Development is making rapid progress in the mobile payment processing area. We will guide you through the jungle of wireless terminals, cell phone and online processing solutions. Is PayPal Here or Square a good solution? We will focus on the main solutions that include your own mobile merchant account instead of 3rd party accounts (like PayPal). All the providers below offers mobile cc processing.

Transaction Fee (Retail/Internet)Average Discount Rate (Retail/Internet)SupportCancellation Fee
$0.10 / $0.220.28%-1.58% / 0.28%-2.08%24/7 Support. U.S. Based.$0
$0.10 / $0.100.20% / 0.50%24/7 U.S. Based$0
$0.10 / $0.180.15% / 1.99%24/7 Support$0
$0.16 / $0.160.55% / 2.09%24/7 Support U.S. Based$0
$0.25 / $0.200.79% / 1.28%24/7 US$0

M-commerce – The Basics – A Short Background

Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) isn’t a new way of processing credit and debit cards. The acceptance method has been around for a few years, but is just really starting to make a large impact on how we do business away from our offices.

M-commerce first started with the use of wireless POS (Point Of Sale) swipe terminals. Since then it has progressed into an explosion of new developments, mostly based on cell phone processing technology. Wireless POS swipe terminals are much more expensive (usually around $399 and up) than regular “wired” terminals which require you to be near a phone jack and electrical outlet in order to operate. As a result, this has caused many people to find alternative ways to process transactions while their “on the road” — at least until now.

Today it has become extremely easy to use your own cell phone to process credit card and debit card transactions wirelessly within seconds at tradeshows, business seminars, house calls, etc. The fascinating question today is; which new solution to use?

Update April 12, 2012:

This article in The New York Times is a really good run through of new mobile card processing options from Square and PayPal among others, it brings up the benefits in security as well as flexibility.

Wireless Processing Benefits

Before mobile credit card processing solutions became available collecting funds for orders done “on the road” required people to either pay by cash, check or write down their credit card information so you could process the transaction later back at your office. The fact is, cash and checks can get lost, and credit card information, if not put in a secure place, can get into the wrong hands between the time the information was taken down and the customers card was charged. Mobile payment solutions have taken a lot of the hassles out of doing business “on the run.”

  • Improved cash flow, fewer instances you’ll need to bill your customers. Plus, the funds are automatically placed into your existing checking account within two business days.
  • Secure credit and debit card authorizations within a matter of seconds
  • Reduced instances of fraud and chargebacks
  • Ability to conduct business where phone line connections don’t exist
  • Increases credibility and convenience for your customers
  • Saves a lot of money – traditional credit card processing services require more out-of-pocket expenses (because of equipment, monthly fees, etc.), both upfront and in the long run. Your overall savings with mobile processing can easily be put back into your business, or where ever else you’d like for it to go.

Mobile Processing Resources

  1. Wireless Credit Card Processing
  2. Wireless processing via your cell phone is probably one of more cost effective ways to process cards on the road. Not only does a service like this work with cell phones, but also any phone for that matter.
  3. Virtual Terminal or Software – If you have a laptop connect to the Internet while you’re mobile (on-site, at a hotel, etc.). Then you can process credit card orders securely over any Internet web browser. Since you cannot swipe the clients credit card, the processing fees are slightly higher; however, you don’t incur the high costs of purchasing a wireless swipe terminal which ranges from $399 and up. If interested, contact any Merchant Service Provider for details and pricing. Virtual Terminal is almost always coupled with the purchase of a Real-Time Internet processing solution. If you already have a Real-Time solution, check with your Merchant Account Provider on how to process orders via your Virtual web-based terminal. The Virtual Terminal solution is convenient since there’s no software to install and you will not be bound to any long-term leases. Typical price ranges from only $0-$19 to setup with no application, however, there may be no additional cost if purchased along with a real-time processing solution.
  4. Wireless, portable POS swipe terminal ($199 and up). If you’d rather just invest money in a wireless POS swipe terminal you can inquire with any Merchant Account Provider, and they can meet your wireless terminal needs. There are wireless swipe terminals available that have embedded printers and those that don’t. In general, you can expect to pay a lot for these terminals, and even more for those that have their own printer embedded within the unit itself.
  5. Mobile Merchant Account
  6. Mobile Credit Card Processing: The Swipe of the Future
  7. Mobile Commerce Still Has a Way to go to Convince Consumers of Safety
  8. Paypal Here Goes Head-to-Head with Square for Mobile Payment Processing
  9. New Smartphones Approved for use with VISA payWave

Does your business demand the ease of processing credit cards right on-site? Then either the cell phone credit card processing solution or the traditional wireless hardware solution outlined below is a must-have solution for your business. Easily offer your customers another avenue to pay their bill! Process payment right there with your client, in your vehicle, back at the office, or virtually anywhere you are able to get a cell phone signal.

