Mobile credit card processing lets you sell products and accept payments on-the-go with a smartphone or tablet. Mobile credit card processors should be reliable, have affordable transaction fees, come with a free business management app, and function offline. The best mobile credit card processing services have no startup or monthly fees.
Top 6 Mobile Credit Card Processing Services 2019
Mobile Credit Card Processors
(Best Overall) New and small businesses wanting the best value mobile POS & payment processing
Small and occasional sellers who want low rates and reliable processing
Established businesses that want the lowest processing rates
Multichannel businesses that sell online and over mobile
Retailers that have Chase Business accounts
Businesses that use QuickBooks
Which Payments Provider Is Right For You?
How We Evaluated Mobile Credit Card Processing Solutions
Many business owners wondering how to accept credit cards easily and affordably will find there are several mobile credit card processing solutions, but a select few stand out. Small businesses need a convenient and flexible solution with no to low upfront costs. Established businesses need competitive card processing rates and a reliable system. Overall, we targeted our search to uncover the top mobile payment processors based on their affordability and simplicity.
Based on those needs, we evaluated mobile credit card processors on the following criteria:
- Price: We prioritized companies that are small business-friendly, including low-cost setup and low or no monthly fee or minimum. We heavily considered fee transparency.
- Ease of use: Processors that are easy to use on the go. We also heavily considered how easy it is to sign up and start using each product.
- POS app: Companies that offer a free mobile credit card payment app for processing transactions and bonus features like sales reports, analytics, and customer directories.
- Simplicity: Companies that have fee structures that are easy to understand and don’t have surprises.
- Reliability: Hardware and mobile credit card readers that are low cost and reliable.
- Ability to accommodate multiple sales channels: Can be used to accept credit cards in-store, online, through invoices, and mobile.
Based on the above criteria, Square is our top choice for mobile credit card processing. Square has a transparent, flat-rate fee structure with no startup, monthly, or cancellation fees. There is no application process for Square. Businesses simply sign up online, download the free Square point-of-sale (POS) app, and receive a free credit card reader in the mail. The Square app can process transactions offline and comes with bonus features like sales reports and inventory tracking.
Square: Best Overall Mobile Credit Card Processor
Square is a mobile credit card processing app that uses Android or iOS card readers that plug directly into your smartphone or tablet. Square is the best choice for small businesses because the free app is feature-rich, user-friendly, requires no application, and has competitive processing rates, especially for businesses with an average transaction below $20.
Square has no startup or monthly fees and supports both physical card swipes and keyed-in payments via its powerful mPOS app. You get a free magstripe reader for swiping cards upon sign-up. Additional readers, including options for processing EMV chip cards, are available for purchase.
Square mobile credit card processing fees include:
- Monthly fee: $0
- Swipe, chip, or contactless payments: 2.6% plus 10 cents per transaction
- Keyed-in payments: 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction
- Magstripe reader: Free
- Chip and contactless reader: $49
Square covers virtually every on-the-go credit card processing need a business can dream up. They are the mPOS industry leader, with the ability to accept payments offline and features like an automated customer directory and digital receipts. When you process credit card payments with Square, funds are usually available in your account within one to two business days.
Square Payment Processing Features
With Square mobile payments, you can accept all major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. Depending on the reader you choose, you can accept magstripe, chip, and contactless credit card payments.
Square mPOS Features
One of the biggest benefits of using Square is the free POS system it includes. Square POS app can be downloaded and used on any iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone. In addition to processing credit card payments, you can record cash and check payments, accept gift cards, send invoices, and save credit cards on file for future payments.
Businesses can add inventory items, including categories, variables, and modifiers, to accurately track sales and stock levels. Square lets businesses set up multiple user accounts so each staff member has their own login, which can be used on any device with the Square app.
Businesses can also turn on tipping features and let customers sign for purchases on the screen. Once the sale goes through, you can add that customer to your customer directory, send a text message, or email a receipt. Email receipts also include a link for shoppers to leave feedback on whether they had a positive or negative experience, and why. Businesses receive this feedback instantly and can respond with a message or a discount.
