With Square, you too can accept wireless debit and credit card payments

Square Wireless Contactless (Tap) & Chip card reader

Square Reader. We’ve all seen it, or heard about it. You may have even made a purchase or saw someone swiping their credit card through a little white square dongle attached to a smartphone.

Step into a small cafe or market or stroll down any art walk promenade and you’ll probably see the iconic logo, “Square Accepted Here.” 

But have you ever thought, “I can use that?”

You may be running or thinking of starting up a new little enterprise or perhaps contemplating doing a little downsizing or clearing the clutter. Since fewer people use cheques or carry cash, if you can give people quick and easy mobile payment options like Square you may find it a little easier to get paid, make that sale or rid yourself of the no longer wanted items. 

It’s been a little over five years since Square introduced their new micro-payment system to Canada enabling payment through a little magstripe reader plugged into your headphone jack of your mobile device. It’s no doubt changed the way small businesses processed their transactions.  It has put the budding entrepreneur, service provider and even street market seller and garage sale vendor on a more even playing field with big business. 

The idea that anyone could quickly and easily complete secure payment transaction via any major credit card with a simple swipe was previously unheard-of, a privilege previously reserved for major players. And with the free companion Square Point-of-Sale (POS) app you can track your activity add products photo and prices and manage your inventory. Square’s Invoices app allows you to bill your clients and sends invoices and automatic payment reminders via e-mail allowing complete secure payment transactions when not dealing face-to-face.

Reader accepts both debit and credit cards

Wireless Contactless and Chip Reader

Square has recently taken a huge leap, taking advantage of the latest technologies and now has more features and payments acceptance options so your customer can pay the way they want. It’s no longer an issue if your newer mobile device no longer has a headphone jack or if their payment card requires you to use a chip & PIN. Even better, you’re no longer limited to accepting just credit cards; Debit cards are welcome too.

Square Readers connects to a headphone jack or Lightning Port

For users with iOS devices like the iPhone or iPad, Square now has a magstripe reader that plugs into the lightning port but the pièce de résistanceis Square’s new Contactless and Chip Reader. It’s a palm-sized battery powered wireless device that quickly pairs with most Bluetooth enabled mobile devices. 

With this new reader, your customers can now simply “Tap” for any purchases up to $100 just like at Tim Horton’s or at your local grocery store. Over that amount they can easily insert their chip-enabled credit card into the reader then simply enter their PIN number on their mobile device to complete the transaction. “Tap” can also be used for payments via Interac Flash (Debit) as well as Apple Pay and Google Pay. (Debit is limited right now to $100, but that might change in the future.)

Accept wireless payment for products & services anywhere

Square encrypts card information and data is never stored on your mobile device, so your customer can ensure that his or her data is always secure.

Cost for Square payment processing in Canada is only 2.65% for all credit card transactions and only 10 cents for debit transactions.  Apple Pay + Google Pay fees will depend on whether the customer has his or her credit card or debit card connected to the account. There are no hidden fees or service charges. Your funds are sent directly to your bank account and will be available to you in just one to two business days.  For more details or to sign up for free visit Square.ca. You’ll also get a free magstripe reader to get you started.

The Square Contactless + Chip Reader retails for $59 and includes a free magstripe reader in the box. Both can be connected to your devices at the same time. There’s also an optional wedged-shaped reader Dock for Square Reader ($39) so you can keep charged all day. Square Reader for Magstripe sells for $10. You can find these at Staples, Best Buy or your local Telus or Apple Store. Other hardware configurations are also available. Visit Squareup.ca

Late News – Square Terminal

But wait, there’s more. Just prior to the release of this article, Square has made yet again another huge announcement that allows you to take payment and print receipts on one device. It’s called Square Terminal ($299 – intro price) – a self contained unit with a built-in touch display and thermal printer that does not require being attached to a mobile a host mobile device.

We’re just having a look at it right now, so stay tuned for future coverage.

A syndicated version of this article also appears at Troy Media, entitled: It’s hip to be Square: payment device expanding its reach.

Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at GadgetGuy.ca.

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