Phone Swipe Mobile Processing: New Interface, Tablet Placement and Updated Terms

NEW PROGRAM for 2014 - PayAnywhere Storefront

The Phone Swipe tablet placement program in this article has been replaced by a better program with better terms for merchants who process over $5,000 monthly. It is called PayAnywhere Storefront and you can read about it on my blog. While many of the details in this article are still valid, there are updates to the hardware and software, as well as the overall terms of the program. Please visit my blog page for the new terms.

The essentials are that the new program includes a 10" Android tablet in a stand that has a built-in card reader, and a second audio jack card reader is included for another device that can be used either in the same location or out in the field, but is tied into the same account. This is especially good for merchants who want to be able to track multiple sales stations (and more can be added very easily, as additional card readers cost only $10 with no additional "terminal fees" charged monthly like most mobile solutions require.

The software also has a "cloud-based" portal, syncing between devices and the ability to run advanced reports for sales tracking. This gives it most of the POS system functionality small merchants would need without having to shell out thousands of dollars for a full POS system or incur the high monthly fees ($49-$99 per terminal with most tablet solutions such as ShopKeep or Gopago Live, et al.) associated with POS service.

PayAnywhere is a different brand name for Phone Swipe, but both use the same software and both are provided by North American Bancard (NAB). The two brands are slowly going to merge, beginning with the PayAnywhere name on the new tablet placement system.

The original article is below:

The New Tablet Solution for Phone Swipe

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Upgraded Merchant Portal Allows for More Flexibility

On May 16th, 2013, a new version of the Phone Swipe mobile processing solution from North American Bancard was released. This tablet-only app comes as part of a premium solution for merchants who do over $10,000 in monthly card sales. It is not intended to replace the current mobile Phone Swipe "Option B" (also known as "Pay-As-You-Go") plan in use by many individuals and small businesses that do low-volume sales or only sporadically need to run charges.

Benefits of the New Phone Swipe Program

Rates


The main thing that merchants will notice is that the rates are among the lowest available for mobile solutions. While the service is being sold with the notion that "all cards are swiped at 1.69%," it should be noted that this is for the Qualified rate only. While all AMEX cards will now go through at that rate, as will basic Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards, there will be "downgrades" for certain card types. For Visa, MC and Discover business, commercial and rewards cards that are swiped, the "Mid-qualified" rate of 2.69% will apply. The "Non-qualified" rate of 3.69% (plus a $0.19 per-item fee) will apply to key-entered transactions.


Free Tablet


That's right, the program comes with the use of a tablet supplied by North American Bancard. The software is pre-loaded on the tablet, which also comes with a card reader. There is only one tablet placement per account, and merchants can only have one account with this single tablet per location. For merchants who need additional tablets, or wish to use smartphones, they would need to set up their own equipment under either the "Option A" (monthly) or "Option B" ("Pay-As-You-Go") plans with the help of an authorized agent and according to the terms of those plans.

The tablet provided is an iPad 2, and it can also be used for web access as well as with various pre-installed apps. The tablet is locked, however, from downloading new apps due to restrictions with PCI compliance.


Funding


The next thing merchants will appreciate is that all sales transacted prior to 5:00PM Eastern Standard Time will be deposited the next business morning. Next day funding is standard on these accounts. Because the Phone Swipe system automatically batches out with each transaction, this next day funding will happen for each swipe made prior to 2:00PM on the West Coast without merchants having to remember to batch out early. And transactions that occur after the cut-off will still have the industry-standard two-business-day deposit.


Upgraded Merchant Portal


The new portal is called "Phone Swipe Inside" and allows merchants a greater level of control with regard to handling their business information. In addition to standard functions such as updating passwords within the portal, now merchants will be able to update their bank account and routing information directly without having to go through a lengthy form-submittal process. Business information such as a corporate name or DBA can be adjusted online, as well as contact information and tax ID. Plus merchants have the ability to manage alerts on their account for daily activity and funding, and new enhancements such as duplicate transaction alerts. Upgrades will continue with the new portal experience.

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PCI Compliance

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Merchant Qualifications and Costs

This is not a "free" or "Pay-As-You-Go" style account. A three-year term will be required and cannot be waived, so merchants must be aware that they will have a cancellation fee equal to the lesser of $295 or the remaining monthly fee of $12.95 for the duration of agreement. This is in place to mitigate the cost of the tablet as well as the lower, less profitable rates for the processing company. As such, merchants should do their due-diligence and compare costs prior to signing up. What should be noted, however, is that many "additional fees" from standard processing agreements are completely absent from this program (i.e., brand usage, FAN fees, etc., that typically cause a higher net percentage on processing).


Merchants who are applying for this new program must already be actively processing and have a minimum of a three month history accepting credit cards. Statements for the prior month will be required to show that there are over $10,000 in transactions occurring each month. Once this qualification is met, a new merchant account can be opened up with this program.


Additionally, merchants must be able to supply a wireless network with an Internet connection at their place of business. Whether this is a brick and mortar store or they sell at remote locations, the tablet requires a wireless network to process over.


There is a monthly fee of $12.95 and also an annual software licensing fee of $79. Most processing merchants are required to pay a PCI compliance charge, but this is INCLUDED for three years along with the software license fee. Additional accessories are available for a monthly fee, including a printer for $14.95 or a combination printer and cash drawer for $19.95/month. As of this time, there is no way for the software license to be waived, but since it also covers PCI compliance, this appears to be a wash.

Setting Up an Account with the New Mobile Solution

In order to get set up with a new account for this tablet application, merchants need to contact an agent and supply this basic information: business name and email address, along with a copy of the merchant's most recent processing statement (including all pages, even the blank ones). It's that simple. Once the agent has this information, an email will be sent back to the merchant directly from the Phone Swipe application system, for the merchant to complete online. This ensures that the merchant is in charge of entering all personal and financial information on a secure web page, which will generally take less than fifteen minutes. The next part of the process involves the agent submitting the supplied processing statement for final approvals by the underwriting department. Equipment is generally shipped out and received by the merchant within three to five business days after approval.

For further questions about the process, or to inquire on whether this is the right type of account for your business, you can check out my blog or contact me for that rare thing called a "personal response."


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