I was going to do a review of a certain large local software company’s QR code campaign that would have been a soggy glass of MehWine, but I personally prefer to liven my life up with a dash or two of AwesomeSauce. Therefore, when I got the chance to play with Square’s payment processing app at yesterday’s <shamelessPlug> Bone Poets Orchestra live music event </shamelessPlug> I changed my mind.
I was lucky enough to help at the door, and so I got to process about 10-12 credit cards using the application. This was an application I downloaded about five minutes prior to the door opening, and was able to figure out how to operate in less than 15 seconds.
Just plug the Square Card Reader (and it really IS square) into the serial port masquerading as a headphone jack, tap in the dollar amount to process (and optionally a note designating what the charge was for) and then swipe the card in the direction shown. The customer signs on the iPhone screen with their finger, then decides if they want a receipt via SMS or email. The whole process takes perhaps 60 seconds.ure out in less than 15 seconds. Yes. Even me.
Oh, and that card reader? They’ll send you one for free if you sign up.
Clean, intuitive and fast. The way mobile should be.
Now, before the square people start cutting me a check or anything, I feel that it should be said that they do not do card processing for free. That would be insane, as there are a number of costs and risks involved in payment processing. The rate they charge, 2.75 percent, is not cheap. MasterCard and Visa are usually around 1.5% to 2.5%, while American Express is, um, more… at least in some cases.
However, for this use case: Low volume/high portability/zero investment… it’s a very nice solution to the problem of on-the-go credit card processing.