Best Credit Card Processing Services for Tablets and iPads

Many industries might want to process credit card payments using a tablet or iPad. This is sometimes used to give the customer the ability to process payments on their own or can be used to allow employees to process payments on the move.

Credit card processors are not created equally so it is wise to take the time to understand the different options and factors that can go into choosing a payment processor.

Our Top Picks for Credit Card Processing for Tablets and iPads

Easy Pay Direct
Offers Clover hardware and integrates with nearly every shopping cart that is on the market
Domestic accounts have zero early termination fees.
Variable contract terms.
High risk tolerance.
Single point of contact for multiple merchant accounts.
Public pricing is available.

summary

5/5

Best for

E-commerce companies, SaaS companies, "high-risk businesses", & established small/medium businesses ($500,000+ in annual sales)

Specializes in

Easy Pay Direct has unique gateway software and banking solutions to optimize payments for eCommerce, SaaS, information products, supplements, and CBD amongst other verticals.

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee:  $99

Monthly Fee: $24.95

Swipe Rate: 1.59% + $0.17

Keyed-in Rate:  2.39% + $0.29

Early Termination Fee: $0 (domestic accounts)

Contract Terms:

1 Year 3 Years
Helcim
Offers a virtual credit card vault that tokenizes customer card information to store it for recurring billing.
No setup fee.
No early termination fee.
Works with small businesses.
Month to month contract.
Works with merchants in the United States and Canada.

summary

4.8/5

Best for

Small businesses

Specializes in

Online, retail, service industries

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee: $0

Monthly Fee: $20

Swipe Rate: Variable

Keyed-in Rate: Variable

Early Termination Fee: $0

Contract Terms:

Month-to-month
Dharma Merchant Services
Offers virtual terminals and publishes processing costs on their websites
No early termination fee.
Month to month contract.
No annual fee.
Interchange plus pricing offered.
Discounted pricing for qualified non profit companies.

summary

4.5/5

Best for

Dharma's website caters its services to small-sized businesses with up to twenty employees, in verticals such as restaurants, non-profits, and e-commerce platforms.

Specializes in

Dharma Merchant Services provides mobile phone processing and tablet-based POS options for merchants courtesy of Clover. Moreover, Dharma offers the Clover Mini station, which includes Clover's PRO software set. The company also resells the Clover POS solution, including a full cash drawer, built-in fingerprint scanner, and printer.

Pricing Summary

Setup Fee: N/A

Monthly Fee: $20

Swipe Rate: N/A

Keyed-in Rate: N/A

Early Termination Fee: None

Contract Terms:

Month-to-month

What is iPad Credit Card Processing?

Credit card processing can be achieved in a variety of ways. By choosing to use an iPad or tablet, your device serves as the point of sale device.

This device will need to be loaded with an application provided by the payment processor.

Through the application, your device will gain the ability to process payments. These payments may include:

  • Major network credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover
  • eChecks and ACH payments
  • Gift card payments

By adding complementary hardware to your system, you will also be able to accept contactless payments and digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Why do I Need iPad Credit Card Processing?

There are several reasons why a business may choose to use a tablet to process credit card payments. Obviously, you want to give your customers the ability to pay using these payment methods but there are additional benefits for your business.

Cost Savings

Your business may already be equipped with iPads or tablets for other functions. By adding the ability to process payments to your already acquired hardware, you save yourself from having to purchase or lease additional hardware.

Mobility

Tablets are relatively small in size and can be easily moved.

As long as the device has an Internet connection, you will be able to process payments from virtually anywhere.

This may come in handy if you are a retailer who needs to accept payments on the go.

Some places may include:

  • Trade shows
  • Outdoor markets, fairs, or festivals
  • Customer’s residences

Many businesses in the trade industries (ie. electricians, plumbers, roofers, etc.) are now utilizing tablets or iPads for payment processing as it allows the business to collect payment on-site as soon as the work is satisfactorily completed.

Small Footprint

Even if you do not need the ability to be mobile, you may opt to use a tablet or iPad if you are limited in space and would like to have a small device on your counter.

Though tablets are small in size, they can be just as powerful as larger machines and can accomplish many of the same functions.

What to Consider When Choosing a Payment Processor for Tablets and iPad

If you have decided that you would like to use a tablet to process payments, there are some additional things to take into consideration before choosing a payment processor.

Rates and Fees

Every business is different and you need to consider your unique circumstances to determine which payment processor is right for you.

What are your typical sales patterns like?

Are your average tickets large or small in size?

Do you process credit cards once in a while or regularly?

What is your overall sales volume?

These are good metrics to be aware of overall as a business owner but especially when choosing a credit card processor.

Each processor will have a unique pricing model. Credit card companies set fees called Interchange Fees.

These fees are non-negotiable.

Other fees come from credit card processors and can vary widely.

Some of the most common fees to be aware of are:

  • Transaction fee: This is usually a percent of the overall transaction plus a small nominal flat fee.
  • Chargeback fee: This is the amount you will be assessed in the event that your customer disputes a charge and reverses a transaction via their card company. These fees can be significant compared to the others.
  • Termination fee: Some processors may impose a fee if you cancel your contract before a certain period. Be sure to ask if your processor has this fee.

Any reputable processor will be able to transparently share the details of the payment processing charges.

