In my opinion, one of the easy front runners of the mobile card reader industry is Square. The company was founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey and launched its first app and service in 2010. They also seem to be keeping close tabs on their client’s needs and adapting to them. When Yarn Twisters started looking into card readers this ended up being the one they started with and currently still use.
One of the big advantages to Square is the very simple and streamlined mobile app that is available on most Android and Apple devices (Compatibility list). It seems to update fairly regularly, so if your business is seasonal you might need to check the updates before your first show so you are familiar with these gradual updates. Square also allows you to create items, discounts and modifiers (iPad only) that are super easy to edit even in the middle of a show. One of the recent updates now includes inventory tracking.
The credit card processing fees that Square charges are also fairly simple and straightforward. This has been one of its biggest draws because traditional credit card processors have pretty complex and layered fees. You are only charged a 2.75% transaction fee regardless of the type of card or the amount of the sale. No hidden fees or special rewards card fees either. Now, if you have to key in a credit card transaction manually the fee is 3.5 % +$0.15 per transaction. Need to send an invoice via Square? Still only 2.75%. Deposits are generally within 1-2 business days. They do not offer check processing via the app but the receipt of a check can be recorded and then deposited with your normal cash payments.
Let’s talk hardware. Square has so many options for the different type of business that you are running. The basic magnetic strip reader is free when you order it online. The new EMV Bluetooth chip readers are $49.00 and they also accept Android and Apple. Not all devices are compatible with the new Bluetooth reader and the plugin is an additional $29.00. If you have a traditional brick and mortar style store, they offer full POS dock systems and kits depending on what your business needs. Square even offers gift cards.
Support is maybe the only place where Square can be considered lacking. Personally, I have not had an issue that wasn’t solved by going online to their Support FAQ. Getting a live person is not something they are known for. However, for the tech savvy and those used to the social media style support then this may not be an issue for you.
Feel free to head over to their website if you think Square is the reader for you.
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