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Will Mamaroneck, Larchmont 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:

MAMARONECK, 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 such as smartphones and tablet computers to ring-up purchases. For businesses, It’s as simple as downloading an app on a 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.”

Francine Lucidon, who owns The Voracious Reader in Larchmont, said that for now, she's sticking with the traditional cash register.

"It looks appealing to me, and I'd want to find out more about it, but as as small business owner, I am doing too many things to even take the time to research it," she said.

Although, Lucidon uses a handheld device at book fairs and other events outside of the shop, the old method works for her.

"We can't lug our cash registers to off-site events, but I like our point-of-sale system; it's physically made for a book store, which has unique needs. Also, if it's not broken, why fix it?"

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