Square Business Management Tools
Businesses using Square can track sales, customers, and inventory reports through the POS app or through the Square Dashboard. Through the Dashboard, you can also manage invoices, deposits, configure employee logins and permissions, set up employee payroll, and view more detailed reports. Square also integrates with top accounting programs like QuickBooks and Xero.
Square Omnichannel Features
If your business expands from just mobile credit card processing to in-store or online sales, Square has you covered. With Square’s all-in-one payment solution and powerful free POS and business management software, you’re poised to grow in any direction.
Omnichannel selling options with Square includes:
- Online selling: Square offers a free online store that you can easily launch right from your Square inventory, plus Square integrates with virtually every top ecommerce platform.
- In-store retail sales: Square’s top-rated retail POS system lets you seamlessly track inventory quantities, sales, customers, and more. A countertop checkout for your iPad starts at just $169, and you can add a cash drawer, receipt printers, and more.
- Invoicing and recurring payments: If you run a service business, Square’s powerful invoicing and recurring payment features are built right in, with no added fees.
What Square Is Missing
One of the most common customer complaints is that you need to provide a customer code or prove that you have an active Square account in order to receive phone support. Plus, phone hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday to Friday. If you run into a processing issue over the weekend, you have to submit a support ticket.
Square also does not have the cheapest credit card processing for sellers who only accept occasional payments or have a very low average order value (like coffee shops). For these businesses, PayPal has the lowest rates.
Overall, Square reviews are very positive. Users like that the app is easy to use and that the fee structure is easy to understand. Square is also one of the only card processing providers that doesn’t have a monthly minimum or fee.
PayPal Here: Best Budget Mobile Credit Card Processor
PayPal Here is a mobile credit card processor with very competitive flat-rate fees and a simple, user-friendly app. PayPal Here is not as feature-rich as Square, but is more affordable and equally quick to get started, making it the best mobile card processing option for any business that wants to accept PayPal payments.
PayPal Here Pricing
You can add PayPal Here to any PayPal business account, including their free PayPal Starter account. New users can get started with PayPal Here with no startup or monthly fees, similar to Square.
PayPal Here mobile credit card processing fees include:
- Swipe, chip, and contactless payments: 2.7%
- PayPal payments: 2.7%
- Keyed-in payments: 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction
- Chip and swipe reader: $24.99*
- Chip and contactless reader with charging stand: $79
* PayPal Here frequently has promotions to receive this card reader for free when you sign up.
PayPal Here Features
PayPal Here is similar to Square in that it offers a whole ecosystem of integrated solutions including payment processing, online checkouts, invoicing, and reporting. It’s also free to create an account and anyone can use PayPal Here to start accepting payments immediately, unlike most other mobile payment processing options that require a lengthy application or monthly fee.
PayPal Here Mobile Payment Processing Features
PayPal Here lets businesses accept all major credit cards. Depending on the card reader you choose, you can accept swipe, chip, and contactless payments. PayPal Here also has the unique advantage of accepting PayPal payments, which is ideal for event and mobile vendors where customers may not have credit cards on them. Like Square, PayPal can process payments offline.
Businesses that use PayPal Here receive funds from transactions into their PayPal accounts immediately. You can keep funds there to use or transfer to your bank account (one to two business days, or instantly for an additional fee).
One thing to note with PayPal Here is that if you use the free magstripe reader, your funds will be held for 30 days if you process more than $500 in one seven-day period. This is also true for keyed-in payments. So, if you process anything close to that, opt for a chip reader ($24.99) to avoid funds being frozen.
PayPal Here mPOS Features
The PayPal Here app is not as feature-rich as Square, but it still provides many useful tools. Businesses can add multiple users or employees to process payments from multiple devices. You can configure discount, sale, tax, and tip settings and send customers email receipts. PayPal has a simplified product catalog so you can set items and pricing, including item modifiers, variations, and add-ons. PayPal Here also allows businesses to send invoices to customers instead of charging on-the-spot.
