In 2009, Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, founded a new company called ‘Square’ which brings the most mind blowingly simple merchant services straight to your iPhone. This may be old news to you in the U.S., but here in the U.K., we’re still waiting to see this fabulous technology in our hot little hands.
Square is so simple. It’s an app for your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Square comes with a little cube-shaped dongle to plug into the earphone jack on your iPhone which is used to swipe cards. The screen turns into a pad for the client to enter their pin and the software even allows for ‘card-not-present’ transactions for clients over the phone.
The best bit? Square doesn’t require a merchant account, subscription, minimum monthly transactions or any-o-that! A lot like PayPal, you’re charged a small per-transaction fee (pennies) and then a less than 3% fee. During the transaction, customers enter their email address to receive their invoice/receipt via email (complete with a Google map of the location of the charge) so the entire transaction is paper-less.
For photographers, this will offer us so many more opportunities and reduce so much admin time which most of us would rather not have to deal with. Am I right? Am I right? Here are some ways I will use Square when it hits the UK:
- On the spot services like prom & events
- Client deposits and remaining balances on the day (exe: bride forgets the check on the day? Square’s got you covered)
- Transactions in the studio
Obviously, we’ll be able to use Square for any and all transactions, but just imagine the ease and added revenue possibilities of having a credit card machine in your pocket!
As easy and wonderful as Square seems, it only takes a split second of thinking like a criminal to come up with all sorts of badness. It will be very interesting to see how all the inevitable legal actions against Square will pan out to further form the technology into a flawless tool for honest merchants on the go.
Are you already using Square? Please tell us about your experience and the way you’ve found it helpful in your photography business.