August 27, 2016

Freshbooks Card Reader Is On Its Way


freshbooks card reader

The credit card reader market is getting more crowded as everyone from banks to online retailers deploy their version of the technology. With so many options, new comers have to differentiate themselves by addressing a particular segment, and delivering all the bells and whistles that are being offered by the competition.

The FreshBooks card reader looks to make good on both counts by taking its popular cloud accounting software designed exclusively for service-based small business owners and seamlessly integrating it into its reader.

In December of 2015 the company announced the Freshbooks credit card reader to the world, and after almost three months of perfecting the device, it has launched the FreshBooks credit card reader.

The Freshbooks Card Reader

The FreshBooks card reader is equipped with dual chip-and-swipe technology to accept the old magnetic stripe and the new EMV chip cards, which takes care of the most used systems in the world.

The Freshbooks card reader comes out of the box ready for use, the company says. So all you have to do is plug it into iPhone’s audio jack and you can start processing payments in less than a minute. It uses the FreshBooks Payments system to accept Visa, MasterCard and Amex cards.

Processing fees for Visa and Mastercard will cost 2.7 percent plus 30 cents per transaction, and American Express holders will be charged 3.4 percent plus 30 cents per transaction.

FreshBooks’ Differentiator

Currently there are less than a handful of companies with credit card readers created by financial service companies. FreshBooks is the brainchild of Mike McDerment, who was looking to make accounting applications more efficient and user friendly for service-based small business owners.

After three and a half years of developing the software in his parents’ basement, McDerment and his team created a solution that has, to date, been used by more than 10 million people in 120 countries around the world. The software has a 97.3 percent customer satisfaction rate, and it saves its users 192 hours annually.

The integrated FreshBooks reader automatically records payments and transaction fees, deposits into your bank account and sends receipts of payments to your customers. And it also makes the company’s accounting solution readily available for professional added services.

This is what FreshBooks provides in its reader, a proven accounting solution and a ready established customer base of 10 million plus users.

The Competition

As mentioned previously, the market is being flooded with card readers so which one you choose depends on what services best integrate with rest of your operations. The company with the biggest brand recognition is Square, which uses Intuit’s QuickBooks for its accounting application. There are also readers from Clover, Etsy, Pogo and many others.

The beauty of mobile credit card readers is that they allow individuals and small businesses the flexibility to take payments from anywhere with all the features of traditional POS systems. When choosing your credit card reader, take your time and find a company that integrates all of the features you need in one solution. After all, the point of using this technology is to simplify the way you do things, not complicate them unnecessarily.

The FreshBooks credit card reader is now available for $29 for iPhone. The company is working on the Android version.

Image: FreshBooks

2 Comments ▼
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Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

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2 Reactions

  1. Martin Lindeskog

    In Europe you have evolved to the next step, money transactions from an app (Swish) directly to the receiver’s bank account. The transaction is secured and controlled via an identification app called BankID.

    iZettle and other card readers will have a battle with this kind of service.

  2. Michael Guta

    Hi Martin,

    I am not aware of this solution, but it shows the evolution of the technology. The only device we will eventually need will be a smartphone.

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