Even a small percentage difference may result in large sums over the course of a year so it is important to weigh these costs.

Adding a Card Reader

Using a tablet or iPad to process payments may result in the business keying in the credit card information.

By typing in the information, even if the card is present, this transaction will be designated as a card-not-present transaction.

Generally, these transactions are considered less secure, more likely to be fraudulent, and subject to a higher rate of chargebacks.

Due to this, the costs associated with processing a card not present transaction are higher than those where the card is present. To get around this, it is a good idea to add a card reader to your system.

There are several options available. You may choose to add a small terminal that has the ability to insert cards for chip card payments.

These devices can be hardwired or Bluetooth, making them mobile as well.

By adding this type of hardware, you can also accept cards that work on tap to pay technology or digital wallet payments.

These are still technically classified as card-present payments even though the card may not be physically present. The customer’s phone or device with the card information acts as the card would.

Another option would be a small card reader that integrates directly with the tablet or iPad.

These may give you the ability to swipe cards but may not always allow for contactless payment options.

In any case, adding a card reader will help you achieve lower payment processing costs.

PCI Compliance

Every year, the Payment Card Industry Security Council sets minimum standards that card processors must follow for best practices to maintain security.

The recommendations continue to evolve as cybercrime becomes more common.

Failure to comply with these standards can lead to fees for your business.

When choosing a processor, be sure that yours is ‘PCI Compliant’ so that your business will not experience any additional costs and you can be confident that your business’ data will be protected.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Application Features

Though your primary goal as a business is to gain the ability to process credit cards, you can gain additional functionality from adding a payment processing application.

Each application will bring its own benefits and limitations. Many processors will allow you to go through a demonstration of the software to see the features available.

Some things that an application may allow you to do are:

  • Manage subscription or recurring payments
  • Create customer accounts for loyalty programs
  • Manage employee schedules, hours, and payroll
  • Manage store inventories

These features can help you streamline your business and add features that generate revenue.

Many applications offered can often be industry-specific as well. These will offer even more powerful technology tools to help your business run well.

Additional Tips for Consideration

Additional Hardware

At a minimum, you may choose to implement a system that uses a tablet and some type of card reader to reduce payment processing costs.

There are other pieces of hardware that you may want to consider, depending on your business needs.

Some businesses may add a receipt printer or one that is integrated with the card reader.

While receipts can be provided by other methods like a text message or email, many customers still prefer to receive a paper receipt.

If your business deals with a variety of items, you may choose to deploy a barcode scanner to manage products or services.

This will reduce the time needed for your staff to enter or find the information.

Each processor will have its unique offerings of system configurations and hardware but it is good to have an idea of your preferences ahead of time.

Customer Service

You’ve found a payment processor that offers the services, software, hardware, and rates that fit your business. Great!

Before moving ahead, be sure to consider the processor’s reputation and customer service options.

Some payment processors offer live 24/7 support while others may only offer support during regular business hours. Losing the ability to process credit card payments during a busy day can be devastating.

It is recommended to have support available during the time you plan to be conducting business.

It is also a good idea to have a payment processor that offers a variety of methods to get in touch with the support. For example, they may offer a contact form, live chat, and phone number.

Customer service availability may not be something that is initially considered but you may wish you had if you run into operational issues.

Reputation

Choosing a reputable payment processor is important.

With many payment processors entering the industry, it is important to choose one that you can trust will be in business in the near future.

A quick Internet search for reviews might provide insight into the type of experiences other businesses have had with the processor.

You may also want to review the company’s Better Business Bureau listing. This may reveal any current or past complaints against the company.

It could also reveal how long the company has been in business.

These additional factors could be the ones that determine your final decision.

Final Thoughts

Businesses that choose to process credit card payments using a tablet or iPad may benefit from hardware cost savings and a small footprint.

Processing card payments with a tablet or iPad allows you to process payments on the go, allowing you to accept payments virtually anywhere.

Businesses should consider the rates and fees of the credit card processor and expect a transparent explanation of charges.

Although the iPad alone will have the ability to process payments, it is wise to add some type of card reader in order to reduce charges.

Security is always a top concern whenever sensitive credit card information is involved. A PCI-compliant payment processor will protect both your business and your customer’s data.

Beyond payment processing, sophisticated applications can give businesses additional capabilities to help manage their business. Be sure to compare options so that you can get the most out of your payment processor.

If you have unique needs, there are additional types of hardware that may be added to your system configuration like receipt printers or barcode scanners. These expand the capabilities of your business.

While not always at the top of mind, a credit card processor’s reputation and customer service availability should be considered when choosing a partner.

If you run into issues during the business day, you will want to ensure your ability to process payments remains intact. Having a business partner that is readily available to help is paramount.

Finally, doing a quick Internet search on the processor can reveal reviews and other information about the business’ history. You may read something that wasn’t initially apparent to you but may lead you to ask additional questions or change your mind.

By carefully considering your business’ payment processing needs, you can appropriately choose a processor to not only fulfill your wish list but possibly add added value features to your business.

If you take the time to compare processors, you can set your business up for a successful partnership that will hopefully last for many years to come. Investing the time to make the right choice now will save you from having to repeat the process in the event you are not satisfied with your payment processor.

Be sure to check out our top picks for iPad and tablet credit card processing:

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