Such a question… when someone is holding a large order of soap, or selecting a hand dyed silk scarf and they ask that question i used to cringe. Cringe because at one point we did not take them because traditional credit card services through a bank are a small fortune in hidden fees, maintenance fees, and percent of sale.
Aah, but then came squareup.com, an independent source of credit card processing that has no monthly fee, and fee simple percentage of sale per transaction. I learned about this service several years ago, and decided to subscribe, order the scanner piece (free, by the way, and as many as you need), and link my bank account to it. That was two summers ago. We noticed about 30% increase in sales that first month of using it.
And the process is simple. You do a small amount of set up on the back end – Business name, contact info, link your bank account, set up your logo and determine if you will have your tax button turned on or off.
Here are the fees:
- Using the swipe – 2.75% of transaction
- Keying in the card – 3.75% of transaction
The start screen looks like this:
Enter the price, the item, and if you like take a picture of the merchandise. Simply swipe the card, and you are taken to a signature page:
Have the customer sign the page, and determine if they want the receipt sent to email or cell phone as a text. I currently do not have any other capabilities, however there is a wireless printer that will interface with the phone and square which is sold by another company. In the photo below are the options – this was taken from an iPad, that has a printer integrated:
The nicest feature of squareup is the availability to log in and download your transactions. We love the accuracy of the information, and actually have begun considering doing our cash transactions through the system for documentation too. Here is a sample of the screen detail (It is more legible in full screen)
And you can set up multiple tax rates (we travel to different counties, each having different rate, and we can quickly switch one on or off)
So now when someone asks us “Do you accept credit cards” we enthusiastically say “Why yes we do!”. And we stand in amazement at the looks on the faces of people when we hand our cell phone to them to sign the transaction. While it is growing more common, people are still surprised.
And we know the funds we took in credit card charges are in our bank account the next business day. Happy customers, happy artist! Square has made a significant improvement on our business and if you are not taking credit cards but have a smart phone, consider it!!!
Technology is a helpful tool to make business more efficient. Lets take advantage of these tools.