Our photography company Teen Identity frequently needs to take credit cards from clients. We use PayPal for credit card transactions, so it used to be that in order to take a card, I’d have to send a payment link for the client to pay via PayPal (which allows you to pay with a PayPal account OR major credit card). We chose PayPal vs. a credit card machine or merchant account because it is the cheapest and easiest solution for our needs. PayPal was only a problem as a solution when we needed to take orders on site. But until we had the photography business where clients want to pay us at viewing or booking sessions, it was far and few between we needed to take a card at the point of sale.
Then I discovered Square. This baby is simply brilliant. It’s a tiny piece of plastic (shaped like a…well… square) with an adaptor to plug into your smart phone or tablet device. Once the Square app is installed and your account set up, you can take credit cards on the spot. You swipe the card through the Square device, the app goes online to process it, the client signs with their finger, you decide whether to have the receipt sent via text or email to the client, then voilá, you’ve just made money. The money goes into your Square account and stays there for about a day or two before it is automatically transferred to your bank. You don’t have to make a transfer request as you do in PayPal. It just does it.
And the fee is only 2.75%. That’s it. “What you see is what you pay.” (It’s 3.5% +$0.15 for manually entered card numbers, e.g. via the phone).
The Cool Factor
Let me tell you…the cool factor is off the charts. No exaggeration, but every, and I mean EVERY client who’s seen us use it bugs their eyes and/or drops their jaw and says something to the effect, “WOW! That is SO cool!” It pretty much works the same way as the mobile payment devices used in the Apple store. A cool little plastic device plugged into your iPhone or iPad is très, très, chic. Way chic-er than a big, bulky, clunky, ugly credit card reader and printer.
Square 2.2 Takes it to Another Level
Now Square has been upgraded with more amazing features:
- Add inventory items, along with photos of those items
- With your iPad you can wireless print receipts or open a cash drawer
- Square Card Case allows you go reward frequent customers. They can even open a tab.
We’ve been using it now since the summer and it’s awesome. If you don’t have a merchant account and you need to take credit cards either in person or via phone, sign-up today. If you have a merchant account. Dump it and get this. You won’t be sorry.
Square Card Case
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LiveWire Films (@livewirefilms) says
That is incredible! FYI for those interested, read the User Agreement very very closely. One thing that may affect many people is that they say that you can not use their app on a jailbroken device. Doesn’t affect me, but I know a lot of people have that. They also say they have the right to come do an inspection of your business location… not sure the deal with that. Regardless this is really really cool! Here is the link the the UA: https://squareup.com/legal/ua
Thanks for sharing this Ron!
Ron Dawson says
I wouldn’t worry about them coming to your location. Even if they did, unless you’re running an illegally zoned business, you wouldn’t have to worry.
Thanks for sharing the link though. It is good to know the small print.
Carlos Garcia says
Thanks for this article. I used to have a credit card merchant account but it was way too expensive. I will check the Square service.
Ron Dawson says
You’ll love it Carlos.
Great idea. I am very interested, but how “sturdy” and accurate is the little “square”? Are the card swipes precise on worn cards…any issues yet?
Ron Dawson says
So far no issues. I love it. And the co-founder is on the cover of Fast Company this month as it’s one of their 50 most innovative companies.
point of sale definition says
Highly descriptive blog, I loved that a lot. Will there be a