F Cash, check and . . . what about credit card? July 2012

NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, July 2012
Cash, check and . . . what about credit card?
By Jim Evans, Vice President,
Greater Cleveland PCUG, Ohio
APCUG Secretary
jamesievans (at) gmail.com (click to email author)

And you say, just check or cash (and maybe PayPal on your group’s website). The Square mobile card reader (https://squareup.com/) might be something you want to take a look at for your group. You can use it for membership dues, raffle tickets and other items you might sell.

Sign up for their service and they will send you a free reader or you can buy one at Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Radio Shack and Apple stores. Sign up for the service and they will give you your money back. The reader costs $10 and comes with a $10 redemption code.

How big is the unit? One inch square. You’ve got postage stamps bigger than the card reader.

How do they get their money? They charge 2.75% per transaction. If you need to enter credit card number manually, the rate is 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction. But, there is NO monthly or yearly service fee or contract.

What do you use? Your cell phone and the very small card reader plugged into your phone’s audio connection. The reader is compatible with Apple iOS devices running 4.0 and up and Google Android devices running 2.1 and up. It also works with various tablets.

Which cards can you swipe? MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.

Is the transaction secure? According to their website, “Security is one of our biggest priorities at Square. To protect Square users and their customers, all information by our users has been encrypted and submitted to our servers securely. Our software and hardware meet (and in most cases exceed) all PCI-Compliant regulations as well. As per our User Agreement, Security Policy and Privacy Policy, we will never sell information to third party vendors.” “Square requires sensitive data to be encrypted using industry-standard methods when stored on disk or transmitted over public networks.” It’s encrypted to the 128-bit standard.

How do you get your money? You register a checking account with Square and your money is deposited each evening. They will do a test to verify that the routing and account number are correct by depositing two very small amounts and then withdrawing the same amounts. You will need to go online and enter the two amounts.

Can you give a receipt? Yes, you can e-mail or text a receipt after the transaction, either immediately or later via History. Just like the Apple Store and other major retailers. With the iPad you can print a receipt immediately after the transaction or later via History. You will need a Star Micronics receipt printer.

Legalese. You will need to sign a Square User Agreement, a legal agreement between you and Square, Inc. Part one explains all the terms that govern your use of the payment processing service and Part two contains provisions that limit their liability and information about arbitration for potential legal disputes. You will need to sign this agreement to use the service and you do it electronically.

The mobile card reader is Twitter co-creator Jack Dorsey’s latest venture.

Check out their website at www.squareup.com for more detailed information. There are many how tos and tips on the website as well as videos.

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