Gone are the days when setting up a payment solution was a costly and painful exercise. Now there are a range of options that are a breeze to implement and run. Some can be set up completely online, with no need to visit a bank.
Obviously, different businesses need different solutions. Run a brick and mortar shop? One terminal permanently connected should do the trick. Operate online only? An online terminal connected to your website is perfect. Move around as a contractor? Mobile terminals or even an iPad can do the job. Here we outline the best options – there’s sure to be one to suit your business.
We’ve listed them by technology first – to give you an idea of what’s available. That should help you choose the best option for you. Then we’ve included a list of options by bank – as it’s likely your regular bank will have a solution that fits your needs. We’ve also included the newer, bank-independent options, which are often a handy, no-fuss solution.
This is probably the most familiar option. EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale) machines are secure and simple to use, allowing customers to swipe, insert or tap their cards against a reader for payments. They accept most cards and there are several options to cater for different types of businesses:
- Countertop machines. These machines are attached to your Point of Sale (POS) computer system via cords. They allow you to process card payments from a fixed location in your store, and they are stable and efficient even in areas of poor mobile reception. They are suitable for retail stores and professional offices where transactions are processed in one location.
- Mobile EFTPOS machines. These allow you to process payments wherever you go, which gives you a lot of flexibility. They are ideal for cafes and restaurants because you can process card payments where your customers are seated. They can also be convenient for delivery services or outdoor market stalls.
Smartphone and tablet credit card payment processing options
There is now a range of services and providers that allow you to process payments directly from your smartphone or tablet. This mobile option usually involves a card reader which you plug into your mobile device or an app you download and use for payments. You can also get a combination of both. Some popular smartphone and tablet payment processing choices include:
These products are compatible with iOS and Android devices and you can easily manage them with an app. They are convenient, mobile and suit sole traders and smaller businesses that trade on the go, such as vendors at a market, food trucks, plumbers, and electricians.
Mobile card readers
Westpac’s Mobile PayWay, the Commonwealth Bank’s Albert and Leo, PayPal Here and Flexigroup’s Paymate OntheGo are among your options for turning mobile devices into a credit card reader. Square is a major player in the US, and it may eventually turn its attention to Australia.
These services all rely on a small card reader that attaches to the mobile device. You’re still faced with various fees, so it’s important to crunch the numbers. But the fact you don’t need to pay for a traditional EFTPOS terminal could make them a more practical option for your business.
Apart from credit card readers, several financial institutions also let merchants accept card payments via a smartphone app, or via the web browser on almost any device.
Australian options include the Commonwealth Bank’s BPOINT Mobile, NAB Transact, ANZ Fastpay and Westpac’s PayWave Virtual Terminal. MasterCard is also launching a MasterPass trial in Australia, offering an electronic payment system that allows retailers to accept payments via a smartphone app.
The fact that these options are not reliant on a specific point of sale (POS) hardware might make them more practical for your business.
You’ll also find a growing number of consumer-focused smartphone apps and services designed to handle mobile transactions. Most aren’t as universal as the credit card system, but it’s worth considering whether they’re a viable alternative for your customer base.
You’ll need to do some research. The bank’s customer-focused mobile payment apps are often designed for transferring money between friends, but not for paying at the register.
Some apps are starting to take advantage of the short-range near-field communications (NFC) wireless features built into Android and Windows Phone 8 devices, which let you wave your phone at the counter similar to Visa’s payWave and Mastercard’s PayPass contactless credit cards.
The NFC-enabled Google Wallet works in the US but not yet in Australia. Of course, these payment methods require merchants to have an NFC-enabled terminal, which might not suit small businesses looking to keep things simple.
Apart from the financial heavy-hitters, it’s worth considering the new players in the mobile transaction space. PayPal is trialing in-store payments in Australia without the need for retail hardware, letting customers use their PayPal accounts to pay. Local alternatives include iCCPay and QPay.
Meanwhile Australia’s mHIT lets customers pay merchants via SMS. Both types of services have a range of overseas competitors, which are likely to turn their eyes to Australia as mobile payments become more common.
Options by bank
EFTPOS payment terminals and mobile phone payment terminals for payments made in-store or on the go.
Online internet payment solutions for eCommerce (ANZ Payment Gateway).
Medicare EasyClaim rebate processing for health industry professionals.
HealthPoint health fund rebate processing for health industry professionals.
To be more specific, ANZ’s EFTPOS terminals include the following devices:
ANZ FastPay Next Generation is the latest iteration of a small card reader that inserts into an Apple or Android smartphone’s audio jack, to receive contactless payments or chip insert payments. App sends receipts by email and SMS. A corresponding online desktop portal allows the merchant to resend customer receipts, view transaction history in detail, and export transaction reports to Microsoft Excel or.CSV files.
ANZ POS Turbo 2 is an EFTPOS terminal that processes contactless payments, as well as the ability to swipe or insert a chip card. Multiple communications methods (Dial-Up, GPRS or ANZ IP) provide a back-up in case of primary communication failure. Optional features include adding a tip (tipping).
ANZ POS Mobile 2 is a compact, portable payment terminal that connects through 3G to receive contactless transactions, or you can insert a chip card.
It’s also worth noting that in 2016, ANZ’s merchant services won the Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers Award for customer satisfaction in small business merchant services.
EFTPOS Mobile is a portable payment terminal.
