Square: A Credit Card-reader to Make Payments Easier

Square Register reinvents in-store payment

There’s a certain charm in retaining a cash-only checkout policy—if you’re a mom-and-pop still actually run by (aging) Mom and/or Pop. Under any other circumstances, there is, of course, an app for that. 

Square Register, created by Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey back in 2010, is a sleek, straightforward credit-card reader that connects to your iPhone or iPad. Local merchants such as Mix It Up, a “salad boutique in White Plains, are catching on, ditching the Stone-Age hardware, and giving up leaving money on the table.  

Simply download the corresponding app, link your bank account at squareup.com, and receive your free reader—slightly larger than a postage stamp—in the mail. Plug the plastic piece into your device’s headphone jack, and you’re ready to start accepting all major credit cards. (Square Stand, a mount that secures your iPad to a counter, retails for $299 as of July.)

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After a credit card is run through your new register, funds are deposited into your account within one to two days. No need to worry about the security of your customers’ account info—Square encrypts each swipe, and offers a choice between an email, SMS, or paper receipt (via iPad only) every time. Purchase data is stored on Square’s servers, and allows you to track sales in real time. 

“My son Daniel was convinced Square Register would be useful, and it has been very reliable. Our customers are intrigued by how easy it is to use says Gil Galli, managing partner of Mix It Up. “It’s an incredible way of doing business.

Square gives business owners two payment options for the service: a flat fee of $275 per month, or 2.75 percent of each card swipe. One thing to look out for, warns Galli: “If you don’t swipe the card through the mini card reader, there is a 3.5-percent plus 15-cents-per-transaction fee to manually enter the card information.

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