As paper checks head the way of the dinosaur, the ability to process credit cards is becoming increasingly important for home inspectors. These apps transform your iPhone or iPad into plastic-accepting machines, but be mindful of the transaction fees and reviews. Every single credit card app we encountered had significant negative as well as positive reviews so it’s worth your while to do some homework to research what best suits your home inspection business needs. Here’s a run down of some of the most popular credit card processing apps.
Undoubtedly the cutest device for taking credit cards, Square’s itty bitty scanner plugs into your device—Android’s too!—and voila!, paying by plastic is possible. Square allows inspectors to either directly scan the card or manually plug card information in and allows you factor in discounts, adjust for taxes, or record other kinds of payment, such as cash or checks. To help you keep track of your home inspection sales, the program offers records of your transaction history and custom reports and receipts that can be sent by e-mail. The app accepts all major credit cards, including American Express and Discover, and all credit card info is encrypted to keep hackers away.
Pricing: One major reason Square has become so popular is because of its straight-forward pricing structure. There are no sign up, activation, inactivity, chargeback, cancellation, or bank routing fees and all credits cards are priced equally. The company takes 2.75 percent for each card swipe or 3.5 percent plus 15 cents for each manually entered transaction, regardless of the size of the sale. Money is deposited in your account within one to two business days.
Pay Anywhere is slightly cheaper and very comparable to Square. Accepting Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal cards, Pay Anywhere also provides solid analytics on what services your customers are purchasing most and where they’re coming from. Like Square, receipts are available in print or e-mail formats and you can add multiple users to Pay Anywhere accounts, which is especially useful for companies that have multiple home inspectors out at once.
Pricing: Pay Anywhere actually offers two separate services: their mobile reader and app which processes all card swipes at 2.69 percent and their Storefront product which furnishes business owners with a tablet armed with a card reader, processes all card swipes at either 1.69 or 2.69 percent and requires a $12.95 monthly fee. Manually entered cards cost slightly more—3.49 percent plus 19 cents for the app and 3.69 percent plus 19 cents for Storefront. As with Square, there are no hidden fees and business owners can factor in discounts and taxes. Pay Anywhere also has a spiffy referral bonus for friends who sign up. As soon as your contact processes $150 worth of sales through the service, Pay Anywhere will send you a $50 thank you.
Pricing differences are the main thing separating GoPayment from Square and Pay Anywhere. Up to 50 separate users can log on to this app and a double bonus is that it readily sync’s with QuickBooks. Visas, MasterCards, AmExes, and Discover cards are all fair game with this app and you can customize receipts with your business logo to look extra professional.
Pricing: Business owners have their choice between paying 2.75 percent for card swipes and 3.75 percent for manually entered card transactions without paying any monthly fee, or they can pony up $12.95 per month and get 1.75 percent swipe rates and 2.75 manual transaction rates. There is a catch. According to the site’s disclosures statement, those rates only apply to standard cards. “Most rewards, corporate and special card types are considered non-qualified transactions and merchant will be charged the key entered rate,” which is currently 3.75 percent.