PayPal Here Multichannel Tools
Being able to accept PayPal account payments for mobile selling is a nice plus, but where that really matters is in online sales. Many online shoppers prefer to pay with PayPal, and accepting it can drive more online sales your way. Also, PayPal integrates with just about every ecommerce platform under the sun, so you have your pick when it comes to setting up an online store. If you want to use PayPal for online payments, PayPal Here is the natural mobile credit card processor for your business.
What PayPal Here Is Missing
PayPal Here does a great job handling all sorts of mobile and online payments, but compared to other solutions, there are a few things that are missing. PayPal Here does not have a full POS as Square does. With PayPal Here, you can list items that you sell and track sales, but there is no inventory tracking feature at all in the PayPal Here app. If you want to expand into in-store selling, you really need a full POS system.
PayPal Here Reviews
Reviews for PayPal Here are generally positive. Both business owners and customers like that it is secure and easy to use. Business owners also like that funds can appear in their accounts immediately. However, some reviewers report issues with funds being withheld. Visit our PayPal Here review page for details.
Dharma: Best Low-cost Card Processing for Established Businesses
Dharma is a traditional merchant services provider that offers small businesses very low-cost, interchange-plus credit card processing. Dharma is selective in approving accounts, but it offers some of the lowest processing rates for businesses with an average transaction above $20, making Dharma the best mobile credit card processor for low-risk and established businesses.
Dharma offers interchange-plus pricing with a flat monthly fee of $20. Its fee is 0.15% plus 7 cents plus interchange, which for Visa credit cards, for example, equals a total of 2.01% plus 25 cents. The rate is even lower for debit card transactions.
Dharma’s prices are very low but are best suited for established businesses with higher average transactions because there is a monthly fee, and the cents per transaction charges can add up. PayPal Here is the most affordable option for businesses with average transactions below $20. However, if you are processing over $20, Dharma becomes the most affordable.
Dharma mobile credit card processing fees include:
- Swiped card payments: 0.15% plus 7 cents per transaction plus interchange
- Keyed-in payments: 0.2% plus 10 cents per transaction plus interchange
- Amex payments: 0.25% plus interchange
- Swipe and mobile reader: $99
- Monthly fee: $20
- MX Merchant mobile POS app: Free
- ACH payment processing: $25 monthly fee, 40 cents per transaction
Dharma is a full-service merchant service provider. This means each customer has dedicated support. Every Dharma account also includes access to MX Merchant, which is an online dashboard that includes a virtual payment terminal, invoicing capabilities, a customer database, and reporting. Businesses have access to MX Merchant Express, a free mobile POS app for processing sales. Plus, you can get a mobile credit card reader for Android or iOS.
Dharma Payment Processing Features
With Dharma, businesses can accept all major credit cards on the go and key-in mobile payments for no extra cost. Dharma charges higher fees for processing American Express payments, which is unusual for the processors on this list but not for the payment processing industry as a whole. Like Square, Dharma can also process payments offline, which is especially important for mobile sellers. One fairly rare feature of Dharma’s mobile payment processing is the ability to use your phone’s camera to scan in credit card information.
Dharma MX Merchant
Every Dharma account comes with a free MX Merchant account and MX Merchant Express app, which serves as the mPOS. With MX Merchant, businesses can turn tips on or off, adjust signature requirements, store customer data including notes and payment methods, send email and text receipts, and view transaction histories.
Businesses can use the MX Merchant dashboard to view sales reports and analytics. There are also features to create online payment links to send to customers, set up ACH payment processing, and create multiple user logins for staff members.
What Dharma Is Missing
Dharma is not a good fit for startups and smaller businesses that don’t have consistent sales volumes. Dharma has a decent mobile app for processing sales on the go and valuable back-end features in the MX Merchant. However, it does not have full retail POS capabilities like Square or Shopify. Dharma also does not come with a free mobile card reader.
Overall, Dharma user reviews are positive. Businesses like the low-cost payment processing Dharma provides and their attentive customer service. Unlike Square, which anyone can sign up for and use, Dharma is selective about who they work with, so some reviewers were disappointed about being rejected during the Dharma application process. Some store owners also report issues with Dharma’s hardware not being compatible with their setup.
