Mobile card readers are changing the way we shop

prelin —  February 14, 2013 — Leave a comment


We’ve spoken before about the rise of mobile credit/debit/prepaid card readers such as Square and locally both ABSA and Nedbank are releasing the mobile readers in 2013. The question is, what are the benefits of these mobile readers and how are they changing the way we both sell and buy?

A perfect example is a case study done by Square in the United States. They gave a Square card reader to Josh Lattimer who routinely lost more than a few outside sales at his Car Care Now detailing business because he only took cash or checks for payment.

But since going to the Square, a small credit card reader that attaches to either his smartphone or his wife’s iPad, his outside sales — where he goes to customers rather than them coming to him — have risen. There’s more money in his bank account and fewer missed opportunities, he said.

“I’d say 90 percent of our outside customers pay with debit cards,” he said. “It definitely has kept us a lot busier for sure. Before, I would have to tell them either cash or check, and that caused me to miss out on some business.”

Whether you’re a college kid looking to make it easy for your friends to pay you back after buying lunch or a round of beers, an artist selling your work at a fair or out of your car, or a major retailer with multiple staff members, mobile applications and card readers offer new point-of-sale options.

Larger merchants also love the idea as having someone who can walk around with what’s essentially a cash register can improve sales, too. When the cash register comes to the customer, impulse buying tends to rise.

Not only are these services convenient they also offer great analytics about payments and information such as what products sell best and when can be worked out.

In the future the clunky cash register and fixed card reader may be a thing of the past.


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