Flint — Use Your iPhone Camera to Accept Credit Card Payments

Mobile payment processing is becoming increasingly popular, making it is easy for individuals to accept credit cards payments. These new offerings are ideal for individuals and small businesses, because the costs are low. Typically, there are no monthly fees and no merchant account is necessary. You simply pay a percentage of the transaction, and a very small transaction fee.

The most recent player is Flint, which received a lot of attention at the recent MacWorld/iWorld trade show in San Francisco. The app is free, and you pay just 2.95 percent and a $0.20 fee to process a credit card. To process debit cards, you pay 1.95 percent plus a $0.20 fee. Flint simply uses your camera to digitize the image of the numbers on the credit card. Note that it doesn't actually take a picture of the card, but captures the numbers and sends them in. No information is stored on your iPhone. As far as I know, this is the only service that lets you use your iPhone camera rather than attaching a dongle to your phone. Funds are deposited into your account within two business days. The app has a number of other features, including customized receipts and integrated social marketing. You can get everything set up in minutes. Learn more on Flint's website.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.