Business Management

Use Your Phone to Swipe Clients’ Cards

Plug a little plastic cube into the audio jack of your phone and you can use it to accept credit cards. Square (www.squareup.com) is a smartphone app that enables anyone to accept payment cards.

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Plug a little plastic cube into the audio jack of your phone and you can use it to accept credit cards. Square (www.squareup.com) is a smartphone app that enables anyone to accept payment cards. The company offers an easy-to-use, free credit card reader that enables the transactions.

Sign up requires a U.S. bank account, a social security number, and a street address. Square’s card processing fees are 2.75% + 15¢ for swiped transactions (3.5% + 15¢ for keyed-in transactions). There are no activation, gateway, monthly, early termination, or hidden fees. A tipping feature allows clients to add tips easily through their payment card.

"I’ve been using it since September and I love it," says Shelly Hawthorne of Pampered Nails in Round Rock, Texas. "It is so easy to use and works great. Their rates are competitive, especially if you factor in that you aren’t paying a monthly fee. If you have a slow month for credit card transactions you only pay for the transactions you process."

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