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Square has arrived! Yesterday, the mobile-app-cum-credit-card-reader launched in the United States for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android. By downloading the free app and plugging the free “square” credit card reader into the headphone jack of your smartphone, you can accept credit card payments. Your customers can leave you a tip, sign with their fingers, and receive an electronic receipt via email or SMS. The app also includes access to a secure online dashboard that displays analytics and documentation of all your sales.
The only fees the merchant pays are a percentage of the sale plus a few cents per credit card swipe.
Square was launched by Jack Dorsey, the cofounder and chairman of Twitter, who was inspired by a glass blower from St. Louis. Because the glass blower could only accept cash payments at his studio, he would lose potential customers (because who carries that much cash around these days?). Square works for bookstores, babysitters, politicians collecting campaign donations, dog groomers, plumbers on house calls, and anyone selling anything.
In my opinion, Square is a game changer. It means that more people can start selling their products and services themselves, out of their homes, on the go, or wherever they happen to be.
I’m tempted to download the app and get the card reader, and I don’t even have anything to sell!