About Square Reader
Square is a compact card magstripe reader which is iOS and Android compatible across a range of phones and tablets. It is geared towards portability so that it can be taken, charged and used on the go with minimal space constraints. Payment can be taken via apps such as Google or Apple Pay, as well as chip and pin, and NFC contactless payment. The connection to a mobile device uses low-power Bluetooth, which optimises the battery life for a reader that lasts a full day.
Square is designed for convenience and its main features aim to make it as low on labour intensiveness as possible.
- Uses low energy Bluetooth, with a battery life of over 12 hours
- Accepts credit and debit cards, as well as NFC contactless payment, chip and pin, and mobile phone and smartwatch payment apps
- Receipts can be emailed to customers
- The reader can be mounted on a compact charger for continuous usage
- Mountable on specially-made phone case for added portability
- Payment takes a few seconds when using NFC
- The free app is easy to set up and use, with minimal data required
The Square Reader is simply built and contains a large battery. Other than the series of pairing buttons to signal successful Bluetooth connection and payment, there are no added features to the card reader. Its riveted back means that it can be mounted on a charger or a phone case and it is one of the smallest card readers on the market.
The Square reader comes with a USB charging cable and a free magnetic stripe reader so that it can read international cards. There is the option of a dock for £19, or the OtterBox uniVERSE phone case for iPhone devices only.
Square is most often used within small to medium retail, hospitality and food businesses, with its portability making it popular for mobile businesses, such as market traders, pop-ups, and temporary shops.
All data can be analysed and exported for sending to accountants via email. Tax information can be set up and automatically reported and trends are automatically recorded.
Square is PCI-DSS level 1 compliant and uses SSL encryption for data transfer. No card numbers are stored in the application and security updates are installed automatically.
Square offers a large list of articles that are intuitively organised on the website, as well as FAQs and regular updates on industry security issues. For full support including email and phone, Square does not advertise details and instead requires customers to create an account to receive personalised assistance.
Costs and fees
Square does not charge setup fees and there are no tie-ins for contracts. The card reader costs £29 + VAT and card transactions, as well as chip and PIN, are charged at a flat rate of 1.75%. For invoicing and virtual terminal payments, the charge is 2.5% and while there is no fee for bank transfers, there is an optional upgrade to next-business-day transfers for an extra charge of 1%.
Square’s portability has made it popular with small, mobile businesses. It is cheap to use and charges one flat-rate fee for transactions. Its setup is easy and compatible with a wide range of devices, with its energy-efficient Bluetooth connection guaranteeing a long battery life. It also offers a range of reporting functions for business monitoring and accounting purposes.