FAQ



What is CardFlight?


CardFlight provides tools to mobile app developers that make it easy for you to incorporate mobile payment acceptance into your own mobile apps.

With CardFlight, you can create a secure payments solution for your mobile app, using your existing merchant account(s). We handle everything from security to integration with your merchant account. Getting started is easy.


What does CardFlight provide?


CardFlight’s solution has three components:

  • Encrypted magnetic stripe readers - “Swipers” that fit in the audio jack of most smartphones or tablets.
  • Native iOS and Android software development kits – makes it easy for developers to quickly add payment acceptance, integrated with the rest of their app’s functionality and data, and matched to their user experience.
  • A payment gateway that supports 23 different processors – CardFlight clients can continue to use their favorite merchant account(s) or work with accounts from multiple processors while only having to integrate once with CardFlight.

Who would CardFlight be useful for?


CardFlight is great for any mobile applications that are used for in-person, face-to-face commerce. (“Card Present” transactions, in industry terms.) Applications that leverage CardFlight are typically installed on devices that are merchant-facing, like a POS app; or are installed by a merchant, like a freestanding kiosk that consumers purchase from.


What types of merchants use CardFlight?


Examples of applications that CardFlight can be used for include:

  • Non-profit fundraising apps for in-person donations
  • Event ticketing applications for at-the-door ticket sales
  • Custom POS applications for retailers
  • Field sales and service provider applications (w/ integration into CRM, inventory and back-office reporting systems)

How does integration with CardFlight work?


Clients typically purchase a few readers up front for development and testing. At that point, CardFlight gives developers access to the CardFlight SDK repository and schedules a technical kick-off call to provide input on how to best architect the technical integration with CardFlight. From that point forward, a direct technical contact at CardFlight will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout your integration efforts.


How does CardFlight support their clients and developers?


  • One of CardFlight’s core values is to provide high levels of developer friendliness and transparency
  • Clean developer documentation is publicly available
  • At the beginning of an implementation, we proactively offer to schedule a technical kick-off call to provide an overview and help with architecting the integration
  • We strive to provide quick turnarounds on all support questions
  • We make individual developers available to handle more complex integrations and provide continuity of support

How much does it cost me to use CardFlight?


For most clients, CardFlight operates on a SaaS (Software as a Service) model, where we charge a monthly fee per device for unlimited use of our service. One monthly fee includes:

  • Unlimited use of our SDK and API to integrate into your app
  • Unlimited transactions for all readers
  • Unlimited linked merchant accounts
  • Unlimited use of our developer tools
  • Unlimited support to help you with any issues you may have

To get you started, we offer a test kit including one card reader with a twelve month SDK license and support for $99. For a full scale deployment, pricing varies depending on the size of your deployment, with discounts for volume orders. Please reach out us at support@cardflight.com to discuss more about your solution. 

If you are creating a solution to be used by other merchants (e.g. accounting/invoicing tools for SMBs), it is completely up to you how to structure your pricing for products that leverage CardFlight (giving away the service, marking it up, offering it as part of a pro/advanced package, etc).

CardFlight does not directly provide credit card processing. You are responsible for maintaining a merchant account with a supported financial institution and will be subject to their fees. Because CardFlight supports many different merchant account providers, you can shop around for the best rates.


Are there any benefits to “swiping” a transaction with a CardFlight reader?


“Card present” transactions that meet certain criteria, such as including magnetic stripe data, can qualify for lower wholesale interchange fees. This can result in cost savings for you, depending upon the merchant account pricing you’ve negotiated with your processor.

There are additional benefits to using card readers to swipe in-person payments:

  • Swiping cards improves the speed and accuracy of data capture (vs. keying in the data on a mobile device)
  • Reduces fraud by validating that the card is physically present

What about key-entered transactions?


In cases where the magnetic stripe can’t be read, if the card isn’t present, or if a card reader isn’t plugged in, the CardFlight SDK also supports manual entry of the card number and other details.


I don't have a merchant account setup yet, can you help?


We don’t provide this service directly, but we can help you setup a merchant account if you don't have one by referring you to some of our preferred partners that will make it easy for you to get started. Drop us an email at support@cardflight.com


Does CardFlight provide an app? What if I’m not building a native app?


CardFlight focuses on allowing developers to integrate payment acceptance within their own apps. We offer a demo app that can help you get started with your implementation, but we do not currently provide a complete app for a merchant to use. CardFlight is continually building out tools to make it turnkey for developers to integrate payment/POS functionality within their own apps, so if you have any specific requests, let us know at devs@cardflight.com

Additionally, we plan to support HTML5 wrapper apps (e.g. PhoneGap) in the coming months. In order to communicate with the card reader, applications using CardFlight with still need to be deployed within a native app rather than in a web browser.


Can CardFlight work with international merchants?


While CardFlight is primarily designed for the United States market, we do support transactions in foreign currencies if you use Stripe or Braintree as your processor. For any given transaction, the currency type can be set by the developer. If you don't pass in a currency type, the currency defaults to US Dollars.


I have more questions, how do I reach CardFlight?


We realize that a few question and answers will not answer every question that you may have. We are eager to help get you started, so please reach out to use at support@cardflight.com and one of your team members will get back to you ASAP.