An Easy, Inexpensive Way to Accept Credit Cards Anywhere

November 7th, 2010

Fred Light, recently started a discussion in the PFRE flickr discussion group that is worth highlighting. Fred’s post points out a tuaw.com review of the Square credit card reader designed to make it easier than ever before to for individuals and small businesses to take credit card payment anywhere without having to have a merchant account.

This product is available now for the iPhone and iPad and Android devices. You get the little square reader and the swipe App for free and pay 2.75% + $.15 per swipe.

The primary benefit of a device like this for real estate photographers is it allows you to take payment for a shoot on site at the shoot. Requesting payment via e-mail invoice and allowing customers to pay on your website is also is an easy way to get payment but you are always going to have clients that aren’t as comfortable with paying online plus there is an advantage to taking payment right at the time they are getting the service. This is an easy, inexpensive alternative way to get your payment at the shoot while you are both are thinking about it. As Fred says, “I swipe the client’s credit card. Then I take a photo of the house. They sign the phone. I email them a receipt with the total amount, and the address and photo of the house! The money is transferred (less the fee) to my bank account the next day. Simplifies my life and I get paid immediately!”

11 Responses to “An Easy, Inexpensive Way to Accept Credit Cards Anywhere”

  • This is cool. I may get this.

  • Very nice technology, but how much secure is it ?

  • Wow. This is just what I’ve been looking for in a card processor. I was considering Intuit because they have a reader about the size of a pack of gum (as far as I can tell), and that was the smallest I’d seen. I think the rates we similar, but Intuit also required a monthly fee. Thanks for passing this along!

  • It looks like Square has finally got their act together. I had looked in to them earlier this year and they were having all sorts of trouble, particularly with the availability of the cad reader. Users were signing up and then waiting months for the thing to arrive. They also got some flak for running a credit check on every user and there were rumors that client info was being sold to third parties.

    I can’t find any such criticisms now. It looks like they have solved their supply problem and I’ve heard really good feedback about their service recently. The credit check doesn’t really bother me either. Kind of the price you’ve got to pay for these kinds of services nowadays.

    Both my wife and I are probably going to start using Square in the next few months. People tend to spend more and often if they can use a credit card. ;-)

  • Looks like a very cool device, however I could see customers not wanting to swipe their card on an iphone.

  • anywhere… but not in Canada.. :(

  • Already have mine ordered.

  • Been using for a while – works great – no complaints.

  • Been using for a few months, absolutely love it. As for security it is extremely secure. They put quite a bit of research and development and did tons of testing and beta testing before opening the service up. One of the great security features is it embeds the GPS location so if an unauthorized transaction takes place they can tell location and user ID. It really helped out recently at a charity event where some of the cheapskates tried to use the excuse of not having cash on them or their wife had the checkbook. “No problem, sir, we accept cards” as I pulled my phone and reader out. The great part is most of them were so intrigued by the device and process they actually gave more and seemed happy to have experienced it. I’ve had people around my day job getting me to swipe &1-2 dollars at a time just to see how it works. Fine by me.

    You can also key a card number in if you need to take a payment over the phone or a card stripe is bad but they charge an extra 1% on those transactions.

    One caveat, though. If you do a lot of business you may not want to do this for all your transactions up front. For new accounts there is a $1,001 deposit limit per week. You can take more payments but they will not disburse more than that in a week. Anything over that will be disbursed after 30 days. You can contact their support to get higher limits if needed, not sure how long it takes though.

  • Erik & Lee: Thanks for the additional insight as actual users.

  • Do you know if there is an app or reader, that can work in Canada?