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Will New Rochelle Businesses Switch To Mobile Checkout?

More retailers are using smartphone credit card readers in the checkout process.
More retailers are using smartphone credit card readers in the checkout process. Photo Credit:

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Cash registers may soon be history because, like most personal and professional tasks, there’s now an “App” for that.

Retailers across the country, and in Westchester, are using mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers to ring-up purchases. For businesses, it’s as simple as downloading an app on their mobile device, attaching a small credit card reader to the headphone port and linking the service to a bank account to transfer funds from the customer’s card to the business’s bank.

To do this, businesses need to choose a mobile payment service, such as Square or Intuit. PayPal entered the market in March 2012 with PayPal Here. These companies charge the business a fee for every swipe of a card.

“It’s quite efficient,” said John Ravitz, vice president of the Business Council of Westchester. “You’re working with someone to buy the item and then they’re actually checking you out, rather than having to wait online. I’ve seen it work at Apple.”

When you enter the Apple store in The Westchester Mall, the person who helps you find an item can also help you pay for that item using his or her iPhone.

“I don’t know if smaller businesses like mom and pops could actually do that,” Ravitz said. “But it will be interesting to see if that Apple model can be drilled down into other areas.”

Eli Gordon, executive director at the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce, said he's seen it before but doesn't know which local businesses have adopted it or are thinking of doing so.

"We use it sometimes at Chamber events where there are lots of merchants, but it hasn't been incorporated into many New Rochelle businesses as far as I know," he said. "For those that have a brick-and-mortar establishment, a cash register is just as easy. And maybe some people prefer to get the printed receipt. But still, I think it's a fantastic idea."

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