New mobile technologies mean better cashflow is on the cards

chip and pin card machinesMany small businesses are benefiting from being able to accept instant card payments through their smartphones

Credit and debit cards have been in use for more than half a century yet they have, until now, made little impact on the cashflow of small businesses.

Card-reading terminals are expensive for banks to provide to merchants and so monthly rental fees, plus the cost of a dedicated phoneline, can equate to a monthly bill well in excess of £50. Contracts typically tie businesses to a provider for two years or longer and so small companies do not have a cost-effective way to discover if the boost to cashflow offsets the set-up costs.

This could be about to change, however, with the introduction of several systems that do not follow the traditional model of fixed card readers which are supplied with monthly rental bills. Instead they use the processing power of modern smartphones to accept credit and debit card payments with very little, or no, upfront cost and no contractual tie-in period.

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