Square Handles Credit Card Transactions Via iOS, Android
The POS space is rife with numerous solutions for credit card transactions. But sometimes the associated merchant fees can make credit card transactions more costly than they’re worth. Luckily, there’s Square, which has developed a simple iOS (or Android) device that accepts credit card payments easily without associated merchant fees. The device is priced at $10 (or essentially free, since customers get a $10 bonus for signing up after buying the device). Read on for the details and see if Square is the right tool for you.
The Square payment device is fairly simple to operate: First, download the free Square app. Then, plug the Square payment device into the headphone jack on an iPhone 4, iPad or fourth generation iPod Touch. (The device also works with Android-enabled devices.) Square’s ingenious design turns magnetic stripes into sound waves and then translates them back down into numbers. The app then bills the credit card, credits your account, and dumps the money into your checking account at the end of each day.
Of course, the magic isn’t free: Square takes a 2.75 percent fee of every transaction. More simply put: $100 charge nets you $97.25. It’s not too shabby, but it can be cause for pause for those in a margin-squeezing situation. (It’s also only available in the United States.)
Square is currently available online at Apple.com, and soon will be available at Apple retail locations. And since they’re essentially free after activation, this has the potential to disrupt the way VARs, MSP and other companies dealing with credit cards work.
The VAR Guy has discussed the barrier to NFC payments in the past, but this device has the ability to overcome certain technology issues. Since the device is aimed more at the personal individual and small-business owner, there aren’t any details about PCI-compliance or partner programs. But since VARs are the ‘trusted advisers’ of the IT world, it can’t hurt to advise purchasing this essentially free device.
I believe this can be a cheap and practical solution to non-cash payments, but what do you, channel reader, think? Is this the future of POS, or just a simple added convenience for those who need it?