Cash may be king, but cards are easier - except when purchasing something from a small business with no brick-and-mortar location (think food trucks, craft vendors and artists). Before, you'd have to make a run to your nearest ATM - but now, there are new mobile payment options offered by some merchants. Here’s a look at four solutions available in Canada.

PAYD and PAYD PRO (By Moneris)

The PAYD app and accompanying Moneris PAYD card reader enables Canadians to accept credit card payments via their smartphones or tablets wherever they access to WiFi or mobile data. PAYD PRO takes mobile payment processing a step further, allowing debit payments as well. Customers can add tips and receive receipts via email, and funds are transferred to a business owner’s account within one to two business days. PAYD and PAYD PRO use the same app, but different card readers. The PAYD PRO reader is a PIN pad that connects to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth and can process chip cards.

Compatible with: Most Apple devices (with iOS 6.0 or later) and Android devices (with 4.2 or later)

Credit/debit: Credit only (PAYD), credit and debit (PAYD PRO)

Fees: 2.65% per swipe or 2.85% plus $0.15 for transactions that are entered manually (PAYD). The same credit card fees apply for PAYD PRO, while debit transactions are free. A monthly $19.95 fee applies for PAYD PRO.


Square is arguably the highest-profile of all the providers, thanks to its co-founder Jack Dorsey, a.k.a the co-founder and CEO of Twitter. Owners can process Visa, MasterCard and American Express payments via their phones or tablets with the Square app and Square magstripe reader (free when users sign up for Square online). Customers can sign for their purchases (and add a tip) on the device and can receive their receipt either by text or email. Bonus: business owners can accept payments in “offline mode” when an internet connection is unavailable. Funds are transferred to a business owner’s account within one to two business days.

Compatible with: Most Apple devices (with iOS 7.0 or later) and Android devices (with 4.0 or later)

Credit/debit: Credit only Fees: 2.75% per swipe or 3.5% plus $0.15 for transactions that are entered manually

Extras: Square also offers a stand for iPads ($99) that can be used as a countertop PoS system, with the ability to connect a cash drawer, receipt printer and barcode scanner. It also offers vendor solutions for invoicing, employee management and gift cards.

Intuit GoPayment

Intuit offers GoPayment, a free credit card reader and app for iPhone and iPad. Customers can add a tip, provide an electronic signature and receive a receipt by email or text message. Business operators receive funds within two to four business days.

Compatible with: Most Apple devices (with iOS 8.0 or later)

Credit/debit: Credit only

Fees: Pricing varies depending on the plan selected. Under the “pay-as-you-go” plan, the swipe rate is 2.7% per swipe and 3.3% for transactions that are entered manually. The “pay monthly and save” plan costs $9.95 a month but has a lower swipe rate of 1.69% and a manual transaction rate of 2.3 % for Visa and 2.32% for MasterCard. Monthly minimums and card brand fees also apply

First Data Mobile Pay Plus

The First Data Mobile Pay Plus app and Bluetooth pin pad accept both credit and debit payments via iPhone and Android phones. An enhanced iPad version will be launching later this year. Customers receive receipts by email and business owners receive funds within days.

Compatible with: iPhone (with iOS 7.0 or later) and Android phones (with 2.3.3 or later)

Credit/debit: Credit and debit

Fees: $15 per month, plus 2.5% and $0.10 per credit card charge, or $0.10 for debit payments.

Jaclyn Tersigni

Jaclyn Tersigni is a Toronto-based writer and editor. She's written on everything from tea sommeliers to motorcycle-riding granddads to regifting etiquette. With a journalism degree from Ryerson University, she got her start at ELLE Canada and The Globe and Mail. Her interests and hobbies include all things ocean-related (notably, the beach, oysters and surf culture), overbuying used books and clothing, riding her bike all over town and, most importantly, music old and new.

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