Square Card Reader

April 18, 2012

Last week I was in Southern California to visit a client site. While there I stopped by the offices of Sign Biz Inc and met with Teresa Young and Paul Strauch. Most of our time was spent talking about what may be of most interest to our respective customers, but we also veered off topic to discuss coffee makers and Cave Creek. It was a wonderful visit and I’m sure I’ll have plenty to share with you in future posts.

One of the items that we discussed was the Square Card Reader. I had heard about this cool device, but had never had a chance to see one in person. It can be plugged into to an iPhone, many Android phones, iPads and more. With this small device (it is less than an inch square), you have the ability to swipe a credit card and process it on your phone.

Now I don’t know if any of you have gone through the process of getting a merchant account, but I remember when Unleashed got its first account. It was a real headache and was quite expensive. You can get the Square Card Reader completely free by going to the product page and signing up. You’ll also need to download the free app for your mobile device. Have you ever tried to process credit cards outside of your office before? Once again, it has been a massive headache before this cool device came along.

With any merchant account for processing credit cards, a percentage of the sale goes to the card company. Square accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Visa. No matter the card, the percentage of 2.75% which is pretty darned good. That is the only fee! Even better, the money will be put into your bank account on the next day. Most merchant accounts make you wait longer. Each transaction also triggers e-mails to you about the payment as well as notification when the money lands in the bank.

If you are a small businessperson who needs to accept credit cards, this can be a great solution. It also allows for all businesses to have a way to process credit cards remotely. There have been many times I have been speaking in front of a group of users and I had copies of my books to sell. I couldn’t process cards on site so I had to have everyone fill out a form so I could process their cards later. With the Square Card Reader, I now have a convenient way to process cards immediately.

Post Discussion


  1. ShihanStoddern

    We have it as a small company just starting out money is tight and times are hard but this little thing is great, we deliver and get payed there and then, customer get an email if they wish and also we can up load photos onto the invoice so at a later date, customer can see what they got and information they can use for reorder, is also great at shows to take deposit on goods..

  2. mdreb

    Most small businesses use Intuit’s QuickBooks Pro software for their bookkeeping and accounting. For the past year I have successfully used Intuit’s “Go Payment” merchant account that gives you the card-swipe attachment to my Android device. The data is easily synced to QuickBooks. Check it out.

  3. Unknown

    What everyone that reads this needs to research is Square’s rates and policies. Like the banks, their real game is to rip off the user. The 2.75% quoted above is just a surface charge. There are layers of “hiiden” (small print” charges that result in disproportionate card reader expenses.

  4. Amazed

    I like the Square because we compared fees with the other on-site swipe dongles and apps, including QBP and when you add up the monthly fees, PCI fees, statement fees, etc, the Square program actually costs quite a bit less. Reward cards (70% of all cards out there) are higher with other merchants (fine print stuff) but not with Square. And Amex is pretty okay! Better than regular merchant accounts…

  5. Amazed

    There are zero other fees for Square for any SWIPED transactions. You may be thinking of another remote swipe app. Square was founded by Twitter’s founder on the premise of transparent pricing. Have five people using it, no hidden fees at all. It’s been around longer than any other “remote” service, and the sign up is just minutes. Foster is correct, it is nice, and easy. No other fees, not any. Note that if you manually enter cards, I recommend you use your regular merchant service, because it will be a higher rate and different concept (just like for all other merchant services). But for swiped cards, there are truly no other fees! None:) Your email comes instantly showing invoice paid, and client can get receipt if they want, with map of location where they swiped. Funds deposit next day. Here’s the link to research all of the policies and such: https://squareup.com/pricing Foster’s link gets you the reader with no prepay or shipping (otherwise, $10 with rebate back after your use). Hope that helps!!


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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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