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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Setting up to take debit/credit cards thru your phone (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ed_Millis
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My son has the Square app on his phone to take credit cards for his business. I'm thinking I might want to do the same to take cards for BOR or a show using my phone. Not necessarily Square, but so far that seems the easiest and cheapest route.

But I'm not sure how all this sets up to get to the point of taking the card (with Square or any other system). Do you have a web-site-based shopping cart that you log into, create the order, and then take the card at the last? Or is it always a manual entry order in the credit card app? I guess I'm asking if you can link the credit card app into your order system, or if they are two separate apps that have no connection with each other?

Ed
Gordon
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I use Square. Love it. But your question confuses me. Square is all about accepting CC payments in person, not over the web.
dearwiseone
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Gordon,
I think he's asking if it does both, maybe. There are a few, like Intuit's GoPayment which is an app designed primarily for smart phones, but also gives you access to a website where you can process payments that way. I don't think Square does that.

Ed, other than Intuit's GoPayment, I'm not sure of who else can do that. Entrepreneur magazine had an article comparing all the processing services, I'll see if I can find it.

I think Intuit also offers a card reader, but only for select phones.

Good luck!
Skip Way
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This is just my personal opinion and observation - I've never trusted Intuit. My experience with their customer service for my Quickbooks has always been frustrating and miserable, at best.

That said, GoPayment offers two plans Low Volume (Under $1000 per month) and High Volume (over $1000 per month). Most entertainers will probably fall into the High Volume. This plan runs $12.95 per month with a 1.7% Swipe and 2.7% Key-in fee plus a $.30 transaction fee. There is no charge for the card reader and there is no minimum charge level. They do charge a 3.7% fee plus an extra $.37 transaction fee for nonqualified transactions. A nonqualified transaction is any card not accepted by the MC/Visa/Discover Network or any transaction that is missing or uses an incorrect security code, cardholder address and zip code. Fees and rates for American Express and JCB are considerably higher.

Intuit says "No Contract" but if you've ever tried to cancel a subscription service through Intuit - well, you'd be safer with a contract in my opinion.

Upside - GoPayment works with my Blackberry. SquareUp currently requires an iPhone, Wifi iPad/Touch or Android. Downside - it's Intuit. I'd sooner buy an iPhone.

SquareUp has no contract and no monthly charge. They charge a flat 2.7% per swipe (No transaction fee) and 3.7% + $.15 per key-in. As I read the fine print, this flat rate applies to MC/Visa/Discover/Amex with no punitive nonqualified fees. There is no charge for the card reader and no minimum monthly level.

There are a couple of other services, but these seem to be the two top options. I've been researching these for a few weeks now and I believe I'd rather pay the slightly higher yet very reasonable rates through SquareUp for the simpler service. Plus, my chat with their customer service rep was immediately answered and they answered my questions in a very friendly and patient manner - in unaccented English.
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M Sini
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Just an update. I received an email from SquareUp yesterday and the $.15 per key-in fee has been dropped.
rossmacrae
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Paypal has a similar system.
Skip Way
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Paypal is no contract, $30 a month, 3.1% + $0.30 on key-in of MC/Visa/Discover to your computer through a virtual online terminal. Amex fee is 3.5% + $0.00.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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bunkyhenry
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Skip

Is Square Up different from Square?
Ed_Millis
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SquareUp and Square are the same thing.

Thanks, Skip, for all the info. I've currently got a simple PayPal payment page on my web site, but only for a show. My first thoughts were to expand that into a shopping cart so I could list the separate items, and then simply log into that cart page with my phone whenever I'm remote. But when I looked into setting up a shopping cart with PayPal, it looked a bit too much for the simple thing I want to do.

Part of the reason for a cart was to be able to export the sales into a spreadsheet or database, where I could track inventory, monitor sales, and calculate taxes and profits. As the Square app doesn't have that, I might explore setting up a Google docs spreadsheet that will at least calculate a total in front of the customer and validate that the amount I'm punching into Square is indeed what they want to purchase. I'll have to work on that database idea on my own.

Ed
Tim Hannig
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I LOVE SQUARE!

Got rid of my regular merchant account.

I have a few different items at my merch table, so using Square on the ipad is best. You don't have to enter the $$$ amount.

You just touch the picture of your items, and it totals it up for you.

Then when you log into squareup.com later you can see all of the items listed that you have sold.

Love love love square.

