Square – Charge cilents with your iPhone

I’m sure many of you have heard of Square or Square Up by now. For those of you who haven’t it’s definitely worth taking a look at. I signed up a few months ago after I was at a GRAFF TOYZ event and someone wanted to purchase two of our boards but didn’t have any cash. I was unable to service that sale and lost out on the transaction. I had heard of Square prior to this but neglected to sign up at the time (I wish I had so I could of made that sale).

Basically Square allows you to swipe any credit card and accept payments right through your iPhone. If no card is present you can also key in the digits manually, or accept cash and keep track of the transaction that way. You do not need a merchant account. The service is free. There are no contracts to sign. It doesn’t get much better than this. With rates similar to PayPal and Google it’s another alternative for accepting payments and great for non-web transactions. The card reader or ‘Square’ is free. If you swipe the card it will cost you 15 cents plus 2.75% of the transaction cost. If you manually key in an order it will cost you 15 cents but 3.5%.

The ‘Square’ device simply plugs into your headphone jack and securely transmits the transaction through their iPhone app. Your account is not linked or attached to the device but through the app itself, meaning if the square is lost or stolen you won’t have to worry about any fraud against your account. The other advantage of that is the ability to log in and out of different accounts but use the same device – so you can charge a client for services under your business account, and then log into your personal account and charge your friend for those concert tickets you bought.

The app is very slick and simple to use. You can take a photo to accompany the order, the user ‘Signs’ on the screen which is kind of hard with your finger. An email receipt is sent to both parties along with a Google map location showing where the actual transaction took place.

I am hoping they will upgrade the app allowing you to switch between accounts with a simple click. Currently you have to log out and log in which may be cumbersome if you set different passwords for each account. I also hope they will come out with a web interface allowing transactions over the web as well. Currently you would have to use PayPal or Google Checkout for the web and Square for in person transactions, so it would be nice to be able to do everything through one place.

Check it out, sign up and let know what you think of it. I have done one test charge and two actual real transactions so far.

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