UPDATE: Flint has been discontinued, so this review is no longer updated and will be out of date. From our reports, Flint shut down its processing in early February 2017. Customers are referred to Stripe, Square and similar alternatives.

Sometimes, even the smallest smartphone accessories can be far away just when you need them the most, which doesn’t look good if you want to get paid. In the case of Square, PayPal Here or even the PAYware Mobile e100 solution, you need a card reader attached to your smartphone in order to swipe the card and get the payment.

Flint does away with the idea of dongles and relies on the device’s camera, betting on the security layer that the mobile operating system and the app themselves have to attract business owners who would like to get paid on the go. But how does Flint stack up against the competition?

How it works

To get started, you just need a smartphone (or iPad), either an iOS or Android device. After downloading the Flint app, go through the sign-up process, during which you will be asked for personal information.

After activation, you need to complete your user profile by providing your bank account information, among other things. Then you are ready to accept payments.

To start a payment, enter the amount in the Flint app, scan the card using the phone’s own camera (or key in the numbers manually), then enter the CVV code and expiration date. Finally, ask the client to sign using your phone’s screen, and you are done.

Supported devices

Flint is compatible with the two most popular mobile operating systems, Android and iOS, and all recent smartphones can be used with Flint.

Android phones need to run Android 4.0 or higher and have access to Google Play. As for iOS devices, the compatibility is pretty much the same as it is for competitors like Square. To start using the Flint mobile payments app, you need to own a device running iOS 6 or higher: in other words, an iPhone 3S or later, any iPad or any iPod Touch device.

Flint costs

Without the requirement to go into a long-term contract, transaction fees are even more important when choosing the right mobile POS service for your business. Since there are other options to choose from, the transaction fees and transaction processing times become key factors in deciding which service provider to choose.

Flint has separate fees for debit card and credit card transactions: For Visa and Mastercard debit card transactions, it charges 1.95% per scan, while this percentage increases to 2.95% when scanning a credit card. The same fees apply to keyed-in payments, in person and online.

If you want, you can use the Flint app to keep track of cash or check payments. There is no fee, and they will appear in your transactions history tab.

Payouts

After the transaction is approved, you can access the funds in 1–2 business days. However, if you have sales of more than $1,000 during any consecutive seven-day period, you may only receive the amount in excess of the aforementioned threshold in 30 days.

Also, it is worth noting that if the number of transactions is more than 200 or you receive more than $20,000 in payments, Flint is required by law to report your name, business name, address, tax identification number and financial data to the IRS.

Features

Flint’s mobile payment solution allows business owners to accept payments shortly after downloading the mobile application, since they don’t have to wait for an external device. Alongside accepting card payments, Flint allows its customers to send invoices for free and sell online with a logo and relevant information and even build loyalty among customers by creating coupons.

In addition to invoicing via the mobile app or the merchant portal, Flint is counting on the power of social media and encourages its customers to make use of word-of-mouth marketing by providing the necessary tools – each receipt you send includes a link prompting the customer to write a review of your business.

Another important feature of the app is the ability to link your Flint account with your QuickBooks Online account, which aims to reduce the amount of time spent on data entry.

Security

Like its counterparts, the Flint application was created to meet the industry PCI DSS standards and guidelines. Scanning the card is a safety layer the company added to confirm the transactions. In other words, this is how assurance is received that the card was indeed present at the mobile point of sale, protecting both the seller and customer from fraudulent transactions.

The company does not store image scans or other sensitive data on their servers, and information is encrypted when transmitted.

Customer service

When it comes to support, Flint does not quite excel compared to other key players. If you have an issue with the service, you can either email customer service or use their live chat from Monday to Friday between 7 AM and 3 PM. You can also schedule a callback, but at the time of writing, waiting time for the earliest available time slots seemed to be 2–3 business days.

To summarize our points about Flint:

Pros

  • Low transaction fees
  • No dongle

Cons

  • Lower security level than the competition
  • Limited customer service
  • Limited access to funds