Who knew that credit card processing would be the new hotness for smartphones? The Square mobile payment system has been making waves by letting small businesses receive credit card payment directly on their smartphones. Now, mophie and Intuit are looking to get in on the same action with their Complete Card Solution for iPhone. It’s a $179 package that includes both mophie’s card-swiping phone case and the 3.0 version of Intuit’s GoPayment app. After a quick application users are said to be approved (or, erm, declined) within 15 minutes and can immediately start accepting payments. Full details, including just how much users will be forking over in fees, after the break.
Initial targeted clients were people like plumbers and electricians, but we can definitely see tech-minded farmers at the market relying on this sort of system, along with craftmeisters who shun Etsy and prefer to sell face-to-face. A single account can also cover up to 50 users, meaning an entire sales team could be equipped with these devices. Intuit’s site provides lots of data on transactions and the like, but for the full ability to reconcile to invoices and track payments you’ll need to use Intuit’s QuickBooks suite, either on the PC or Mac.
The big question is, of course, what it’ll cost you to use the thing. $179 up-front is hardly a small commitment, and a further $12.95 per month makes the minimum cost quite a bit higher than Square, which offers free hardware and no monthly fees. Likewise, per-transaction fees here are between $.30 and $.34, double the $.15 fee of the Square. However, Intuit and mophie will take a smaller chunk of the overall payment: 1.7 percent usually, though that could climb as high as 3.7 percent depending on the type of card being used. That compares favorably to Square’s 2.75 to 3.5 percent.
Whether this is a value proposition for your business depends largely on the size and frequency of transactions you plan to receive. But, there is one definite advantage Square has over this system: compatibility. This case, which encrypts every credit card number before it gets to the phone, will only work with the iPhone 3G/S. We’re told an iPhone 4-compatible version is in the works, but it’s anyone’s guess when that will show up. We do, however, know that this current version is available now in Apple retail stores and will be hitting Apple’s online site in the very near future. So, go on now. Get paid.