Upcoming trends: Hip to be Square

by | Feb 9, 2011

image of the Square device

The Square will allow anyone with a smartphone to accept credit card payments.

A small device that plugs into the headphone jack on a smartphone could be the next big thing at farmers markets. A Square device allows small businesses to accept credit card payments without contracts or credit card terminals. The device is free and so is a Square account. It runs on devices using the Apple iOS and Android operating systems.

All transactions, regardless of type of credit card used, are charged a base fee: 2.75 percent plus 15 cents for swiped transactions and 3.5 percent plus 15 cents for keyed-in transactions. Currently, Square accepts U.S.-issued Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards. For vendors, the transaction fee is taken out at the time of the transaction and money is deposited in the account of the vendor’s choosing.

The device was co-created by one of the creators of Twitter. Wired.com has a good review of the device and its software.

There’s lots of potential for ag-related businesses to take advantage of this technology. I can see farmers, agri-tourist operators, landscapers and even concessionaires at fairs using the Square device.

So, what do you think?

(Note: NCDA&CS is not endorsing the use of this device, but presenting information on new technology and its possible uses in our industry)