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I have been trying to find answers to this question, but I can't find anyone with this problem. I just got a square card reader, and I can't get it to swipe for the life of me. I have tried several of my own cards, and after many tries one or two go through, but then they won't again. I have swiped every way possible, fast and slow, always smoothly and evenly, but it doesn't work. I have a brand new Motorola Razr and the Square is brand new too. I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling (twice), turned the phone off and on, taken the cover off, wiped the device. I had the same issue with the same card reader on my old phone as well. (That phone died soon after I got the card reader.)

I am at an art fair now, and I have been keying in the credit cards. Does it sound like I have a defective card reader, and that buying a new one might fix the problem?

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Pick up a square card reader at a retail location

Larry Berman

I was having problems too.  I was putting too much pressure on the card as I swiped. 

I also had this problem.  Here is how we solved it.  Luckily I had a computer tech in the tent at the time.  The card swiping is very sensitive.  If you don't swipe evenly it won't read it.  Go to the practice screen and practice over and over until you get continuous success.  Also, it has to face in the right direction, so if it doesn't work, turn the card around and try again. 

Also, he said the wi-fi was interfering with the 3 or 4G connection of the phone internet.  He turned off the wi-fi & it worked, the sale went right through.  Now when at a show the first thing I do is turn off he automatic wi-fi connection.


Now that I have the problems solved I love the Square.  It took some practice, but I found if I held the Square with my forefinger & thumb while swiping it didn't move and I had more success.

Good luck!



This may sound silly but is the volume on your phone turned all the way up?  You're using the headphone jack to connect to the card reader if I recall correctly on those.  I know that's what the Intuit reader does and that's the first thing the tell you to do.

I had the same problem with wifi.


Do you have some sort of case on your phone?  My swipers don't plug in all the way while the protective case is on my iPhone.

I can get mine to work with the case on.


My first Square I got was bad, never did work.  Try another one.  It did take a bit to get the hang of swiping though.

I have two square readers. I found that one is very reliable, swiping almost every time but the other one takes several swipes per card, it it reads it at all. The square reader works reliably on my android tablet as well as my Iphone. I have ordered another and will discontinue using the unreliable one.

Hi everybody,

Thank you so much for your replies. I didn't have a chance to see them before my second day at the show, so I was on my own. I bought another card reader at Office Max on the way to the show, but I had the same issues with that. So at least I knew it wasn't the reader, and it wasn't the phone, because it worked sometimes. I had taken the case off and on, swiped every which way, but it was still very hard.

So I knew the fault was with me. Finally, I found just the right technique. The right speed, and then just a little bit of extra pressure at the very end. Once I got that down, almost every swipe worked.

At one point during the day, after I had figured that out, there was "no connection". There was free wi-fi there, so I hooked it up to that, but that didn't help one bit, so I unhooked it again, and the connection came back. No more issues.

I also learned that when the square is in the headset jack, you can't hear anything when you try to talk to someone on the phone......

I do think I love the square now!

Love the square! Will say my swiped stopped working in the middle of a show

I have a back up but was in the van... Good thing is in a pinch, you can enter the cc info manually. It costs you 3.25%, instead of 2.75, but better than alternatives. Figuring out the
Problem in front of client, etc. 

Pay Pal is coming out with its version of square (PAY PAl Here). 2.75%. It has a little flat that comes down onto the phone. I thought it might be more stable than square. They have a video to watch.


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