Sprint-Nextel Corp. is rolling out a mobile payment service for small businesses with mobile workers who need to process credit cards on the go.
The carrier has launched GoPayment, an application from QuickBooks-maker Intuit Inc. that allows mobile phones to accept credit card payments.
Users need an Intuit GoPayment merchant account, and the application, which can be accessed from the mobile Web or downloaded to select Sprint phones. There’s no need for special hardware, such as a wireless terminal. Optional Bluetooth hardware includes a card swipe that automatically reads credit card data, reducing manual entry. In addition, a combination card swipe and printer automatically populates card data and lets business owners give customers a printed receipt on the spot.
“We used to write down a customer’s credit card number or carry an imprint machine and then process the payment back at the office,” said Annette Swerkes, co-owner with husband Vince Swerkes of Paradise Carpet Cleaning in Sunnyvale, Calif. “Now with GoPayment we don’t have to wait – it lets us process a payment immediately once we’ve completed a job. It’s also more affordable – with our old system, we used to pay almost 50 percent more each month.”
Intuit’s “Getting Paid” survey found that the nation’s 22 million smallest businesses are waiting for approximately $1,500 in overdue payments each month, creating a collective $33 billion strain on their cash flow. A full 42 percent of business owners said that they stay up at night worrying about how quickly they’ll get paid. At the same time, nearly 40 percent saw an increase in sales after giving customers the option to pay by credit card.
To monitor transactions, GoPayment users can access Intuit’s online Merchant Service Center to search, view and create reports. Business owners who use QuickBooks can save time by downloading their transactions from the Merchant Service Center directly into QuickBooks Pro or Premier 2009.
GoPayment costs $19.95 per month and requires a one-time merchant account setup fee of $59.95. Transaction pricing is competitive, ranging from 1.64 to 3.54 percent, with no additional fees or long-term contracts. Business owners can also add multiple employees to a single merchant account at no additional cost
GoPayment – which will work on all mobile phones with access to the mobile Web, not just those from Sprint – is part of Intuit’s small business growth strategy to deliver innovative mobile offerings that help entrepreneurs manage their business on the go. Intuit is also working with beeweeb and VeriSign’s Messaging and Mobile Media Division, along with others, on mobile offerings.