June 22, 2018

App turns iPhone into a credit card terminal

As if phones didn’t already do enough, one of the latest mobile apps transforms iPhones and iPod Touches into portable charge card terminals. ProcessAway plugs into Authorize.net’s payment processing platform, allowing entrepreneurs to accept credit card payments anywhere they can access the internet.

After downloading the app and (separately) setting up a merchant account with Authorize.net, clients can use ProcessAway like a traditional charge card terminal: enter the amount, input the card number, expiry date and verification code, and process. There’s even a tip option for service businesses. Customers receive an email receipt for each transaction, and merchants can view transactions and process refunds on the fly. Aware that consumers might be weary of having their credit card details punched into a phone, ProcessAway stresses that’s a secure application: information is never stored in the phone and the program won’t connect to anything other than the terminal.

If it can gain trust and acceptance, ProcessAway could be particularly useful for those who need to process and authorise payments on-the-go, like on-site consultants or handymen. It’s also useful at venues that don’t have fixed terminals: antique shows, market stalls and music merchandise stands.

ProcessAway is available from Apple’s App Store for USD 19.99, and Authorize.net collects its usual transaction fees. ProcessAway isn’t the only one playing this field: Innerfence released its slightly more basic Credit Card Terminal app late last year. Although both programs are currently only available in the US, they could be a valuable tool for minipreneurs in other parts of the world.