The other day I was in Starbucks doing some work and I notice this guy talking to this girl at a table next to me. I could tell they were having some sort of business meeting. As I kind of eavesdropped into their conversation, I realized that the guy was some sort of consultant and the lady that he was talking to was his client.
After they finished their meeting she gave him her credit card and he swiped the card with some square device on his Ipad. Basically, he was taking a payment for his session on his Ipad. This was the first time that I had seen something like this done. I have heard of different technologies for mobile phones that would allow vendors to take payments anywhere, but the monthly fees to get this type of service on your phone were very high.
Eventually, I struck up a conversation with the guy and found out that he was a web designer. He was working with the lady on a website for her business. All of that was great, but there was only one thing that I wanted know. So I asked him, “What was the thing he was using to swipe his client’s credit card?” He said that he used a service called Square and that they have an app that allows people to accept credit cards using their Ipad or Ipod. He said that the service was great because he did not have to worry about getting paid by his clients since he could charge them immediately after each session.
After that, I started doing my research on Square and found out that they have some great features that are ideal for freelancers, independent contractors, and small business owners.
So here is what you should know about Square:
No Merchant Account Needed
Normally when businesses begin to accept credit cards they have to get a merchant account. On top of that, you have to get a payment gateway. In addition to that, if you do business offline or have a physical storefront, then you have to lease or purchase more equipment to swipe the credit card. The costs to maintain a merchant account, payment gateway, and equipment add up very quickly.
Simple Pricing Structure
If you have ever had a merchant account, then you know that the statements that you receive can be pretty confusing. You cannot figure out where some of these additional fees are coming from. Well Square is pretty straight forward. You either pay a flat monthly fee of $275 per month or you pay 2.75% for each transaction.
You Do Not Have To Have Business Set Up
Usually merchant account providers require individuals trying to apply for a merchant account have a business set up. In addition to that, some may require that you have a EIN and a business bank account. However, with Square you do not need to have a business set up, EIN, or business bank account. You can use your personal bank account and social security number.
Easy Signup Process
I was able to set up an account in under 10 minutes. The process is very straight forward with no complicated steps or questions. You simply enter your contact information personal or business. Then you will have to link a bank account, personal or business, so you can receive your funds. That's it.
Needless to say, I was very impressed with what Square offered. I think they give small business owners, freelancers, and independent contractors a no-hassle way of accepting credit card payments from customers. Lastly, I think that their business model will force traditional merchant account providers to rethink the ways that they do business.