Square for small business: A match made in heaven?

This remains a challenging economy for the those who own small businesses. It’s difficult to attract customers, to convince them to purchase your offerings, in an environment where unemployment continues to be nearly 8 percent. The good news? Small business proprietors do, thanks to improving technology, have a greater amount of tools that can help them attract and retain customers. One such tool? Square. This credit-card processing service allows business owners to easily close credit-card sales using their smart phones or tablets and the tiny Square credit-card reader. But Square isn’t all benefits. You will have to pay an added fee with every sale that you make with it. You’ll have to choose if the benefits of Square outweigh these extra costs.

How it works

Reviewers, including one writing recently for USA Today, praise Square because of its ease of use. Small business owners simply insert the square-shaped Square Reader — which is amazingly small — into the audio jack on their iPhone, iPad or Android device. They can now swipe their customers’ credit cards through the reader, kicking off the transaction. If a swipe does not work properly, Square users can also manually enter their customers’ credit-card numbers to close the transaction. What’s even better? You can get your Square Reader device at no cost. You can also download the app — Square Register — that powers the system for free. It’s available in the App Store and Google Play store.

The Biggest Positive of Square

Square is very easy to use. That’s why it’s perfect for overworked small business owners. There is no lengthy instruction book to pore through. There are no complicated installations. This is the reason Square has become so popular among small business owners. A recent story in USA Today reported that more than 800,000 customers are making use of Square today. The system is also easy for consumers. Using it, even the smallest of business owners can accept credit-card transactions. You will not need to send your customers to the corner ATM for cash.

The Downside to Square

There is a major drawback with Square: the cost that business owners must pay to use the service. Each time business owners swipe a credit card through the Square Reader, they’ll have to pay 2.75 percent of the transaction to Square, Inc. Each time owners must manually type in credit-card numbers, they’ll pay 3.5 percent to Square, Inc. Another potential drawback? In its review of the service, Entrepreneur Magazine said that the company needed to boost its customer service. Human-provided technical support was lacking, based on the magazine’s review.

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