Square credit card reader app/device

Has anyone had any experience with this or any of it’s competitors?

I must say, the idea of not having to go to the trouble of getting a merchant number or buying a mobile debit machine are pretty attractive. One drawback is that up in Canada we are moving fast into chip-PIN cards, though the magnetic stripe is still present on these cards.

My wife uses the Square for selling things at art shows. It’s pretty straightforward, and having the ability to accept credit cards has allowed her to make sales she otherwise wouldn’t have. There are no upfront or yearly fixed costs, so it works well for her relatively low-volume sales.

I’ve used it on the customer end, at food trucks and art shows, and I can say that from this perspective it’s great - easy to use and very convenient, and I like that I can have a receipt emailed to me. I’m a lot more likely to purchase if I know I can use a card.

Dittos from the consumer end, also a food truck customer. Though the company does get it’s vig, it is probably a win for the vendor: As well as getting business from people who don’t carry cash, they have to deal with less change-making and money counting, trips to the bank, and worry over helpers helping themselves to the till. I know for a fact I have passed over a cash-only food truck to buy something I wanted less because the second truck could take my CC.

Have used it before at a large one day garage sale type thing, and it works reasonably well. The real issue is how much you are going to run through it. You can definitely beat the % they charge so the question is whether the hassle is worth the savings. Note there are other similar devices too - I know I saw an ad for an intuit version on TV today, for example.

Square is simplicity itself. I use it regularly, as both a merchant and a customer, and love it. I recently enrolled in Paypal’s version, and haven’t used it yet. I am still steamed over how hard it was just to get up and running with PP and their reader.

Square is indeed the way to go.

I haven’t read much about Square but every time I do come across it, it’s nothing but praise.

Nice to hear that people using it on the consumer end didn’t mind it. I kind of wondered if anyone thought “I ain’t letting you swipe my card on your phone!”.

Well, I plan to use it hopefully a number of times per week with charges in the $10-$100 range, so not a one time garage sale. What do you mean by “can definitely beat the %”? What hassle was there?

I saw some Boy Scouts selling candy bars outside the grocery store for a fund-raiser and they had a device like that.

So are they coming out with a chip version? For the rest of us? If not, they may get their clock cleaned by iZettle.

Not a hassle, I mean you can beat the percentage they charge to run the thing, IE Square takes 2.75% fee. Intuit GoPayment, can take 2.75%, or 1.75% + $13/mo. (Visa/Mastercard/Discover only for 1.75% - Amex is more). Other services can be similar, although usually Amex costs more that Visa, Mastercard, or Discover (because they charge Square, Intuit, etc a larger percentage). You have to do that math yourself, Ie, for example:
3 sales/week * $100 * 52 weeks * 2.75% = $429 paid to square/year
3 sales/week * $100 * 52 weeks * 1.75% = $273 + $13*12months = $429 to intuit, so if you are going to break $300/week you will start to save with Intuit. You have to do that same calculation with any service.

My hairdresser moved salons and she uses this at her new place. I thought it was cool. I had seen them used before, but I had not made a purchase until my last haircut using one.

I’ve used it. It’s fun, free, simple, easy to carry, and the % doesn’t feel excessive to me.

You could probably get a better or more elaborate system if you have a real business, but it’s a great gadget for regular people who want to be able to accept credit cards for evening out dinner checks or whatever.

I wasn’t sure how it deals with identity theft, and I prefer cash, so I didn’t advertise it at my garage sale, but if someone had wanted a larger item but didn’t have the cash I would have whipped it out and just asked for ID.

Not in the U.S. they won’t.

My local pizza place uses this; I would have thought they could get a better deal with their volume, as jacobsta811 describes, but perhaps there’s more to it.

Or maybe they suck at math.

My wife hasn’t ever had anyone with that reaction, but that might be because of the venue: she sells at art fairs, where all the vendors are individuals. If a customer was leery about sharing credit card info, he/she would probably plan on paying with cash, anyway, and not even consider offering a credit card.

One nice thing about the Square, specifically, is that there are no up-front costs, no monthly costs, and almost zero effort involved in setting up an account and using the app. That’s ideal for someone like my wife, who’s a sporadic user with relatively low $/year sales.

It also might be good for someone like you who’s unsure of the relative utility of competing companies, because you can abandon it and move to another service without really losing anything. However, if you’re selling enough that you’d consider buying a stand-alone machine, you could probably do better by comparing different plans, as **jacobsta811 **says.

I was chatting with a vendor at a craft sale a few weeks ago,and she said she loves it from her end. Very portable, and she pays a lot less in credit card fees than she used to.

I used it first as a consumer, and then got my own when someone needed to reimburse me for a purchase and could not pay cash. I was able to key in their credit card number without the physical card, and it worked beautifully. And when I had to refund the money and rering it on another card, it worked so well I thought it hadn’t, it was that quick and easy. Plan to use it for selling cookie baskets at church as a fundraiser.

jacobsta811 and zut, I am not sure the math is that simple, unfortunately. It seems Intuit, like the classic bank debit machine, charges different rates for different cards. Square apparently does not.

Another difference, Intuit requires an iPhone but Square can also run on Android phones.

Does anyone know if there is a system that can take debit transactions as well as credit cards?
Thanks all for the feedback!

Is that really necessary? I mean…in the US at least, can’t 99% of debit cards just be run as regular credit cards?