If you’re a stay-at-home parent, there’s a good chance you’ve got a business on the side going on. Whether it’s home daycare, in-home sales, Etsy, crafting, or (like me!) a print broker business, you may have wished at some point that you could accept credit cards from your clients. Square is THE perfect solution! And guess what? It’s FREE.
Here’s the deal. Visit the Square website and take a look around. They’ll send you a credit card reader for free. It’s a small device that connects to the earphone jack of your smartphone, iPad or laptop. They do have a list of recognized devices on the website if you’re in doubt. With the card reader, you’ll be able to accept Visa, Mastercard, AMEX or JCB (don’t think we have that in Canada though!), at the cost of 2.75% per swipe. That’s it — you don’t pay anything if you don’t use it. If you’d like to enter a credit card without swiping it (by phone, for example), the percentage rate is 3.75. Still pretty reasonable. You don’t need a Merchant Account, and the money goes straight into your own bank account. There are limitations and potential holds if you do thousands of dollars of sales, but for most of us at-home workers, that’s not something we encounter often. Tips, taxes and other fees can be added on too.
And just recently Square has added Square Register (still free!), which allows you to add your products and have them ready for your perusal while making a sale, eliminating the need to enter each dollar amount individually. It also allows you to keep track of your sales by cash, check or other means as well. It seems like they’re going for an entire Point of Sale system, and for (very) small businesses, this system is ideal! You’ll need to have access to the internet on your device, either by wi-fi or using a data plan. Check out my favourite data plan here. Besides that, you only pay when you make a sale paid for by a credit card. That’s my kind of freebie!