Alongside SumUp, iZettle and PayPal Here, there is another mPOS player in the UK: the Elavon MobileMerchant. Launched as Elavon’s product designed for anyone looking for a simple low cost solution for accepting cards, it aims to provide a reliable payment solution that turns your smartphone or tablet into a mobile point-of-sale.
What can Elavon’s MobileMerchant do?
Similar to its counterparts, the Elavon MobileMerchant:
- uses a Bluetooth-connected card reader to accept Chip and PIN credit and debit card payments on your iPhone, iPad, or compatible Android device
- charges a 2.75% transaction fee for all Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards with chip, and a 3.75% transaction fee for magstripe or cardholder-not-present transactions
- eliminates long-term contracts and and sign-up fees
As a small business owner, you can get started with Elavon MobileMerchant by registering for an account online and downloading a free mobile app. You will just need to purchase the card reader for £99 (plus VAT).
Card transactions will be processed using an EMV Level 1 & 2 (EMV 4) certified terminal, with funds appearing in the linked bank account within three to four days. Also, by registering, you get free access to iMerchantConnect, Elavon’s online reporting service.
How does Elavon MobileMerchant compare to other mPOS solutions?
There are some areas where MobileMerchant matches the other players: it eliminates contracts, monthly fees, and minimum revenue requirements, but it falls short when it comes to fees and card reader cost.
The £99 price tag makes the Elavon mPOS card reader, the Thyron Posmate Bluetooth, the most expensive on the market.
The 2.75% flat fee Elavon charges is the most expensive compared to the other players, although iZettle and Payleven do charge a 2.75% transaction fee if the merchant doesn’t meet a certain monthly volume. Elavon is the only player that adds 1% for magstripe payments.
Of the mPOS offerings in the UK, only WorldPay Zinc and Elavon MobileMerchant process card not present transactions, but as opposed to Elavon, WorldPay Zinc does not add a premium on such payments.
Which devices are compatible with the Elavon mPOS solution?
To use the MobileMerchant application — available as a free download from the App Store and Google Play — you will need a mobile device running iOS 6.0 or later, which means an iPhone 4 or higher or an iPad 2 or higher, or an Android device that is capable of running Android 2.3.3 or later.
Elavon is the only mPOS in the UK compatible with Blackberry (Bold, Curve and Torch, excluding 9860).
Customer service: 24/7 phone support
Elavon tries to compensate for its high prices by offering an always-open call centre with real operators answering your call. For merchants, 24/7/365 customer service seems to help resolve issue, at least from the statistics published by Elavon: their first-call resolution rate is 89%.
If you value live customer support, WorldPay Zinc offers the same with the possibility for lower rates.
Who is Elavon?
Elavon is not a new name in the payment industry: it has been present for more than 20 years, with over 1 million customers trusting it with their financials. It is the forth biggest payment processor in the US, and the 6th biggest in Europe. The MobileMerchant solution is available only in the UK and in Ireland.
The MobileMerchant mPOS solution falls far short of the alternatives already available on the UK market. Other players, such as SumUp, use more advanced Bluetooth technologies, preserving battery life of the card reader, but that’s not the main issue will for most people be the price.
When compared to the other players, the Elavon MobileMerchant turns out to be the most expensive cashless tool for merchants, although it provides the same features others do for less.
- always-open call centre
- works with Blackberry
- expensive card reader
- high transaction fees