Wireless card processing enables merchants to accept credit cards on mobile credit card readers, at any time at any location. Wireless card processing can utilize specialized mobile POS (point of sale) terminals, although merchants increasingly prefer wireless card processing services that are compatible with smartphones.
Wireless card processing can be long-range or short-range. Long-range wireless processing uses the same networks that cell phone carriers use, and can therefore be used wherever there is phone network signal. Short-range wireless card processing is only functional within an area (usually a few hundred feet), with a base unit connected to a phone line for connectivity.
How wireless credit card processing works
- A credit card is swiped through a wireless credit card terminal and the sale amount is entered. The terminal connects to a radio tower (like a cellphone) and sends the credit card information to the payment processor.
- The payment processor then sends a query to the cardholder’s issuing bank to check whether the card is valid and has sufficient funds.
- The cardholder’s bank then sends an approval or declined message back to the payment processor, which is forwarded on to the mobile credit card terminal. This whole process takes only a few seconds.
- The merchant settles all their terminal payments (batches) at the end of certain periods, pre-arranged with their payment processor, such as daily or weekly or upon demand.
Mobility and convenience
A wireless credit card terminal allows flexibility and mobility when accepting payments. With long-range wireless card processing, a merchant is able to accept card payments practically anywhere, so long as there is network coverage. This is ideal for businesses that regularly accept payments at customers’ locations, or frequent events like industry conventions, festivals and trade shows. Short-range wireless credit card processing is ideal for merchants who want the convenience of mobility but within a smaller area – this is especially popular at restaurants where the credit card terminal can be brought straight to the customers at their seats, as well as any business that needs to accept payments at different areas on their premises.
Reduced risk exposure
Payment processors evaluate merchants’ risk levels according to several factors, one important one being whether they accept card-present or card-not-present transactions. Because wireless transactions are card-present transactions, they are significantly less likely to be fraudulent than card-not-present transactions and the merchant’s risk level is lower.
The lower risk level of card-present wireless transactions means merchants may receive lower processing rates. If the business already has a merchant account with a payment processor for online payment processing or similar services, adding wireless payment processing services may even be available at no additional cost, or a very minimal fee, although this depends entirely upon choosing the right merchant account provider.
If your business has a need for mobility in accepting card payments, whether that’s within a single building or across the country, then wireless credit card processing services may be the ideal solution for you.
For more information about wireless credit card processing or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.