Taking Card Acceptance Mobile

Dan Brames
FIS | Head of Retail and Corporate Payments
Posted on August 16, 2016

Card Acceptance Mobile

Mobile has made shopping faster, easier and more convenient for consumers. Now, it’s offering to do the same for merchants. New, low-cost devices attach to mobile devices to provide merchants EMV-compliant solutions for card acceptance.

The retailer needs only needs to supply a tablet or mobile phone while the merchant processor supplies the software and the EMV compliant device, which, in effect, turns tablets and mobile phones into terminals. By downloading the software application, the retailer enables EMV card processing, which follows the same path as when an EMV card is inserted into a traditional POS terminal reader.

Mobile processing on the retail floor offers valuable benefits for retailers and consumers:

  • It improves shopping experiences for consumers:
    • Mitigates frustration associated with long checkout lines, which reduces abandonment rates. Mobile readers provide enormous benefits during peak holiday traffic. Transactions can take place anywhere in the store, effectively adding checkout lanes at a low cost.
    • Enables a more personalized and seamless shopping experience by eliminating the handoff between the sales person serving the shopper and the person manning the cash wrap. This reduces the risk of abandonment while waiting to check out.
  • It frees retailers from being tethered to physical facilities:
    • Restaurateurs can use mobile processing when they take food trucks on the road.
    • Merchants with seasonal pop-up shops or kiosk locations can use mobile processing at those sites.
  • It offers better security for diners and restaurant managers:
    • Mobile processing keeps the card in the hands of the consumer at the table vs. handing it to wait staff and exposing card information to risk between the dining table and cash register.
    • For restaurants that have relied on customers to take their checks up to the register after dining, mobile card acceptance when ordering or at the table reduces the risk of “dine and dash.”
  • It demonstrates to a tech-savvy customer base that the merchant is using the latest technology – table stakes among millennials, and support for building brand cachet.

Mobile merchant processing isn’t for everyone, but it’s picking up traction among a wide range of merchants including established retailers using traditional processors yet desiring the benefits provided by mobile POS. You don’t need to make the kind of major investment often associated with technology upgrades. You can keep your traditional POS terminal and simply add mobile POS, even if it’s only used for backup. Nordstrom is a prime example of a retailer adopting mobile POS early on in addition to maintaining traditional cash wraps. If you currently work with a processor, ask about the benefits and costs associated with adding mobile to your processing relationship.

New merchants with adequate transaction volume will pay less than the 2.75 percent of sales rate typically charged to micromerchants for processing transactions. If you don’t have a processing relationship, any large processor should be able and willing to walk you through the options, analyze your specific situation and point you toward the best option to meet your current needs.

If you don’t use mobile processing currently, what prevents you from implementing it?


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Dan Brames
FIS | Head of Retail and Corporate Payments

Dan brings over 20 years of financial and payments industry experience to FIS through senior marketing and management roles. Most recently, he was a management team member at Valutec which was acquired by Metavante in 2007 and FIS in 2009.