Venturing into the world of mobile payments and point-of-sale terminals is not an easy feat; as there quite a bit of competition to take into account. But that isn’t keeping popular accounting software solution FreshBooks from giving it a try, as they launched a new app and dongle system to let small business accept plastic card payments with an iPhone.
The development of this FreshBooks card reader is quite an interesting turn of events. FreshBooks is mostly known for their accounting software, making it easier for small businesses to keep an eye on earnings and expenses. Offering an mPOS solution on top of that will simplify the accounting process even further for some small businesses.
Even though the FreshBooks card reader will not launch until next Spring, the device will be able to read EMV-enabled and magnetic plastic credit cards. Pricing is kept fairly low as well, as the dongle will cost US$29 although the cost per transaction is fairly high. For Visa and Mastercard payments, there will be a 2.7% + 30 cents charge on per purchase whereas the fees will be 3.4% plus 30 cents for American Express transactions.
While these fees are quite high compared to similar services – Square’s rates are cheaper – all of the payments made through the dongle will be linked to the user’s FreshBooks account. Invoices and reports will be updated automatically once the payment in question has been processed, and small business won’t have to leave the FreshBooks ecosystem at all.
One downside to this entire project by FreshBooks is how the card reader will – initially- only be available to iPhone users. That being said, the company has indicated compatibility with Android devices and iPads will be coming in the near future. Dedicated applications for these types of devices will be developed over the next few months.
When asked about this product launch, FreshBooks CEO Mike McDerment stated:
“Seventy-five percent of small businesses already use mobile devices to run their businesses, and the FreshBooks Card Reader will offer them with yet another way to streamline their workflow while on-the-go.”
Bitcoin businesses around the world have been looking for a FreshBooks-like accounting solution for quite some time now. In fact, several Bitcoin community members have been trying to get the company to integrate Bitcoin transactions as part of their service, but those requests have fallen on deaf ears so far.
Now that FreshBooks is openly targeting the small business segment with their mPOS solution, it seems to be an appropriate time for the community to inquire about Bitcoin payments once again. With so many Bitcoin startups launching and having launched in recent months, there is a large market for companies like FreshBooks.
What are your thoughts on this mPOS solution by FreshBooks? Is it a viable business model? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: FreshBooks Blog
Images courtesy of FreshBooks, Shutterstock, Shutter Muse
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