Square credit card processor makes it easy for anyone in the U.S. with a smart phone* to accept and process credit cards.
Steps to Accepting Credit Cards Using Square
- Apply for a Square reader at SquareUp.com. The reader is FREE.
- Wait for the reader to be sent to your home. (No shipping charges.)
- Download the Square app for your phone.
- Complete your profile on your Square account.
- Get an order, swipe the card, enter amount, and email receipt to your customer. I did a couple of $1 tests before my first anticipated use.
There are a lot of articles out there that will review Square more in depth. I want to focus more on my personal experience.
There are many things to love about Square. Among them:
- The reader is free, small (about 1″ square), and portable. In fact, Square is so small that you might forget it, as I did on a recent trip. I’ve recently to keep it in my purse at all times. I want to be prepared to make a sale at a moment’s notice. Otherwise, why have such a portable device?
- The ONLY charge is 2.75% on swiped-card purchases. (It’s 3.5% + $.15 on manually-entered transactions.) There are no monthly fees!
- Purchasers can sign on your phone with their finger and receive their receipt instantly via email.
- You can accept MasterCard, VISA, Discover, and American Express.
- You can use Square to track cash and check sales as well. (I have yet to use this feature.)
- You can process unlimited transactions. (See below for the downside.)
On the Downside
- Square relies on connectivity. If you don’t have good wireless broadband (wifi, 3G, 4G), you’ll have a hard time completing transactions. I suggest having a backup way to capture the customer’s information to process later.
- You must have an iPhone, Android, iPad, or iPod Touch.
- As of this post, Square can only be used in the 50 U.S. states (+ D.C.) with U.S.-friendly credit cards. No U.S. territories or international locations.
- I’ve found it difficult to connect the receipts I receive from Square with buyers’ names because I’m only sent buyers’ email addresses. Perhaps there’s a way to fix this in the settings that I’m unaware of.
- While you can process unlimited transactions, Square will only deposit up to $1000/week immediately for new users. This can change as build trust with Square and you can also petition them for a better deal (so it says on their site). But this could be limiting for artists who sell large purchases through credit card transactions.
There are downsides to every form of accepting credit cards, but I’m quite pleased with Square and see little risk in encouraging you to give it a try.
*Available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Androids.