card payments.  Some even let you accept checks by taking a picture with your phone. Listed below, you will find descriptions of the top three card readers for your smartphone or tablet.

The Square

Arguably the most popular of the three, the Square is a sleek model that connects to Android and Apple devices. Pricing is 2.75% per swipe or you can pay a flat monthly fee of $275.00. However, Manually-entered cards will cost 3.5% + $0.15 cents per transaction. To install the card reader, all the user needs to do is plug the reader into the headphone jack of their tablet or smartphone. The card reader is free, and there is no charge to register and link to your business account. There is no long term contract; rather the fee is similar to a pay as you go plan. You will receive next day deposits into your account(s) and receive e-mail confirmations when transactions and deposits take place.

The Square offers free analytic software and tools to track what items are selling, your total sales, and the average price of your sales. This software also allows merchants to create loyalty programs for customers. For example, if Jim has a t-shirt shop he can give a free t-shirt to customers that buy five shirts a week. In addition, you can upload photos and categorize your inventory, while checking out checkout customers by a particular item. For example if Jim is working the cash register and a customer buys a blue t-shirt, all he has to do is select the picture of a blue t-shirt on the screen and it will automatically be removed from your inventory. Overall, the square is a good system with many functions.  The square allows businesses to accept all major credit cards.

Pay Pal Here

Like the Square, the PayPal Here is small and plugs into the headphone jack of your tablet or smartphone, and can also connect to almost any Android or Apple device. The PayPal Here accepts payments from the following: Pay Pal, Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, checks, and invoices. Payment funds are usually available in your PayPal account within minutes (checks may take up to 6 days). Once the funds are in your PayPal account you can then transfer them to your bank account. Businesses can also acquire the PayPal merchant debit card and use funds as soon as they are deposited.  An added bonus to using the PayPal debit card is that you will receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases. Similar to the Square, the PayPal Here has transaction fees of 2.7% per swipe and 3.5% + $0.15 per keyed in rate. The Pay Pal Here does not have an option to pay a monthly fee to lower the cost for higher purchases. The Pay Pal here can link your account to multiple card readers.

Intuit Go Payment

The Intuit Go Payment is another card reader the plugs into the headphone jack of a smartphone or tablet. The Intuit Go Payment has various payment options. The Pay As You Go plan (similar to a prepaid cellphone plan) or the Pay Monthly & Save plan. With the Pay As You Go plan the user will not have to pay any monthly fee. You will be charged 2.75% per card swipe and 3.75% each time a card number is keyed in. The Pay Monthly & Save plan cost a monthly fee of $12.95 and the user pays only 1.75% per card swipe and 2.75% each time a card is entered manually. Neither plan charges a transaction fee.

All of these card readers are great alternatives to the traditional credit card terminals, and are great for businesses who may want to start accepting credit cards. In addition, if your business is on the go this would also be a great option. On the contrary, these card readers are not just for small businesses, they are great for artist, home-based businesses, or small clubs and organizations that wish to accept credit cards.



The Square PayPal Here Intuit Go Payment
Percentage Per swipe (Pay as you go plans) 2.75% 2.70% 2.75%
Monthly Plan Price $275.00 NA $12.95 (plus 1.7% swipe fee or 2.75% key-in rate)
Price of the Card Reader Free  $14.99 Free
Offers software to help with managing purchases  Yes Yes Yes
Accepts Checks  No Yes No
Flexible multi-user settings let others collect payments for you Yes Yes Yes
Live customer support by telephone Yes Yes No
Manually Enter Swipe Fee 3.75% 3.5% + $0.15 3.5% + $0.15
Receive deposits on same day No Yes No
Card Reader plugs into headphone jack of a smartphone or tablet Yes Yes Yes



Why accept credit cards?. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Square. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Intuit go payment . (n.d.). Retrieved from

Paypal here. (n.d.). Retrieved from



This entry was posted in Blog, News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *