A man signing on an iPad POS system in a store.

What can iPad credit card processing do for your business?

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Payment processing is an essential component of any business, and it’s easier than ever to use your iPad to accept payments. You as a small business owner can accept mobile payments anywhere your business takes you with just a few simple tools. So, if you’re ready to ditch the traditional cash register and streamline your business, keep reading for a rundown of everything that iPad credit card processing can do for you.

Using payment processing software on your iPad or iOS device to accept credit card payments is safe, secure, and uncomplicated. With greater flexibility than a stationary point of sale (POS) system, an iPad POS system is incredibly convenient, compact, and easy to take with you. In addition, a mobile POS system allows you to access your data at any time via the Cloud, so you can keep track of payments, pricing, and inventory from anywhere in the world.

Mobile credit card processing is straightforward and works nearly the same way as any traditional POS system. With iPad credit card processing, the same essential data will be collected and transmitted to the relevant bank accounts to complete payment. With the appropriate card reader and app, you’ll be able to manage mobile payments in no time.

Now let’s talk about some of the specific benefits that iPad payment processing can offer your business.

Benefits of iPad payment processing

Using a mobile device as part of your POS system delivers the same reliable payment choices as its stationary counterparts. So why bother making the change? Simply put, accepting payments with an iPad offers greater flexibility than a static payment terminal. And with cloud-based storage options, you’ll be able to access everything you need from anywhere with internet access.

So, if your business travels to conventions, markets, or pop-up locations, you’ll notice tangible benefits right away. Or, if you’re planning to make your business more mobile in the future, switching to an iPad payment processing system is an investment in your future.

Either way, iPad payment processing enables your POS system to move organically through your retail space, bringing the payment terminal to wherever your customers are. This system can create a better flow for your workspace and is also a convenient option for your customers.

It’s easy to get started with iPad payment processing

Types of processors that exist

Before you start shopping for an iPad payment processor, it’s essential to understand the different iOS processors that exist and how they work.

App and reader

An app-and-reader combination is a popular option that’s easy to use. With this combination, you’ll need to download a mobile app from your preferred merchant on your iPad or iOS device. In addition, this system requires a mobile credit card reader that connects to your iPad in conjunction with the POS app.

Most providers will provide or sell a compatible credit card reader to their customers. These readers typically plug into your device's lightning port or headphone jack, but some newer models may connect via Bluetooth or offer a Bluetooth connection as an upgrade.

Ideally, you’ll want a reader that can accept card payments, including chip cards, contactless payments, and mobile payments such as Apple Pay. With the growing popularity of contactless and near-field communication (NFC) payment options, your customers will appreciate versatility with their payment methods.

When choosing where to set up a merchant account, you’ll want to consider monthly costs and transaction fees. But, overall, the app-and-reader combo is usually the default for most merchants and can be a great jumping-off point to explore iOS credit card processing.

App and terminal

Similar to the app-and-reader combo, this system requires a mobile app download. Despite this similarity, the terminal system resembles a more traditional POS system. However, unlike a conventional countertop POS system, you can use a mobile terminal anywhere you take your iPad or iOS device.

Terminals come with more features than the base-model credit card reader and tend to be more powerful. A terminal should be able to perform all of the tasks that your traditional POS system can handle, such as inventory management, marketing analytics, and customer support tools.

Terminals may or may not come with a complete set of equipment, like a barcode scanner, receipt printer, and cash register. You can also opt to include an NFC reader to accept payments from iPhones and Android devices. You may also want to choose a system that will allow other online payments, such as PayPal.

Like the previous setup, you’ll want to consider monthly fees, processing fees, and functionality for your business.

App only

The app-only option is a method for accepting online payments without swiping credit cards. As the name suggests, this method doesn’t include a magstripe reader. Instead, the app-only method relies on your iPad or iOS camera to process credit cards. Reading a card with the camera works the same way as reading QR codes.

Although functional, this payment processing method isn’t always popular with customers. Photographing credit cards rather than swiping them is a less common setup that can make cautious consumers uncomfortable. This method is also slower and less secure than reader methods. You’ll also need to manually input additional information for each transaction, such as the customer’s zip code and CVV number, which can slow down the payment process.

Because of the lowered transaction security, merchants usually charge a higher monthly fee for this method. As a result, this method is best suited for businesses that don’t frequently accept credit card payments or businesses looking for a virtual terminal option.

With whichever processing system you choose, you can look forward to some great benefits.

With iPad card processing enabled, you can also:

Accept EMV chip and contactless NFC payments

EMV, or Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, is a credit card payment standard that began in Europe and quickly spread worldwide. EMV cards contain a small microchip that can protect buyers against fraud. NFC includes payment methods like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and Android Pay. These transactions are also EMV compliant and contactless. Choosing an iPad payment processing system that handles these payments can protect you and your customers from fraudulent charges.

Process sales and refunds

An iPad payment processor should be able to do everything your standard terminal can do, including processing sales, gift cards, and refunds.

Pre-authorize transactions

You’ll be able to place a temporary hold on a customer’s card when accepting reservations with your mobile POS.

Sign and send email receipts

You’ll be ready to tackle the paperless trend with email receipts. Paperless receipts can potentially save you money on printer-related costs and give your customers a smooth, paperless experience.

Track transaction details in an online dashboard

Keep track of transactions and customer information digitally with cloud-based storage on your iPad POS system.

Generate invoices and manage recurring payments

Avoid errors with manual invoicing and use your iPad POS for easy, worry-free invoicing. Missed and forgotten payments can be a thing of the past when you use iPad payment processing to track your invoices and recurring payments.

Access real-time transaction data and deposits

Don’t wait until the end of the workday cash-out to see how your business is doing. With an iPad POS system, you’ll be able to view your transactions and inventory in real-time.

Manage employee schedules, timecards, and payroll

Keeping everything in one place, including your employee information, can help you avoid confusing bookkeeping and make sure that you know exactly how many hours your employees are working, and when.

Create customer profiles for rewards and loyalty programs

You can help create loyal customers and improve customer satisfaction by implementing reward and loyalty programs. Tracking these programs with customer profiles on your iPad POS software is easier than ever.

Keep your customers’ sensitive data safe and secure

Give your customers peace of mind with a mobile app and POS system with data security standards that will keep all of your information safe.


Choosing the right iPad payment processor and processing app can help streamline your business and offer your small business a variety of conveniences. From secure data storage to the convenience of mobility, an iPad POS system is simple to implement and might be more functional for your business than a countertop POS.

When purchasing an iPad or iOS POS system for your business, it's essential to do your research because the wrong system could harm your bottom line. High transaction fees and clunky software can have a severe detrimental impact. So take the time to explore which payment processing company is the best fit for you and your business.

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at heartland.us.