Shopify: Best Multichannel Mobile Credit Card Processor
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that also offers in-store and mobile credit card processing starting at just $9 per month with competitive flat-rate transaction fees. Shopify is the best mobile card processing for ecommerce sellers because it keeps inventory, sales, and customer data from every mobile and online transaction in one place.
Shopify’s entry-level plan, Shopify Lite, gives you a full-featured mobile POS, sales and inventory management tools, shipping functions, several online selling options, and a Facebook shop integration, all for just $9 per month. Plus, you can sign up and start accepting credit cards in minutes, get a free mobile credit card reader, and enjoy competitive rates with no startup or cancellation fees.
Shopify has several plan options. We will focus on Shopify Lite, which offers mobile credit card processing and an online Buy Button. However, it does not include a Shopify online store. Other Shopify Plans include more features and offer payment processing rates as low as 2.4%, but come with higher monthly fees.
Shopify Lite processing fees include:
- Monthly fee: $9
- Swipe, chip, and contactless payments: 2.7%
- Online and keyed-in payments: 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction
Shopify hardware fees include:
- Swipe and chip card reader: $29
- Swipe, chip, and contactless card reader: $49
- Shopify retail kit: $229 includes iPad counter stand, contactless card reader, and card reader dock
On May 4, 2020 Shopify released POS Pro for $89/month in addition to the free POS app. We will update this article to reflect the new pricing and features.
Shopify’s mobile credit card reader and the Shopify POS mobile app give you payment processing, sales, and business management tools right on your phone or tablet. Shopify is a full retail POS, similar to Square, that lets businesses track sales, inventory, and customers in addition to processing payments.
Shopify Payment Processing
Shopify Lite comes with a $9 monthly fee, which can seem steep compared to Square’s free price tag. However, Shopify comes with many more features. In addition to all major credit cards, Shopify sellers can issue and redeem store credit, set up custom payment types (like rewards or IOUs), and gift cards. Shopify also lets businesses accept deposits, set up layaway payments, and split payment types. Similar to Square, Shopify lets businesses send custom digital receipts, but Shopify also offers the option of printed receipts.
Shopify Business Management Features
Shopify has the most advanced inventory management features out of all the mobile credit card processing options on this list. Businesses can add and track multiple product variants and features. Shopify also includes full barcode support. The POS includes sales reporting, insights on discounts and promotions, products, tips, and employees. Shopify customer directories include the ability to save customer information and call or text customers directly from the POS.
Businesses can create an unlimited number of employee logins with different permission levels and monitor cash on hand. Shopify POS has a unique feature called Timeline that shows register activity history and the corresponding employees. Employees have the ability to add notes or comments to an activity so all team members can easily see what’s happened throughout the day.
Shopify Omnichannel Features
Shopify POS is the mobile extension of Shopify’s industry-leading, back-end ecommerce store and order management system. Even with the $9 per month Shopify Lite plan, you get access to powerful selling features like online and Facebook sales, shipping management, and inventory tracking. Shopify POS lets you easily extend your sales reach beyond in-person mobile credit card processing.
One of the benefits of using Shopify is that, like Square, all of your inventory, customer, and sales data is centralized across all channels. With Shopify mobile POS, businesses can make sales in person and still have them shipped to a customer’s house, which is ideal for vendors who sell larger items.
What Shopify Is Missing
Shopify is a great choice for small businesses selling over mobile, in-store, and online environments. But it’s very retail-oriented, which limits it for some uses. Plus, we uncovered a few other shortcomings, including the fact that Shopify cannot process credit cards without an internet connection, which is a super-important feature for mobile card processing. If you are not a retail-oriented business or need offline payment processing, Square may be a better fit.
Shopify user reviews are extremely positive. Business owners like the sleek interface and that it comes with so many built-in features for multichannel selling. That being said, if you are just looking for mobile processing and nothing else, you won’t need most of the features that come with Shopify. There aren’t many negative reviews or patterns of specific complaints regarding Shopify.
