Accepting payments, especially credit cards, is very common these days. Restaurants, stores, gas stations, and even some vending machines accept credit cards as a form of payment. But most of the time you see these credit card swipe machines in mid-size to large businesses and not so often in smaller businesses like mom & pop stores, street vendors, or even a garage sale. That’s where the convenience of Verifone’s PAYware Mobile comes in.
The PAYware Mobile allows anyone with an iPhone to accept credit cards as a form of payment. The PAYware Mobile comes in 2 parts. The hardware, which is the actual credit card swipe system attachment for your iPhone, and the software, which is the iPhone app that you download from itunes.
I was sent a demo unit which included the credit card swipe system, a demo credit card, a short manual, and the fine print. Packaged with the demo is a dvd which describes the usage of the PAYware mobile. The same set of videos can also be found on Verifone’s website.
Let’s talk about the hardware first. The quality of the actual unit feels strong and decent. There’s a dock connector where the iPhone slides into. On the top is a mini-USB connector port for charging or syncing the iPhone while docked. Next to the mini-USB port is a slot for the included stylus to slide in. The stylus is pretty short measuring at only 3 inches. It would be better if they included one of those extendable styli. This type of stylus does require some pressure to write with but I find that using your finger is a much easier experience.
The PAYware Mobile doesn’t add much width to the iPhone but it does double the thickness of it. So it’s not something that you’ll want to have on all the time. It has a nice grip feel to it and feels natural while holding it and sliding a credit card through it.
The PAYware app for the iPhone is free to download.
On first starting up the app you have to create a 4 pin security code.
Clicking on Menu will get you to the Reports and Setup screen which lets you view various types of reports and setup your merchant account with the app. I did the setup with the demo account that Verifone gave me.
The main screen is where all the magic happens. You can either type in the credit card information or click on the “Slide Card” button which will initialize the card swipe for you to slide the card through. Once you swiped the credit card, all information will be filled out automatically except for the charge amount.
You are then given an option to enter additional information about the charge. This is also where you’ll enter the email address on where the receipt will be sent to.
The charge obviously didn’t go through since this was a demo unit with a demo merchant account tied to it.
Now comes the obvious question. What are the rates for using this device? Let’s just say there are too many “fees” attached to this device. The hardware device costs start at $139 or free with a 2 year agreement. Then there’s the Verifone gateway fee. Plus there’s the actual merchant account fees. At the end it does get pretty pricey to use PAYware. The target users will be traveling salesman or tradeshow merchants. For smaller businesses such as mom & pop stores and garage sales, I might suggest that they try Square’s credit card swipe system which the hardware is totally free and the merchant fees are significantly lower. But Verifone’s PAYware does look more professional to use for businesses compared to Square’s cube shaped device.