As a small business owner, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to pay for your products or services. Square, a credit-card processing service designed for iPhones, iPads and Android-powered devices can help you meet this goal.
But Square, developed by Square, Inc., isn’t free. It will cost you every time you swipe a customer’s credit card through the tiny card reader that attaches to your smartphone or tablet. The question, then, is a big one: Are the benefits of Square worth the extra price you’ll pay on transactions fueled by it?
How it works
The Square reader plugs into the audio port of your smartphone or tablet. When a customer wants to purchase a product or service with a credit card, you simply swipe the card through the reader. Or, you can manually enter the credit-card number on your own. The app that powers this, Square Register, is free. You can download it from the App Store or from the Google Play shop. Once you do, you’re set to start accepting credit-card payments.
The biggest positive of Square
Square is incredibly easy to use. That’s why it’s perfect for overworked small business owners. There is no lengthy instruction book to pore through. There are no complicated installations. This is why Square has become so popular among business owners. A recent story in USA Today reported that more than 800,000 customers are using Square today. The system is also easy for consumers. With it, even the smallest of business owners can accept credit-card transactions. You won’t have to send your customers to the corner ATM for quick cash.
The downside to Square
There are the fees, though. Every time customers swipe their credit cards through your Square Reader, you’ll have to pay 2.75 percent of the transaction cost. If you have to manually enter your customer’s credit-card number, you’ll have to pay Square, Inc. 3.5 percent of the transaction. Entrepreneur Magazine in a recent review of the product also said that human customer support is shaky at best for the product.
Still, even with these cons, it’s hard to deny that Square has the potential to dramatically boost the efficiency of small businesses.