Chase Merchant Services: Best Bank Mobile Card Processor
Chase Merchant Services has a good mobile credit card processing solution called Chase Mobile Checkout. The app can be used on any Apple or Android smartphone with purchase of a reader. Chase is a good fit for businesses wanting to work with a bank to manage payment processing, checking accounts, and credit cards together.
Chase Merchant Services Pricing
Chase Merchant Services offers quote-based pricing, so always speak with a payment specialist to get the best rate. However, for mobile payment processing, Chase lists a 2.6% rate plus 10 cents per tap, dip, and swiped transaction, which is identical to Square’s rates.
For larger sellers, Chase also has interchange-plus pricing available. In most cases, Chase does not require any long-term contracts (except for some hardware leases). Chase uses an eDynamo mobile card reader, but prices are not readily available.
Chase Merchant Services Mobile Checkout pricing details include:
- Chip and swipe payments: 2.6% plus 10 cents per transaction
- Keyed-in and card-not-present transactions: 3.5% plus 10 cents per transaction
- Affordable hardware purchase and leading options
- Free Chase Mobile Checkout app
Chase Merchant Services Features
Chase Merchant Services Mobile Checkout app provides a simple interface for accepting mobile payments, managing gift cards, and viewing sales reports right from your smartphone or iPad. Businesses can add tips to transactions, check gift card balances, and create a product catalog with pricing for faster checkout and detailed reporting.
Chase Mobile Checkout Payment Processing
With Chase, businesses can accept all major credit cards and process magstripe or chip payments. You can also manually enter credit card information for payments in the Chase Mobile Checkout app. The eDynamo reader that Chase uses for mobile checkout does not work with contactless payments such as Apple Pay.
Businesses can use the app to process refunds, send receipts, and add tips. Chase also lets businesses authorize cards for future sales (such as for reservations or cancellation policies), which is a rare feature, especially for a mobile app. Chase includes standard features to issue, redeem, and check balances on gift cards.
Chase Mobile Checkout Business Management Features
Chase is unique on this list because it is not an aggregate payment processor—it is a traditional merchant account provider, and, if you use Chase for your business banking, it also acts as the receiving bank. This means you can manage funding, chargebacks, and settlements directly though the Chase Mobile Checkout app. Chase tracks every transaction with geolocation features that makes it easier to settle customer disputes. Funds also appear quickly (the next business day).
While Chase is heavy on financial management features, the mobile app is lighter on POS functionality. Businesses can create a product catalog, but that is the extent of the retail and product features.
What Chase Merchant Services Is Missing
Chase is a great solution for businesses that are looking to handle all financial aspects of their business, including credit card processing, in one place. The biggest issue with Chase is the Mobile Checkout app. It’s not as sleek or user-friendly as something like Square and has nowhere near the reporting, customer, or inventory management features as Square or Shopify.
Chase Merchant Services Reviews
Chase Merchant Services user reviews are somewhat mixed, which to some extent is to be expected for such a large company. They are part of JPMorgan Chase, one of the biggest banks in the country. However, Chase is also the processing service behind Square. Both card processors have some reviews that claim funds have been withheld. Because Chase is such a large company, it likely has a very conservative risk management team. So, if you are processing very large transactions or run a company with high-risk transactions, you should take that into account.
QuickBooks GoPayment: Best Mobile Processor for QuickBooks Users
QuickBooks GoPayment is a mobile credit card processor that syncs your sales directly with both QuickBooks Online and the desktop version. QuickBooks GoPayment doesn’t have the lowest processing rates, but they are competitive, making GoPayment a good mobile credit card processing option for businesses that use QuickBooks for accounting.
QuickBooks GoPayment Pricing
In order to use QuickBooks GoPayment, you need to have either a QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop account. Depending on which QuickBooks plan you choose, your rates can vary. Each type of QuickBooks account comes with different accounting and management features, so visit the QuickBooks website to see which specific product is best for your business.
Payment processing can be added on to any QuickBooks account. If you already use QuickBooks Desktop and want to add on mobile credit card processing, you can either pay as you go with higher transaction fees or pay an additional flat $20 monthly fee and receive lower transaction fees. If you do not already have a QuickBooks account and primarily need mobile payment processing with simple income and expense tracking, deduction tracking, and invoicing, the Online Simple plan is a good option.
