A ginger scone and organic coffee would taste delicious, I thought, rushing to meet a friend at 8 am a couple weeks ago at Busters in South Pasadena, a favorite local cafe for Fosselman’s handmade ice cream. But I’d forgotten that they didn’t take debit cards and I didn’t have enough cash on hand. Then they pulled out an iPad and rang me up.
“What’s that?” I asked, pointing at the screen.
“Square,” the barista said. “You’ll get an email receipt.
I didn’t inquire further about this newfangled service since a long line of customers awaited their coffee. It must be part of Foursquare, I assumed. Impressed, but a bit overwhelmed with yet another in an endless spate of apps, start-ups and seamless purchasing. The receipt arrived in my email with an image of my signature: Re: Receipt from Busters Ice Cream and Coffee Shop for $9.18. I wondered.
At the bottom of the email it asked if I wanted to “start accepting credit cards today.” I thought of a few friends who could use this reader gizmo on their smartphone for their business and filed away a mental note. It returned to my radar tonight.
A story on 60 Minutes featured an interview with Square’s creator Jack Dorsey, the guy who co-founded Twitter. That got my attention. It’s got low fees and could transform payments for customers and vendors. I read a comment about complaints and flashed on Groupon. A further search revealed it can hold funds up to 30 days for large transactions and there’s a robo response in lieu of customer support. But it’s fast-growing and should leap overnight after this story: Jack Dorsey of Square on “60 Minutes”.
Would you use it? Sign up as a customer and the favorite shops will know who you are: Squareup.com and/or register for your free credit card reader: https://itunes.apple.com/app/square-register/id335393788?ls=1&mt=8