Several years ago a client asked me if I accepted credit cards, to which I replied, “Not yet, why?” This was a large project in terms of the potential dollars she would be spending with me, and because I wanted to keep her happy, the next day I signed up through my bank to accept credit card payments, not just from her, but from all my clients.
What a bookkeeping nightmare that was! As soon as her project was completed, I cancelled the service with no regrets.
SMARTPHONES AND CREDIT CARDS UNITE
Time lapse five years forward and now the iPhone and Android phones, plus the iPad (none of which existed then) are standard tools for business owners.
So what do smartphones have to do with credit card payments?
Everything when you add to that smartphone or iPad a little square device that inserts into the earphone plug hole. Voilá, your smartphone just became a credit card terminal, and you can easily accept credit cards from your customers and clients, right there, on the spot. Cool!
WHAT’S THAT LITTLE SQUARE?
Funnily enough, it’s called “Square,” and what it does is when you swipe a credit card through it is that it transmits the credit card holder’s information to Square’s site where you have an account. They debit the card holder for the amount you indicate and Square deposits the money, less their 2.75% fee, into your bank account. No contracts, monthly fees, or merchant accounts. It’s simple, clean, easy.
HOW DO I GET A SQUARE?
Apple is so enthusiastic about this little device that you can even purchase it at the Apple store and on-line at iTunes, which is saying a lot about it.
iPhone and iPad users click HERE to learn more about how to get it through iTunes.
Android users click HERE to learn more about getting it for your smartphone.
Of course, you can also order it via Square’s web site: Square.
I M H O
I believe that Square, and other technology of this ilk, is on the way to making cash, and especially payments by check, obsolete. But that’s just my thinking. What’s yours?
UPDATE; June 4, 2012
If your business accepts credit or debit cards (no matter how you take them), then this IRS tax code change should be of interest to you: "The New Merchant Card Reporting Requirements require businesses who accept payments from credit and debit cards to report that income separately....This requirement will be enforced in the 2012 tax year."
UPDATE: March 15th, 2011
Now PayPal's hat is in the smartphone payment ring with their new device and technology. To read more, please click HERE to be taken to their web site information page.
Information contained herein is for guideline purposes only, is not an endorsement of a vendor or its product, and is no guarantee that you will become a millionaire because you’ve used it.
Photos courtesy of Technotechniques.com and squareup.com, pubpages.unh.edu
Copyright © The B. Hammil Company, 2011