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The phone readers are available with either Bluetooth connectivity (called Vital-BT) or a headphone jack insert (called Vital-EMV.) Both options attach to your phone. The portable machine, the A920, is a handheld point of sale terminal/machine crossover with a 5” touchscreen.
This review focuses on the two phone readers. For more details on the portable machine, check out our Vital Mobile A920 review.
At the time of this review, the Vital solution is very new, and TSYS is still in the process of updating some details. That includes the Vital mobile app, which you won’t find under that name just yet. Instead, it’s in the Google Play app store as Mobile Payment Acceptance 3.0 offered by TSYS Merchant Solutions.
A TSYS rep confirmed to CardFellow that the company does plan to rebrand the mobile app to reflect the Vital name, but there’s no definite timeframe for when that will happen. In the meantime, TSYS confirmed that using Mobile Payment Acceptance 3.0 will work with your Vital-BT or Vital-EMV reader.
Only an Android version is available at the moment, but TSYS does anticipate launching an Apple-compatible app within the next few months.
The Mobile Payment Acceptance app offers basic features for accepting cards with a mobile device, including the option to swipe or hand key the card. Note that keying cards incurs higher costs and is less secure than swiping, so you should always swipe cards if possible.
The main menu shows your list of options, including the “register” button for ringing up sales, transaction history, customer database, and settings.
You’ll also have the ability to set up your product inventory, splitting items into categories for quick reference when ringing up a customer. In the screenshot below, you can see that items have been split into categories such as “card games,” “board games,” and “dice games.” This example even shows categories for beverages and food, allowing the example gaming store to easily offer snack options and ring them up in the same order. Not sure to which category an item belongs? The “search for products” option will help you find it quickly.
Options for adding new products are available right on-screen, letting you either enter details through the “create product” option. You can also scan barcodes.
Once you’ve added items to the customer’s order, you’ll see them listed in the top part of the register screen, along with any discounts that apply. The app totals the order for you, adding tax if you’ve set up the tax rates, and you can easily process, save, or cancel the order with a tap.
While mobile apps don’t offer the same detailed reports as more robust point-of-sale systems, you can still get information on your total sales and transactions. In the TSYS mobile app, the main report screen provides graphical information showing time of day that sales were made and gives the numbers on your daily sales totals, tip and tax amounts, and any discounts that were applied.
The current Mobile Payment Acceptance app may be updated with additional features when it’s rebranded as the Vital mobile app. TSYS confirmed to CardFellow that the company is looking at adding features over time for the Vital line of equipment. We’ll continue to update this profile as information becomes available, so be sure to check back regularly.
As mentioned earlier, TSYS offers two readers: Vital-EMV and Vital-BT. Despite the fact that only one reader has “EMV” in the name, both readers can accept chip cards in addition to magtripe cards. However, if you’re looking to accept contactless payments (such as Apple Pay) you’ll need to get the Vital-BT reader, as that’s the only one that supports contactless.
The readers boast end-to-end encryption for secure transactions. Currently available readers are compatible with Android devices, though TSYS anticipates broad availability of an Apple-compatible option before the end of 2018.
The costs for the Vital mobile readers vary depending on where you purchase them, but will likely run around $100. Businesses that purchase equipment through their processor in CardFellow pay close to cost or at cost to buy equipment.
In order to accept cards with the Vital readers, you’ll need a merchant account with a TSYS-compatible processor. Fortunately, many companies can support TSYS equipment.
If you’re interested in using the Vital readers, you can get quotes for processing and the equipment right here through CardFellow. Both TSYS itself and resellers that can offer TSYS equipment are members of CardFellow’s marketplace. Fill out our short information form to see instant quotes for free, with no obligation. Try it now!
The choice of readers is handy - if you don't have a headphone jack on your new phone, you'll still be able to use this solution with the Bluetooth reader.