Comparing Mobile Payment Technologies: PayPal? Square? Verifone? A look at all three

As you may know, the market for allowing individuals and small businesses to accept credit card payment through mobile devices is really blowing up.  In fact, just this morning I saw a television commercial for Square’s mobile payment service. PayPal is even getting into the game with their ‘PayPal Here’ solution.

We’ve talked about Square a lot here, as well as Venmo and other ways for folks to pay (and get paid) on the go.  I’m excited about these technologies, because they empower individuals and small businesses through lowering their bar for credit card integration.  Now that the powerhouse of digital payments, PayPal, has entered the space, we can be pretty sure that this type of technology is here to stay. So, the only thing left to do is to compare them and see which fits best for you and your business.

So, how do these different providers stack up?  Both PayPal and Square charge about 2.7% (Square is actually 2.75%).  PayPal gives you 1% back when you sign up for their debit card.  Verifone Payware charges a flat $50 a year, but notes that ‘additional merchant fees may apply’.  Intuit GoPayment also charges 2.7% per transaction, but offers a 1.7% rate if you pay an additional thirteen dollars a month.  All of these technologies work on Android and iOS except Verifone, which is iOS only.  There’s also form factor to consider; Square is, of course, square.  It’s also very compact and fits easily on top of an iPhone.  Similar to Square is PayPal’s dongle; but to keep the brand unique, their device is shaped like a triangle.  Intuit is similar – just a dongle, but round this time.  Verifone again is the standout in the group; their solution is a docking station rather than a small plugin device.  I don’t like this as much because it’s just not as mobile.  All of the solutions have similar security standards so no matter which you pick, you should feel reasonably secure using it.

It seems as if most people are using Square at the moment, although PayPal has been dominant in this type of space in the past.  I would keep my eye on PayPal – I have a feeling that despite Square’s current popularity, PayPal may end up with the most popular solution in the end.  Have you used any of these solutions for your business?  Your thoughts in the comments.