Wow! Look at that! Another 5 months have flown by and we totally skipped winter! One snow-day picture to prove we had snow at all.
We already had our first little bloom last weekend after the "overwintering" and definitely our first success at "gardening" without a garden.
For those who read my last blog and prayed for our Costa Rica trip, thank you thank you thank you! We were definitely more ministered to than we ministered to the Costa Ricans.
What I really wanted to talk about today is taking your shop anywhere you want. Have you ever had customer who decided they cannot make the purchase because they do not have enough cash or their checks on them? How about answering "Yes I do" the next time they ask "Do you accept credit?"
I was intrigued by the idea of accepting credit cards on the go when I first saw the card readers being sold in the Apple store for $20. My husband had offered to get it but that was way more than what I would like to pay for something I may not use in a very long time (or at all) and still have to pay fees on.
All that changed when I chanced upon the idea of "Free app + Free card reader". I was adamant that there must be a catch somewhere, so I looked very closely and would like to share what I found here. I started my search on one of the Top Ten Reviews article reviewing "Mobile Credit Card Processing". So you can go there for the full suite of offerings, prices and features. I am just going to focus on Square and Intuit Gopayment and on features that matters to me as a sole proprietor of my little craft business that relies on face to face sale much more than online sale. For obvious reasons, I chose those two because there is no merchant account fee and gateway fee involved for pay-as-you-go options. Truth be told, the transaction fees are overall lower than Etsy and Paypal fees that you don't even think about anymore.
Let's talk about the similarities first. As I have mentioned, the apps and card readers are both free. Square is still limited to the the Apple mobile devices and Andriod while Gopayment claims to work on any phone with internet access. The card readers are sent to you once you sign up and request for the dongle and both companies work out fine for me. Both card readers fit into the audio jack and Gopayment suggest that volume be turned up for optimal performance but Square did not say that. In any case, I have tried swiping 5 different cards that I own and both are able to read all the cards well and quick. Square reader feels a little more fragile than Gopayment reader though, but I have read reviews where the Gopayment does not fit because of the phone case.
Now for the differences, it is a catch 22 situation. While both apps allow you to key in or take a picture of the item you are selling, Gopayment app allows you to set up your inventory in advance so that you can charge it right away. However, it does not allow cash as a payment option, thus losing its usability as an inventory tracking app. Square, on the other hand, allows cash payment but not inventory setup. Here's what I figured I would do: Use Quick Sale (not updated anymore) or Ring it up (just got it, not tried it yet) to track all inventory and all payment record and use the invoice number generated as the "Item description" when you charge the card using either of the credit card processing app. So you don't have set up inventory in one place and be frustrated about not being to keep track of the sale.
Another issue deals with security and privacy. Square requires your SS number and bank account information for fund transfers. So you need to use your official name associated with your SS number in order to set up successfully. I had some trouble but all I had to do was email Square and they deleted my account, so that I can set it up again. Gopayment do away with the need for bank information by issuing you with a debit card. Funds gets banked in on a separate account. I really do not mind either one as long as I receive the payment eventually. That I will have to wait till I try them out.
I am unbiased with the user interface but I have seen reviews where people do not like to have to log in to Gopayment every single time the phone locks itself (even if it is running in the background). While it provides security, I am not sure how you would lose any money even if somebody picks up your device and manages to get into the app without logging in...
Now, how about a bonus for trying out Gopayment? This was the reason I signed up for it (after I got Square). Ebates.com offers $10 cash back for users who sign up with Gopayment! If you would allow me to refer you to Ebates, click HERE and both you and I will get $5 for the referral and you can go on to sign up for $10 cash back with Gopayment. Note that you will still get $5 for signing up without my referral. Just saying it will be very kind of you let me refer you. I have received checks from them, so I know it works : )
Hope you feel empowered by the knowledge that you can now choose to accept credit cards on the go! Till next time!