Square is an app/hardware solution that enables everyone to accept credit card payments through their computers and mobile devices. Its premise is to offer convenience for buyers and sellers in the United States. Buyers can send payments through email, while sellers on the other hand, can receive payments directly on their Square account.
They also have a mobile point of sales system (POS) called Square Register (it’s an iPhone/Android app) which allows sellers to accept credit /debit card payments through their phones.
Founded in 2010, Square now caters to millions of businesses across all industries. It offers several products including Square Cash, Square Register, Square Order, Square Market and Square Stand.
Businesses of any size can take advantage of Square and getting started is quite easy too. You first need to go to the Square website or simply download the Square Register app on your phone. As mentioned earlier, it’s available for iOs and Android devices although not all Android mobile devices are supported.
You can sign up for an account simply by entering some personal information such as your SSN, name, address, etc. Once you’ve registered, Square will then send you a card reader (it won’t cost you anything) that you plug into your phone jack. This will enable you to accept card payments and will work over phone data or WiFi connection. Here’s a bit more about the process:
Square in Action
When a customer pays, you just type the amount that needs to be charged and then swipe the customer’s credit/debit card in the card reader. The customer’s electronic signature will be required (on your mobile device). Once the transaction is completed, it will be added to your total sales history. You can also issue refunds and receipts from the app.
Square can accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover. You’ll be charged a 2.75% fee for every transaction using the card reader (swipe) while manually entered transactions are charged 3.5% and an additional $0.15.
Advantages of Using Square
Like a lot of mobile payment services, Square offers plenty of advantages especially for small businesses. Aside from offering a convenient way to accept payments on the fly, the app also comes with an easy to navigate design. Square Register gives you the option to add custom product images which makes the checkout process quick and easy.
It also gives businesses the option to create rewards programs for loyal customers, as well as track sales data on a daily, weekly and even monthly basis.
In addition, the fee charged by Square (1%) is lower than most merchant account providers that are usually between 4 to 10%.
Disadvantages of Using Square
Perhaps the main drawback of this mobile payment system is their customer support. Although they have a web-based Help Center, they don’t provide other means of support in case you need help setting up custom features which can be a problem for non-techie business owners.
Square can be used in any industry although it can be particularly helpful for merchants who are always on the go (such as those in the food cart/truck business, farmer’s markets, buy and sell, etc.). It’s also an excellent option for startup businesses who are looking for an affordable and easy to use mobile payment service.