In the second half of this year, a couple of new payment options have popped up that lets you accept credit card payments via smartphone – your new best friend as a small business owner.

Actually, when using any of the services, businesses of any size – even a babysitter, lemonade stand operator or your run-of-the-mill vendor – have the ability to sell their product and/or service to anyone with a credit card.

I will take a look at several merchant services that were born from qualified entrepreneurs and hardened veterans, and each offers their own unique angle on the same process of accepting payments from anyone, anywhere.

These deviations, on the other hand, are substantial depending on the type of business you operate and the amount of transactions you expect to process. You can read through the information below to help you come to a conclusion in choosing the right merchant. Make sure to read slowly when it comes to fees, initial costs and merchant requirements.

Intuit GoPayment
This company is an outcome of a joint venture involving two iPhone accessory manufacturers, Intuit and Mophie.

You have the option of purchasing the complete package, which is just an iPhone case with a custom reader, either at Apple Stores or online for only $179.95. The card reader is only compatible with the iPhone 3G/S, on the other hand, the software is available for any internet-accessible mobile phone.

You will, in addition to forking over money for the service and merchant account, pay more to process every credit card transaction. The service costs $13.00 per month (free for the first couple of months), and on top of that, you have to work with a 1.7 percent and $0.30 fee for every transaction. A few more things, you don’t have to shell out start-up costs or termination fees, or any type of monthly requirement.

GoPayment is reported to process and authorize payments in a blink of an eye, and the money is instantly deposited in to your business bank account.

You can purchase the hardware from only a handful of suppliers, even including, drum roll please, Apple Stores, which costs $149.95. The transaction are similar to other merchants, but rates were considerably less and will vary based upon your specific situation like what type of business and the amount of risk involved.

Square
This is a new company founded by Jack Dorsey, so you can look forward to the product being aesthetically pleasing, and the overall service to be smooth, consumer-oriented and receive updates on a regular basis. As we all know, Square doesn't have the flexibility attached to other features, although it does exceed the latest security standards on all levels.

The reader is considerably small, which makes it a little bit finicky to use and more delicate than its bulkier counterparts that are built-in to iPhone cases. This reader, on the other hand, can be used on any mobile device, so that it can be used by any audio jack -- a big advantage over the competition. Also, as you're reading this, you can use the square reader on the iPad to handle payments on a larger screen -- a pretty cool thing that is quite graceful to experience.

With this service, the opening cost and reader come at no charge, and you never have to worry about any type of contract or monthly requirements. The only charge comes with the per transaction basis – 2.75% + $0.15. The only thing that's wrong with Square is that it will only let you process a thousand dollars per week into your bank account, the remaining is deposited in 30 days.

It doesn't matter what merchant you choose, once you go through the work of setting yourself up, make sure you tell every customer that you now accept credit card payments. I would advise that you create some sort of display to add to your storefront window, website, e-mail, and your businesses Facebook page.

If you have worked with any of the talked about merchant services, feel free to share your experiences in the replies below.