It’s hip to be SquarePublished 12:02pm Monday, March 11, 2013
An overstuffed wallet, lack of cash and lost coupons can all be allieviated by Square Wallet, an ap for smart phones that allows the phone to be used like a credit card at participating merchants.
A few Fergus Falls businesses have already joined the electronic wallet trend. Square Wallet is accepted at Falls Bakery, Jay McDougall Studios and Cafe 116.
Greg Stumbo, owner of Cafe 116, says they have about 12 regular users of Square Wallet.
“It’s great, really fast and saves paper,” says Stumbo. “Customers can have a receipt emailed to them.”
After downloading the app to an Android or iPhone, users will be asked to complete a profile, including adding credit card information. While out and about, the app will show users all companies that accept Square Wallet, sorted by distance. Square Wallet rewards users with coupons for merchants in the area, and gift cards can be purchsed for users, stored in their account, and used electronically at check out.
Because the technology uses geographic positioning software, merchants know when a Square Wallet customer walks in. A photo appears next to their name on the Square Wallet display protecting both merchant and user from unauthorized purchases. A Square Wallet user can just give their name, they don’t even have to take their phone out of their pocket or purse.
“It’s pretty easy, and it’s fun to use,” said Debbie Irmen, using Square Wallet for the first time at Cafe 116.
Square, a predecessor to Square Wallet, is a one-inch-square-sized credit card reader that plugs into a smart phone or iPad, allowing merchants to easily accept credit cards, even while walking around. Stephanie Jensen has been using Square while working at Cafe 116 for about a month.
“It save me a lot of time,” Jenson said. “If the cash register is busy, I can walk up to a table with Square and take payments.”
Artist Jay McDougall uses Square for art shows across the country, and thinks the device has advantages over traditional merchant account processing through banks.
“I’ve had many different credit card terminals through the years and the way I’m using Square works out much better,” McDougall said. “Before, I never knew what the fee would be for different customer’s credit cards before I got my statement from the bank at the end of the month. Sqaure is a flat 2.75 percent, no monthly fee and no PCI compliance fee, and the money is in my bank the next day.”
The Square device is free for registered users, and there is no charge for merchants to accept Square Wallet if they have Square.
To find out more go to squareeup.com