Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Square's announcement today that the new card reader, which all merchants will be required to use by October 15, 2015, will cost $29.95 is especially disappointing in that the the reader will be obsolete on the day it is shipped.
Square has continued on its spectacularly unsuccessful strategy of being the outlier. The now no longer free reader will support EMV, the European Master Card-Visa standard which Visa announced its plans to implement in 2010. It will not support NFC, the contactless standard which allows for totally secure transactions with no chance of hacking of data.
All of Square's competitors have announced that upgrades to their payment terminals will be available to their merchants at no charge. We have 11 months to go shopping and find another alternative to what was, at one time, a spectacular product. "How the mighty have fallen"
It's on the Square site, "Square reader for chip cards"
After having spent almost 3 decades stuck with monthly fees, knucklebusters, terminals plugged into analog bag phones, $500 wireless terminals that have failing modems, access fees, per charge fees, etc, $29.95 is a bargain!
I just came into the 21st century kicking and screaming by getting a $50 ATT Go Phone so I could use the Square. So as long as it works for me, I'm staying with them. I'll get the new reader sometime soon, as I do two shows near the Canadian border and we get many customers coming down for the show.
Based on this and an earlier post it sound like you folks were pretty miserable with Square. We have loved it, as have many artists we know. To each his/her own.
I think it's a bit of an exaggeration to say that EMV readers will be obsolete on the day of issue. As for NFC, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. The early adopters, imho, are not likely to be the ones buying at art shows. More likely to find them at Starbucks. I could be wrong of course. Time will tell.
In the meantime, Square works fine for us.
It will probably be a long time till people stop carrying actual credit cards. I figure Square will probably introduce the software eventually. I believe that NFC depends on your particular cellphone having that ability. You would then not need any swiper unless you don't want to miss sales from all those luddite credit card users.
NFC is a two way street. Both the patron and the artist must have the capability to communicate with each other. There may be exceptions but I am told by my local rep that all smart phones have NFC capability. Cell phone manufacturers did not add the extra radio and antenna in the hope that maybe some few customers might use it. 99% of all merchant processors have offered to upgrade their customer facing terminals at no charge to the merchant. All of these terminals will have the capability to accept swiped cards and keyed in cards.
This is not a software issue. Both artist and patron must have devices with radios and antennas built in. The current NFC spec requires a 2 inch long antenna which is why square did not offer the capability in the newest model.
The issue that everyone is missing is security. Retail CEOs are paying attention after the chairman of Target lost his job over a data breach. Apple Pay is orders of magnitude more secure than any other payment card system. The iPhone has a chip inside which is solely designed to encrypt data. When a payment card number is entered into Apple Pay, which can be done in seconds by taking a picture of the card, it is immediately encoded into this chip and is accessible to no one.
Recall that when the iPhone 6 was announced, the Director of the FBI held a press conference to complain that unbreakable encryption was a threat to national security and that Congress should outlaw it.
When a transaction is processed using Apple Pay, the transaction passes through the merchant's terminal without ever being stored. It can't be stolen from the merchant because they never have it. Merchants will soon offer incentives, likely as discounts, for the use of encrypted transactions as it greatly reduces their costs and loss potential. Consumers generally respond to financial incentives, so the adoption of these technologies is highly likely to proceed much more rapidly.
Same here. I only use my cell phone to utilize the Square and I talk to my wife when I'm away. That's it.
WalMart and other major retailers announced they will not be accepting Apple Pay and is going with CurrenC as the transaction fees are too high with Apple and CurrenC offers the customer more choices.