Mobile Credit Card Processing
Traditional Wireless Merchant Account


Mobile Credit Card ProcessingTraditional Wireless Merchant Account
No equipment to purchase or lease.  All you need is a cell phone or use any touch-tone telephone.Requires a wireless swipe terminal – approx. $299-399 for the Way Systems MTT (purchase), or $399-499 for the Nurit 8020 Swipe Unit
Lowest monthly fee to pay, $5.95/monthMonthly fees are $7.99 for the monthly statement fee plus $15.00 monthly for the wireless access fee.
Approval and setup only in couple of days.  Once you’re approved you will receive an instant email containing your processing instructions and you’re all set.   Five easy steps to process a credit card.Approval also takes a couple of days but installation and terminal shipment may take more time.  Overall you should expect a 5-10 day turnaround for this type of solution..
No annual fees!No annual!
No minimum commitments or cancellation fees and no reactivation fees for seasonal merchants.No contract and you may cancel at any time.  However, there is a $25 deactivation for seasonal merchants that wish to deactivate.
Processing fee of 2.09% – 2.39% (since card is not swiped) (option #1 only)Processing fees of 1.69%.  Plus an additional $0.05 cent wireless per transaction fee for wireless usage.
 Total Fees: Total Fees:


  • One-Time Setup: Free – $0
  • Processing Fee: 2.09% per credit card
  • Monthly Statement Fees: $5.95/month
  • Phone Processing Fee: $0.75 per transaction
  • Per Transaction Fee: NONE
  • Support For Seasonal Merchants: Yes
  • Virtual Terminal for Computer based processing: Included


  • One-Time Setup: Free – $0
  • Processing Fee: 3.25% per credit card
  • Phone Processing Fee: NONE
  • Monthly Statement Fees: $0/month
  • Per Transaction Fee: NONE
  • Support For Seasonal Merchants: Yes
  • Virtual Terminal for Computer based processing: Included

(Card Swipe Attachment for your existing cell phone)

  • Equipment Purchase: FREE ($0) for Card Swipe Reader
  • Processing Fee: 1.69% per credit card
  • Swipe Processing Fee: 0.23 cents total
  • Monthly Fees: $10.99/month (which can be reduced or waived for merchants with more volume)
  • Per Transaction Fee: NONE
  • Support For Seasonal Merchants: Yes
Terminal Setup (includes terminal purchase price):
Approx. $299 for Way Systems MTT 5000 or $299-$499 for Nurit 8020
Processing Fees: 1.69%, plus $0.18 per transaction fee and $0.05 cent wireless per trans. fee.
Monthly Fees:$7.99 Monthly Statement Fee and $15 monthly Wireless Access FeeOR Use your Laptop:


  • Laptop Option 1: No software purchase required, $85 for the USB credit card swipe reader, 1.69% per swipe, plus $0.18 cents per transaction, $7.99 merchant account monthly fee, $10.99 monthly gateway fee
  • Laptop Option 2: $199 for Software Purchase, $85 for the USB credit card swipe reader, 1.69% per swipe, plus $0.18 cents per transaction, $7.99 merchant account monthly fee, $10.99 monthly gateway fee.
  • Laptop Option 3: This is a Hand Keyed (Non-Swipe option) so Card Reader or Card Swipe Purchase Required, 2.09% per transaction, plus $0.23 cents per transaction, $8.99 merchant account monthly fee, no monthly gateway fee.

**Featured rates and fees are not meant to be entirely inclusive; other rates and fees may apply based on your type of operation. Entire rate and fee schedule will be included in your Merchant Application and Merchant Processing Agreement. These will be available for review prior the completion of the setup of your merchant account.

Watch out for hidden fees!

Some companies will lure you in with low discount rate fees, but charge you additional per transaction fees and monthly fees that quickly add up.  Here’s a chart of what some competitors will charge for mobile processing:

Types of FeesCompetitor
Appication Fee:$25 to $50
One-Time Setup Fee:$75 to $150
Credit Card Processing Fee:2.45% to 2.90%
Per Transaction Fee:
$0.35 to $0.50
Batch Fee:
$0.35 to $0.50
Monthly Minimum:$20 to $25
Statement Fee:$10 to $15/month
Minimum Contract:1 to 3 years
Online Reporting:$5 to $10/month
Cancellation Fee:$250
Support for seasonal merchants:Many charge an activation and deactivation fee
Annual Fee:$100
Max. Processing Limit:$5,000/month

For Wireless Terminal:

Simply swipe the card into the wireless terminal and you’re done (similar to a standard retail terminal). As you can see wireless terminals are more expensive to setup but do come with lower Discount Rate percentages and offer quicker processing times. We only recommend wireless terminals for higher volume merchants.