Mobile payments are changing the way in which small businesses and entrepreneurs receive and process payments. In the past, entrepreneurs had to have a merchant account with a two-year commitment to a financial institution. Not anymore.
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey launched Square, a mobile payment service that enables smartphones (iPhones and Androids) and tablets (iPads) to accept credit card payments, as an alternative to traditional credit card payment systems. At its peak, Square has processed $3 million in payments in one day and is nearing $1 billion in payment processing. Since launching in 2009, Square has 500,000 users.
Entrepreneurs now have the ability to run a business from their pocket and compete with larger brick and mortar companies. Small businesses and entrepreneurs can sign up for the service by downloading the free Square app from iTunes or Android market. Getting started from there is simple.
- Get the Credit Card Reader: Once you establish a Square account at Squareup.com, you will receive a free credit card reader in the mail. Plug the reader into the headphone jack of your iPhone, iPad, or Android device and you’re up and running. All you have to do is:
- Take A Credit Card Payment: Payments can either be processed by swiping a customer’s credit card or manually entering their payment information. Currently USA issued Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards are accepted. Users should note that there is a 2.75% charge per credit card swipe with no monthly fees or contracts. If the credit card number is entered manually, there is a 3.5% charge, plus $0.15 per transaction fee.
- Sign Receipt: After the credit card is authorized, you will see a receipt on the screen of your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. The customer signs the receipt (with a Stylus or their finger) and determines whether to receive the final receipt via email or text.
- Next Day Payout: The next business day the money is automatically deposited into your bank account.
Square is also rolling out a new service called Square Register, according to TechCrunch. The service will allow retailers to replace their cash registers by using iPads in point-of-sale transactions.
It’s that simple, so get Squared today!
Hajj Flemings is a weekly technology columnist for BlackEnterprise.com, founder of Brand Camp University, and the author of the book Brand YU Life. As a speaker and brand strategist, he works with some of the largest brands, covering the topics of branding and digital technology. Check back next Wednesday for his next column. Until then, continue the conversation on Hajj’s BE Insider page at beinsider.ning.com/HajjEFlemings.