USB Credit Card swipers

I'm hopping on the tech bandwagon and looking into the credit card swipers that plug right into your usb port, as I have mobile broadband on my Mac.  Paypal is advertising their version, and I already accept Paypal on my website, just wondering if anyone has tried them out as a merchant service provider.  They're advertising a "$30 a month flat fee, one flat % rate for all cards" which sounds...well, I'm not sure.  I've gone through 2 merchant service providers, I'm really annoyed by the way I have to be RIGHT ON TOP of every statement because they "slip up" on some part of our contract, it seems.  Anyone try them?

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  • I have the intuit gopayment and love it.  I also have the iPhone and purchased the Mophie to go with my phone - thus carry my card reader everywhere I go and frees up the audio jack for my stylus.  My last show another vendor had the square and it wouldn't work for them in the building.  I had no problem at all with my gopayment.    I also use Quickbooks for my accounting and when I first purchased the program inutit sent me a free usb card reader.  I haven't called or tried it yet, but I am assuming it would work with my gopayment account and a laptop. 

    Just throwing this out there for consideration.

  • I wouldn't use PayPal because of the $30/month fee. I use ProPay because there is no monthly fee at all. After much research, I found ProPay to be way more affordable than the others; especially if you only do a few shows a year. ProPay also has a reader, though it doesn't work on my old smart phone. Until I get a new Droid, I've been processing via the web on my current phone.

    Be careful about that "Square". I've read several articles about security issues because it doesn't encrypt the data before transmission.

    Robin Ragsdale

    • Robin - what you are saying about the Square is blatently false.  It does encrypt the data before transmission.  The article you site addresses a different concern.

      • I wouldn't say "blatently false". On further research I find that the card readers were not encrypted until sometime in the summer of 2011. So cards received before the update are still an issue. Glad they addressed it, though. Maybe I'll get one now.

        • Robin - you should re-read the original issue - the data has ALWAYS been sent encrypted.  What wasn't always encrypted was between the swipe and the transmit.  So, a person who altered their device could skim your credit card data, meaning the person swiping had to be the crook.  So, unless you are a crook, it doesn't matter whether you use an old or new device.  I received my device prior to summer 2011 and all of my customers are perfectly safe since I am not a thief.

          I'm not saying they shouldn't have fixed the issue, but the issue was never a reason for you to use or not use the device.

          So, I stand by 'blatently false' for your statement of "it doesn't encrypt the data before transmission." 

    • Robin, just FYI, I think this concern about encryption has been mentioned on another thread here, check around, I think it's been debunked.  Square does not represent a threat to security because the CC#s are never stored on your phone.  Cell phone signals are secure, versus a possibly compromised Wifi connection.  Goes beyond my technological ken, but I think the ones pushing hysteria are the merchant providers (verifone in the URL you listed )

      • I agree.

        Although I still use a terminal, (Nurit 3010) I truly believe the Square type of unit is the future, and the hardware companies like Verifone, Hypercom, Nurit, etc are going to try whatever they can to prevent, or at least slow down their inevitable demise.

  • I love my square.  I have now had two credit card terminals (min. $250 each) die either right before a show or during a show.  The second terminal was with Teamac and they did give me good service and reasonable pricing.  Then I lost my cell phone at a show.  Now that I have an IPad and a Droid I plan on getting a second square to keep as a backup.  Total redundancy, I love it.  And if I don't have connectivity I can just pull out the knuckle buster and put the charges in later.  The email receipts keep me on my toes about asking customers if they would like to be on my email list.  On the Ipad I can put in thumbnails of my photographs and the receipt will have a picture on it of what they bought.  And customers do love the uber cool.  If they want a paper receipt I still have a receipt book and I write them one up.

    • Thank you all for your input.  I will have to digest this and check the links, etc.

      Happy New Year!


  • Well, I have been using my Square for over a year now and I love it!  Aside from the straightfoward, non-tiered 2.75% fee on all swiped transactions, there is the uber kewl factor.  I have had no problems with connectivity, but  I also went with Verizon because of their coverage.  It's been over a year since I launched this post, and it's going to be interesting to see what's evolved in CC processors in that year.  Munks posted a link to this evolving technology, Dwolla, and I can't wait to see how it works:

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