Last year I wrote about the Square Card Reader as a tool for processing credit card sales on your phone or tablet. I even provided you a link in that blog post to get your own Square card reader for free.
There are other similar devices from Intuit and PayPal with slightly different rates and terms. I’ll let you explore each of the devices to determine which is best for you. While I’ve had the Square card reader for some time, I hadn’t really had the chance to put it to use until last week.
Obviously if a sale comes along, it is imperative that whichever of the devices you choose will get the job done for you. I saw some others at the trade show who were having trouble connecting so they could process cards. This problem would be a problem with any of the card readers.
There are two basic devices you will use with these readers; a smartphone or a tablet. One of the advantages of smartphones is that they will all have a mobile data network as a possibility for processing payments. While it is a possibility, we all know there are dead spots where a mobile connection isn’t available. Some tablets also have the ability to use a mobile network to connect. An alternative is to use a WiFi connection with either device.
At the trade show, a WiFi network was available for vendors. Unfortunately it was heavily used and getting connected was very difficult. This led to vendors potentially losing sales when they couldn’t process credit card transactions as they were relying on the WiFi network.
This is just another area where it is good to have a backup plan. Ideally you’ll be using a device that has a mobile data network that can be used. You’ll also want to connect to WiFi. This gives you two potential ways to connect and therefore you have a better chance of success. If you know that WiFi access could be challenging and that is the only way your device can connect, you may want to consider making your smartphone into a WiFi hotspot just for your own use.
We all work hard to get the sale from a potential customer and losing that sale due to a technological failure such as not having a connection would be awful. Before you get out there with your card swiping device, make sure you have a backup plan so your odds of success are much higher!