Now this certainly isn’t the first time we’ve seen a credit card reader on a smartphone, that’s for sure, anyone whose been in an Apple store in the past year or so will tell you how odd (yet awesome) it feels to have the sales counter literally be every Apple rep in the store, but what Verizon is providing here is a wholly new vision of the concept. What this “free” credit card hardware represents is an inexpensive way for everyone with a smartphone or tablet to get their hands on the ability to accept payments anywhere and at any time. Have the folks at Verizon lost their mind, giving this solution away for free, or have they hit the nail on the head?
The device you see above is working on an HTC ThunderBolt, the world’s first 4G LTE device carried by Verizon, an Android device that we’ve reviewed at length and have enjoyed for many months in the past. I’m not sure this device will resurrect our love of one of HTC’s greatest hits, but as the Intuit credit card reader plugs into the audio jack of your device and is compatible with basically any smartphone or tablet you plug it into, we won’t have to worry. In fact, it’s not just Android that gets to use this fancy little hook-up, BlackBerry and Apple’s iOS will be joining in on the party as well.
Small business owners, self-employed ladies and gentlemen, and whoever else in the world that might benefit from a use or two will enjoy the ability to create a list of frequently sold items, add sales tax, tips, and make customized receipts as just a few of the many features integrated into this hardware/software combo. All parties can feel safe working with this system as well as sensitive credit card data is never stored on the device, and all data is encrypted twice, one via the card reader itself and another via the GoPayment app. Once you’ve got your card numbers and what have you entered in, transactions can be synced with apps such as Quickbooks on PC, Mac, and soon online, all of this for as easy and well-organized a system as possible.
As is mentioned above, the actual hardware is free after you activate a GoPayment account and send in a $29.97 rebate – the amount you’ll have to pay at the till being the same as this check sent to you in the mail some weeks down the line, more than likely. And how does this make sense for Verizon? They make their profits the same way GoPayment does, through a tiny bit of your monetary transactions whilst using the Intuit credit card reader unit. As Verizon and GoPayment note, “basic service has no monthly, transaction or cancellation fees, and offers a competitive 2.7 percent discount rate for swiped transactions,” while “a paid version of GoPayment is also available for $12.95 a month and provides a low discount rate of 1.7 percent for swiped transactions.”
At the moment it seems that a Verizon-carried device is not necessary to run the Intuit hardware, though you will need a compatible smartphone or tablet on some sort of data connection one way or another. Check out the full details on pricing in the gallery below.