All of the nifty card readers that enable small-business merchants to accept payments using smartphones won’t amount to much without consumer acceptance of the technology.
To try to bolster that acceptance, Intuit Inc. is taking its GoPayment services to the dogs.
The owners of New York Dog Nanny, a small dog-grooming business, demonstrated the GoPayment service April 4 at a popular dog-walking park in New York, providing grooming services for $7 to pet owners who paid with credit cards swiped through Intuit’s mobile card reader.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based mobile-payments provider plans to present a series of similar “Go Somewhere New” events across the country to illustrate how using its GoPayment card reader and software can enable small-business owners to accept payments in any location.
“GoPayment helps small businesses across the country to never miss a sale, no matter where they are or what they are selling, and that has been the point of these pop-up events,” an Intuit spokesperson tells PaymentsSource.
Last month, Intuit partnered with Bird Barbershop in Austin, Texas, at the South By Southwest Festival in which the barbers offered $1.99 haircuts and accepted payments with the mobile card reader in the middle of a crowded street.
Intuit provides free card readers to merchants as it continues to spread its story about the ease of GoPayment and how it can help grow a business by enabling payment card acceptance, the spokesperson says.
The events expose more consumers to a mobile-payment device because merchants illustrate payment card acceptance for small-ticket purchases such as dog grooming, haircuts, baby-sitting or gardening services, she adds.
However, though Intuit has developed a sound product for merchants and the company has a good reputation, consumers still may have to overcome security concerns when swiping a card through someone’s mobile phone, Brian Riley, a senior analyst at Needham, Mass.-based TowerGroup, tells PaymentsSource.
“Some consumers may think twice before using these mobile-payment devices because they see how fraud can still hit in some bigger stores, and they would wonder how you guard these smaller swipes?” Riley suggests.
If those consumers became aware of the security complaints leveled early in 2011 against the card reader offered by Square Inc., an Intuit competitor, it may continue to fuel concerns, he says (see story).
Intuit has gained much respect through its commitment to small businesses, particularly how its GoPayment software links the business to accounting tools to help operate a business, Riley says.
“Personally, I would have a high comfort level with Intuit because the company has done so much with its software for businesses that you would feel that would equate to good security, or they would handle any problems properly,” Riley adds.
The free Intuit card reader, which would retail at $29.97, attaches to a merchant’s smartphone through the audio jack. The basic GoPayment service has no monthly transaction fees, but swiped transactions incur a 2.7% fee. A monthly payment option costs $12.95 a month, with swiped transactions at 1.6%, Intuit says.
GoPayment applications are available for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, T-Mobile, Inc.’s Android phones and Research in Motion Inc. Blackberry phones, as well as the Apple iPad and the Motorola Mobility Inc.’s Xoom 3G tablet, the company says.
Intuit’s recent events to showcase mobile payments follow a January announcement that the company would offer its mobile card reader and GoPayment software across U.S. borders in making the service available in Canada (see story).
Last summer, Intuit helped itself gain footing in a competitive mobile payments market with an agreement to provide free card readers at Verizon Wireless stores nationwide for business owners who opened a GoPayment account (see story).
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