Receiving credit card payments on the road — whether it's door-to-door or on a trade show floor — can be a frustrating task. Old-fashioned mechanical readers (known as addressographs) are insanely bulky, and leave you with a mass of paper to contend with at the end of each day. Dedicated electronic card readers are generally bulkier and often require a power source and an internet connection to function. These issues make the ProPay MicroSecure Card Reader look pretty inviting.
The MicroSecure Card Reader weighs 40 grams and fits into a shirt pocket. Its internal battery lasts for up to eight hours on a single charge, letting you store up to 71 transactions until you get back to your PC to upload and process them via ProPay's transaction processing service at ProPay.com. The reader is USB driven and when connected to your laptop, you can use it to process live transactions as long as you're connected to the web.
The ProPay card reader sells for US$150 (NZ$266), and requires a $5 monthly service fee in conjunction with ProPay's fairly standard account fees and transaction processing fees, which are in line with the fees of other major card processing companies.
While the card reader performs admirably when connected to a laptop, where you can enter transaction details directly into your business's customised ProPay account page, its small size does come with two inconvenient trade-offs: there's no screen and there are no keys. So when you're making sales on the road, you'll need to keep a receipt book with you to hand out transaction records and keep track of your actual transactions. All the card reader records is the card account data. When you get back to the office, you'll need to key in the rest of the information for each transaction. However, that minor hassle is the trade-off for a tiny card reader that offers customers the assurance their card details are secure when they buy from you.