A company called Square has just announced that you (anybody! businesses! individuals!) can now accept credit cards using the iPhone. And the best part is that so much is free. It will change the way so many small companies and solopreneurs do business. Probably including us. (It also works on the iPad and Android phones.)
Usually credit card companies charge a high monthly fee, plus you have to pay for a swiping device, plus they take a big percentage of the charge. With Square, the device is free, plus there’s no monthly fee. The down side is that at first, they only give you part of your money immediately (until they trust you, that is).
The device looks like a little plastic square, and it plugs into the headphone jack. Simple.
David Pogue just wrote a New York Times article about Square. The main drawback is that the swipe doesn’t always work the first time; you may need to swipe the card a few times to get it to work. His conclusion: “The Square system is beautiful, simple, and a joy to use. It saves money, red tape, worry, and lost sales.”
Fast Company also has an article on how great Square is.
They’ve also got a guide to the Square system. It has detailed info on how it works.
Today I signed IvanExpert up for Square. Signup process was very easy, as was linking our company bank account. Can’t wait to try it out. I wonder how long it will take for us to get the swiper device in the mail? Once I’ve tried it out, I’ll post an update. If it works as described, I may never need to call our clients to remind them to send payment.