How to use Square credit card reader
Square is a point-of-sale (POS) system that provides software and hardware to enable businesses and individuals to accept credit card and near field communication (NFC) payments through a mobile device. Square was co-founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey (co-founder of Twitter) after another Square co-founder (Jim McKelvey) had trouble accepting credit card payments for his artwork. Today, businesses use Square to avoid the inconvenience and expense associated with traditional card processing software. Square provides businesses with a host of options including online sales and analytics. Different size businesses across industries utilize Square’s platform. According to Square:
“We’re empowering the electrician to send invoices, setting up the food truck with a delivery option, helping the clothing boutique pay its employees, and giving the coffee chain capital for a second, third, and fourth location.”
In this article we will cover everything you need to know about integrating Square for your business and more:
- How to use Square
- How to use Square chip reader
- How to use Square Cash
- How your business can use Square Cash to get paid easier
- How much does it cost to use Square?
- How to use Square Register
There are a number of ways that businesses can use the Square app. The main ways are as follows:
- Accept credit cards
- Analyze customer data
- Create a free online business store
- Integrate with other systems
Square provides businesses with six options in relation to processing credit cards, which are as follows:
Card reader for mobile payments – Use a tablet or smartphone to use the Square card reader to physically swipe credit cards and accept payment.
No card reader necessary to accept mobile payments – You can use the Square mobile POS without a card reader to key in credit card numbers into your mobile device.
In-store payments – You’re able to accept every type of payment, print receipts, connect to printers with the Square POS checkout.
Online – You can accept payment from e-commerce stores or from Square’s free online store.
Online virtual terminal – You can use this for phone orders because Square’s online dashboard allows you to enter credit card numbers using your computer.
Invoices and repeat payments – The POS app and the online dashboard gives you the functionality to make and send invoices by email, online and also to bill for repeat payments.
Conventional credit card systems generally involve the business owner buying or leasing equipment and signing contracts. Additionally, these systems charge businesses different fees, dependent on the type of credit card used. The fees range from 1% to 5% and charges could be higher for American Express cards.
When businesses are making a decision about whether to use the Square app, the fixed credit card processing fee is a benefit. Square also removes the need for businesses to buy expensive hardware. The Square Reader, which is a small credit card reader, is provided free. The Square Reader can be used to accept credit card payments online or offline and also to send receipts to customers. Businesses do have the choice to buy more hardware, such as the Square Stand, which is a POS for iPads.
Businesses can use Square to provide them with analytics about sales and their customers’ buying habits. The analytics provide real-time data about what exactly customers are buying and the methods of payment being used. This information is presented in graphical form, so business owners have a visual of how different products are performing. These analytics are useful to help the business owner identify trends as well as plan their business budget.
Square offers business owners the option to create an online business store to supplement their physical store. Business owners are able to set-up their e-commerce store to sell services, goods or tickets. The online store also includes different delivery options, like in-store pickup and electronic delivery. Setting up and designing the online store is free. Square receives a set percentage for every transaction that is made through the business owners’ online store. Square also provides integration between online and offline sales and alerts business owners when the stock is running low for efficient inventory management.
Square integrates with a variety of business apps, ranging from accounting to workforce management. In fact, Square integrates seamlessly with Deputy and helps business owners estimate the most accurate employee schedules by utilizing real-time sales data. Timesheets can also be automatically created in both Deputy and Square in readiness to be exported to payroll. There’s no need for business owners to add new users to both systems because new users’ information from Square is automatically updated in Deputy and vice-versa.
Schedule time to chat with one of our reps and find out how you can use Square and Deputy as a powerful workforce management and point-of-sale solution for your business:
Square offers the following two types of card readers:
Square chip card reader
- The Square chip card reader costs $29 and accepts magstripe as well as chip cards. To accept payments, the Square chip card reader must be plugged into the headset jack of a mobile device. The Square chip card reader doesn’t accept NFC payments such as Apple Pay.
