What is a mobile card reader?

Published: 09/03/2020

The world of card payments has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, meaning the days of only being able to accept payment on plastic from one place are gone. 

So, if you’re the kind of business that takes your services on the road, like a mobile food vendor, mobile beautician or hairdresser, taxi driver or tradesman, then a mobile reader could be right up your street.

With a mobile card machine, you can take payment from your customers from anywhere in the UK. Want to learn more? Then buckle in for our guide on everything you need to know. 

How do they work?

Mobile card readers work in much the same way as mobile phones, adopting 3G technology to connect to the strongest GPRS signal available in your location, via a sim card.

They hold a long charge which will last you a whole day, so there’s no need to worry about it dying on you in your time of need (at least not with our Ingenico card machines, anyway). 

Besides this nifty bit of mobile tech, they work in the same way as any other card reader, and a transaction will look like this:

  1. Once your customer is ready to pay, you power up your machine and enter the transaction amount.
  2. The customer either taps their card to pay contactlessly (for sums less than £30) or inserts their card into the machine and inputs their PIN.
  3. The machine prints a receipt for you and your customer (if they want one) using its integrated fast thermal receipt printer.

Good to know: our mobile card readers will come in two parts - the machine itself and the charging base. At the end of the day, you simply need to pop it on the base so it’s geared up to accept payments again tomorrow. You’ll also get a micro USB charging port so you can plug it into your car and top it up on the go if you ever forget the night before. 

What payments will a mobile machine accept?

With our mobile card machines, you can accept all major credit and debit cards including but not limited to Visa, American Express, Maestro and MasterCard. 

As we mentioned a little earlier, you’ll also be able to accept contactless payments on our mobile reader, as well as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay (sometimes called Google Pay).  

Are they safe?

In a word, yes. Like all card machines, mobile readers adopt chip and pin technology to process payments, which encrypts card information during a transaction to protect cardholders against fraud. 

Our mobile machines also come with PCI security, which adds an extra layer of protection to both you and your customers’ data. 

The benefits of a mobile card reader

Arming your business with a mobile machine will benefit both you and your customers. 

If you’re a tradesman, for example, you can kiss goodbye to paper invoices and the painstaking wait to get paid that accompanies them. And if you’re a taxi driver, you’ll never have to turn down a customer again if they’re not carrying cash. 

For the consumer, being able to pay on plastic is super convenient, and convenience is king - one in 10 consumers have already adopted a largely cashless lifestyle, and only 28% of all UK purchases were made using notes and coins in 2018. 

So, take card payments on the road and keep your customers happy while accepting more payments than ever, what’s not to love? As if all that wasn’t enough, here’s a handful of additional perks:

  • They’re lightweight and durable
  • They’re super easy to set up and start using immediately
  • They cut out the need to carry lots of cash and the associated risks, making them a safer alternative
  • They boast a long battery life
  • You’ll get instant receipts.

Is it right for my business?

If you run a business that takes its services to the customer rather than the other way around, chances are a mobile card reader could benefit your bottom lines. 

Here at takepayments, we understand that no two businesses are the same, so if you’re still on the fence wondering whether a mobile machine would be the right choice for your business, we’re here to help. 

Next step? Get in touch and one of our local consultants will visit your business to get a real understanding of how it ticks. Whether a mobile card reader is a right fit or not, they’ll talk you through your options and develop a personalised plan for you. 

Chat to a friendly expert today on 08082 397003.

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