Okay, to be more specific, there are actually several apps for that: There’s Credit Card Terminal from developer InnerFence. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is working on something similar. Now financial software maker Intuit is introducing its own offering, called Intuit GoPayment.
GoPayment can be used on any phone with with a mobile web browser — customers just enter their credit card info, the payment is processed, and you can send them a receipt. It’s available as a standalone application for some phones (including the BlackBerry curve, but not the iPhone), and even if you don’t have the right phone you can always access the site via a mobile browser, and you can also purchase a card scanner (so you don’t have to type the number in) or a combination card scanner/receipt printer.
This sounds ideal for many of the small businesses that Intuit serves, namely those who do a lot of work “in the field,” such as handyman types or plumbers. That’s a lot easier than manually copying the credit card information (which, anecdotally, is something cab drivers in San Francisco still do), or sending someone a bill and waiting for them to pay. An Intuit survey last fall found that small businesses are waiting on an average of $1,500 in unpaid bills every month, but adding credit card capabilities improves payment rates by 40 percent.
So what makes Intuit better than what’s already out there? Well, there’s the fact that it integrates with Intuit’s QuickBooks software for small businesses. Also, the card-reading side is just a small part of it — Intuit is also handling the back-end of processing payments, reducing the headache for businesses. It’s affordable, too, at $19.95 per month plus a one-time $59.95 set-up fee. The company also takes a cut of between 1.64 and 3.54 percent on each transaction, which it says is standard for credit card fees.
Are you an entrepreneur or executive active in mobile? Join us at MobileBeat 2009, our mobile conference for industry leaders. Sign up by May 23, and save $145.
VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.