How To Accept Mobile Payments for Your Health Business [or Hobby]

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So your health product or fitness service is up and running. You land your first client and they want to know, "do you accept credit cards?" Without a doubt, the answer to this question should always be yes. In 2009, almost 60% of U.S. non-cash transactions were made with a credit or debit card. The average value of a debit card transaction in the U.S. is close to $40.00. By offering credit or debit as an option, your products and services become more accessible and you're more likely to attract customers who make impulse buys.

Do you want to lose out on these sales because you only accept cash? If you're ready to start accepting credit and debit card payments, there's a few things you'll need to do.

First, you'll want to make sure that you have a checking account to send the funds to. While a business account is ideal, you can start selling your services using a checking account with an online banking service like Simple or Capital One 360. Although these online services don't have many branches, their inaccessibility makes it harder for you to be tempted to withdraw from your account.

Next, you'll want to sign-up for one of the many mobile payment services that are available on the market. While PayPal is among the most notable of these types of services, we omit them from this article to give you an insight on a few other players who are making a wave in the mobile payment world.

Each services is different. They all have different swipe rates, swipe tools, membership plans, policies, customer service departments and more. You'll want to conduct a little more research beyond this post to select the service that best fits your needs. In the mean time, check out a few of your options below.

1. Square: Square is one service for your entire business; from a register in your pocket to reports on your laptop. Whether you’re selling out of your trunk or opening your twentieth location, Square helps make business a little less work. Install the FREE Square Reader into your iPhone or iPad and start collecting payments today. Set up your online store and start collecting payments for your services and products.  For each swipe or online sale, you'll be charged 2.75%. If a product costs $100.00, $97.25 will be deposited into your account. (Additional charges apply for manually entered transactions).

2. Shopify: Use your iPad to pick or scan the products your customers are buying, and collect their payment – it's that easy. Shopify Mobile lets you accept cash or credits card payments right from your phone. Just plug in the free reader and swipe a credit card, or type in the card number to easily process a sale. The rates as low as 2.15% + 0¢ per swipe (more for manual entries).

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3. Dwolla: Dwolla is a payment network that allows any business or person to send, request and accept money. Unlike Square or Shopify, Dwolla does not rely on plastic cards and charge hefty fees. Instead, they've built their own network that securely connects to your bank account and allows you to move money for just $0.25 per transaction, or free for transactions $10 or less. While this option may be a hassle for pop-up events or selling at a festival, it's perfect for invoicing customers for services and special projects.

4. Quickbooks GoPayment: GoPayment allows you to accept credit card payments anywhere. With a pay-as-you-go option and a monthly service plan, you can accept credit card/cash payments, and integrate your mobile transactions with Intuit Quickbooks. If you're using the pay-as-you-go option, the swipe rate is 2.40% + a transaction fee of $0.25 (Fee for manually entries is 3.4%) The processing fee is cheaper on the monthly payment plan.

Are you ready to start taking mobile payments? Signing up for one of the services mentioned above is easy. Be sure to let us know when you take your first sale!