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Square Fix for iPhone 4

If you have a Square card reader from squareup.com and an iPhone 4 then you have probably been a bit frustrated with it not working out to well. The problem is the metal to metal contact of the Square reader and the iPhone 4 metal antenna. Yes the antenna curse effects more then just your precious calls.

I ran into this issue in a real life instance of using my Square reader. I was trying to take a deposit from a wedding client today while sitting in Starbucks. I am pretty sure the whole store stood and watched as I swiped the card at least 30 times before deciding to slightly pull up on the attachment and try that. In the past with headphones on other devices I have had connections wear out and then work when I did this, so it was just a logical thing to try in my opinion. It worked! I was able to take my payment. Square is a much better option for me then Google Checkout or Paypal because of the lower rate Square offers when the card is swiped.

When I got home I decided to go online to see if anyone else had this issue, I found this post confirming my suspicions. I, like the commenter BikeHugger, did not like the suggested paper fix. I did not want to carry around a piece of paper or have to perform that fix in front of a client about to hand me their credit card for a large purchase. Knowing for sure that it was the metal to metal contact I went around my house looking for some sort of epoxy or clear resin I could apply to the base of the post on the Square card reader attachment. What you see in the video is what I came up with.

In this video I explain the process of applying a fix to this issue.

Items Needed:
*Finger Nail Polish Top Coat or Clear Epoxy (see below)
*Q-Tip (Not the rapper from A Tribe Called Quest silly)

Hope this helps you with your credit card processing-ness.

Update: After inserting the Square card reader into the iPhone 4 about 10 times the finger nail polish top coat wore off. I decided to take a trip to Orchard Supply to get something a little more durable. Elmers Epoxy is what I ended up using.

Link: Elmer’s E1009 1-Ounce Superfast Epoxy Cement

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5 Comments

  • Frank
    August 4, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I have a Square reader and iPhone 4 and haven’t experienced any issues with it at all. Not sure why not.

  • Square for iPhone [Review] « Mitchell's Blog
    October 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    […] interfere with the reader's ability to connect. There are some simple fixes online but the one by Jerad Hill is the best. Get some nail polish top coat and wallah you're […]

  • Mitchell Huang
    October 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    This post saved my life. Thanks so much!

  • Justin Freid
    May 10, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks for confirming the issue.
    When I first examined the reader, I was impressed that they built in the extra metal ring it to accommodate even pretty thick cases.
    When I began testing the reader’s functionality I couldn’t get it to work a single time. I searched Square’s support site and Google, and even watched the official instructional YouTube video which featured a Swedish translator and was shot in a parking garage.

    I didn’t find this site or Square’s explanation (http://j.mp/jvt0dF) until I thought more about the extra metal ring and added “interference with iPhone 4 antennae” to my Google searches.
    Considering that I started using Square nearly a year after your post, I think they should have included forewarning on the device’s packaging since they haven’t yet changed its design.

  • Justin Freid
    May 11, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Square support has just agreed to ship me an updated reader. Thanks guys.

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