How to take credit card payments – offline – on location
I recently attended a book signing in which I was to take the sale and at the end of the day, pay a percentage of the sales to the bookstore that was hosting the event.
I didn’t want to get into a lengthy and expensive merchant account contract, so I searched and found an easy – cost effective – and no-contract way to do so.
It’s called SquareUp, and it allows you to take credit and debit cards using your Android, iPhone or iPad.
At the time of this review, the following information was current:
- 2.75% per swipe for Visa, MasterCard, Discover and AmEx.
- Free app, free Square Card Reader and free shipping.
- No merchant account, monthly fees or set-up costs.
- Manually-entered cards cost 3.5% + 15¢ per transaction.
- Payments can be automatically sent for deposit to your bank account.
- You can get email confirmations when deposits are made.
- The customer can receive an email or text message confirmation of sale.
- No limit to the number or amount of payments you can take.
I couldn’t believe how easy it was to use.
- I signed up for a free account.
- I setup my banking details for the deposits.
- I requested the FREE card reader/scanner that was mailed mailed to me and received within a day or two of the request.
- I download and installed the free app to my iPhone.
- I plugged the scanner (see arrow at left) into my iPhone’s headphone jack.
- I ran a test scan with my own credit card.
- I received an email confirmation of the sale (as vendor).
- And I received (by choice) a text message confirmation of sale (as buyer).
Heading out for my book signing, my concerns were:
- Will my customers feel comfortable using the SquareUp card reader on my iPhone?
- Will it be difficult to use in real-time with customer’s waiting in line?
To my great surprise and delight, I discovered that:
- The customer’s voiced no qualms about using the card scanner on my iPhone.
- They actually were quite interested in trying the device.
- They found it comical to sign their name with their fingertip.
- They were happy to see that they could have a receipt emailed or texted to them immediately after the purchase.
- The scanner was easy to use. There was only one card that I had to swipe a second time to get it to read – otherwise they all scanned easily and without effort or glitches.
- I found that it was easiest to hand them the phone to enter their phone# or email into the receipt space than for me to try to get it entered correctly, but this would be your choice.
- Only one customer preferred that I type in the email address for him.
- I received an email confirmation immediately after each sale.
The next day:
- I received the following email: “Thank you for using Square! We have initiated a $XXXX.XX credit to your Bank account. The funds will be available in 1-2 business days. deposit the following day.” and they were.
- I logged into my online SquareUp account and viewed my sales by hour, day, week, month, item.
- I downloaded spreadsheets by transaction, summary and detail.
- From the Dashboard there is also an option to reissue a receipt or a refund.