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Finding the Best Smartphone Credit Card Reader for Your Business


When you're doing business out and about, you need to have the capability to take credit card payments on the go. If you don't, the next guy will. It seems simple enough, but there are a few things to consider when choosing the right solution for your business. Stay competitive, and think about the following when comparing credit card readers.

Swipe or Chip?

It's important that you have access to a credit card reader that is flexible and can do both. Most, but not all cards have the chip. So, at least for a little while longer, your card reader will need to do double duty.

Competitive Processing Fees

The competition is stiff here, and you should have no trouble finding and using a card reader attached to a fairly low processing fee. They may charge a percentage of your sale, and a per transaction fee. Some only charge one or the other.

You will generally pay more on transactions where the card number is manually entered as opposed to swiping or inserting the chip. This can vary quite a bit, so shop around and see where you can get the best fee, but check into other features as well.

Chargeback Protection

This is a type of consumer fraud. It happens when a customer makes an online purchase on their own card, and then deny the purchase later, causing you a chargeback, and a loss of revenue. The best credit card reader providers will offer chargeback protection in cases where this is evident. Examine what type of protection they offer and see how it works.

Automatic Deposits

The easiest way to transfer payments into your bank account is to have a credit card processing company that automatically deposits sales revenue in to your bank account. You just go about your business, and the money is transferred without any effort on your part.

Check to see what the turnaround time is on deposits. Is it same day, one day, or 3 – 5 business days? Sometimes, time is of the essence, and turnaround time for bank deposits can make a real difference.

Is the Security Protocol Sufficient?

Security is a big issue when it comes to accepting credit card payments on a smartphone. Who hasn't felt a bit nervous when the hot dog vendor swipes your credit card? You think "Surely this is OK?"

All credit card readers should use PCI compliant security measures in processing payments and moving money around. It's industry standard now, but double check to make sure that any prospective company you look into uses it.

Is the Card Reader Enough?

Many credit card readers will offer a point of sale app for your smartphone that will manage sales numbers and analytics for you. Is this something that you're looking for?

If so, look at the different platforms, and see how they fit your needs. If not, see how you can simplify things. Sometimes, you can get too many processes going for the same thing, and it works against you instead of for you.

Summing Up

Take these points into consideration when you're shopping for a smartphone credit card reader. Make the right decision based on your needs.

Credit cards come with a host of features and benefits - a good reason why credit cards are a popular phenomenon. If you are looking to apply for a credit card anytime soon, here are 10 things you definitely need to know. These points will give you a better understanding of how credit cards work and what you can expect from them.

Annual fees on credit cards

All credit cards offered by banks (at least a major percentage of them), come with an annual fee. The annual fee mostly varies from one card to another, even in the case of cards offered by the same bank. Usually, Premier cards that offer better benefits than normal cards come with a higher annual fee.

While the Primary card almost certainly comes with an annual fee, supplementary cards also come with an annual fee in most cases. Sometimes, the annual fee on the supplementary card is waived for the first year or so - this is to keep the card more competitive and in-demand. Certain banks waive the annual fee on the primary card as well - for the first year, or first two years, or longer.

Annual rate of interest

All transactions you make using your credit card attract a certain rate of interest known as the annual percentage rate of interest (APR). The interest rate is dependent on the bank that's offering the card and the type of card. The interest rate for most credit cards is Singapore is between 23% p.a. and 30% p.a.

Banks allow for an interest free period of about 21 days from the release of the statement (again, this depends on the bank and the type of card) and don't charge an interest if the amount is repaid in full within this interest free window. If the amount isn't paid before the end of the interest free period, interest charges will accordingly hold applicable.

Cash advance charges

Credit cards enable customers to make emergency cash withdrawals from ATMs. These cash advances carry a handling charge of about 5%-6% of the withdrawn amount, besides interest charges that fall in the range between 23% and 28% p.a. Interest on cash advances is computed on a daily basis at a compounding rate until the amount is repaid in full. Cash advances are usually a risky phenomenon, mostly considering the high interest charges. So if you withdraw money using your credit card, it is advisable that you repay the amount in full at the earliest.

Minimum monthly payments

As a credit card customer, you are required to pay a minimum amount each month - or the entire amount if that's possible - amounting to 3% of the total monthly outstanding balance. Minimum payments need to be made by the payment due date if late payment charges have to avoided. The minimum payment in your credit card monthly statement can also include pending minimum payments from previous months, late payment charges, cash advance charges, and overlimit fees, if they hold applicable.

Late payment charges

If the minimum amount isn't paid by the payment due date, banks levy a certain fee, commonly referred to as the late payment fee. The late payment fee for credit cards in Singapore can be anywhere in the range between S$40 and S$80, depending on the bank offering the card.

Overlimit fees

Overlimit fees hold applicable and are levied by the bank if the allocated credit limit is exceeded. Overlimit fees can range between S$40 and S$60 for credit cards in Singapore.

Cashbacks and reward points

An aspect that makes credit-cards a pretty exciting phenomenon is the reward points/cashbacks that can be earned on purchases. Different cards are structured differently and allow you to earn either cashbacks or reward points or both, on your purchases. Some cards allow you to earn reward points on groceries, while some other let you earn cashbacks or reward points on air ticket bookings, retail purchases, etc. Cashbacks and reward points are features that are specific to certain credit cards and the extent of benefits depends on the type of card and the bank offering the particular card. Reward points earned on purchases can be converted into exciting vouchers, discounts and attractive shopping/retail purchase/online deals from the card's rewards catalogue.

Balance transfers

Certain credit cards allow you to transfer your entire credit card balance to that particular credit card account, enabling you to consolidate your debt. Balance transfer credit cards come with an interest free period of 6 months - 1 year, depending on the card you've applied for. In the case of balance transfer cards, banks charge a processing fee and might also charge an interest (unlikely in a majority of cases). After the interest free period (6 months - 1 year depending on the card), normal interest charges on the card are applicable for transactions and cash advances.

Air miles programmes in Singapore

Certain credit cards (mostly premium credit cards) offered by some banks in Singapore allow you to earn air miles by converting your reward points earned on purchases using the card. Usually, air miles cards come with a higher annual fee owing to their premium nature. As a customer of a premium credit card, you can accumulate enough air mile points to completely offset your next vacation!

Credit scores

In brief, your credit score is a projection of how well you've managed your debt in the past. It takes into account your payment patterns and records instances of late payments, credit overlimits, loan defaults, history of regular/timely payments, etc, and gives banks an idea of how good you can be at handling debt in the future. A good credit score is vital to getting loan applications and credit card applications approved.

The above mentioned points will come in handy if you are contemplating applying for a credit card. These aspects will give you a comprehensive understanding of how credit cards work in Singapore, giving you a better idea of what you can expect. These will also work if you are not happy with your current card and are looking to switch over to another credit card as well.