What is Mobile Credit Card Processing?

Tiffany Manley

Mobile credit card processing is a process that allows individuals to process credit card payments for goods and services virtually anywhere, many times without a credit card terminal. This type of payment processing might be useful for craft or trade show vendors who travel from show to show in various cities, farmers’ market vendors or anyone else without a static business location out of which they can accept and process credit card payments. Mobile credit card processing can be done by using universal serial bus (USB) devices, credit card slider machines, phone or web systems and even smartphone credit card processing applications.

A smartphone that can be used to process credit card information.
A smartphone that can be used to process credit card information.

Some companies have developed USB devices that allow individuals to connect the USB credit card swiping machine to a computer. This allows a credit card to be swiped and the information either to be stored for future phone or web entry or to be directly processed through online invoicing services. Many people find that this is a convenient and inexpensive option for mobile credit card processing.

Card transactions can be tracked by consumers through mobile banking apps.
Card transactions can be tracked by consumers through mobile banking apps.

Credit card slider machines are a relatively old-fashioned way to accept credit card payments, but they still are effective. The machine allows the user to make a carbon copy of the actual credit card, and the information is then phoned or keyed into the merchant account. This method requires the user to keep track of many paper receipts, and the machine might be cumbersome to carry around.

Phone and web systems allow the seller to use the mobile credit card processing method of his or her choice to collect the credit card information, and then use a phone or computer to enter the information in at a later date. This allows a seller to accept credit cards as a form of payment, but the money is not directly transferred to his or her account. Phone and web systems might also help eliminate the amount of paperwork that a seller needs to keep up with from each sale.

It is now possible for sellers to accept credit card payments by using applications on certain smartphones. Devices that connect to the phone read the credit card information and send it to the application, which processes the payment. This newer technology is extremely mobile and might be more affordable than a traditional merchant account.

When choosing to use mobile credit card processing services, it is best for a person to review any possible contracts and fees. Some companies charge fees based on usage, method of information entry or transaction amounts. It also is good for each seller to be aware of any processing limits imposed by the company.

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Discussion Comments


Another great option which ensures security of the credit card payment is a wireless credit card machine. It is equally as portable and convenient and it prints receipts on the spot!

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