Sunday, April 17, 2011

Credit Cards Transactions For Bands Made Easy

More and more we're living in a cashless society. People are more likely to make a purchase with a debit or credit card when they want something, especially if they're short of cash. Of course this can be a drag at a gig when you're selling CDs and merch and have to rely on the green because of the hassle of taking credit and debit cards.

If you've ever looked into taking credit cards for merchandise purchases at a gig, you know  what a hassle it can be. First of all you have to enter into into a long term contract with a bank, then pay for the card reader, and in many cases pay a monthly subscription fee. Then after a purchase you have to wait for the money to hit your account, with the bank taking their piece through processing and transaction fees that are like the phone bill - lots of small fees for each transaction that no one can seem to explain.

But this has all changed over the past year or so as a service called Square Up has slowly but surely made a big impression on large and small touring merchandising entities alike. With just a $10 reader that attaches to any iPhone 4, iPad or iPod Touch (there's a $10 rebate so it's actually for free), you can now have your customers easily pay by the card of their choice. What's more, it's paperless. You swipe the card, the customer uses a fingerprint to sign to the purchase by touching the screen of your IOS device, and the customer receives an email receipt later. Square takes a flat 2.75% transaction fee, which ends up being at a better rate than most traditional credit card processors.

The novelty of signing with your fingerprint is so cool that many acts report that their sales have increased just by the fact that people want to try it out! The best part is that you can now get the Square reader from the Apple online store, and it's reported that it will be available soon from their retail stores as well. The transaction software is free.

I think the best part of this is the fact that you don't have to deal with a large bank. They make too much money from us already, so anything that can take even a small piece of their action can only be a good thing for you and your customers. You can check out the app here.
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Unknown said...

It's available on Android devices as well.

Anonymous said...

Square has unfortunately generated a bit of controversy recently, when it was demonstrated that their reader could be hacked pretty easily. Now, this won't be a problem for bands - but enough unscrupulous merchants could tarnish the reputation of the square brand.

Anonymous said...

from the customer's point of view - "Do I trust this little unknown device that's attached to the iphone? What kind of app is it running and why does it require my fingerprint? Not comfortable since it somewhat invades my privacy."

I know I wouldn't be comfortable scanning my card on a stranger's device that's asking for my fingerprint

Unknown said...

Mine takes an actual signature. The downside is that you really need a stylus. Trying to "draw" your signature using your finger doesn't work too well.

eliza @ merchant services said...

This is another great news, another technological advancement which can benefit everyone. :)

Serge said...

There are definitely lots of benefits which mobile credit card payment processing could offer. Then again, with these people should still be careful with their purchases since there might still be a risk of security breach so to counter this, they should monitor their credit card usage regularly.


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