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Credit Card Processing: My Weekend with the Square!

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I just finished a weekend of working at the Christmas at the Civic Centre in Charlottetown. As part of my photography company, I sell prints in different sizes. A couple weeks back, my friend Wendy of Starbucks, gave me a promotional booklet on Square which included the adapter required to process credit cards.

As such, when Square launched in Canada on the 24th of October, I was amongst the first, probably in Canada, to have the adapter to complete credit card transactions.

So, what is Square? Square is simply a small adapter that you plug into your iDevice (iPhone, iPod Touch...) or Android phone. You plug it into the microphone jack. It allows you to swipe credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard and complete the transaction right through your mobile device. It is the brainchild of Twitter Co-founder Jack Dorsey.

With Square, the adapter, a computable mobile device and an internet connection is required to complete transactions. Well, sorta. The adapter isn't actually required as Square allows manually processing of credit cards however they charge a bit more then normally with this service.

None the less, I was all set, sorta. Whereas most would have an iDevice, I did not. So out I went and purchase a new iPod Touch from Futureshop.

The first day at the craft fair went well. I had a lot of people interested in demonstrations as I was also tweeting about it. I processed a lot of credit card transactions to demonstrate the usefulness of the app. I utilized my own Visa and then refunded the transactions.

Of course, being at this craft fair, I also had my share of normal sales where people wished to pay with credit card's. So we utilize the Square Application to process them.

After a busy weekend, I must say, I was very impressed. The service was quick and simple. Whereas some people would sign their name on a receipt, the signing actually took place on the iPod Touch. This allows me to go into my Square account and view all the transactions with signatures. A great additional function is the ability to track all your sales. You can track cash related sales through the application. The application also allows you to email or text the client a receipt! It also includes tipping capabilities as well as staffing administration.

Square is great for anyone who does do any type of mobile sales such as craft fairs or in-house service contractors. Some of the drivers from Charlottetown's City Taxi is also utilize a similar application to allow for complete mobile payments. I suggest your check it out!

It is also pretty economical. The per-transaction fee is 2.75%. Or you can pay $275 a month for unlimited transaction. Of course, the cost for your device you wish to use is over and above that, which in my case was $210. Well, $420 if you include the iPod Touch I broke on Saturday morning after owning it for 24 hours.

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