Square contactless and chip reader
- The Square contactless and chip reader costs $49 and accepts chip cards, magstripe, and contactless NFC payments. It can be connected wirelessly using Bluetooth and also works with the Square Stand.
If you’ve decided to use the Square chip card reader, you can buy one from the Square shop or from Best Buy or Staples.
You’ll need to fully charge your Square chip card reader. Charging can be done by plugging the USB cable (provided) in the Square chip card reader and plugging the other end into your USB computer port, wall charger or any USB outlet that you use.
You’ll know when your Square chip card reader is fully charged because the light at the bottom will be green. You can open the Square app then insert your fully charged Square chip card reader into the audio jack of your phone or other mobile devices. Make sure that the Square logo is upward facing. The words “Reader Ready” at the top of your screen mean that the Square chip card reader is ready for use.
When accepting payments, the credit card needs to be inserted in the front slot and held there during the whole transaction.
Square Cash was introduced in 2013 to provide a convenient way for individuals to pay anyone. This peer-to-peer service developed into a business tool to replace the reliance on checks and cash. In order to keep business details like email addresses and phone numbers confidential, Square introduced $Cashtags. This provides a unique identifier that enables business owners to create a personalized name to receive payments securely and privately through Square Cash.
You can sign-up for Square Cash by downloading the app for Android and iOS. Create an account by providing your email address and mobile phone number. Square Cash will send you a confirmation code by email or text message. Use the code provided in the app. You then need to choose whether you’ll be using the app for personal or business purposes. Follow the remainder of the steps and link to your bank account to start sending and receiving payments.
You can then create a $Cashtag, which will provide you with a personalized webpage and a shareable URL that customers use to send you money.
To create a $Cashtag, open the Square Cash app, select the icon on the top left. Choose your ‘Cash’ name and press “Set.” Lastly, switch on “Cash.me” for $Cashtag activation. You’re now ready to receive and send payments.
Square offers simple pricing for its services and charges the following of the total transaction amount:
A fee of 2.75% for swiped transactions for the following payment types:
- Swiped magstripe cards.
- Contactless (NFC) payments.
- Prepaid gift cards.
- Swiped or inserted chip cards.
- POS API swiped or inserted payments.
A charge of 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually-entered transactions for these payment types:
- Card on file transactions.
- Virtual terminal payments.
- POS API keyed-in payments.
- Manually keyed-in card payments.
A fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents for the following payment types:
- Square e-commerce API.
- Online Store.
- E-commerce card on file payments.
Square Register is an end-to-end integrated POS that has been designed to scale as your business grows. Square Register incorporates hardware, software, and payments for a more intuitive experience. According to Square, this solution is:
Reliable – Square Register was designed to be reliable and easy to use. Business owners no longer have to worry about using tables, downloading iOS updates or new versions of apps.
Faster – The customer-facing touch display and bigger screen reduces transaction times.
Customizable – Businesses can add logos to the customer display and use Square Register docked or undocked.
Secure – There’s no risk of iPad theft and there are no additional apps or web access that could compromise security.
Square Register can be regarded as a cashless register, however, you’re still able to process cash transactions. Square Register is targeting larger businesses due to the end-to-end capabilities.
Small businesses can still use Square Register to process card payments without using a mobile device. Square Register can be used for:
Inventory management – When your goods are added to the Square inventory list, you’ll be notified as your stock reduces and needs replenishing.
Sales tracking – Reports are provided based on the tracking of online and offline sales.
Customer management – Customer data (such as email address and buying history) can be tracked.
Below are some of the Square Register features that business owners can use in-store:
- Payment processing and refunds.
- Business reporting.
Square Register costs $999 or $49 per month over 24 months. It also provides a store management hub and allows business owners to accessorize with scanners and printers.
Invest in your business
Square has grown from providing only credit card readers to a full end-to-end POS solution. The right integrations with Square will provide all you need to operate your business. If you’re contemplating using (or you’re already using) Square for your POS needs, consider combining it with Deputy.
Sign-up for a free trial to experience how the leaders in point-of-sale and workforce management can transform your business.