Starting a small business is easier than ever before thanks to affordable financing and the emergence of convenient portable technology. A perfect example of this trend is Square Up, a free app on the Android Market and App Store allowing users to process credit card payments through their iPhone, Android smart phone, or tablet. This handy credit card payment application includes a free card reader accessory allowing customers to swipe their cards directly on the tablet or phone. The unmatched convenience and portability Square Up offers to the business owner sets the standard for finance apps.
Necessary Accessories – As a standalone app, Square Up is capable of processing credit card transactions based on text-entry of the credit card information and billing address. This method is time consuming, but allows Square Up users to process credit cards anywhere, anytime. The app really shines when used with the free card-swipe accessory, however. When users register for an account on SquareUp.com, Square sends them a complimentary card reader that plugs into their device’s 3.5mm headphone jack. This tiny (approximately one square inch,) free accessory allows the user to swipe a credit card and resolve a transaction within seconds. Whether running iOS or Android, Square Up is a one-stop hub for transactions.
Convenience for Small Business – Credit card processing is incredibly important for small business startups. Closing sales is significantly easier when the checkout process is streamlined and efficient and the customer has more payment options at his or her disposal. A perfect example would be an artist selling works from home. Clients who otherwise might not buy for lack of available cash or a checkbook are easier to convince when convenient credit card payment is available. Fewer and fewer customers carry a checkbook with them on a daily basis, and cash becomes less convenient proportionately to the average price of the merchandise. Quick, secure, and not tied to one location like most credit card processing devices, Square Up is the perfect option for anyone accepting payments regularly.
Prices and Additional Features – While Square Up is a free app bundled with a free gadget, there are some costs associated. Square charges a 2.75% transaction fee (3.5% for manual transactions,) plus $0.15 per transaction. The swipe accessory is important for anyone taking frequent payments; that .75% can add up very quickly with high volume sales. This simple pricing structure is the limit of Square’s billing. Square Up allows users to take a photo to match with each credit card transaction, providing for simplified record keeping, customer databases, and inventory tracking. The app is simple to use, with a clear, well laid-out user interface. Square Up users receive weekly balance transfers from their accounts and can issue refunds within 60 days of the original purchase.
Square Up takes small business payment processing to a new level of efficiency. Quick, lightweight, and easy to use with a wide range of devices from the Apple iPhone to the Motorola Xoom, Square Up and its card reader form the perfect combination for entrepreneurs seeking a simple way to draw in new clients and step up existing business. Credit card processing is no longer a luxury reserved for fully-realized businesses; thanks to the smart phone and tablet revolution any fledgling business owners with the urge to expand can realize this dream with technology they already own with no advance costs or start up fees. Square Up is the beginning of a new trend for small business: always ready for sales on the go!
==== About the Author ====
Eric Stauffer is part of the merchant services watchdog group CardPaymentOptions.com. They focus on providing unbiased reviews of large processors such as Pipeline Data and SecurePay, as well as educating small and medium sized businesses on how to navigate the merchant services industry.