You may already be familiar with Square, the mobile credit card reader for your iOS or Android device, but here’s a quick run down of how it works. You download the Square application and the company sends out a small dongle which allows you to receive payments via credit cards. Pretty simple. Now it’s open to all.
Here’s what we reported back in May when it started making a splash:
The system involves a small dongle that plugs into the headphone jack of the iPhone or iPod Touch and this is used to swipe acredit card. The app then securely sends the information over the air and the end user has to sign the device with their finger to complete the transaction. A receipt (with optional geotagging) is then sent to the customer via e-mail or SMS and funds are withdrawn like normal.
Pretty convenient, right?
Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter, leads this project and recently tweeted, “The doors are (finally) open @Square & we’re going big.” Indeed, this will be huge in the way individuals and smaller business deal with transactions. While Square will naturally be taking a percentage of transactions, it’s much smaller than what you’d have to fork over in setting up a traditional POS terminal.
Combined with the Square mobile app, the reader can take credit card payments. Merchants are charged 2.75% of the purchase price plus $0.15 to swipe a card. There are no monthly charges or set-up fees and no contract is required.
Having no monthly or set-up fees for Square is a nice bonus in addition to the small percentage and bit of change charged with each transaction. The additional convenience should be reason enough to adopt this if you’re receiving credit card payments often.
Check out the slick little video below for one demo for how this thing can be put to use: