Square is a mobile register for merchants who accept any form of payment for products or services. Square hit the scene pretty hard with a simple app that allows anyone to accept credit card payments through their mobile device. Since then, Square has been innovating ways to get their service into businesses by making it so convenient and trendy, that it’s almost impossible not to jump on board.
Today, Square announced the availability of the Square Stand. Besides providing a great service, they also produce fantastic Youtube content around their products. Below is the video announcing Square Stand, which is a table top register replacement that works with Square and your iPad
The Square Stand is a register case for your iPad replacing the iconic Square card reader with an all-in-one register experience. You can even configure it to work with bluetooth cash drawers and receipt printers.
Point-of-sale systems can be very expensive to own or lease and they get outdated fast. This is why you typically see old systems in businesses these days. It takes years to return on the initial investment. Square has turned that upside down by allowing you to use a piece of technology you most likely already have, your iPad.
I am waiting for Square to come out with a more robust card reader for the iPhone. As convenient as the Square card reader is, I still store it in my bag out of fear that the reader could get snapped off in my headphone jack.
Great job Square, another innovative product that I am sure will bring even more business your way despite the high 2.75% fees on swiped transactions and even higher 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction fees for keyed in transactions. To be honest, it would be worth marking your products up 1.5% to make up for the fees to make Square more cost effective than it would be to invest in a turnkey system from one of the major POS providers.
There are now more options than ever before when it comes to processing credit cards for your business. In the early days if you wanted to sell online you had either Paypal or an expensive Gateway provider to choose from. Today you have many options. The question is, which one works best for your needs?
Most of my clients are smaller businesses just starting. Signing up for a gateway or a terminal is often a scary option because of the contracts they want to get you into. If you are not yet sure what sales will look like then an option like Paypal is often the suggested route.
Having come off of a fresh horrible experience with Paypal I am now referring my clients to other options such as Google Checkout or Square. I thought it would be interesting to compare the three as they are the most widely used processors out there right now.
Paypal has been around the longest, however I have found that you really have no control over your money. I suggest to anyone with a Paypal account that they keep little or no balance in their account. I currently have a personal Paypal account and a business Paypal account with a combined balance of $1500 that Paypal will not give me access to. I have recently switched to Google Checkout for online transactions and Square for transactions where the card is present. A you can see in the chart below, Paypal and Google Checkout have the same fee structure. Square is a cheaper solution if you have the customers card in hand.
Square is a card reader and app for mobile devices. If you have a smart phone and your customers cards are present at the time of sale, this is the best option for you.
When should you switch to a Merchant account? Well I came across this nifty tool which helps you determine if you are making enough monthly transactions to save money with a merchant service such as Authorize.net. Merchant accounts often have monthly fees for Gateway access but have lower transaction fees. If your sales average less than $6000 per month then you would not benefit much at all from having a merchant account over one of the accounts shown below. However it is a scary decision to go from a service that would not cost you anything if you had no sales at all to a service that has a fee regardless of sales.
It is my opinion that if you have the ability to use Google Checkout as an option then you should. They are not acting as a bank like Paypal is. They simply process the payments and batch out to the bank account of your choice. Plus if there is a problem with the customers transaction, Google Checkout give then the option to update their payment where as Paypal just rejects it. This results in fewer lost sales for you.
I would love to hear about your experiences with any of the above services in respect to fees and the handling of your money. As I mentioned above, I have had issues with Paypal but that is not the case for everybody.
As I mentioned above, before making a decision to choose a Merchant Service Provider you Gould check this website out. It’s a nice resource to help you decide. FeeFighters Paypal Calculator