How to get started
To get started taking card payments via your mobile phone, all you need to do is sign up with a suitable provider and order your card reader. Then you just install the relevant app on your iPhone and link it to the card machine.
The most popular solution currently in the UK comes from iZettle. Their iZettle Reader 2 machine connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth, has its own display, and takes chip & PIN and contactless payments including Apple Pay. Apart from the (low) one-off card reader cost, you just pay a fixed transaction fee per card payment you process, and there’s no contract to commit to.
This kind of deal is getting more and more common among mobile card reader providers. For instance, SumUp and Square offer similar deals based on a small fee for a card reader and an ongoing transaction-based commission charge. All of these allow you to get up and running taking mobile card payments quickly, while also being very affordable for small businesses.
The list of available mobile point of sale solutions evolve year after year, but providers are generally simplifying their pricing plans (many used to have complex or hidden fee structures) and adding more features to make their app self-sufficient point of sale systems. All of these providers have iPhone-based solutions, so you have an abundance of choice.
Just a decade ago, it would have seemed like science fiction for a single trader to accept contactless payments from a phone or Apple Watch. Now, it’s a reality – and costs next to nothing to get started.