EFTPOS Integrated is a larger payment terminal that links directly to your point of sale system to process transactions faster.
bpoint is an online payment solution that receives payments by EFT transfer, debit cards, and credit cards.
BPAY Biller payments system.
Bendigo Bank’s merchant services include options for face-to-face EFTPOS payments and out-of-sight payments such as BPAY, online website payment gateway, mail orders and telephone orders, and batch processing.
Bendigo’s options for receiving EFTPOS payments accept all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB.
redy is a compact, tablet-style, mobile payment terminal that links to an app on Apple or Android smartphones. Customers with the redy app earn Creds points that can be redeemed for rewards or donations to the charities they care about.
GoPOS mobile payment terminal allows contactless payments, as well as the ability to swipe or insert a chip card. Runs on Optus or Telstra GPRS network, and has an inbuilt thermal receipt printer.
GoPOS Lite is a more compact payment terminal that pairs to a free app on a smartphone. Suits businesses that are on the go or need a portable payment terminal (e.g. to take to tables in a restaurant).
Verifone EFTPOS is a large payment terminal featuring an inbuilt thermal receipt printer.
Integrated POS allows your EFTPOS payment terminal to be integrated with desktop Point of Sale (POS) software via IP or ADSL.
CommBank offers merchant services that can be used with different operating systems, whether your business payments happen online, in-store, or on the go. They offer an eCommerce online payment gateway, BPAY, direct debit, Lockbox and eLockbox for EFT transfers, and bpoint for online or telephone payments.
The three EFTPOS payment terminals available from CommBank are:
Albert is a tablet device that connects through 3G or Wi-Fi to receive contactless EFTPOS debit and credit payments. Albert accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Union Pay cards.
Emmy is a compact and portable payment terminal that uses Bluetooth to pair with your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet and receives contactless payments through the CommBank Small Business app. Perfect for market stall vendors.
Leo is a larger payment terminal that allows customers to make payment with a tap, swipe, chip insert, or PIN. It is compatible with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, and you can also use Pi to build your own custom apps to process payments the way you like.
NAB’s merchant payment services include the following:
NAB EFTPOS Mobile is a portable payment terminal that connects to an app on Apple or Android smartphones. Customers can tap, swipe, or insert a chip card.
NAB EFTPOS Countertop is designed to stay at the counter with a fixed register terminal. Customers can tap, swipe, or insert a chip card.
NAB EFTPOS Integrated is an integrated payment terminal that connects to a point of sale system. Customers can tap, swipe, or insert a chip card.
eCommerce online payments system
BPAY, direct debit, and NAB RentCard payments system.
Cards accepted as payment methods are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, UnionPay, and EFTPOS.
Payment solutions from St.George Bank include:
Mobile PayWay is St.George’s most popular option according to their website. This compact, portable payment terminal connects to a smartphone or tablet device to receive a contactless tap, swipe, or chip insert payments.
EFTPOS 1 Machine is a stand-alone, cordless countertop payment terminal that connects over 3G with backup communication options. It allows contactless tap, swipe, or chip insert payments.
EFTPOS 1i is an integrated payment terminal and desktop point of sale system.
eCommerce solutions: Hosted Payment Page monitored via Merchant Administration Console (MAC) online banking portal, specialized solutions, or third-party provider solutions.
Customised solutions for more complex business needs can be accessed by contacting St.George Bank directly.
Westpac offers merchant services including:
EFTPOS 1 Mobile and EFTPOS 1 Stand-alone are two portable, cordless payment terminals that enable contactless tap, swipe, or insert chip payments. They connect via IP/Ethernet, Wi-Fi, 3G and dial-up, with backup communication options.
EFTPOS 1i is a payment terminal integrated with your point of sale system.
Mobile PayWay is Westpac’s most popular product according to their website. This compact, portable payment terminal is enabled for contactless tap, swipe, or insert chip payments, and connects via Bluetooth to an app on your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet device.
Westpac-hosted PayWay enables payments through the eCommerce store on your website (PayWay Net) and over the phone (PayWay Phone).
Virtual Terminal app then turns your computer or tablet device into a EFTPOS terminal so that you can accept phone, fax, or mail orders online.
PayWay API allows you to customise and integrate your phone sales, website, or business software with your credit card payments.
Third party payment gateway is another option for receiving online payments.
Recurring billing and batch payments enabled via direct debit, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB.
Other Small Business Solutions
PayPal has merchant services for almost every way you can imagine getting paid:
PayPal Here is a compact, portable payments terminal connected to a mobile app that uses data or Wi-Fi to process payments to a PayPal account, so you can take payment in person on the go or in-store. The card reader is enabled for customers to tap, swipe, or insert a card.
Online website payments are made using “Check Out with PayPal” buttons that you put on your website checkout. Options include Website Payments Standard, Express Checkout, Website Payments Pro-Hosted Solution, or Payflow.
With the Virtual Terminal, your computer or tablet device becomes the EFTPOS terminal so that you can accept phone, fax, or mail orders online.
Set up your store on eBay with PayPal.
Recurring billing services can be set up with Payflow.
Stripe is a relatively new addition to the Australian market in terms of payments infrastructure. It offers software solutions built for developers so that you can customise the apps for the payments you receive:
Online payments integrated into your own website’s checkout, so your customer doesn’t have to leave your website to make payment.
Mobile payments app – Stripe can be connected to a PayPal account, and it can be linked to Xero Accounting Software to make bookkeeping and keeping track of transactions easier.