A Very Small-Business Solution

How much do you pay for credit card fees per transaction? No idea? Let’s say your business uses a standard credit card processing company. You pay $0.15 per transaction, with 2000 transactions of $5 each. You just paid $300 to your credit processing company. What if you could cut that to $275? From Twitter’s co-founder comes a tiny payment tool designed to solve the problems of cost, mobility, speed, and reliability. This little gadget fits in the coin pocket of your jeans, and it deserves your attention.

Cost

At SquareUp.com you can sign up for your very own Square credit card reader, for free! Square boasts a flat 2.75% rate. No setup fees, and no commitments, no minimum! No confusing language, just a simple 2.75% processing fee per transaction. It is currently available for iPhone, iPad, and Android. And while the idea isn’t exactly exclusive [see Intuit GoPayment], it has been receiving great publicity recently. Oh, and by the way, did I mention the Square card-reader and software are absolutely free? Even if the competitor’s rate is exactly the same, you have absolutely nothing to lose by switching to Square. In my opinion, that deserves a special mention.

“All you have to do with Square is download it, sign up, and we give you a free reader and you can start accepting card payments.”

Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder of Twitter and Square

Mobility, Flexibility, and Speed

For the average small business owner, Square may seem a bit extravagant. However, many industries would benefit greatly from this technology. If you do business from the comfort of your own physical shop, this may just replace higher credit card processing fees. If you travel to customers, or work outside in other conditions, it would enable you to accept credit cards.

Many small businesses do not accept credit cards as payment, just to avoid the hassle and extra expense. Some businesses take payments on location, without a credit terminal. You know how it feels to visit that quaint neighborhood coffee shop only to find out mid-order that they don’t accept plastic, and you forgot your cash in the car, or at home? Then there is the businesses with dial-up Internet connection, where paper means go and plastic means slow. If they had Square [or a similar device] you would be well on your way with mocha in hand.

To clarify, I’m not saying that this removes all necessity for cold hard cash. I actually prefer cash when exchanging between friends. I’d rather not give a middle-man my hard-earned bread-buying money. This is not the best option for casual money exchanges, unless speed is an issue. This is an excellent solution for business on the go, where credit-friendliness is assumed.

“We dramatically simplified the way people can start accepting payments so that you can accept them from anywhere.”

-Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder of Twitter and Square

Trust & Reliability

Let’s be honest. We are subjected to a constant barrage of hackers, spammers, and identity thieves. Who can you trust? If [when] Square takes off, it will be trusted alongside Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Some companies [i.e. the Apple Store] already use mobile payment [with a card reader by Mophie] for credit transactions. I have personally seen checks bounce and would rather accept credit when dealing with someone I don’t know.