Square, the mobile payments company launched in 2009 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is the name most often bandied about in tech circles these days when it comes to talk of credit-card swiping attachments made for iPhone. But Square was never alone on the mobile payments battlefront, and now it has a new competitor backed by a well-known brand name: Intuit.
Today Intuit is making its two-year-old premium GoPayment service free – a service which comes with a magnetic stripe reader attachment that hooks onto the iPhone, similar to the one Square offers.
Intuit’s GoPayment’s offering is a combination of a mobile application and, optionally, a magnetic stripe reader that attaches to the phone. Intuit no longer charges the $13/month fee or charges for the reader attachment (previously $219) – it’s all free now*. But to make that possible, GoPayment takes a higher cut of the transactions with its new discount rate fee of 2.7% (before it was 1.7%). For key-entered and non-qualified transactions, the rate is 3.7%. In addition, $0.15 is charged per transaction. These fees are competitive with Square.
The above prices are what’s available to low-volume customers – the same customers who may have been considering Square’s reader instead. For high-volumne customers, there are different rates – a $12.95/month service fee; 1.7% for card swiped; 2.7% for key entered and 3.7% for non-qualified transactions, like corporate cards; and a $0.30 per transaction fee.
GoPayment also offers no long-term contracts, cancellation, gateway or set-up fees, it says. One account can enable up to 50 users and works on iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, plus some Palm and Nokia devices.
Merchants can accept a number of credit cards with the service, but additional fees apply when accepting cards other than Visa, MasterCard and Discover (like American Express or
Diner’s Club cards).
There is more than one type of hardware attachment available for use with GoPayment. Intuit partnered with Mophie for its iPhone reader, for example, the makers of iPhone battery-charging solutions like the Juice Pack. There are also Bluetooth-enabled readers and reader/printer combos available.
*One important note: GoPayment is only offering a free account and free reader to those who sign up by mid-February, after which prices may revert back, although Intuit isn’t confiriming.
Intuit’s top-competitor (that is, if you go by what tech journalists like to write about) is Square, the startup launched by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Like GoPayment, Square includes both a mobile app and a credit card reading device – a small, square-shaped device whose shape gives the company its name.
Like GoPayment’s (temporary) offer, the reader is free and there are no monthly service fees. The swiped transaction fee is 2.75%, a bit higher than Intuit’s 2.7% but its per transaction fees are the same ($0.15/each). For keyed in transactions, the rate is 3.5% + $0.15.
Square says there are no gateway, monthly, early termination or hidden fees and you can accept an unlimited number of payments without restrictions on either transaction size or number of transactions. Square deposits your first $1,001 of sales per week into your bank account immediately. Any remaining amount is transferred after 30 days.
As a Square user, you can accept any U. S.-issued credit, debit, pre-paid, or gift card with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover logo.