I’ve been using Square (Square.com, formerly Squareup) since 2011 (it launched in 2009), back when the idea of a swipe-based smartphone processing system with no monthly fee and no equipment cost sounded like a fairy tale: too good to be true. Where else could you use your smart phone and take credit cards in the middle of a field? It was ideal when I was selling my fresh baked scones at farmers markets 2- 4 times a week and what’s more there was NO MONTHLY fees.
Since then, Square’s suite of products and services, including Square Register and Square Point of Sale, have established the company as more than a passing fad.
Square is, without a doubt, the most feature-rich and advanced mobile processing (mPOS) solution you can find without a monthly fee. It doubles as a countertop POS system, too.
The cost is easily Square’s biggest draw. With Square Payments, merchants typically pay a flat rate of 2.75% for swiped/dipped/tapped transactions, 3.5% + $0.15 for keyed transactions, and 2.9% + $0.30 for online transactions. No monthly fee. No statement fees. No monthly minimum. This is an extraordinary deal for many merchants, especially new ones without an established processing history.
So when you toss in a highly capable iPad POS (and smartphone-friendly mobile app) for free, the draw is almost irresistible.
I had also seen the system used in many coffee shops and even though I used to work for a processing company and knew I could reduce my transaction costs, I have stayed with Square even though my turnover has risen so much, it might be more cost effective to change. So why haven’t I? Well we’re not comparing apples to apples. Square is SOOO much more than credit card processing.
In this blog I want to explain why, even though it doesn’t do everything I would want it to, I have absolutely no plans to switch, but plan to go in deeper with all Square has to offer.
When I was looking to open my first tearoom, I looked at a number of existing businesses. They had antiquated equipment that wanted to sell me for extortionate amounts of money and monthly subscription fees for the software even, though it was running on old hardware. I spent over 15 years in corporate IT and I knew that hardware can go out of date very quickly and it can be EXPENSIVE to update.
The thing is with a simple iphone and ipad I can very cost effectively get set-up AND I can run other apps on the same platform. I run my music, my register and my reservation system, all through the same piece of equipment. I don’t have room for lots of different systems. And once I purchased the hardware, why would I want to invest in alternative hard ware, even if it’s given to me for ‘free’, I don’t really have the room for something made for a bespoke platform which I will be tired in to at great expense for ever.
But its now become a much bigger issue that the cost saving for my credit card processing.
My Square System can help me market my business and it has become an integrated part of my marketing mix. It’s a business management and business development system all in one. And with more features being added all the time, it’s the most powerful business management system I have come across for such a low cost of entry.
I can see what each location has brought in each day, what my best-selling items are. I can email invoices, I can send out email marketing – I can automate some of my marketing. I can log in on my phone no mater where in the world I am. Most recently, I can set-up e-gift cards and order physical gift cards all tied in to the same system for little or no cost. Its easy to use, for my team to use and for my guests to use. They get notifications for events direct to their email on their phone. I have over 6000 reachable customers I can contact and I can even download data to my website mailing list so I get to keep the data I collected. I spend the same on transactions fees for American Express than I do for other credit cards and I can now take Apple Pay and Contactless transactions, which our younger clientele love.
Suffice it say, Square isn’t just an mPOS anymore. It’s basically an entire business ecosystem.
I want to help other business owners to realize their marketing capability with Square and have created a number of tutorials and how to’s to make life as easy as Square. Check out www.VisibilityCreator.com
If you are not a Square user yet you can signup to Square using this link and get your first $1000 of processing for free.