Earlier this week, I told you about how I took my wife, sister and mother out for breakfast and how the restaurant didn’t accept credit cards. This was surprising to me as it isn’t very common for a business to not accept credit cards in our area. In fact, even the food trucks around here accept credit cards!
One suggestion I made was that this restaurant use a service called Square to solve this problem. For those who don’t know, Square is a free app that you can download on your iPhone, iPad, iOS, and Android devices for free. They will send you a card reader, and you can then accept credit cards paying a simple 2.75% fee.
That sounds really easy, but it has to be more difficult than that! So, I thought: “If it is so easy, why don’t I do it, and see if I’m being unfair to this restaurant.”
Signing Up For Square Review
Before we begin, I would like to say that I am not being compensated in any way for this review.
Last Wednesday, I accepted my challenge (brave, I know)! I grabbed my tablet, grabbed my dog leash, and took my dog on a walk.
While walking outside around my house, I used my WiFi to download the app. It was just as easy as downloading any other app.
I then opened the app and answered a few questions such as:
- Chose a personal account (you can choose between personal & business)
- Last 4 of my Social Security Number
- Answered 3 questions on my credit record (to verify my identity)
- Provided bank information (to deposit funds)
Literally, within 5 minutes, while walking my dog, I was approved to use Square. 2 hours after signing up, they had confirmed my bank account information as well (proof below)! I can enter card information manually until I get my free card reader in the mail (3 – 7 days estimated).
Square Sign Up Review: What I Learned
From this, I was able to learn a few things. Firstly, Square is ridiculously easy to use, and can get you accepting cards almost instantly. Secondly, it is completely free to start (including the card reader!). Finally, there is no reason a business can’t accept credit cards with such a service in existence.
Entrepreneurs may not like the fees involved, but it’s becoming less and less optional if you want to make your customers happy. Honestly, you can even charge a convenience fee, or require a minimum amount if you really want to be a credit card protester. I might have found it kind of lame, but it would have been a much nicer convenience than the alternative to walking next door and spending $4 dollars on an ATM! (luckily I had a checkbook).
For those wondering what Square charges, they are quite transparent with their fees (published here). As of this writing, the app, signing up, and your first card reader are all entirely free. There are no monthly fees, no contracts, no merchant accounts, or anything.
The only fees are a 2.75% fee when swiping the card, and 3.5% + $0.15 when entering a card manually. If you have a smart phone or a tablet, you have no reason to not accept credit cards except for being stubborn. If you don’t have a tablet, then buy one. Your customers want you to accept credit cards, and the few that don’t can get a cash discount.