Plus, it's new enough that almost EVERYONE comments on how cool it is.
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"4 out of 4 stars!" Nick Lewin

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dearwiseone
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Tim,
Does square have a website you can use to manual enter card numbers or is it only the swipe cube? I'm reluctant to leave Intuit just because I didn't think square had a website where you could process. I thought it was the cube card reader or nothing.

Thanks!
M Sini
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Quote:
On 2011-03-02 02:00, dearwiseone wrote:
Tim,
Does square have a website you can use to manual enter card numbers or is it only the swipe cube? I'm reluctant to leave Intuit just because I didn't think square had a website where you could process. I thought it was the cube card reader or nothing.

Thanks!


You don't have to use the card reader. You can manually enter the credit card number into your phone/iPad (however, the percentage goes up a bit) if you where taking orders over the phone. Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think you can set up square to take process orders on your website at this time. I use Square at my shows for BOR and paypal on my website.
Ed_Millis
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Square is strictly on your phone; there is no website application.

I'd love to have an iPad to use with Square! Unfortunately, that conflicts with my current budget.

I contacted my web host and found that my plan includes a shopping cart. So I think I'll explore that option first; if I can set up a cart that is also mobile-friendly, then I can decide about payment-acceptance options. On mobile, though, that will probably come down to either manually entering card info through PayPal, or getting an Android phone and using Square. To facilitate the customer experience that allows me to have these cool bits of technology, I'll probably suck it up and get a 'droid.

Ed
kenscott
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Square up is GREAT. The perfect solution to using any credit card at shows. Do you sell things on the web? is that why you need the web credit cards Ed? If so paypal is the easiest for that. If you taken deposits then you can have the person simply send money to your account and not have the monthly fee that paypal charges. But if you can get their number you can input into square but it does cost just a bit more.
James Munton
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I have been testing Square and it has pros and cons.

One big disadvantage is it makes accounting a bit of a nightmare.

Ken/Tim, how do you record your sales?

Customer pays you $500. You have to show this as $500 income in your accounting software.
However, Square only puts $482 in your bank account. You have to remember to manually do the math and enter the processing fee each time into your accounting software. Otherwise, you'll be paying taxes on the full $500 and not getting the benefit of the deduction for the bank fees.
This kind of manual work later cancels out the initial convenience.

With Intuit, they put the whole $500 in your bank and then charge the processing fee separately, which is how the accounting should show it. Much easier to record.

Square tries to keep everything simple. But that means the website doesn't provide much info on your transactions. Unless you remember to enter the customer's name each time in the notes box, it is very difficult to find individual transactions.
Intuit allows you to login and find any transaction by date/name/amount, etc.

Finally, Tim, how are you able to have pictures of items? Is that only on the iPad? I couldn't find that on the iPhone version.

Best,
James
Ed_Millis
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Ken: My entire business is basically web-driven, and I have a page set up for the customer to enter info and pay for a show via PayPal. Adding a variety of products, though, showed the need for a more complex solution. And adding BOR requires a mobile solution. Hence the wonderings about some kind of shopping cart system, where all products and services are listed, selected, and totalled, and could be accessed by computer or mobile. Might be able to set up a cart with a PayPal system, but leave that page use Square when I'm selling BOR.

James: The photo app is only on the iPad. Really makes me want to get one!! Someday ...

And thanks for the heads up about the accounting issues with the Square. That could really bite on an audit!

Ed
Amazing Magic Co
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Ed,

With the announcement of the iPad 2.0, resale prices for the iPad are dropping significantly as we speak.

Good luck!
Dan.
Gordon
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Actually, the photo option for Square is only available on iPhone. (The iPad doesn't have a camera, at least not until the iPad 2 comes out next week.) To take a picture, just tap the camera icon that's right next to the notes field.

To clear up some unnecessary confusion, the company name and product are called "Square." Their website is http://www.squareup.com -- probably because the simpler name was taken and "square up" makes a nice colloquial reference.
James Munton
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I'm confused. That is not the same as what Tim was saying. That just lets me take a single photo to attach to the charge. It's actually kind of pointless.
Tim Hannig
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There is some confusion here about the photos. The iphone app lets you take a picture of the person or item during the transaction. I don't use that....

In the iPad app, you can have pictures of all of your items on the screen. You touch the picture, it totals it up for you. I use that all the time.
PRAISE FOR TIM'S BOOK, PERFORM:

"I loved this book!" Ken Weber

"4 out of 4 stars!" Nick Lewin

"My favorite book for performers!" Bill Cook

"This will be a classic of magic!" Mark Pocan


performbettershows.com
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