5 Steps for Small Business to Accept Credit Cards on Mobile Devices

From Softcard Mobile Wallet*, which puts your wallet on your smartphone, to mobile payment systems like Square and Intuit GoPayment, wireless technology has significantly changed payment processing options for small businesses. For less than $10 per solution, this new technology can help small businesses get off the ground or even help them run a pop-up shop at a moment’s notice.

All these accessories have built-in security features, ensuring transactions are safe and secure. But before putting up your sign and opening for business, it’s important to go above and beyond to ensure the safety of your information, as well as that of your customers.

According to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance Guide, there are five security precautions you should take before using your mobile device to accept credit card payments:

  • Check to see if there is a Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) solution available – Cardholder data should be encrypted, which means it’s encoded in a way that’s only readable by an authorized party. This helps to ensure only the intended recipient can access and read your information and your customers’ information.
  • Check with your payment processor and/or card brand for recommendations – Most credit card companies have established guidelines and best practices for payment processing.
  • Ensure that the mobile device you intend to utilize for accepting mobile payments is safe and up to date – This one’s easy; you should only use trusted apps, and your device and accessories should always be up to date with the latest operating systems and releases. Also, take time to install an anti-malware and anti-virus app.
  • Don’t store card data – Always check to confirm payments are processed immediately. The longer the data stays on your devices, the higher the risk.
  • Lock your mobile device – Another easy one; everyone, small business owner or not, should have their device set up so that it requires a PIN to unlock.

Once you’ve completed these five steps, you can enjoy the flexibility of securely taking payments from your customers using a mobile device and a trusted wireless network.

*UPDATE: Google and Softcard have completed an agreement that will leverage the best technology from both companies to create a more robust mobile wallet for consumers. The mobile payment system will keep the Google Wallet name. Read more here.