Posted on Dec 07, 2015

( has no affiliation with Square – we think it’s a really great tool and want to share!)

ou’ve likely seen their ads during the past few years, and have wondered what the catch is for such a convenient point-of-sale tool.

I have good news! There’s really no catch, or at least not one that I’ve ever run into, and I’ve been using my Square device (albeit lightly) for a couple years now.

So what is Square?

Square is a company that offers low-rate, mobile point-of-sale processing with no monthly fees.
Square’s primary item is a small card reader, which taps into your iPhone, iPad, or Android device via the headphone jack. No cables, no headaches – just plug it in and swipe! There’s a free app to download, and through it you can create invoices, issue refunds, issue receipts, split tender, offer and accept custom gift cards, and create a loyalty program and offer rewards.

In addition to the above “point of sale” items, Square also allows you to tap into QuickBooks, Xero, and Stitch Labs accounting programs, and allows full control for taxes, tips, discounts…all the functions businesses should be able to offer their customers.

You can manage employees, track sales through the Square Dashboard, and make smarter business decisions because of it all.

Square accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. All at the same rate and processing speed. They don’t currently accept debit purchases, but these days most people carry more than one card, so this shouldn’t pose much of a problem for most customers.

And the pricing?

Easy-peasy. It’s 2.65% per swipe, or 3.4% + 15 cents if the card information is keyed in on your device.

Accounts are free to setup, and I’ve never been asked to purchase anything by the company. There’s no monthly fee, no minimum, no commitment hassles.
Oh, and the reader itself is free, too. You can request one through their website, or can go into your local Staples, Best Buy, Apple store.

Swipe $100 and see $97.35 in your bank account. Really.

And the wait time?

24 hours. I’ve always had transactions in my bank account the next day. I used to use another merchant service at my studio, and would sometimes have to wait 3 or more days for Bank A to transfer to Bank B, which isn’t fun when there are bills to be paid! Knowing my Square payments are processed right away gives confidence with every swipe.

The website says it can take up to two days, but even on a Sunday I’ve had payments in my account for Monday morning.

What if I don’t have cell service?

No problem! The Square app stores the information and processes transactions once you’ve got a signal back on your device.

So those farmer’s markets and off-the-beaten-trail service calls you do are all fair game in the Square world.


Square processes payments from MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, and Discover within 2 days at a 2.65% rate (3.4+15 cents for key-ins).

There are two Square items available:

  • the original card reader which fits into your Apple or Android device
  • the Square Stand which is a more permanent solution for retail establishments

The small reader is free, and the Stand costs $99+tax.

Both are available at Best Buy, Staples, Apple stores, and on Amazon.
The $10 purchase price of the Square card reader is refunded to you when you setup your account, or you can request one through their website and they will ship it to you free.

Extremely easy to setup and use, but Square offers 24/7 customer service, just in case.

Visit for more information (although I’ve tried to cover it as much as possible here), and let us know what you think in the comments below!

~ Stefanie