Card Readers for Small Business and Beyond: The Square Card Reader Review

The rise of mobile devices is allowing businesses to turn to mobile credit card readers.  With $3.95 trillion of non-cash transaction volume recorded in the U.S. alone in 2011, competition is high in this space. A member of the Stellar Blue team, Liz Bladorn, has used the Square card reader for the iphone and shares some insight into the product for anyone interested in starting out with the Square or switching over.

A small business can reap the rewards of the Square as it seems cash is hard to come by when it comes down to the final purchase.  This product when compared to a leased stationary credit card machine is in a league of its own.  Leased machines come with swipe rates, compliance fees, and other hidden costs.   Any type of mobile card reader, for that fact is a  must have for a small business owner.

This tool can be very impressive as first, considering it is free to receive and activate.  It carries no monthly or yearly charges. You are only charged when a card gets swiped.

screen shot of squareSquare – iPhone Screen
After installing the app and being able to except credit cards, this is the main screen that will appear.   From this screen you can type in a description of the product , take a picture of it, and enter the products amount .  Prior to the first swipe you can set-up the Square to add current sales tax, which will automatically be added to the transaction.

As you move to the payment screen, instead of credit you may also choose cash to make records of all you transactions in one place. The final screen in the purchase process allows you to send a receipt via email, phone or skip the receipt completely. These are just a few of the features it offers initially.

Other Features
As customers make payments, the time the transaction took place, the description of the product, payment type, and amount are all recorded.  This information can be accessed within the app as well as on any internet enabled device.  You can download spreadsheets with information on time, date, description, amount, tax, and type of payment, etc. The information can easily be manipulated to calculate inventory, profits, and other accounting information.

Fees
The square has a fee of 2.75% for each credit card swipe, and they now offer a per month charge.  Note:  if swipe transaction volume exceeds $21,000 per month, you are charged Square’s standard per-swipe fees for all subsequent transactions in the same month. The square takes major credit cards to include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

Mobile Devices
With the basic internet package or Wi-Fi signal for your mobile device you can accept credit cards anywhere.  Click here to see all the devices that are compatible with the Square.

Above are just a few of the things the Square can do for a business.  M-commerce is on the rise and there are lots of products out there.
M-commerce is the keyword in this blog post. Do your research and we hope you find the right solution for your business! Go to www.squareup.com to learn more.

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