Through Square’s website, those interested in accepting mobile, credit and debit card payments can receive a free Square Reader just by heading over to https://squareup.com/signup. Register, provide a few bits of information, so that they can verify identity, and after that’s done, they ship the device absolutely free.
Square also sells their reader in quite a few brick and mortar retail stores, so picking one up today for $9.99 isn’t out of the question. After registering, Square will reimburse $10, deposited directly into a bank account. This is similar to getting it for free, except it doesn’t cover sales tax.
True to it’s name, the Square reader is a square. It’s simple, glossy white, and plugs into the headphone jack of an Android or iOS device. Square’s App, Square Register ( Android | iOS ), is also free. After logging in with an account made on Square’s website, navigating the app is made easy with a really snappy and well organized menu system.
Products, referred to as “Items” can be created, given images, filtered by category (e.g. clothing), and even given discounts. An entire inventory can be created and properly structured within a few minutes, depending on how many products are available. Square also offers more functionality through their website, though I find that, unless you have a large inventory, the App is more accessible.
For my purposes, I imagine using my Square for garage sales and the like, situations where I am selling personal items where people may or may not have cash. Square is also useful for getting paid back for expenses like concert tickets, hotel bookings, or things that would generally force others to withdraw cash (or in the worst case, write a check). The Square Register also has an offline option so that sales are never missed. The mobile payment industry has finally enabled the debit card to perform its function in place of cash.
In order to do business, Square charges 2.75% per transaction, a mere three-ish pennies per dollar. Square then deposits those funds into the registered bank account on the next business day, with some exceptions based on the time of the transaction.
Another idea that I thought would be neat is to have a tablet set up to take care of roommate rent. Roommates could select their specific name, or simply input the amount they owe, swipe, and then the funds are deposited to the registered bank account. Simple and forgettable. The tablet could be attached to the fridge so that paying rent could be as easy as grabbing a snack.
Overall, I found Square very accessible, with a lot of depth in the features it offers. For small business owners, or random hobbyists like me, Square offers the opportunity to accept debit and credit cards for a very competitive fee of 2.75% per transaction. And now that Square is advertising to me on Youtube, I’ll thank you for reading and be on my way.
Special thanks to Roy Czlapinski for the Square!