Those of us with small businesses run the risk of missing out on revenue opportunities if we don’t have a credit card merchant account. At the same time, businesses like mine don’t need to process credit cards in person more than a few times each year because PayPal and Google Checkout work in many situations. For those times when having a credit card merchant account would help, Square looks incredibly attractive. By installing the free Square iPhone and iPad app and connecting a card swipe device, I’m instantly able to process transactions.
Even if you don’t want to swipe credit cards, Square comes in handy for cash transactions as well, because you can create a receipt for cash purchases that makes accounting easier later. Being able to perform these functions through either a iPhone or iPad is handy because they are far more portable than a wireless credit card machine and have the advantage of being useful even when you aren’t processing credit cards.
While the Square service is designed specifically for credit card swipe transactions, they do offer you keyed entry of a transaction, in case you can’t read the card for some reason.
Credit Card processing fees are in line with what you might expect from a credit card merchant account at low volume. As of this writing, Square’s card processing fees are:
2.75% + 15¢ for swiped transactions
3.5% + 15¢ for keyed-in transactions
The higher percentage for a keyed-in transaction represents higher risk of fraud.