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Banking And Finance
Need to accept credit cards? There's an app for that

Consumers are not the only ones embracing mobile banking. Companies, especially small businesses, are taking advantage of mobile technology by using their smartphones to accept credit cards. It’s becoming more common to see a merchant using a tablet or phone to swipe a card through a small attachment on a mobile device.

Some current options:

• Square: Pioneered the idea several years ago (the company was subsequently bought by Starbucks). Fees are 2.75 percent per swipe or a $275 flat monthly charge (until a certain transaction total per month) and 3.5 percent plus 15 cents for keyed-in. No sign-up or annual fees, and free card reader is provided.

• PayPal Here: 2.7 percent per transaction (3.5 percent plus 15 cents for keyed-in) and free reader; doesn’t accept American Express. The iPad version has barcode scanning. Money is transferred into the merchant’s PayPal account (note that commercial PayPal accounts charge additional processing fees).

• Kitsap Bank: Mobile credit/debit card processing through PayFox. Sign-up is the same as for traditional merchant services, as are the fees.

• Columbia Bank: Mobile processing through ROAMpay. Sign-up and fees are the same as traditional merchant services (cost of device is less than a terminal).

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