QuickBooks & GoPayment Pricing Plans
QuickBooks Online Simple
QuickBooks Online Essentials
QuickBooks Desktop Pay-As-You-Go
QuickBooks Desktop Monthly
Monthly Software Fee
Monthly Payment Processing Fee
Swipe, Chip & Contactless Payments
2.4% + 25 cents/transaction
2.4% + 25 cents/transaction
2.4% + 30 cents/transaction
1.6% + 30 cents/transaction
2.9% + 25 cents/transaction
2.9% + 25 cents/transaction
3.5% + 30 cents/transaction
3.3% + 30 cents/transaction
3.4% + 25 cents/transaction
3.4% + 25 cents/transaction
3.5% + 30 cents/transaction
3.3% + 30 cents/transaction
ACH Bank Transfers
1% (max $10)
1% (max $10)
Note: QuickBooks has several Desktop plans with different annual fees. In addition, lower rates are available for businesses processing over $7,500 monthly.
At a glance, GoPayment seems cheaper than other flat-rate options, like Square, because GoPayment only charges 2.4% on mobile transactions. However, the 25 cents-per-transaction fee quickly adds up in certain selling scenarios, especially if you have a low average order value. For example, a 25-cent fee on a $2 cup of coffee looks much different than a 25-cent fee on a $200 piece of jewelry.
QuickBooks GoPayment hardware fees for both plans include:
- Swipe and chip reader: First free, $19 per additional reader
- All-in-one contactless reader: $49
QuickBooks GoPayment Features
GoPayment’s mobile credit card reader and mobile POS app give you payment processing, sales tracking, and business management tools right on your phone or tablet, and all sales directly sync to your QuickBooks data. The main advantage of using QuickBooks GoPayment is that it works seamlessly with QuickBooks accounting software.
QuickBooks GoPayment Mobile Payment Processing
With QuickBooks GoPayment, you can accept all major credit cards, including American Express and contactless payments like Apple Pay. Like most of the solutions on our list, businesses can process card payments via magstripe, chip, or manually entered data. GoPayment can also be used to process ACH payments, which other processors, including Square, don’t offer.
Like Dharma, QuickBooks users can also use the camera in their tablet or smartphone to scan and process credit cards. After completing a purchase, customers can sign on-screen, add a tip, and receive an email receipt. The app also lets businesses record cash and check payments, which are also synced with QuickBooks.
QuickBooks GoPayment mPOS App
Like most of the apps on this list, GoPayment lets businesses create a basic inventory item list. However, the item catalog is not as advanced as what you would find in Shopify, Square, or PayPal. You can view basic sales reports, add and track taxes, and add up to 50 users or employees for each account.
What QuickBooks GoPayment Is Missing
GoPayment is a great option for businesses already using QuickBooks as a management tool. The main drawback of QuickBooks GoPayment is that the rates are simply higher than other solutions. If you are a retailer, food truck, or anything similar, QuickBook’s product catalog and inventory management features are not as detailed as what you would need. Overall, QuickBooks is a reliable product and a good alternative, just not the most cost-effective.
QuickBooks GoPayment Reviews
Reviews for QuickBooks are very positive. QuickBooks GoPayment mobile app has a higher than 4.8 rating in the Apple app store. However, users do report a few syncing issues between QuickBooks and GoPayment. For example, inventory data doesn’t sync back to QuickBooks when you sell over GoPayment. New customer information also does not get transferred over, and will have to be entered into QuickBooks manually.
Whether you’re a brand-new business that is starting out with mobile credit card processing or an established store looking to take your business on the go, you need a solution that is cost-effective, reliable, and easy to use. The best providers also do not have a monthly transaction minimum, fees, or contracts.
Square is a great mobile credit card processing company for small businesses. Their plug-and-play solution makes it super-easy for anyone to accept payments anywhere, even offline. No applications, startup fees, or hardware costs mean it’s a risk-free investment. Plus, the Square app comes with the point-of-sale features you need to manage a business on the go. Visit Square to get started with a free account and mobile card reader.