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Three Ways Entrepreneurs Are Using Mobile Commerce to Grow Mobile payment systems such as Swipe, Pay Anywhere and Square offer merchants free readers, apps, activation and cancellation.

By Jennifer Wang

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

1. Brew master
West Los Angeles got its first taste of siphon-brewed coffee in 1997, when Ray Sato opened Balconi Coffee Company. Each cup at the coffee bar was painstakingly made in a Japanese siphon, using a traditional method involving vapor and vacuum pressure in two glass chambers.

Things were going pretty well as a cash-only business, but when Balconi's lease expired in 2008, Sato decided to upgrade. "We started fresh," he says. He moved the coffee bar to a bigger space on a busy corner and designed the layout from scratch.

When Balconi reopened in January 2011, something else was different: Instead of a cash register, the shop was equipped with a new iPad and a Square reader so Sato could accept credit cards and more easily sell grinders and other high-priced merchandise. "I wasn't expecting people to use cards for smaller charges, but about half of my sales are through credit card now," he says.

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