Taking credit cards

Hello all-

It has been a while since this was discussed and the technology moves
so fast…I would like to process credit cards without a phone line.
Can anyone recommend a cellular (or other) processor that has worked
well for them and is not too pricey. I do craft shows, inside and
out, and I have the occasional order over the phone or wholesale
account who wants to pay with a card.

dear connie, the modern world of the jetsons will soon be apon
us…treo phones will soon be avaliable. this is a sled that hooks
up to a cell phone and can swip a card, you will get the swipe rate,
and you can take it with you to shows. however we still have some
waiting for this to be avaliable. i use to have an old bag phone, it
was analog, that is the kind of signal the standared swipe machine
wants, but who uses a bag phone for anything but shows? also it was
another cell phone bill. but I did get the swipe rate by using it.
right now what I am doing at shows is calling them in on my little
flip phone and getting an approval code…i know that the card is
good, i finish ringing it when i get home. and my rate is alittle
higher because it is a key in rate…i also get a phone number. the
other thing that comes in handy and sometimes helps with lowering the
rate is to get their zip code and v code from the back of the card.
check with your merchant account holder and see if this will lower
your rate. my cell phone company is verizon, they have the widest
coverage. however cingular has the norit 8000 wireless, it will cost
you about $1000 and about $19.95 a month.

I’m wating on the new treo style phones to become avaliable. until
then I stay up at night dreaming of getting a retina scan from my
customers and charging it to their new world order account…but i
guess that is because i have been in jamacia for the last 10 days
with a beautiful woman researching which way smoke blows on the

nice to see you on orchid Connie, I was thinking about your pencils
this morning.

wayne werner

The Ohio Arts and Crafts Guild offers a program that is very
reasonable, you can use phone, processor, and maybe even your
computer. google them… Membership is required for the deal, but
the membership isn’t very expensive. You don’t even have to live in
Ohio to be a member.

the modern world of the jetsons will soon be aponus…treo phones
will soon be avaliable. this is a sled that hooks up to a cell phone
and can swip a card, you will get the swipe rate, and you can take
it with you to shows. however we still have some waiting for this to
be avaliable.

Actually, it’s already here, I saw one in use at a Sugarloaf show in
January. I’ve been using a Rim950 for 4 years…it’s a Blackberry
with a swiper attached, uses wireless service and gets you an
instant approval or if you have no cellular service in an area, it
takes the swipe and stores the info for sending when you do have

Donna in VA

Connie - A general answer is to google for wireless merchant
processing. That will get you a bunch of contacts, it will also get
you some pretty good explanations of how merchant processing works.

These are the things to consider - first is the merchant processor
willing to support none store front business? Then - compare rates -
card present vs keyed. What are the rates you are charged when you
are not doing business? What are the different rates for business
cards, rewards cards? How are your funds transferred to you, and with
what delay? What is the per item charge, batch close charge, report
charge? Being a small business, you will have to personally guarantee
your account so a good credit rating is essential.

Then you would look for an appropriate processing terminal. Be aware
that there are lots of ways to go wireless - radio, cellular -
digital and analog, and more. Do not get stuck with equipment from
ebay that runs on outdated and unavailable wireless protocols - CDPD
comes to mind.

What I did to find a merchant processor is to ask other carnies
(those who stand in tents doing shows) who and what they use. I
checked with my credit union about who their small merchants used. I
currently use a Nurit 3010 with Cingular encrypted cellular service.
I had the choice of maybe 10 different wireless options - and had to
review which ones were available in locations where I typically do
shows. Some of the out of the way areas, like rural North Dakota, and
in Colorados high mountain valleys have limited availability of
cellular service. Check it out before you buy.

And especially - do some serious comparison shopping before just
calling your bank and telling them that you want merchant processing
capability. In my experience, banks have about the highest rates
around. When I checked the merchant services my credit union offers,
I found out that they don’t provide support on weekends - duh! When
do I do shows? There are lots of other alternatives. Ask others in
your business. Sams club and Costco offer merchant processing but
when I last checked, they didn’t understand about wireless
processing. Sams club tried to sell me a CDPD terminal after the
service had been discontinued.

Rant follows:: And here is my gripe about merchant processing - if
you take more than Master Card and Visa, you will go nuts trying to
reconcile your Discover card, Amex and MC/Visa deposits to receipts
by day. And then when you are charged the discounts, it’s a nightmare
to balance it all out. I absolutely hate that part. But I’m grateful
that I have receipts to balance.

Judy Hoch

Check out Automated Merchant Services 2050 Warwick Hills - Suite
213 Orlando, FL 32826 Phone: David Korn, 407-282-6070 

This is the company I use and I am very pleased with them…low
rates, use a “knuckle buster”, call in on the cell phone at shows to
authorize, no “store front” required, no monthly minimums, good
service, credit for referrals (mention my name!). All you need to
provide to them is your Dept. of Revenue Certificate of Registration,
current resale certificate (sales tax), voided business check (to
identify your bank acct.), promotional printed material about your
business, site photos to include a street address of your studio and
one of your work space and computer area. Hope you find a cocmpany
that is a good fit for you. These guys are perfect for me. Sales
increased dramatically once I started accepting cards!


