Solutions for Mobile Merchants

Which Option is Right For Your Mobile Business?

It's getting to be a wireless world. Vantage offers solutions for mobile commerce merchants depending on your card transaction volume, how well you know your customer (how risk averse you are), cost factors, and coverage areas.  Please consider your use carefully and contact a Vantage payment advisor before making a decision.

Touch Tone Capture

Use your land line or cell phone to dial an 800 number then listen to the voice prompts to enter card and sale information to obtain an authorization code. Use your order form or make a manual imprint of the card for a signed sales receipt. Touch Tone Capture service costs just 30 cents a transaction and is best for merchants that will process a limited number of transactions and to avoid purchasing equipment, wireless activation and monthly wireless coverage fees. Card Not Present Interchange rates apply so as sales volume increases, merchants should consider moving to swiped card mobile solutions.

Store & Forward

Store & Forward, also know as Batch Authorization Mode, may be an option for merchants who are looking for swiped card rates but do not need real time approval codes either because they are simply taking orders and not delivering goods and services or because they know their customers and are willing to take the risk of declined transactions when authorizations are attempted at time of batch settlement.  In this sales environment, the card is swiped but no communication is available. While most wireless devices offer this service in situations where no wireless coverage is available at the location of the sale, merchants can purchase lower costs terminal units without wireless modems and capability as long as they have a power source at the point of sale. Store & Forward merchants willing to accept the risk can benefit from swiped card rates, lower terminal costs and no monthly wireless coverage fees.

Wireless Terminals

There are basically two types of wireless terminals - with a battery and without. And two examples of these are provided below. However, because the wireless technology used in these mobile terminals is only 2G and 2G towers are being replaced with 4G, we strongly recommend merchants consider Apple mobile devices (smart phones & tablets) instead of making investments in soon to be legacy wireless terminal systems.

  • For mobile merchants that need the functionality of a retail card processing terminal we recommend the Vx520 with battery. With an internal wireless modem and battery power, neither a phone line or power outlet is necessary to run credit card transactions. The Vx520 can operate on the PrePaid SIM wireless plans, greatly reducing the costs of wireless service. This unit has a built-in thermal printer and is preferred by merchants operating in a sales environment where multiple staff will need to operate the terminal, processing a high volume of transactions in a short time period. The Vx520 is a flexible, lightweight, handheld terminal that enables fast and secure transactions on a multi-application platform supporting a range of payment & value-added services.
  • For merchants who have access to power, we recommend the Vx520 without a battery, offering wireless connectivity and high-speed thermal printer to keep checkout lines on the move. This wireless countertop solution provides extraordinary performance in a sleek, compact design that can eliminate the need for a dedicated dial line and save the monthly dial line expense from the local phone company. Fixed wireless solutions provide merchants with the benefit of an always ready connection for faster transaction times verse dial up terminals. And the Vx520 can also operate on the PrePaid SIM wireless plans, greatly reducing the costs of wireless service.

Smart Phones & Tablets

Mobile smart phone and tablet devices are today's best choice for mobile merchants including kiosk merchants, home services (plumbers, electricians, air conditioner companies), outdoor concession or product (tshirts, tickets, etc) sales, flea market and trade show exhibitors, etc. These mobile payment applications offer free encypted card reader device to speed payment transaction acceptance that connects to Apple phones and tablets.

For business-to-consumer sales (B2C) consider:

  • Depending on your monthly card volume and the types of cards you accept (think regulated debit) your mobile solution decision will change.
  • Another consideration is adding mobile processing to your existing merchant account where you currently use a stand alone terminals, POS systems, virtual terminals or ecommerce payment gateways. For example Mobile readers can serve as a great 'back up' solution should your dial up or internet connection go down.
  • And for those who don't want just a payment application, we also have complete mobile POS solutions!

For business-to-business sales (B2B) we strongly recommend mobile payment solutions that meet Level 3 processing requirements.

For merchants who still accept paper check payments from their customers, this iPhone apps provides mobile RDC (remote check deposit) and guarantee.

To discuss your specific situation and the mobile payment application that will work best for you, please contact us at 800-397-2380 or at

Virtual Terminals

For merchants that already have a laptop computer with wireless connectivity that they use to run their business, a virtual terminal application (plus an optional mag-stripe reader via USB port for card present Interchange rates) is a way to avoid additional terminal purchases and duplicate wireless connectivity monthly fees. Depending on your sales environment, a virtual terminal may be a suitable replacement when a single operator runs limited transaction volume.

With PayTrace, merchants may also use their Virtual Terminal log on in conjunction with a USB card readers (Keyboard Emulation). Also, for added security and lower PCI compliance requiremenets, we highly recommend the MagTek encrypted card reader (part # 21073062?3) and a $35 annual encryption fee.


Merchants can use an all-in-one Internet sharing router with wireless access point and built-in 4-port 10/100 switch to connect up to four PCs or credit card terminals like the Vx520IP unit. Perfect for merchants to operate one or more credit card terminals or their laptop from a single wireless connection. Merchants can save money and purchase an IP Ethernet terminal instead of more expensive wireless credit card terminals. This portable network solution is quick and easy to setup, with little or no IT support using a Wireless-Router with a standard PC card slot for a Mobile Broadband Connection card (sold separately by your wireless carrier). Also note: for PCI compliance, merchants must have a secure router and IP connection for the POS device, not an open WiFi access point.

Making your Wireless Choice

Wireless is a fast evolving technology and a sensible choice for many merchants. Its portability is particularly applicable for service industries. Wireless units help merchants qualify for swiped "card present" transactions at the lowest possible Interchange rates. With instant approval and decline codes, completing secure transactions is quick and easy. Merchants facing financial losses from risk of fraudulent and declined cards would also benefit from wireless processing. Merchants who need extra fast transaction speeds or incur lost sales opportunities should move to a wireless system.

Selecting the right wireless solution also involves network coverage consideration, so always start by finding the coverage area that best meets your mobile merchant needs. Of course you can encounter reception problems with any mobile device due to location, weather, network traffic, terrain, signal strength, obstructions, building density, construction, environmental conditions, and other factors. Remember, there is no guarantee that coverage will be available from all spots.

We hope you will find this information helpful.  We look forward to working with you.