Accounting software company FreshBooks rolled out an EMV/magstripe mobile credit card reader in the spring of 2016. We have a full review of the Freshbooks reader, but if you’re looking for more details, like how it stacks up to other options, this article is for you.
While there are plenty of mobile card readers (such as those available from Square, Authorize.Net, AnywhereCommerce, and more) FreshBooks is one of few that is offered by and directly integrates with accounting software. The main competitor in that arena is Intuit’s GoPayment, the mobile processing solution from the makers of QuickBooks. How do FreshBooks mobile and Intuit’s GoPayment mobile processing options compare?
- Settlement Time
- So who should I go with for mobile processing, FreshBooks or GoPayment?
- How are FreshBooks mobile and GoPayment different than Square?
- Can I use the FreshBooks or GoPayment mobile readers with other processors?
One downside to both FreshBooks and Intuit GoPayment is the cost to process cards. Neither option uses interchange plus pricing, meaning both can be more expensive than what you could be paying with competitive interchange plus. There are exceptions: businesses with small average transactions (under approximately $10) or those that only process a few thousand dollars per month will likely find flat rate pricing like FreshBooks mobile to be very reasonably priced compared to other options.
Visa and MasterCard:
Monthly fee: $19.95
FreshBooks utilizes a flat-rate pricing structure, similar to Square. Even ignoring the fact that you can likely get lower cost mobile processing with an interchange plus model offered by processors (including credit card processing companies that place quotes through CardFellow) the pricing noted above makes FreshBooks a bit more expensive than Square, PayPal Here, and other mobile solutions like the Clover Go.
Intuit GoPayment has previously used tiered pricing models, leading to opaque and expensive processing. The company now appears to offer a flat-rate structure, and doesn’t reference qualified, mid-qualified, or non-qualified transactions in their pricing disclosure. However, it’s worth noting that 1.6% is lower than the wholesale cost to process some cards, indicating that Intuit GoPayment may still be on a tiered model or have extra fees beyond the published rates. I contacted Intuit to inquire about this and received confusing replies, detailed in the article GoPayment – A Costly Mistake! Essentially, Intuit informed me of an additional fee for certain card types and then denied that there are additional fees. Intuit clearly stated that the only fees are the ones listed on their site, but quoted a fee not listed.
One possible explanation surfaces in the fine print of Intuit’s pricing disclosure, which states, “All fees stated in this Pricing Schedule are fees that Intuit charges you and are not fees charged to you directly by the card and payment networks.” It’s possible that Intuit’s published rates are on top of the wholesale costs of processing (that is, the interchange and assessment costs from banks and card brands) but this is not readily confirmed by Intuit, and would be a very expensive markup. Bottom line: We’re credit card processing experts and even we have difficulty figuring out exactly what Intuit is charging. It doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that Intuit can’t provide clear and direct information on their pricing, which should make anyone suspicious, especially given Intuit’s expensive pricing history.
Winner: FreshBooks due to greater transparency and the likelihood of costing less than GoPayment once Intuit’s extra fees are factored in, but neither are particularly competitive options.
Both companies offer an EMV-capable reader. With the EMV readers, you’ll be able to take both traditional magnetic stripe credit cards and the new EMV chip cards.
|FreshBooks EMV reader||Intuit GoPayment EMV reader|
|Compatibility:||Apple devices*||Apple and Android devices|
*FreshBooks has stated that they plan on adding support for Android devices, but have not provided a timeframe.
Winner: Intuit GoPayment, for greater device compatibility at a $1 price difference.
For deposits, FreshBooks and Intuit GoPayment offer fairly similar timeframes.
|2-5 business days||1-5 business days|
Winner: Intuit GoPayment, because of the possibility of 1 day funding although it’s likely to take longer.
So who should I go with for mobile processing, FreshBooks or GoPayment?
In our opinion: It depends – likely FreshBooks or neither of these options. FreshBooks is our suggestion if your business fits the profile likely to benefit from flat rate pricing. (Roughly, if you’re processing less than about $3,000/month in cards, or if your average transaction is less than about $10.)
In any event, we can’t in good conscience recommend Intuit GoPayment even if its reader is compatible with more devices and has the possibility of faster funding, simply because its pricing and practices have historically been deceptive and expensive. We haven’t seen anything to indicate that has changed with GoPayment.
FreshBooks, while more transparent, is still an expensive option for mobile outside of the conditions noted above. If mobile processing is a priority for your business, but you process a lot of card volume or have higher transaction totals, it’s worth your time to check out the mobile solutions available from processors that offer more competitive interchange plus pricing.
How are FreshBooks mobile and Intuit GoPayment different than Square?
The main difference is that FreshBooks mobile and Intuit GoPayment are both from accounting software companies and are designed to seamlessly integrate with those accounting programs. FreshBooks mobile processing integrates directly with FreshBooks cloud accounting, while Intuit GoPayment integrates with QuickBooks. For businesses that use those programs, there’s a lot of appeal to everything connecting easily.
However, Intuit does partner with Square. If you use Square and QuickBooks, Intuit’s partnership will allow you to easily integrate your Square transactions with your QuickBooks account.
Can I use the FreshBooks or GoPayment readers with other processors?
No. You can still use FreshBooks or QuickBooks accounting software and take credit card payments through another processor, but to use the FreshBooks mobile reader you’ll need to process with FreshBooks Payments (powered by WePay) and for GoPayment you’ll need to process with Intuit Payments.
If you’re looking for a mobile processor and don’t want to use FreshBooks or GoPayment, you can view more options with free quotes through the CardFellow credit card processing marketplace. Accounts are free, private, and only take a few minutes to set up. You can still use QuickBooks or FreshBooks accounting programs with other processors, so you get the best of both worlds: competitively priced credit card processing (even by smartphone) and the ability to keep your favorite accounting program. Sign up today.