My lease recently expired for my nurit 3010 terminal & I am w/out a
way to accept VISA. I must make a decision w/in the next week or so.
I have been researching wireless credit card terminals because I have
gotten used to the ease with which they work. I have heard that some
machines will store the data if you cannot get a signal inside a
building then automatically send the cc info for a swiped rate. So I
am looking at the asap 610 for $1200 w/$30 in fees/mo,& 2% rate or
possibly going with a cell phone system, but then I have to buy the
printer swiper, $400, the phone, then I will need the premium web
package $20/mo on my nextel,the fees & rates are slightly less, but I
might get better signal, its lighter weight, I might like having the
web at my finger tip - piggybacking function although it is not really
necessary. Has anyone heard of running transactions on a blackberry?
My nurit 3010 worked fine usually but I was paying quite a bit. It
did last a long time whereas cell phones last for about 2 years then
w/the speed of new technology and the wear & tear you have to replace

Is there anyone out there who uses a nextel cell phone to do
transactions at craft shows? a Blackberry? Anyone using a great
wireless system with reliable processing company and reasonable
rates? I have looked into a few ads from the back of ArtFair Source
Book but have not made a decision yet. Should I spend $1200 for a new
asap 610? Does anyone want to comment on this machine?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated!


I have the Blackberry with swiper. It is a RIM 950 and I’ve had it
for 4 years. I bought it outright, no renting, for $400 and $350 for
the receipt printer to go with it. My service costs $30 per month
($15 of that is for the wireless service by Cingular). If reception
is bad, I can swipe and transmit later.

Donna in VA


My research on wireless terminals is steering me toward purchasing a
Nurit 8000, possibly thru Merchant Warehouse ?? $769 and then trying
to find a reliable processing company with competitive rates…if
anyone out there has a processing company they love, let me know. I
have Universal and I am paying a lot of fees!

I am not sure about the Blackberry, I found a company where for $699
I can purchase the Blackberry 7290, & sled (printer, swiper unit) but
the fees come out to about $50 more per month with the T-mobile plus
mobilecharge fees. Although I would like to rationalize its
expandable uses, with www & email capabilities…that’s still a lot
per month extra- I would not be able to use it as a phone.

If there is anyone familiar with these two options or if you know of
a great deal with processing companies just let me know.


Hi Kate,

I just finished a show in the New Orleans area and had wonderful luck
running credit cards on a blackberry. This was my first show using
the new setup and I was pleased with it. I saw other merchants also
doing well with the new Way setup. While the folks with the
expensive new Nurit spent most of their time doing what I call “the
merchant dance” (hold the machine over your head and stand on one
foot :slight_smile: trying to get a signal.

My setup comes through Sprint (other companies are offering similar
setups, but they were the cheapest for my area), with the little
palm pilot and printer terminal. I can clip the whole setup to my
belt and walk around talking to customers outside the booth while
using it. The customers thought it was cool to sign with the
stylus on the screen, and I felt secure not having to keep track of
all the little slips of signed transactions. It has web access, so
I was able to show photos from my website (all while having it
clipped to my belt), which helped cinch a few custom orders. I
know the Way setup was a lot less costly, but for my custom order
business, having the web access on the palm pilot has already paid
for itself.

Hope this helps.
Best regards,
Lyn Punkari


I am very happy with my system. I use Retriever Systems. I have a
Tranz 420 which stores my sales at shows, then I send the batch to
them at the end of the day. If I need instant approval on a big
ticket item, I call them and get a phone authorization. They require
no minimum monthly sales, just a flat $10/mo. fee, and roughly 2%
rate. The Tranz 420 cost about $800 a few years back. You can
contact me off lisst if you want more info.


Wayne werner here again…I miss wrote earlier, yes the jetson era
is upon us now but it is not perfected…or am I wrong? there are
cell phones with sleds avaliable now but as I understand they do not
work with the verizon network yet…you have to go with t-mobile,
cingular, or sprint, I am told that verizon has the best service by
far. so I really want verizon to be my cell phone company.

someone asked about the ASAP 610, this is the sled dock for your
cell phone, a creditcard processor friend of mine gave it a very bad
report. it is made in eastern europe and still has a few bugs in
it…and it is not cheap.

I would like to know what the black berrys use for a signal.

untill I here or a solid cell phone company and a reliable wireless
phone commpany teaming up, i think i will stick with my old way. that
is calling in the card for the authorization and ringing it up when i
get home. that is just me, I make about 50% of my business at shows
and i only do about 10-20 sales a show, my work is alittle on the
high end side. I do pay a slightly higher rate by doing this.

Is it really worth spending close to $1000 or a new machine that
will be out of date in 2-3 years?

lets keep this on rolling…

Type in google “cellular credit card authorization”

I found this:


David Geller

JewelerProfit, Inc.
510 Sutters Point
Atlanta, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565 Voice
(404) 252-9835 Fax


Please call Better Business Bureau and ask for complaints against
this company before using them.

We had an account with them. Their salesperson lied. They had
numerous complaints for misleading the customer on how to close the
account with no penalty. They would make it confusing and difficult,
and the customer ended up with a fine of $300 for following their
instructions, and then they tell you that you did not.

They treated me crappy, saying the only reason I had them to process
my account was because no one else would because I was a high risk,
absolutely not true. This was after several years of using them,
over half a million in sales, I think them collecting their
percentage and fees should merit a little respect.

But nooooo!!! But I got them. Charged $300, closed my bank account,
they tried to collect, put it on my credit report, I told credit
reporting company what happened, it was taken off. And it was worth
what I went for not for the money, but for the satisfaction. I also
called their representitives and told them how many complaints were
against the company, and why, and asked them how they could work for
a company that treated their customers that way. I told them to call
the BBB if they did not believe me.

Cardservice International operates behind a lot of credit card
processing companies and banks. When you ask some companies who does
the processing, It’s them.

I work hard enough as it is, I don’t like being taken advantage of.

When getting a card processing company, get any promise in writing.do
not believe salespeople, they don’t know or lie. The biggest lie they
tell is saying there is no cancelation fee. Most do, some do not.
But the sales person always says there is not one. Get it in writing
from the headquarters.

Rant over, Richard Hart