Art Fair Insiders

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Received my new Square swiper and thought I'd inform folks about it. In case you've been under a rock for a while credit cards with the EMV embedded chip require a new swiper for which Square will charge you $29. Not too bad considering all the free ones they gave to us.
The new swiper has two slots and is quite a bit fatter. The top slot accepts the EMV embedded cards while the bottom slot is for traditional swiping. Just plug the card into the top slot and don't remove it till the transaction is totally complete! Easy peasy!
The hardest part about the new card is remembering to charge it. Unlike the old swiper you have to charge this one with a USB/mini plug cable. The first time I used it, after charging it I thought it would take the charge off my iPad. Nope! So, the next day I'm swiping madly away and it's not working, no EMV charges no regular swipes, etc. Finally, at the end of the day, the light bulb goes off in my head, hey! Charge it! Wha-lah, like magic, it's working again. I later discovered that when you plug it in and it initializes its connection it shows a battery charge icon indicating the strength of its charge!
Good luck and happy charging!

Post Scribble: I've had the swiper plugged into my iPad since 9 am it is now 4pm and I got an alert when I unplugged it and plugged it back in that it has no charge! Believe me, it wasn't because I was madly swiping away at the Rio Grande, Albuquerque show this weekend. (But that, is another story). Glad I have my little portable Mophie power supply!

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Comment by Judy Jones on October 12, 2015 at 4:46pm

I had several e-mail conversations with tech support at Square before purchasing my $29 model. It took rephrasing and clarifying their explanation to understand what I needed. As I understand it after communicating with Square, the $49 model is wireless and will support customer payment by a simple swipe of the phone or by inserting the chip card. It will not take a magnetic strip swipe so people who do not have their chip card yet or do not pay by phone cannot use it. The other major difference between the models is one is wireless meaning you must hook up to a WIFI or bluetooth system.  It does not connect by plugging into your phone or I-Pad. It is totally free standing. The $29 model plugs into your phone or I-Pad and works off either WIFI or a Data Plan depending what you use for your phone connection.  Since many of the shows I do, do not offer a WIFI connection, I opted to purchase the smaller, less expensive model.  That seemed to be the safer bet as most of my customers are using cards not phones to pay. Square did not make it easy for traveling businesses to understand what they need to use. I had to keep e-mailing to get an answer that I understood and that I knew would work for my needs. Hope this helps those of you who are still trying to sort this out. My $29 model is due to arrive this week. 

Comment by Lisa Riley on October 12, 2015 at 12:01pm

Different phone models must drain the reader.  I used mine for the first time yesterday from 9am to 4pm (after it had a full charge) and it still shows it has 2/3 of a charge remaining.  I kept the reader plugged into my phone the entire time to see just how much juice it needed to run a full day.  Some people have suggested unplugging the reader from the phone to conserve the battery.  Since I dont always remember these little tidbits until it's too late I decided to leave it plugged into my phone all day.

Many of the emails from Square took you directly to the contactless, more expensive reader.  If you go to the Square Shop ( ) it gives you all the options including the less expensive option.  If I have requests for the contactless reader that takes Applepay, I'll consider buying the more expensive one.  Until then, I think most people will either have cash or another card they can use because they know not all businesses or art shows will have contactless readers.  I did take my little tube charger just in case I needed to recharge the reader but so far so good.  I had also heard complaints that it takes longer to process the transaction but the entire thing only took about 3 seconds so I'm not sure how much slower it really is.  Perhaps it depends on the traffic through Square or the particular card issuing bank?

Comment by Carol Musial on October 12, 2015 at 11:55am
I never saw the $29 option either. I think Square is pushing the $49 co tactless reader so you can accept ApplePay. Personally, I would rather physically have the credit card, rather than the mysterious "wave your phone over the square" transaction.
Comment by Christina L. Towell on October 12, 2015 at 11:52am

Sounds pretty sweet...just beginning to learn how to use these devices at my little booth-sharing job.  Ah, other news, spent an hour and a half on the phone with AT&T this a.m. trying to connect with the internet and receive my missing email.

Comment by Kaytee Sumida on October 12, 2015 at 10:38am

No charge after 7 hrs in the charger?? Is that to be expected, or is something wrong with the charger/connection?

I ordered the $49 version of the new Square-- didn't see the $29 offer. Are they different, or is it a price reduction? Haven't received it yet, either way.

Comment by Jaime Haney on October 12, 2015 at 10:33am

I'm still waiting on mine as well. I pre-ordered and mine was $49! I just investigated a little more into the Square site and now see they have the $29 option. They didn't offer me that when they sent me the email saying I needed to upgrade, that's annoying. Mine says it's a contactless (NFC) whatever that is. I wonder what the difference is?

Thanks for the review Brian.

Comment by Carol Musial on October 12, 2015 at 10:31am
Had to go buy mine since the one I ordered through Square has not arrived. Did my first EMV sale yesterday. Took two tries to get card & reader happy, but once properly connected it was easy. Remember to leave card in slot for entire transaction.
Comment by Robert Wallis on October 9, 2015 at 4:29pm

Still waiting on mine :-(

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