Square-up the Bill on your iPhone

For small retailers, especially those that are mobile or work weekend craft shows, taking credit cards can be expensive and cumbersome. But Jack Dorsey, co-creator of Twitter, has a rather elegant solution that should be available sometime next year. Why not use an iPhone? His company, Square, is working on an iPhone application that authorizes a credit card, captures a signature, and emails the receipt. They even have a magstripe reader that connects to the iPhone.

squareup.jpg

TechCrunch has been following this semi-secret project, and have posted a video of the application in action.

This sort of approach could help larger retailers with line-busting, parking lot sales, and pop-up stores. Keep an eye on this one.

Update: ReadWriteWeb has an interesting article on this topic: Is Jack Dorsey's Square Going After the Wrong Customers?

Comments:

Interesting...but, now this smells like now the credit card cloning process will be available to more people more easily...

Posted by Delfino N. on December 02, 2009 at 04:57 AM CST #

Let's hope they incorporate the PCI (credit card security) specifications in their design.

Posted by David on December 02, 2009 at 05:13 AM CST #

lOOKING FOR A PHONE NUMBER TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT THE CARD READER APPT.

Posted by Stephanie on July 01, 2010 at 07:20 AM CDT #

Square up sound great but in fact it is a mess. One you are relying on your network to process it. When it is a busy weekend like Art Basel Miami, you could not get through and because it takes a long time to process you get stuck in the middle of the process and then you think it did not charge but it did so you end up charging customers 2x. At the end I could not do it at all, could not get through, lost many sales that way. The other issue is that they hold your money for a month. They only give you the first $1001, then after that you have to proof to them that you are legit, this should have been asked ahead of time. I only found out that they would release your moneys later. Although I am still waiting for our monies even after they said they would release it seven days ago or more. Of course they are getting interest on your money so they want to take their sweet time. There is no phone support at all. It is very frustrating. I will not suggest it to anyone. Only if you are really desperate to get the credit card sales.

Posted by Charo Oquet on December 28, 2010 at 03:55 AM CST #

Holy cow.....I just got my card reader and in a hast to test it out I ran over $700 on my own card just screwing around. Each time I hit cancel and my bank shows that the transactions went through. If I have to wait to get my own money back I will never use this company again!!

Posted by Scott on January 29, 2011 at 11:16 AM CST #

This company SUCKS! the information they provide on their site is completely misleading, don't get me wrong the idea is great but sadly, in reality they have royally screwed it up.
they advertise " Square gets you paid" but they conveniently leave out the 30 day wait after you exceed your $1000 charge limit. You have to fish for the information on their site, which also states its a "super simple easy" process to increase your $1000 limit..... uuuhh noooo, firstly, they freeze your account to make sure you are not making fraudulent charges, you are then asked to submit 3 months banks statements and then they run your credit to do credit inspection in order to increase your account limit.
PS: I was ( in not so many words) told that all this is because they do not have any fraud protection which is why there is this so called 30day wait... mmmm comforting.!!
I guess it makes sense that their main form of contact is via twitter since the guy who started square is the co founder of twitter...
but good luck trying to find a customer call number to actually speak to a person because it seems they don't believe in phones anymore... its twitter & email or nothing with these guys.

So unfortunately i had two very short lived charges and I'm still waiting for the rest of my funds to be posted to my account. Finally once this is done my account will be deactivated and be rid of this extremely annoying company that claims to be "The simplest way to make money." but in fact has made me loose money and give me more headaches than one really needs.

They are a joke, be careful when looking into their services there are other companies out there that are 20times better. I hope you can learn from my mistake. :(

Posted by B.Evans on April 07, 2011 at 03:55 PM CDT #

here is an email address I used with quick response: https://help.squareup.com/customer/portal/emails/new

Posted by guest on June 17, 2011 at 01:00 AM CDT #

I have been using the square and think it is fabulous. It does tell you that you are not going to get any money over the $1k for 30 days after processing on their website as you are signing up. If you are able to read and do your homework before signing up for something so important to your business then the 30 day wait period would not have been a surprise. I have not had any problems swiping credit cards but I am also in a large city. Im not sure how it would work in a smaller town. I would advise any small business to get one especially if you deal with customers that you don't know or that travel and you may never see again. It lets you know if their cards decline on the spot and you are not at a loss. Their merchant processing rates are very good and are very competitive with other companies. One down side is that you cant research past transactions or reimburse funds via this unit.

Posted by Amy on July 13, 2011 at 07:57 PM CDT #

If you are a new customer, they simply cannot know if you are legit or a scammer. The service is flexible enough that it allows you to begin accepting credit card payments very quickly, without any upfront cost (no major deposits, no monthly statement fees, annual fees or anything else). Well, surely there must be something they can do to protect themselves from fraud (ex: a con man creates an account, gets stolen credit cards and begins charging for "goods" and "services", $400 each; after a month, cardholders begin receiving their statements, start cancelling their cards, banks order chargebacks, and this SquareUp company ends up short).

This works extremely well for low-volume businesses (plumbers, electricians, contractors, florists, musicians, etc) who normally work with cash or cheques, but could boost sales by accepting cards. Once you have proven yourself a legitimate business, your money flows much faster.

I can't quite understand how can anyone expect to immediately begin receiving large payouts without any history as a client with them.

Posted by Predrag on July 26, 2011 at 03:38 AM CDT #

DON'T USE SQUARE!

THEY DO NOT ANSWER PHONES

THEY MADE ME SEND THEM ALL MY COMPANY'S LLC LICENCE OUR TAX ID NUMBERS letter of incorporation AND CERTIFICATE OF GOOD STANDING FROM STATE OF MISSOURI

THEY HELD FUNDS FOR 30 DAYS THEY MAKE ONE DEPOSIT OF 2,000 OUT OF $35,000 OF MINE THEY ARE HOLDING

THEY THEN WILL NOT CALL ME OR E MAIL BACK

THEY SAID THEY CAN KEEP MONEY AS LONG AS THEY WANT

THEY CAN PUT EVERY ONES MONEY IN A Account TO JUST HOLD IT TO COLLECT INTEREST FOR NO REASON

MY FAMILY LOST ALL WE HAD BECAUSE WE LET SQUARE TAKE THE CC PAYMENTS .

I I'M A BUSINESS MAN AND SWEAR BY LAW ALL IS TRUE TO BEST OF MY KNOWING

call square up at 415-375-3176 this is there office number they Hide it. My Attorney had to find it. Let them know what you think about all this!

Address:

Square, Inc.
Attn: Copyright Agent
901 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

If you have issues with any SQUARE UP services let us know.

do you hate square?

LET STOP THEM NOW!

see reviews on fowling links

http://jrobertson5150.blogspot.com/

Posted by guest on March 11, 2012 at 07:15 PM CDT #

Several years after this blog post was posted, Square is winning the mobile payments war fairly comprehensively, even as they have plenty of tough competition to deal with, most notably Intuit's GoPayment. Jack Dorsey's start-up has put all information about their service on the table and are hiding nothing underneath it. Of course it helps that they have raised many tens of millions of dollars and have been spending it with abandon on advertisement. http://blog.unibulmerchantservices.com/why-square-is-winning-the-mobile-payments-war

Posted by guest on March 18, 2012 at 04:09 PM CDT #

Square is a beautiful app and a nice service for small retailers. It does have some short comings. If you are looking for an alternative try Tillify.

Posted by guest on March 21, 2012 at 09:53 PM CDT #

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David Dorf, Sr Director Technology Strategy for Oracle Retail, shares news and ideas about the retail industry with a focus on innovation and emerging technologies.


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