Mobile card readers are

a thing of the past

phos is the first application that lets you receive contactless card payments directly on your Android phone or tablet

Sign up for early access

When they first entered the market, mobile card readers were hailed as the cutting edge in payment technology. They were lighter than traditional devices, cheaper and thanks to Bluetooth technology, they were able to connect to any POS.

However, fast forward a decade, and mobile card readers have not advanced in their offering and the three things that made them great are now responsible for their downfall.

Mobile card readers lack robust technology

It’s no secret that mobile card readers come with a whole host of problems.

Even the industry leaders in mobile card readers (the likes of Square, SumUp, iZettle, Miura) have been unable to create robust technology in line with market requirements.

A constant risk of technical interference and a reliance on Bluetooth connectivity (which drops at any time, without reason), mean that mobile card readers – which were once thought of as the superior device - are now a major source of problems.

Mobile card readers break easily

Along with having a limited battery life, mobile card readers are often delicate and break easily when dropped – or even when used in the rain.

Users don’t apply the same level of care when using a mobile card reader, as they do with their mobile phone. Unlike a mobile card reader, mobile phones have quickly become a business hub. Banking, accounting, loyalty, plus all the communication apps and social media, make a mobile phone significantly more valuable than a card reading device.

Reliance on delivery, especially when ordering replacements

Companies also need to consider the time associated with delivery of hardware when ordering the mobile card readers. There is a massive reliance on the post or courier service when requesting urgent back-up or replacement devices.

And this in addition to the expense in purchasing or renting these mobile card reader devices. For any company purchasing in bulk, there is a capex fee which adds up, and monthly support fees.

Instead of helping businesses move to card-only, mobile card readers are now thought of as the weak link in going cash-less.

No need for an additional device

This is why SoftPoS is the future. It means that companies can avoid additional costs both in money and time by downloading a card reading app onto an existing device, instead of buying a mobile card reader.

And, as mentioned earlier, mobile phones are the business hub for any small to medium size business.

Mobile phones live longer than mobile card readers

Significantly more care is taken when using mobile phones. Users are less likely to drop their mobile phone, than a light mobile card reader. They are careful with their mobile phones because if they break, the impact would be to more than just payments. Feedback from merchants is that mobile card readers are unreliable, flimsy and not looked after by their users. By switching to mobile phones, this reduction in misusage removes those issues – making them the perfect SoftPoS solution.

This, combined with a more robust technology. Mobile phones are far more advanced than mobile card readers. They are made to handle multiple applications at the same time. The screens are designed for reading large amounts of information. Their memories can hold GBs of data. And they are constantly being upgraded, updated and improved.

Time is money

While mobile card readers rely on bluetooth connectivity, mobile phones do not. Research has shown us that the time it takes to connect a mobile card reader to another device is often the biggest barrier for users.

There is the risk of the device failing to connect. And this is on top of the risk that there is no signal to take the payment even if the Bluetooth works.

Time is money and merchants can’t afford to waste time in this way.

Mobile phones use 4G and, now, 5G technology. This is why mobile phones work in areas that purely payment devices will not.

In summary

In summary, mobile card readers are soon to become a thing of the past. Mobile phones and SoftPos are the future.

Mobile phones are ergonomically friendly, economically efficient and, by far, best option for merchants looking for a better way of taking payments.