There are portable card scanners, but they often require AC power or online access to operate – typically unavailable to merch vendors at bluegrass festivals. Computer-based systems also suffer from power and internet availability issues, not to mention the space they would occupy or the time required to dedicate to card processing.
PAYware Mobile has introduced an iPhone-based solution that may appeal to touring artists looking for a simple card-processing solution. They offer a a card reader in a small sleeve which serves as an iPhone cradle, and provides end-to-end encryption wherever the phone has a signal. The app connects through a VeriFone payment gateway, which should function with most any merchant account.
The cradle has a small stylus included to facilitate on-screen customer signature, and the app will email a receipt to your customer upon the completion of a sale.
Other credit card processing applications exist for Blackberry, Palm, and others, but they require you to key in card info – a time-consuming distraction at a merch table, and one that doesn’t offer the same level of security or consumer confidence as a card reader.
This could be a terrific solution for bands wanting to accept credit cards on the road. Full details about the PAYware Mobile for iPhone can be found online.