The yoga studio I teach at does not take credit cards. We have a special situation. The kind where we are all self-employed, so it’s a co-op type of a deal. We don’t even have a phone line hooked up down there because we really don’t need it. We all carry cell phones and thank goodness we’ve never needed to use them in the case of an emergency.
I’d been reading online about the mobile credit card readers. I’d considered getting one for my laptop, but then I’d have to always have that with me. And since I have a Blackberry, I don’t need to carry around a laptop, that’s for sure. I’ve had a paypal account for an eternity, and sometimes students will pay online using that service. Their fees are starting to suck though so maybe we can do away with that here pretty quickly.
My husband asked me why I needed this. I told him it was because I have several appointments at different hotels during the day while he’s at work and this way, I can accept payment for my services. He said, “Oh, OK.” Then he said, “What?” He also has trouble hearing and listening to me anyways, so I thought it was quite funny. So did he.
I decided to upgrade my phone because I hadn’t had a new phone in like 6 years. I know, I know. I loved the phone that I had. It was tiny and it worked all the time. It didn’t matter if you dropped it on the concrete. It was tough. It was a Samsung. But since I hadn’t had a new phone in forever…….you know the sales pitch here I’m sure. I was eligible for a new phone for much less cash up front that I could’ve imagined. I went for it and upgraded my Blackberry. I’d purchased a used one from a friend for $30, just to see if I wanted one. And I like it. I like it a lot. In order to actually swipe credit cards on my phone, I had to upgrade. Otherwise, I’d have to punch in all of those numbers and who wants to do that right? Not me.
My new phone arrived, but the swiper was to come later. In the meantime I was punching in credit card numbers as students paid for classes. I even sold some props to some people in my class off location and I could just take payment right then and there. It’s been pretty sweet even without the reader. When my card reader arrived I went to download the actual mobile application for my phone. Low and behold, I couldn’t download the application. What? I have a new phone what could be the problem?
After several phone calls to tech central, I found the problem was this. My new phone was so new that the application wasn’t available yet. No way. Could I be so high techo after being so low techno after all this time? Why yes, yes I am. My new phone uses a different operating system called OS6, the other phones that were compatible were OS5. I am happy to say, I was one of the first people to encounter this problem as the tech folks scrounged to figure out what in the heck was going on. They said it would be 3 months before this application would be available. What? No way. Three months of punching in credit card numbers, blech. Not really. I don’t make a million bucks doing this job, trust me. I would punch away and be patient.
By surprise within one week, I had an e-mail informing me that the mobile application was now available for my phone. I downloaded it right away and plugged the swiper into my audio jack. I immediately swiped my own Discover (just try to guess the rest of those numbers, I dare ya) and shazam, I paid myself right there while I sat in my comfy chair. The swiper and the service are FREE. The credit card fees are tiny, like .20 on a $10 transaction. Within three days (or less) I have the money, minus the fees in my personal bank account.
This is a very handy service. And if you happen to meet with Charlie Sheen at some fancy hotel every now and then, I’m sure you already know how convenient this is. In the tradition of Night At The Roxbury with Will Farrell and Chris Kattan, you could swipe it all night long.
Intuit Gopayment, check it out.