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MONEY

Fast, Easy, and Online

Our guide to the rapidly-proliferating world of online payments.

Mobile payment--so recently novel, now ubiquitous--is getting better fast. Most significant, the services are increasingly targeted. You manage your accounts through QuickBooks? There's a service precisely for you. Your customers use mobile wallets rather than credit cards? You have choices.

In this graphic, the first six options are mobile versions of conventional point-of-sale systems. They come equipped with card readers--dongles--and proprietary apps. The next five options have nothing to do with readers. They are all about the app, on both sides of the transaction: Your customer pays not with a card but with a phone. So these products function less as virtual cash registers than as ways to beef up your brand by adding convenience, word of mouth, and app integration.

1 / 11
Square
Square
From setup to checkout, Square keeps it simple. But don't expect stellar customer service. Square doesn't want to talk to you. Cost: 2.75 percent; keyed-in transactions are 3.5 percent plus 15 cents. Other fees: Or a flat fee of $275 per month if you swipe less than $250,000 a year.
The company that started it all throws its reader in gratis, and Square might be the simplest to use of all these products.
2 / 11
PayPal
PayPal
You'll get access to your funds within minutes of swiping a card. Seller beware: If you process more than $2,500 within a seven-day rolling period, you might not receive the funds for up to 30 days. Cost: 2.7 percent; keyed-in transactions are 3.5 percent plus 15 cents.
Here Processes cards and checks…and PayPal.
3 / 11
Intuit GoPayment
Intuit GoPayment
GoPayment is ready to go in four steps. But the reader won't work on Windows or BlackBerry devices. Cost: With a payment plan, 1.75 percent for swipes and 2.75 percent for keyed-in transactions. Otherwise, 2.75 percent and 3.75 percent. Other fees: $12.95 per month for the most popular plan.
If you use QuickBooks, look nofurther: GoPayment syncsautomatically with the software. Best for quickbook users.
4 / 11
Mobile Pay on Demand by Bank of America
Mobile Pay on Demand by Bank of America
BofA transactions are ultrasecure. But printing receipts directly from the app is not yet available. Cost: 2.7 percent; rates vary for American Express.Keyed-in transactions are 3.5 percent plus 15 cents.
A big bank is less likely to freak out over big charges and is equipped for fast-growth businesses.
5 / 11
Breadcrumb Payments by Groupon
Breadcrumb Payments by Groupon
Order up! Breadcrumb is ideal for restaurants. It can split checks, add tips, and more. But keyed-in transactions can be held for up to 30 days. Cost: 1.8 percent plus 15 cents; keyed-in transactions are 2.3 percent plus 15 cents.
You can pop the reader into a phoneor iPad and simply process payments, or you can spring for a comprehensive, iPad-basedpoint-of-sale system.
6 / 11
SpotPay
SpotPay
SpotPay can take photos of the buyer or purchases. Clumsy: SpotPay's reader is bulky. Cost: 1.99 percent to 3.19 percent. Voice-authorized transactions are 3.19 percent plus $3.95. Extra Fees: $8.95 a month.
Easy setup, a free reader, and all the basics-;except that you can't acceptgift cards
7 / 11
Lemon Network
Lemon Network
Lemonheads love their mobile wallet. They will use it to do business with you. But merging Lemon with your payment platform is no easy feat. Cost: Free (but you're still paying your processor.)
Lemon is among the most popular of the mobile wallets, with about three million users. The Lemon Network uses your existing payment platform to allow Lemon users to make one-touch payments.
8 / 11
Paydiant
Paydiant
Because customers register with you, you are able to collect valuable data on them as they use the app. But you are reliant on customers' downloading your app and associating their cards or accounts with it. Cost: Variable. Variable; expect to pay a licensing fee.
Paydiant's app is white label; that is, you put your own brand on it. At the point of sale, you produce a QR code, which your customer scans.
9 / 11
Dwolla
Dwolla
Such a deal: Dwolla zaps money from customers' bank accounts in minutes, and processes transactions of less than $10 for free. But there's no way yet to verify Dwolla payments inside your point-of-sale software, as Dwolla is a network, not a processor. Cost: 25 cents for transactions of more than $10;otherwise, free.
Dwolla is a different kind of service:It transfers money from one bank account to another.
10 / 11
LevelUp
LevelUp
LevelUp tracks your marketing campaigns in real time. A business can track only customers who download the LevelUp app. LevelUp does have more than a million users. But a business can track only customers who download the LevelUp app. LevelUp does have more than a million users. Cost: 2 percent. Other fees: $50 for the scanner.
It's a payment app that is also a marketing app: The customer's phone produces a QR code. When you scan the code, you get paid and the customer earns rewards. LevelUp also builds white-label apps.
11 / 11
Venmo Touch by Braintree
Venmo Touch by Braintree
It's dead easy to set up and use. But Venmo is available only inthe U.S. Cost: 2.9 percent plus 30 cents.
A lot of your customers know Venmo as a peer-to-peer payment app. Integrate Venmo Touch into your own app to let those customers make one-touch payments.
From the October issue of Inc. magazine

JILL KRASNY | Staff Writer

Jill Krasny is a staff writer for Inc. magazine, where she covers the intersection of entertainment and startups. Prior to Inc., she was a writer for MTV and Esquire and an editor at TheStreet. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in communication. She lives in New York City.




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