There is a lot of chatter about different mobile payment platforms these days, and sometimes we take it for granted that everyone knows what they are and how they all work. But hey, let’s face it: mobile payment platforms have not yet become fully mainstream. So today we’re taking an opportunity to explore one of the more popular mobile payment programs in greater detail. Let’s learn a little more about Square.
Square, Inc. now provides an app for smartphones that converts them into a cash register or credit card terminal.
This app can be used on an Android phone, iPod, iPad, or iPhone. A free credit card reader comes with the app. The square-shaped card reader is small enough to fit inside a wallet, and whenever a buyer wants to pay for a purchase or service, the credit card is swiped through the reader and the app processes the payment. Whenever the Square app is used, all the user has to do is plug the reader into the phone’s audio jack so that it becomes activated for credit card readings. The Square app is perfect for small businesses that have limited space and want to accept an alternative form of payment besides cash.
The app can be downloaded for free through the Square, Inc. website or purchased through the Apple store. In some cases, a rebate is available. Once the app is downloaded, all the user has to do is link it to their bank account so that payments can be received immediately. Payments are deposited into the business’s bank account the following day after a payment transaction. To set up the app so that it is linked to your bank account, all you have to do is enter the routing and account numbers on the bank account page on the Square, Inc. site. For security, the app deposits and withdraws a small amount of change into your account, which you must then confirm on the site. By entering the correct amounts, you confirm that you are in fact the owner of the account. Once the bank account is linked to the app on your smartphone or tablet, you can use it immediately for business: selling products and services to customers and accepting mobile payments. The Square app also allows a business to maintain a customer list and manage inventory.
This app is perfect for small businesses that want to accept credit and debit cards for payment. It only takes a few minutes for the app to be ready for the first credit card payment when a user signs up. Square, Inc. also accepts all major credit and debit cards. Having the Square, Inc. app can increase business opportunities for those who like to shop or go to special events but do not carry cash with them. What I like about the app is that it allows the user to customize the checkout screen with photos, prices and categories. On the payment screen, a field appears where the customer signs their name using their fingertip. A receipt can be generated by sending the customer a text message or email. The Square app also has a directory available that a business can be listed in. Being listed in the directory is at the discretion of Square, Inc.
There is a charge of 2.75% per swipe for credit cards, automatically applied for each sale. Square uses VeriSign Trusted and is Tier 1 PCI Compliant. Firewalls protect smartphone connections between networks to ensure privacy and security.
The Square app is very easy to download and use. Having a credit card reader attached to a phone is very innovative in retail technology as it replaces the need for a separate credit card terminal. We can see potential for the Square application in small retail businesses who have brick and mortar stores as well as those that operate at smaller venues like seasonal events, festivals, and shows.