The iCharge mobile card reader is a headphone jack card reader originally designed to compete with Square in the European market. No longer limited to Europe, it works with the SwipeSimple app and lets you accept credit cards wherever you are, using your smartphone or tablet.
Velocity Merchant Services (VMS), who also offers the Clover Go card reader, is the primary processor that pushes iCharge. VMS bills the iCharge reader as being secure, rugged, and responsive. Is it right for your business? Here’s what you need to know about the iCharge reader with SwipeSimple.
In order to use an iCharge reader, you’ll need the SwipeSimple app (developed by CardFlight), which means you’ll need to set up a merchant account. SwipeSimple does not provide a list of compatible processors, so you may have more choices than with a proprietary reader.
The SwipeSimple app offers a number of features. On the payments side, you can accept credit and debit cards, record cash sales, capture signatures on screen, automatically calculate taxes due, set custom tip amounts to prompt customers to add a tip, and refund transactions. In addition, you don’t need an Internet connection to process transactions, which is great for those times when you’re not able to get a wifi connection.
On the business management side, you can customize how your inventory is displayed within the app, send your customers branded and customized e-receipts, and have multiple accounts under one login.
The iCharge card reader plugs into your Android or Apple mobile device through a standard headphone jack. Currently, only a magnetic stripe version is available, meaning you won’t be able to accept chip credit cards unless you run them as magstripe cards. Remember that running a chip card using the magnetic strip means you’ll be liable for any fraud that occurs.
SwipeSimple is PCI compliant. It uses 256-bit extended validation to encrypt transactions, which is the highest level of encryption you can use. It also utilizes a security mechanism called HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS). HSTS ensures that browsers only interact with SwipeSimple over HTTPS, which is the most secure connection available.
The moment you swipe a credit card, the data becomes encrypted. It stays that way until after it reaches a supported payment processor. SwipeSimple’s infrastructure for transmitting credit card numbers is completely separate from the infrastructure used for its website or APIs. Moreover, security personnel monitor physical access to those servers 24/7. Anyone who wants to access those servers needs to pass multiple levels of authentication, including biometric scans. SwipeSimple’s servers don’t store any transaction data, except for the last four digits of the card, the cardholder’s name, and the card’s expiration date.
When you use iCharge with SwipeSimple, you’ll have access to real time reporting. The reporting features include the ability to view transaction details and see which of your products are top-sellers.
You’ll need to get quotes for pricing if you’re interested in using iCharge with SwipeSimple. The processing company that you work with will ultimately have control over the pricing to use this mobile solution. The cost for the card reader itself will also vary, depending on where you purchase it. Some processing companies may choose to offer readers free of charge when you sign up for a merchant account specifically for taking credit cards using your mobile device.
|Features||iOS compatible, Android Compatible|
Review posted: 01/21/17
Title: Basic mobile reader
Works with the SwipeSimple app for taking credit cards on the road.