New payment choices
HSBC has unveiled a new product aimed at sole traders and freelancers who want to accept credit and debit payments from customers. The initiative will improve competition in an area where freelancers’ choices are currently quite limited.
The bank’s Merchant Services division has produced a new device that enables freelancers to take payments via their smartphone’s internet connection. The device will also work with other internet-connected mobile devices such as tablet computers.
The device, developed in conjunction with technology company eMerit Solutions, enables freelancers to take payments from clients based anywhere in the world, provided that they have a debit or credit card. The bank said it expected the new product to be particularly popular with contractors who spend much of their working lives at sites or moving between offices.
The product is likely to be seen as a rival to similar devices available from Sage, the small business payment services specialist.
Chris Davies, the director of HSBC Merchant Services, said he believed the devices would prove convenient for freelancers but could also improve their businesses.
“The current economic climate has resulted in increased pressure on sole traders to retain loyal customers,” he said. “By accepting credit, debit and gift card payments through smartphones and mobile devices, the eMerit device gives merchants the ability to process payments that will ultimately drive forward repeat business - quickly and easily.”
By David Prosser, Editor of Freelancing Matters magazine