When I think of “Merchant Services” two things usually come to my mind (based on past experience) – high fees and a hassle in collecting payment information. I’ve heard about Intuit GoPayment before, but I dismissed it as another merchant services account that would just be the same old hassle. However, after talking with the folks at Intuit, I decided to give it a try. I found that it was a great low cost solution for a small business, and I was surprised at how easy it was to use.
Credit card processing can be a major hassle for small businesses. Merchant accounts are expensive – if you have a low volume of transactions the fees become a significant expense. Also, if you are on the go, collecting payments via credit card can be a hassle. Now, with Intuit GoPayment, small businesses have a simple way to accept credit card payments without having a monthly or per transaction flat fee, and you can accept payments from your iPad or phone.
I didn’t realize, until I dug in a bit, that
- I can get a no-monthly-charge account via GoPayment. Usually with a merchant account you have three costs: A base monthly fee, a per transaction flat fee and a percentage of each transaction (called a “discount rate”). I always hated that monthly fee, I could go months without taking a credit card payment but I still had to pay that dang fee. With Intuit GoPayment the only fee you have is the discount rate – no monthly fee, no per transaction flat fee. If you process a small number of credit card transactions this makes a significant difference.
- You get a free card swiper that will work on all leading IOS, Android and Blackberry devices. It plugs in to your audio jack. I used this with my iPad 2, and it worked very well (once you adjust the volume setting on the iPad).
- Creating an account, setting it up on my iPad, and processing a payment was extremely easy (although there were a few hitches as I’ll explain later).
GoPayment is designed for specific use cases. People who never processed credit cards before, low volume users. Setup is easy and you can start without a big commitment.
Chris Battles, Intuit’s head of Product Management in the Payment Solutions Division, said that they are creating “liberating technology so you can do your work wherever you are at. Our mission is to help people get paid. I see the future of payments just like Netflix – you should be able to accept payments from wherever you are”.
GoPayment on my iPad 2
At first, my experience in signing up was a bit mixed. I started by downloading the GoPayment app on my iPad 2 and then tried to set up an account. I couldn’t get through the signup process. However, when I went to their web site and created an account there, the experience was great. The process was very straight forward, and I received approval of my account within a day. My rate for low volume transactions is 2.7% if I swipe a card. After signing up AND getting approved I was able to set up my account to use my universal Intuit account login, and then I could log in with the iPad app.
You can set up items so that you have standard fees for particular cases, or you can just swipe a card and enter an amount as I’m showing below.
Once you have the amount entered you hand your iPad (or phone) to the customer and they can sign the charge with by using their fingertip.
You will have options to send a receipt to the customer by email or text. That is it! Very, very simple.
You can call up a history of payments, you can add the customer to your contact list (including a photo from your phone or iPad)
You also can log in to your QuickBooks Merchant Services account from your computer to be able to manage you account.
For years I’ve used PayPal as my payment processor. The main reason that I switched to them was to avoid the monthly fees. Sometimes, though, people don’t want to pay via PayPal (I know that they can still pay via credit card, but there is always resistance). In some situations that still is the account I’ll use, but it looks like Intuit GoPayment is going to be another tool in my kit.
What is in the future for Intuit GoPayment? Chris Battles gave me some hints, but you’ll have to see my article in the Intuit Inner Circle (which might not be published until the last week of June). Note that you have to register with the Inner Circle to see these articles, although it is free.