As more and more people look to possibly opening their own small businesses, having flexibility for one’s customers is of utmost importance.

A small business owner can have the best product and services, attention to detail and more, but meeting customers’ needs oftentimes proves whether or not they retain the business.

One way that small business owners can improve their chances of obtaining and retaining customers is offering some flexibility when it comes to payments, specifically as it relates to the mobile credit card payment option. By offering your customers the opportunity to use credit on the go, you increase the opportunities to sell your goods and services, thereby increasing your sales revenue.

Worldwide mobile payment transactions will amount to $171.5 billion in 2012, a 62% jump from $105.9 billion last year, and could hit $617 billion by 2016, according to research firm Gartner.

Not too long ago, small business owners who offered products and services away from a central office locale had challenges accepting credit cards. Not only that, but there were oftentimes significant fees involved in order to acquire a card reader that would only work through a landline.

Now, however, there are a number of iPhone apps that provide payment processing minus an add-on of hardware. With the right setup, small business owners are able to email receipts to their customers as well as to themselves, along with being able to view the status for both purchases and collections;

With on-the-go credit card processing, small business owners who provide client services on the road can optimize compact, wireless terminals, giving customers a secure and quick way to make payments.

Read the ‘Fine Print’ When Shopping for a Provider

With that in mind, it is important to make sure you read all the “fine print” when looking over different merchant service provider offers.

A myriad of costs can be involved, including setup and application fees (some providers have a non-refundable application fee for starters), to processing and customer service charges. Keep in mind that some providers will charge for some things and not the others and vice-versa, so it is good to get a number of provider quotes, then sit down and compare and contrast.

In order to get the best rates, note:

* Most of your expenses involve transaction processing costs. The rate for each transaction is based off of your personal and company risk, the percentage of card-absent sales, average dollar figure for each sale, along with the entire dollar amount of monthly sales;

* A qualified rate is based on the percentage rate charged each time a merchant accepts and processes a regular card via an approved processing solution. In many cases, this is the minimal rate one can get;

* A non-qualified rate is the percentage figure that will be charged each time a merchant agrees to accept and process a card that fails to qualify for either qualified or mid-qualified rates (see below). Such occurrences can happen if a card is manually keyed into a terminal as opposed to being swiped, there is a failure to do an address verification, or information is unavailable;

* A mid-qualified rate is the percentage rate that will be charged in the event a merchant agrees to and processes a card that fails to qualify for the minimal rate. Instances for this include a card being keyed into a terminal as opposed to being swiped, or if a rewards or business card is selected and used.

Also, take note of the provider’s customer service attention to you.

If they are reluctant to discuss fees and such, they may not be too reliable when it comes down to helping you down the road should you do business with them.

It is also a good idea to do a background check on the provider to look at their financial stability, along with whether or not they have a sizable amount of complaints from customers over the years.

Lastly, make sure you go over mobile payment security with both your provider and your customers.

In a day and age of identity theft, it is important that you are able to reassure your customers that any information they provide you via a mobile payment is safe and secure. If there is even a hint of a lax in security, you could lose out on business.

With mobile payments continuing to grow moving forward, are you on the move?

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